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EdTech faculty offers considerable insight at AECT

More than two dozen EdTech faculty members and students are presenting research this week at the international conference of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) in Jacksonville, Florida.

 EdTech doctoral graduate Molly Large will team up with Professor Norm Friesen and Assistant Professor Chris Haskell to share their research on Implementation of an AVID Elementary Program in a Technology-rich Environment. They explored the change and innovations that occurred as the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) elementary program was implemented in a technology-rich school environment. It also examined the ways in which those innovations were communicated and adopted across the school, including how the AVID elementary program functions at the site and how teachers who were trained through the AVID Elementary Summer Institute responded to and applied the presented strategies and tools.

EdTech doctoral graduate Dwayne Ockel worked with associate professors Ross Perkins, Yu-Chang Hsu, and Yu-Hui Ching on research called Exploring the Impacts of Logic Simulation in an Online Computer Architecture Course. Because many computer science programs are moving online, it is important to replace in-person laboratory experiences with authentic and cost-effective methods. Traditionally, static models such as schematic diagrams along with detailed textual descriptions have been used, but this study explored the use of a logic simulation tool as an interventional assignment in an online undergraduate computer science course. Three iterations of the intervention were run using a design-based research approach.

 EdTech doctoral graduate Sarah Rich will team-up with Associate Professor Chareen Snelson and Professor Youngkyun Baek to explain their research called, Exploring Critical Thinking and Negotiation of Meaning through MINECRAFTEDU: A case study of Elementary Language Learners. This qualitative case study investigated the collective discourse produced by a group of elementary-aged English Language Learners engaged in task-based activities within the social gaming environment of MinecraftEDU in order to determine if patterns of critical thinking, problem solving, and negotiation and co-construction of meaning were present. Their work has implications for practice and further research in the fields of social game design and use within foreign language instruction, identity exploration within an online environment, and reduced fear of failure when participating in a social game.

 Assistant Professor Jesus Trespalacios will present on Novice Instructional Designers as Reflective Practitioners. Reflection plays an essential role in the process of solving design problems. Previous research shows that reflective thinking is one of the critical factors in solving design problems. Following research-based guidelines, students wrote a substantial reflection paper at the end of an online course in instructional design (ID). His presentation will report the activities developed in the course and how novice ID students used reflection to establish and develop a professional identity.

 Associate Professor Ross Perkins, Professor Kerry Rice, and Assistant Professor Jesus Trespalacios contributed to research EdTech doctoral graduate Donna Ledford called, Professional Learning for Technology Integration: Teachers’ Use of Technology. This design-based study emphasized active learning, critical thinking, creativity, and communication in a professional development framework that impacted teachers’ instructional practices toward technology integration and transformative practice. In the study, teachers engaged in a 15-week professional learning opportunity and implemented multiple components noted in the literature as impacting teacher practice.

EdTech Associate Professor Lida Uribe-Florez, Professor Kerry Rice, Associate Professor Ross Perkins, and doctoral graduate Dave Mulder worked on a study that focused on Advising students in a fully online EdTech doctoral program: What we have learned. Advising doctoral students in a fully online program is a new and important task that has been added to the faculty workload. In this presentation, they will share experiences as advisors of doctoral students in Boise State EdTech’s online EdD program. Program coordinators and faculty share strategies utilized in the program. They will also discuss strategies used to overcome the challenges encountered while guiding students to finish their doctoral degree. Mulder will share his experiences as an advisee.

EdTech Associate Professor Dazhi Yang and  doctoral student Shannon Skelcher will present their research on the topic of Examining Students’ Cognitive Learning and Perceptions in Face-to-Face and Online Engineering Courses. This research examined differences in graduate students’ cognitive learning and perceptions in face-to-face and online engineering courses. The findings revealed no difference in students’ cognitive learning. However, face-to-face students had a better performance in sharing, describing, seeking information, and solutions skills. Online students had higher percentages in explaining, comparing, interpreting, and clarifying; analyzing, and concluding skills. Face-to-face students had higher perceptions of teaching while online students had more positive perception about the course’s effectiveness.

Patrick Lowenthal, Quincy Conley, Michael Humphrey, and Alison Lowenthal will present their research project called Lessons Learned Developing a Digital Literacy Online Training Program for Students with Exceptionalities. Students need basic digital literacies to complete a college or job application today. As a result, educators now have a new responsibility to develop all students’ digital literacies. They plan to present an online digital literacy training program for students with exceptionalities. They will also discuss their design and development approach for this particular audience, report on a series of design experiments, and conclude with implications for theory and practice.

 EdTech Associate Professor Patrick Lowenthal and contributors Laurie Cavey, Michele Carney, Tatia Totorica, and Jason Libberton from various departments at Boise State have prepared a poster presentation called Using Video to Prepare Prospective Teachers to Teach Mathematics: A Literature Review. Teacher educators have been experimenting with using video to prepare teachers for more than a decade. For instance, teacher educators have used video to model expert teaching, analyze lessons, create field recordings, and even as specific case studies to prepare prospective teachers. In their session, Lowenthal and colleagues will present the results of an integrative review of the literature, which summarizes and synthesizes research on the use of video to teach prospective teachers how to teach mathematics.

 EdTech Assistant Professor Jesus Trespalacios and Associate Professor Lida Uribe-Florez plan to present on Exploring Strategies to Promote a Sense of Community in a Fully Online Educational Research Course. Research suggests that building community online can improve learning and retention. However, there is little recent empirical research on how online educators establish a sense of classroom community in their courses. Using a validated survey and a semi-structured interview, these EdTech faculty members will report how instructional strategies and modern technologies might influence perceptions of community in a fully online doctoral course in educational research. Results and implications for practice will be discussed with the audience.

 EdTech Associate Professor Patrick Lowenthal and doctoral students Dana Bodewes and Megan Gooding will present Learning to Teach Online: An Exploration of How Universities Train Faculty to Teach Online. As a result of increased demand for online courses and programs, institutions are experimenting with different ways to train and support faculty to teach online. There is very little recent literature, though, that describes the various ways that institutions actually train faculty to teach online. In this presentation, they will report on the results of their inquiry into how leading institutions are training faculty to design online courses and teach online.

And, EdTech Associate Professor Yu-Chang Hsu will lead a discussion for members of AECT’s Culture, Learning and Technology (CLT) Division and members of the International Division to explore collaboration opportunities that can serve the members of both divisions.

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