A Comparison of Student and Faculty Perceptions of Instructor Interactions in Online in-Service Methods Courses
BarbaraSigner, Department of Early Childhood, Childhood and Adolescent Education, The School of Education
Amanda McClusky, St. John’s University Student
Past research has shown that effective online instruction requires different pedagogical skills and tasks than face-to-face instruction. Online instructor interactions are dependent on effective use of e-mail and message postings as they create new roles and tasks for online educators.
Abstract: Since new technology and greater access to communication with other educators is unlikely to change teacher classroom interactions, teachers need guidance and support to effectively participate in online discussions and private student communication. Furthermore, instructor-student interaction is critical for online learning to occur. The purpose of this study is to investigate student perceptions of the interactions of online instructors of in-service teacher education courses and their impact on teacher learning and support in K-12 classroom instruction. This study applies a mixed method approach to study student and perceptions of faculty interactions in online teacher education courses and the relationships of these perceptions with student (in-service teacher) satisfaction and learning. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are used to identify faculty interactions that relate to learner satisfaction and reflective teaching and learning. Results describe and compare beliefs about the importance and recommended uses of e-mail and discussion postings in online learning teacher education courses. Faculty interactions are described and compared for online faculty found to be high, moderate, and low in terms of reported learning, level of learning, impact on teaching, and course satisfaction. The online courses all utilize the same professional development model designed for K-12 educators. The model’s core components as well as interactions between the online students, professors, and the core components will also be presented. The model requires teachers to incorporate technology and constructivist methods in their teaching and to post messages reflecting on their own teaching and postings of other teachers. Recommendations for instructor use of e-mail and discussion postings will also be shared.