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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating the effects of an ebook to support faculty who teach with VoiceThread: An action research study
by Pacansky-Brock, Michelle, D.Ed., Capella University, 2015, 159; 3718013
Abstract (Summary)

Colleges and universities are now part of an ecosystem that includes educational technology companies. As more faculty adopt Web 2.0 technologies, institutions of higher education must seek sustainable methods to support faculty and this may involve collaborations with ecosystem partners. The purpose of this action research study was to improve the support resources provided by the VoiceThread organization, a Web 2.0 tool provider, to its higher education users. This study was guided by three questions: a) is there a significant difference in faculty perceptions about the pedagogical benefits of VoiceThread between faculty who examine VoiceThread in an eBook and faculty who examine VoiceThread through a webinar; b) how can an eBook be designed to support the diverse needs of 21st century faculty; and c) what are the support needs of faculty who teach with VoiceThread? A purposeful sample of 53 full-time and part-time faculty from 2-year and 4-year institutions was randomly assigned to a control or treatment group. Quantitative data was collected through a pretest and posttest survey. Qualitative reflection and interview data was also collected. The study found that the eBook did not have a more significant impact on faculty perceptions than the webinars. Findings also show that eBooks used to support faculty should incorporate a blend of technology and pedagogy, include real-world teaching examples, discuss instructional design strategies and student perspectives, be accessible from anywhere at any time, include hyperlinks to videos and other resources, and incorporate illustrations and icons. Flexible, online faculty support services support faculty more effectively than on-campus workshops. The findings show that supporting faculty involves more than access to resources, however. Faculty who teach with VoiceThread feel isolated from their peers and see the eBook as a vehicle that may facilitate conversations about teaching with VoiceThread with peers, influence increased adoption on campus, and improve the likelihood of acquiring a site license. This study encouraged the VoiceThread organization to re-examine the value of the eBook to its higher education users and, as a result, will now provide the eBook as a free resource to all faculty, as opposed to institutions with a site license. Additional research should consider how free, open eBooks co-created through faculty and Web 2.0 company partnerships support part-time and full-time faculty across multiple institutions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kays, Elena
Commitee: Hanrahan, Patricia, Kaczmarek, Eve
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Ebook, Emerging technologies, Faculty development, Faculty support, Voicethread, Web 2.0
Publication Number: 3718013
ISBN: 978-1-321-97676-2
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