Virtual School Meanderings

August 13, 2019

EDTECH537 – Guest Blog Entry: Working To Measure and Improve Blended Teacher Readiness

As I mentioned in the Week 7 entry for my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course yesterday, today I wanted to post a sample of a guest blog entry.

Jered Borup is the professor-in-charge of George Mason University’s Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master’s and Certificate programs that are devoted to improving teacher practices in online and blended learning environments.  In this guest blog entry, Jered has taken the lead – along with his co-authors Charles R. Graham (Brigham Young University), Cecil Short (Brigham Young University), and Leanna Archambault (Arizona State University) – in discussing their book “K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.”

Like many familiar to you, school districts near us are adopting one-laptop-per-child initiatives. What’s less clear is how those laptops are to be used. Placing laptops in front of students will not magically improve student learning—or even change much of anything in a meaningful way. However, if leveraged correctly, the technology does provide excellent opportunities when paired with blended teaching professional development. Even when a school district is eager to provide professional development, administrators are left wondering where to focus their limited resources. Similarly, the few teacher-preparation programs that provide meaningful coursework designed to prepare students for blended teaching lack clear standards to guide their course work.

To address this need, our team worked to develop open resources that school districts and professors can freely use to guide and focus efforts to prepare teachers for the blended classroom. It was important that the resources be grounded in research. The research began with Pulham and Graham’s (2018) extensive review of existing online and blended teaching competencies. Using insights from this research, Graham, Borup, Pulham, and Larsen (2019) developed and statistically validated a survey instrument that measured teachers’ confidence completing specific blended teaching skills that were grouped into several categories. We began calling it the process model because the categories largely followed the steps teachers would take to plan, facilitate, and evaluate blended learning activities for their students. While the process model instrument made an important contribution, we found it to be too long to be used repeatedly. We came to believe that an instrument focused on pedagogy—rather than process—would be more useful. As a result, we developed a new instrument that focused on the following four sets of competencies in addition to foundational technology skills and dispositions (see Figure 1):

  • Online Integration – the ability to effectively combine online instruction with in-person instruction.
  • Data Practices – the ability to use digital tools to monitor student activity and performance in order to guide student growth.
  • Personalization – the ability to implement a learning environment that allows student customization of goals, pace, and/or learning path.
  • Online Interaction – the ability to facilitate online interactions with and between students.

You can access the survey online at: http://bit.ly/K12-BTR 

Figure 1. Four core competencies for effective blended teaching built on a foundation of technology skills and dispositions.

We used the pedagogical model to create an online, open textbook rich with examples, resources, and media. The book, K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration, is now free to anyone to use at https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended. We believe the survey and the book combine to create an especially valuable resource. We encourage you to explore both the survey and the book and share them with anyone who would benefit from them. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please send your comments to jborup@gmu.edu.

References

Graham, C. R., Borup, J., Pulham, E. B., & Larsen, R. (2019). K-12 blended teaching readiness: Model and instrument development. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 51(3), 239-258. DOI: 10.1080/15391523.2019.1586601

Pulham, E. B., & Graham, C. R. (2018). Comparing k-12 online and blended teaching competencies: A literature review. Distance Education, 39(3), 411-432.http://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2018.1476840

Jered Borup is the professor-in-charge of George Mason University’s Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master’s and Certificate programs. A full list of his publications can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/jeredborup/  As is the pattern here at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry posted today.

 

1 Comment »

  1. […] Guest Blog Entry: Working To Measure and Improve Blended Teacher Readiness […]

    Pingback by EDTECH537 – End Of Course | Virtual School Meanderings — August 17, 2019 @ 7:03 am | Reply


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