Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

University teachers’ learning paths during technological innovation of education

To what extent are university teachers' individual learning paths influenced by their teaching experience, motivation, and conceptions of teaching and learning through educational technology?

Duration
2014  -   2016
Contact
Roeland van der Rijst
Funding
E-merge

Researchers

  • dr. Roeland van der Rijst (ICLON)
  • dr. Ellen Sjoer (Haagse Hogeschool)
  • Yvette Baggen MSc (Universiteit Wageningen)

Project description

Abstract

Curriculum development initiatives, and especially those involving educational technologies, are a remarkable learning space for university teachers. In-depth interviews with teaching staff (n=11) were qualitatively analyzed to gain insight in the variety of individual learning paths during educational change and to identify potential relations between teachers learning paths, motivation, teaching experience and conceptions of teaching and learning through educational technology.

Three distinct learning paths were identified relating to teachers learning preferences and activities:

  • learning by performing daily teaching activities
  • deliberate experimenting with new teaching approaches
  • and reflecting on teaching experiences.

The relations between teachers’ learning paths and other relevant factors, such as educational experience, motivation, and their conceptions of educational technology are describe and implications for professional development practices are discussed.

Relevance

The implementation of new technologies in educational practices is often challenging for teachers. It requires knowledge of the technological tools, in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.

Professional development initiatives have been described in earlier studies which focus on success factors, challenges and risks. What has received less attention is the way teachers learn and develop professionally in their day-to-day work by participating in educational technology projects. In this study we first descriptively analyze university teachers’ learning paths while implementing educational technology and then explore the influence of their educational experience, motivation, and their conceptions of educational technology on their learning paths.

Aim of the study

The aim of this study is to analyze to what extent university teachers' individual learning paths are influenced by their teaching experience, motivation, and conceptions of teaching and learning through educational technology?

Method

Data is collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews and periodic teacher blogs to capture the learning paths, motivation for educational innovation, and conceptions of teaching and learning through educational technology of the participating teachers. The interviews were qualitatively analyzed and emerging categories were used for the development of typologies of teachers’ learning paths.

Foto: Sean Gallup / Getty Images News / Getty Images / Universal Images Group

  • van der Rijst, R.M., Baggen, Y., Frencken, H., & Sjoer, E. (2014, September). Professional development trajectories of university teachers. In A. Stolkman (Chair), Let’s Do Something New! Research-based Reflection and Practice as Current Trends in Academic Development. Symposium at the annual meeting of the European Conference on Educational Research, Porto, Portugal.
  • Sjoer, E., Baggen, Y., & van der Rijst, R. M. (2014, June). Leren van docenten in onderwijs innovatie projecten. In R. M. van der Rijst (Chair), Leren van docenten in het hoger onderwijs. Symposium at the annual national meeting of the Onderwijs Research Dagen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
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