Dissertation

Title: Mixing the emic and etic perspectives: A study exploring development of fixed-answer questions to measure in-service teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge

Link to file: download.brookerobertshaw.com/mbr_dissertation.pdf (887K)

Public Abstract:

The purpose of this dissertation study was to develop fixed-answer questions to measure teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge when teaching with online learning resources. Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is a framework to describe the kind of knowledge that teachers use when they are teaching with technology. Online learning resources include text, video, images, and interactive websites that teachers can use to help teach subject matter to their students. Fixed-answer questions are the kinds of questions found on standardized tests like the SAT, and tests that K-12 students take as a part of state and national testing. Many measures have been developed to measure TPACK in in-service and pre-service teachers, but only a few researchers have used multiple choice and ranking type questions.

To develop the questions, this dissertation study used a mixed methods approach. Mixed methods allow a researcher to use different kinds of ways to investigate knowledge. This dissertation had two phases, each completed as a stand-alone study. The first phase of this dissertation used a qualitative methodology and the second phase used a mixed methods approach, with quantitative being the primary investigative method, whereas qualitative was used to reinforce and give further information about the quantitative findings.

This dissertation study used two sequential research phases. The first phase included a focus group with in-service teachers and interviews with three teacher educators. The data were then analyzed, using the lens of the TPACK framework, and six themes were found. These themes included such things as access to technology, using active and passive forms of teaching when teaching with technology, and using online learning resources for purposeful teaching and learning.

Based on the themes derived in phase one, eleven items were written during phase two of this study. Those eleven items were sent to teachers to make sure the language was written in a way that they could understand. The items were then sent to experts in the TPACK framework to evaluate how much they measure TPACK in teachers. Out of the eleven items, six were deemed valid by all of the raters.
Although this study did not show validity for all eleven items, it does indicate promise in this kind of measurement for TPACK. It is standard practice for more than one round of examination by experts to take place, giving the measurement developer a chance to rewrite items. Given more rounds of updates and reviews by experts, it is likely that these eleven items could eventually be pilot tested with teachers.

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