Distance education, innovativeness, and teacher education: status in Iowa independent, four-year colleges and universities

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Maushak, Nancy
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Michael R. Simonson
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Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between organizational characteristics and the organizational innovativeness of teacher education programs in institutions of higher education in the state of Iowa in reference to the integration of the innovation, distance education. A second purpose was to determine the relationship between organizational characteristics and identified barriers to the integration of distance education throughout teacher education programs in institutions of higher education in the state of Iowa;Participants were 45 education faculty members from Iowa, independent, 4-year colleges and universities with teacher education programs who attended site visits conducted by the Teacher Education Alliance (TEA), a component of the Iowa Distance Education Alliance, Iowa's Star Schools Project. Three methods of data collection were used for this study. Documents were reviewed to gather data related to organizational characteristics. Discussions held at site visits provided qualitative data related to the integration of distance education. The Teacher Education Alliance Survey (TEAS) was administered to TEA participants to collect data related to innovation, attitude, and current practices. Data were compared and correlated to identify any relationships among variables;The results from this study provide guidance for individuals or agencies assisting small independent colleges to integrate technology. While funding and human resources may expedite the innovation process, convincing both faculty and administration of the need to innovate is of high priority. As long as these individuals believe distance education is an add-on to an already overcrowded curriculum the integration of distance education into the teacher education program will not occur. For distance education to diffuse, the change agent will need to assist these institutions in seeing how distance education not only fulfills a need of the institutions but is compatible with institutional values and beliefs;In addition, institutions that prepare teachers need to dedicated funding or locate alternative funding sources to assist in acquiring technology as well as in the training of education faculty to use the technology. Until these professors have adequate access to technology and can develop their own comfort level, few will model effective uses of technology in the methods classes.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1997