Problem Analysis:

Learning Task Map

Task Objective Assessment Item Blueprint (TOAB)

1. ---Determine the nature of the problem or the gap between actual and optimal.

The nature of the problem is a disconnect between how teachers teach and how students learn. Research indicates that students learn best in an interactive, collaborative environment while a great deal of teaching occurs using a unidirectional information dissemination model. When teachers knowledge is measured in four ways; technology, pedagogy, content, and the combination of each of these areas, it was discovered that teachers, regardless of experience felt the highest level of confidence in the areas of content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge. In the area of technology knowledge and the knowledge of how to combine technology with pedagogy and content teachers were far less confident in their own abilities. (Archabault & Crippin, 2009) This lack of knowledge, and even more importantly, confidence in their knowledge, exposes a critical problem in the education system. Teachers are not likely to implement learning that is technology centric, or even technology opportunistic if they do not have confidence in their own mastery of the tools and implementation strategies necessary to such learning. Therefore, the problem, or gap, lies in the actual situation, where teachers are not confident in their ability to master and implement technology-based teaching strategies while the optimal situation is one in which the teacher selects the best strategy, technology-based, or not, depending on the situation. The lack of confidence in their own abilities creates a gap between what works best for students and what students can expect to receive in terms of materials and strategies that are dependent on or involve technology

1.1 ---What problems are you trying to address?

I am trying to address the gap between teacher knowledge and confidence in their knowledge in the areas of technology and technology integration.

2. ---Determine if and how the problem can be resolved.

The problem is solvable. Training and education of teachers, in both pre-service and professional development programs is likely the best and most cost effective strategy for improving performance. It is notable that even among more the more recently emerging professional educators, who are likely to have a better foundation in educational technologies, there remains a gap between their confidence with content, pedagogy and technology and implementation strategies.

A program of professional development that is technology rich, interactive, and offers the a high level pedagogical soundness, as well as adheres to the appropriate standards, seems to offer the most likely chance of success.

2.1 ---Is WBI an appropriate solution to the problem?

Yes, WBI is not only appropriate, but is perhaps the ideal solution to the problem. By engaging teachers in a technology mediated environment over the course of a five week instructional period, with all work assignments issued via electronic means, collected via electronic means, and all research and support provided in a technology mediated environment, the opportunities for teachers to become immersed in and comfortable with a technology rich environment appear to be the an effective, perhaps even ideally prescriptive in solving the problem.

3. ---How many people are affected?

According to various research studies, this a broad based problem affecting a significant percentage, perhaps even a majority of students and teachers in public and private primary and secondary education systems in the United States.

4. ---When did the problem become evident?

The problem has become evident as students in the United States arrive at colleges and universities less and less able to do college level work in the sciences, especially those sciences in which technology mediates or plays a significant role in the student’s pursuit of knowledge.

5. ---How do you know there is a problem? What is being accomplished? What is not being accomplished? Are there deficiencies? Is there urgency to the problem?

Student outcomes in science, math, and technology knowledge among American students, regardless of socioeconomic situation, race, and regional factors in comparison to students in other industrialized and emerging nations demonstrate a significant gap between students in the United States and students in other countries.

In some distinct programs, progress has been made. Students have made progress in improving outcomes, but these improvements do not fulfill the potential of the students or meet the needs of the evolving, technology based economy.

The problem is urgent, as it is likely to take a significant amount of time between teaching teachers to use the tools necessary to teach in a technology rich environment and the educators implementing the strategies they have learned. However, this is not a life or death problem, nor does it impair the immediate health and welfare of the individuals involved.

5.1 ---What is the root cause of the problem?

The root cause, or, in this case causes, of the problem, are myriad. Teachers are a product of the society they serve. Teachers who evolve from a pedagogical environment in which the misalignment of goals and strategies is endemic will, logically, need training to overcome this significant inhibitor to ideal performance. Research has shown, on most levels of education, students learn best in a constructivist, knowledge building environment where tasks and learning are anchored to, or directly related to, authentic tasks and problems. Standardized tests, which are not, in fact standard across geographical regions, have become entrenched as the method of measuring outcomes and acting as the formative feed back collecting documents for evaluating the learning they purportedly measure. This disconnect between method of instruction and method of outcome measurement seems destined to perpetuate a less than ideal result. As education becomes more and more centralized, systems become more and more unwieldy, and more resistant simply by virtue of size, to systemic change.

More study is needed to determine if the lack of confidence among in service teachers when addressing technology issues is solely the result of inferior knowledge or if the fundamental knowledge lag is exacerbated by a lack of practice in implementation.

6. ---Where is the problem? Are there some places more affected than others?

The problem is everywhere.  It is generally though not always more pronounced in American cities and urban areas, as well as school districts in economically disadvantaged rural areas and among populations of students who do not speak English as their first language.

6.1 ---What are the symptoms of the problem?

The symptoms of the problem fall into two distinct categories. Data collected from teachers, and data collected on student outcomes. To address the first condition, research has shown that teachers are far more confident of their knowledge and abilities in relation to learning content and pedagogy than they are of their knowledge and abilities in relation to technology and technology implementation.

The second source of data, that of measuring student outcomes of learners in the United States and comparing them to groups of learners in other industrialized, first world nations. In these side-by-side comparisons, the United States often lags countries that spend similar or lesser amounts.

Instructional Situation Component Analysis.

Analyze Goal and Outcome Level

What is the instructional goal?

At the completion of the course, learners will be able to create engaging, pedagogically sound learning modules that integrate the three multimedia technologies; Picasa, Audacity, and Voicethread, introduced and explored during the program of instruction.

What are the expected outcome level types?

Gagné’s Category of Learning Learned Capability Verb Explanation Example from proposed instruction
Verbal Information State Declarative Knowledge State the Principles of Multimedia Learning
Intellectual Skills Procedural Knowledge. Knowing how, learning to apply declarative knowledge
Discrimination Discriminate Comparing Items as similar or different by tangible attributes Discriminate between materials which support and those that do not support a proper application of cognitive load theory.
Concrete Concepts Identify Identifying tangible ideas, objects, or events. Identify file types used in creating and delivering multimedia content
Defined Concepts Classify Classifying and labeling intangible or abstract ideas, events or objects by defined meanings. Classify multimedia elements as adhering to various multimedia rules.
Rule Using Application Apply Applying lower-order procedural knowledge Apply the correct rule of multimedia learning to the assigned problem.
Higher-Order Rules or Problem Solving Generate Assessing problem situations. Determining applicable concepts and rules, applying 2 or more rules in combination. Generate lesson plan using multimedia tools to support content mastery
 
Cognitive Strategies Adopt Learning to control one’s own information or cognitive processes Adopt an approach to creating multimedia content
Attitudes Choose Learning of a personal action of choice to exhibit Choose to use multimedia elements to support student learning.
Motor Skills Execute Learning physical movement skills that are coordinated & precise. Execute audio editing using Audacity.

Analyze Context

What is the instructional context?

Organizational Infrastructure:

Resources

The Teacher’s (Multimedia) Toolbox will be offered under the auspices of the Extended Studies program at Boise State University. (http://www.boisestate.edu/extendedstudies/ ) As such learners will have the support staff from the Blackboard help desk to assist with Learning Management System issues. As this course is a distance education course, the students are expected to provide their own computer, web browsing software, and Internet connection.

Management Functions

The Extended Studies and Distance Education Departments at Boise State University undertake all management functions. The following is taken from the support section of the Extended Studies web site. “Extended Studies provides the administrative support structure for the implementation of distance education courses, including course set-up, registration support, student advisement, targeted marketing, faculty support, support/delivery of course materials and course evaluation. Academic Technologies assists with materials support/delivery for the Knowledge Network system.”

Organizational Culture

Boise State University is nationally recognized as an institutional leader in distance education. The university has a history of supporting distance students effectively and well.

Ownership of WBI Materials

This is unknown at this time.

Allocation and competencies of personnel

These descriptions are taken from the Boise State University Extended Studies guidelines.

Technical, Instructional Design, and Content Knowledge of Instructor.

The instructor of this course is yet to be determined.

Instructional Design Support Personnel

Because of the differences between live and distance instructional delivery; tools for course structure and design have been developed by the department of Academic Technologies and Extended Studies; in conjunction with the Core Online Project and the Teaching/Learning Technology Roundtable. These tools provide an appropriate academic support framework; yet allow considerable flexibility for individual faculty and course needs. They should be utilized by faculty when developing a course and preparing to teach online.

Technical Support Staff

Academic Technologies is the educational technology organization for Boise State and provides technology support and instructional design and consultation for all distance delivery methods. The Office of Information Technology provides support for the Blackboard server and manages the university’s access to the Internet.

Administration Support Staff

Extended Studies provides the administrative support structure for the implementation of distance education courses, including course set-up, registration support, student advisement, targeted marketing, faculty support, support/delivery of course materials and course evaluation. Academic Technologies assists with materials support/delivery for the Knowledge Network system.

Learner Location and Technology

Location of Participants:

Learners, in theory, could be located anywhere on the planet. Practically speaking, the learners will likely be from the Boise State University catchment area. Most teacher training development courses are designed to meet standards for professional development as determined by state boards of education, and as such, courses aimed at such audiences are often not transportable outside that state.

Locations (urban or rural):

Students could be from either rural or urban environments.

General Technological Requirements:

Requirements as published by Department of Distance Education at Boise State University.
• Computer: regular access to a PC or Mac computer with at least 64MB RAM.
• System: system platform of Windows 95 or newer, Mac OS 8 or newer, or Linux.
• Internet: dependable access with 56K or better modem.
• Web Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or newer, Firefox 2 or newer, Netscape 8 or newer, Safari 2 or newer, and Opera 8 or newer, or equivalent.

Required Utilities and Software Applications:

Students will need a computer, an Internet connection, and a web browser. All other applications will be downloaded by the student at the outset of the course, or used as ‘cloud’ applications in a web based format.

Analyze Learners

General Characteristics:

The anticipated learners in The Teachers’ (Multimedia) Toolbox are adult learners between the ages of 21 and 65. They will be in service or pre-service teachers who are either college graduates or soon will be. Many will have substantial work experience and most if not will read well enough to be certified as teachers.

Motivations

This course is not a required course. It is offered as a professional development course for in service teachers. The anticipated motivation level will be fairly high.

Prior Knowledge

Teachers will be familiar with their content knowledge, and will likely be familiar with professional development classes as part of their required program to retain their teaching certificate. They will be familiar with the pedagogy that drives the course philosophy, and with most of the course terminology.

Communications Skills

Learners should all be adept at basic word processing, spreadsheets, and other core administrative skills, as well as the ability to communicate professionally in writing and orally.

Technical Skills

Learners will most likely be able to use a computer and web browser, conduct Internet searches, word process, use email, ad have a basic grasp of technology terms and applications. Details of individual learner abilities are not known at this time.

Abilities and Disabilities

Addressing learner disabilities will occur at two points in the course. Initially, the course will be designed to allow for every technically available adaptation of the material for the hearing, vision, and mobility impaired individual. Special accommodations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis within the guidelines of Boise State University.

Other Learner Characteristics

Other learner characteristics are not known at this time.


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