Ritzhaupt, A. D., Poling, N., Frey, C., Kang, Y. & Johnson, M. (2016). A phenomenological study of games, simulations, and virtual environments courses: What are we teaching and how? International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, 8(3), 59 – 73.
Abstract: Educational technology programs from across the United States are offering graduate courses in games, simulations, and virtual environments (GSVE) to their students. However, these courses, until now, have not been systematically studied. This research uses a hermeneutical phenomenological approach to answer the research question: “How do instructors describe their experience teaching GSVE courses?” Five professors of educational technology that have taught GSVE courses were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol based on the TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) framework. These data were analyzed both analytically and thematically. The results of the study showed a wide variety of topics, tools, and pedagogies are used within GSVE courses. The results had five themes emerge: Focus on Application and Theory, Experiential Learning and Constructivism, Instructor’s Prior Experience with Games, Heterogeneous Student Populations, and Range of Technology Tools. These themes as well as these courses are highlighted within this paper. A discussion is provided.
Ritzhaupt, A. D., Huggins, A. C., Madley, S., Ruggles, K. & Wilson, M. (2016). Validation of the Survey of Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology: A multi-institutional sample. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 32(1), 26 – 37.
Abstract: The TPACK (technological pedagogical content knowledge) framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) has gained tremendous momentum from within the educational technology commu- nity. Specifically, much discourse has focused on how to measure this multidimensional construct to further define the contours of the framework and potentially make some meaningful predictions. Some have proposed observation scales while other have proposed self-report measures to gauge the phenomenon. The Survey of Pre-service Teachers ’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology instrument is one popular tool designed to measure TPACK (Schmidt et al., 2009) specifically from preservice teachers in teacher education programs. This study extends the measurement framework by providing a confirmatory factor analysis of the theoretical model proposed by Schmidt et al. (2009) on a sample of 227 preservice teachers from four public institutions of higher education in the southeastern United States. The data did not fit the theoretical 10-factor model implied by Schmidt et al. (2009), thus, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the optimal structure of the measurement tool for these data. This resulted in a nine- factor model, and there were measurement issues for several of the constructs. Additionally, the article provides evidence of external validity by correlating the instrument scores with other known technology constructs.
Ritzhaupt, A. D. & Kumar, S. (2015). Knowledge and skills needed by instructional designers in higher education. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 28(3), 51 – 69.
Abstract: In this paper, we sought to address the following research question: What knowledge and skills are needed by instructional designers in higher educa- tion to be successful in their roles? We interviewed eight instructional design- ers from across the United States, all working for institutions of higher edu- cation. Using the constant comparative method, we analyzed our data to iden- tify relevant themes. Our results suggest that instructional designers in higher education must have a solid founda- tion in instructional design and learning theory, possess soft skills and technical skills, and have a willingness to learn on the job. Most instructional design- ers felt their academic backgrounds assisted them with their job roles, and, in particular, valued their professional experiences. Instructional designers in higher education must also keep abreast of multiple emerging informa- tion and communication technologies. We provide a discussion to synthesize our fi ndings. The fi ndings are relevant to professionals, professional academic programs, and professional associations.
Pringle, R., Dawson, K., & Ritzhaupt, A. D. (2015). Integrating science and technology: Using TPCK as a framework to study the practices of science teachers involved in a year-long integration initiative. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(4), 648–662.
Abstract: In this study, we examined how teachers involved in a yearlong technology integration initiative planned to enact technological, pedagogical, and content practices in science lessons. These science teachers, engaged in an initiative to integrate educational technology in inquiry-based science lessons, provided a total of 525 lesson plans for this study. While our findings indicated an increase in technology-related practices, including the use of sophisticated hardware, very little improvements occurred with fostering inquiry-based science and effective science-specific pedagogy. In addition, our conceptual framework, technological pedagogical content knowledge, as a lens to examine teachers’ intentions as documented in their lesson plans, provided an additional platform from which to investigate technology integration practices within the ambit of reform science teaching practices. This study, therefore, contributes knowledge about the structure and agenda of professional development initiatives that involve educational technology and integration into content knowledge disciplines such as science.
Justice, L. J. & Ritzhaupt, A. D. (2015). Identifying the barriers to games and simulations in education: Creating a valid and reliable survey instrument. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 44(1), 86 – 125.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to create a valid and reliable instrument to measure teacher perceived barriers to the adoption of games and simulations in education. Previous research, interviews with educators, a focus group, a think-aloud protocol, and an expert review were used to design a survey instrument. After finalization, the survey was made available for trial on the Internet for a group of educators (N=255). A portion of the survey required respondents to rate to what degree 32 potential barriers were perceived as an impediment to the adoption of games and simulations. Some of the highest rated barriers included cost of equipment, lack of time to plan and implement, inability to try before purchasing, lack of balance between entertainment and education, lack of available lesson plans/examples, lack of alignment to state standards/standardized testing, inability to customize a game/ simulation, and inability to track student progress within the game/simulation. An exploratory factor analysis identified seven factors that accounted for 67% of the variability in the respondents’ rankings. Several factors were found to have significant interactions with other questions on the survey. Implications of these results, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.