Collaborative research and use of Q methodology to understand technology infusion in teacher preparation

Abstract

With a focus on methodology and research process, this paper explores researcher collaboration in the development, implementation, analysis, and dissemination of a multi-institutional study of teacher educators’ perspectives on technology infusion. At the conclusion of the 2018 National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS), attendees recommended use of Q methodology to provide a holistic approach to understanding perspectives of teacher educators who were not technology specialists. As lead researchers, the co-authors worked together to design the study, develop materials, and analyze data. Research collaborators were recruited to collect data, implementing the Q sort process with participants from multiple institutions across the United States. Results revealed (1) variance in participant beliefs about the value of and expertise in integrating technology in teacher preparation and (2) consensus amongst participants about multiple challenges for achieving technology infusion across teacher preparation programs. Q methodology served as an effective approach for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data for subsequent analysis. We explored features of several software programs tailored for Q methodology and gained new insights about the benefits of and challenges to engaging in a collaborative research process.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Teresa S. Foulger, Kiersten Greene, Gerald Knezek, Natalie B. Milman, April D. Nauman, and Guy Trainin for their contribution to the development, implementation and/or presentation of this research.

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Correspondence to Jon M. Clausen.

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Appendix

Appendix

  1. 1.

    I believe technology can support knowledge construction, through use of research strategies to locate information and other resources for intellectual and creative pursuits.

  2. 2.

    I believe technology can support the assessment of student learning.

  3. 3.

    I believe technology can enable students to actively explore real-world issues and problems, develop ideas and theories, and pursue answers and solutions.

  4. 4.

    I believe technology can enable students to represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

  5. 5.

    I believe technology can enable students to use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or others at a local or global level, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

  6. 6.

    I believe technology can enable students to understand and communicate complex ideas by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, and models or simulations.

  7. 7.

    I believe many faculty members at my institution are unconvinced as to whether technology-infused teaching methods are more effective than traditional instruction.

  8. 8.

    I believe technology use can enable P-12 students to shift from passive to active social learners.

  9. 9.

    I believe technology can support student agency and voice in representing personal or community knowledge and experiences.

  10. 10.

    I believe technology can be a democratizing factor for information access and representation.

  11. 11.

    I feel confident that I could model technology to differentiate instruction to meet diverse learning needs.

  12. 12.

    I feel confident that I could model effective strategies for teaching in online and hybrid P-12 learning environments.

  13. 13.

    I feel confident that I could address the legal, ethical, and socially-responsible use of technology in education.

  14. 14.

    I feel confident that I could model alignment of content standards with technologies to develop authentic learning activities for students to maximize active and deep learning.

  15. 15.

    To build my confidence in teaching with technology I would utilize online resources such as video tutorials, webinars, etc.

  16. 16.

    To build my confidence in teaching with technology I would utilize hands-on workshops.

  17. 17.

    To build my confidence in teaching with technology I would utilize one-on-one coaching.

  18. 18.

    To build my confidence in teaching with technology I would utilize a team focus or personal learning community on technology skill development.

  19. 19.

    To build my confidence in teaching with technology I prefer to learn new technologies independently and try them out myself.

  20. 20.

    I feel confident that I could model technology use for accessing, analyzing, creating, curating, and evaluating information.

  21. 21.

    I feel confident that I could assist teacher candidates with evaluating the potential value of content-specific technologies to support student learning.

  22. 22.

    I feel confident that I could facilitate opportunities for teacher candidates to practice teaching with technology.

  23. 23.

    My teacher education program has full-time faculty members who are competent using and modeling appropriate technologies.

  24. 24.

    My teacher education program has the expectation that all faculty/instructors will model best practice in terms of technology use for P-12 learning.

  25. 25.

    My teacher education program has cooperating/mentor teachers who support candidates as they practice integrating technology in teaching and learning.

  26. 26.

    My teacher education program has a disconnect between the type of pedagogical approaches occurring with technology tools in P-12 schooling versus what is taught in pre-service teacher education.

  27. 27.

    My teacher education program has a disconnect between the types of tools teacher candidates experience in their teacher education program compared to their clinical teaching placements.

  28. 28.

    My teacher education program has coursework that requires teacher candidates to engage in iterative practice for integrating technology in teaching and learning.

  29. 29.

    My teacher education program has curriculum that informs candidates of various frameworks for use of technology (e.g., TPACK, Triple E).

  30. 30.

    My teacher education program has curriculum designed to help candidates meet the ISTE Standards for Educators.

  31. 31.

    My teacher education program focuses on technology use to enable learning and teaching through creation, production, and problem solving.

  32. 32.

    My teacher education program ensures pre-service teachers’ experiences with educational technology are program-deep and program-wide rather than one-off courses separate from their methods courses.

  33. 33.

    My teacher education program has an assessment structure in place to assure that teacher candidates can implement technology effectively in support of P-12 learning.

  34. 34.

    A challenge for our college is sustainable, program-wide systems of professional learning for higher education instructors to strengthen and continually refresh their capacity to use technological tools to enable transformative learning and teaching.

  35. 35.

    A challenge for our college is many teacher education faculty indicate they feel ill-equipped to change the way they teach and thus would like access to structured, formal training.

  36. 36.

    A challenge for our college is few incentives are available to spur faculty to change their pedagogical approach to include effective modeling of technology.

  37. 37.

    A challenge for our college is few incentives are employed for teacher education faculty to spend time learning new technologies.

  38. 38.

    A challenge for our college is there is a scarcity of vision from and action by leadership to develop effective digital technology pedagogy use amongst the faculty.

  39. 39.

    A challenge for our college is the need to invest considerable funds in equipping and preparing faculty to use technology effectively.

  40. 40.

    A challenge for our college is a budget for human and fiscal resources for long-term support of initiatives related to infusion of technology in teacher education programs.

  41. 41.

    A challenge for our college is a clear set of articulated policies to guide a change process related to infusion of technology in teacher education programs.

  42. 42.

    A challenge for our college is insufficient research on how teacher educators can effectively integrate technology program wide.

  43. 43.

    A challenge for our college is helping internal and external partners have a clear understanding of responsibilities for infusing technology in teacher preparation programs.

  44. 44.

    A challenge for our college is there is a scarcity of vision from and action by leadership to develop effective digital technology pedagogy use amongst the teacher education candidates.

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Clausen, J.M., Borthwick, A.C. & Rutledge, D. Collaborative research and use of Q methodology to understand technology infusion in teacher preparation. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 1617–1639 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-021-10018-3

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Keywords

  • Q Methodology
  • Technology Infusion
  • Collaborative Research