Preparing pre-service teachers for online teaching

Compton, Lily
Major Professor
Niki E. Davis
Ana P. Correia
Committee Member
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Curriculum and Instruction

This dissertation combines studies and research from two educational fields as a partial requirement for a major in Curriculum and Instruction and a minor in Applied Linguistics and Technology. It is presented in a non-traditional dissertation format that includes three publishable articles with the introduction and conclusion chapters. The first article represents the literature review portion that includes a critique of an existing skills framework for online language teaching followed by a proposed framework for online language teaching skills. This article also uses a systems view to look at the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in an online learning system. Four major recommendations are provided to help language teacher training programs prepare future language teachers for online language teaching. The second article starts with a review of research and literature on conceptual change in education. It is followed by a proposed conceptual change framework to help pre-service teachers increase their awareness of online education, commonly known in the US as virtual schooling (VS). This study used a grounded approach to identify common preconceptions, misconceptions, and concerns of VS based on secondary data that included pre-service teachers' personal journals and responses to a set of materials related to VS in part of a curriculum intervention in a pre-existing introductory field experience course at a large Midwestern university. Findings were complemented by insights from an interview with the course instructor and the researcher's journal. The article shows the importance of identifying pre-service teachers' preconceptions, misconceptions, and concerns about VS to facilitate the selection of relevant resources and the design of curricular activities. The third article takes a case study approach to the study of a pilot virtual field experience. This article proposes that a field experience on VS should be offered virtually because traditional field experiences cannot fully capture the reality of VS since VS includes changes in roles, such as the complementary roles of a VS teacher and a VS site-facilitator. An in-depth analysis was conducted on the data that included personal journals and reflections from three teacher candidates at a large Midwestern university. Findings were complemented with insights from interviews with the VS teacher and the university field placement director, and the researcher's journal. The article sheds light on the importance of virtual field experiences to facilitate the understanding of VS.