Games and Simulations Article Published

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.

TPACK Article Published

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.

Instructional Designer Article Published

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.

TPACK Science Lesson Plans Paper Published

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.

Games and Simulations Barriers Article

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.

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