Dissertation Proposal Defense by Alexander Lehman
Date and Time
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, 201
ENGINEERING, TEACHING, AND TECHNOLOGY: A NATIONWIDE EXAMINATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL INTERNET USE BY ENGINEERING FACULTY
There has been an explosion of internet use among college students over the last decade, both because of the proliferation of available resources, and because of the arrival of a digital native generation to university campuses. In the field of engineering in particular, students are entering programs with a much different skill set than previous generations, and engineering faculty have at times struggled to meet their instructional needs. Traditional engineering instruction, based on direct instruction and exercise problems, is becoming less popular as students become accustomed to interactive learning and gain access to problem set solutions and textbook examples online. Best practices for engineering instruction within this new paradigm are still in the early stages of development and evaluation. Numerous conceptual models have been developed in the field of instructional technology, as researchers have attempted to classify and effectively integrate new technology use into a variety of different educational settings. One of the most promising and popular models is Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK), which separates instructors’ knowledge into the three listed categories and attempts to describe their preferred instructional strategies based on the presence and level of integration of the three knowledge categories.
The purpose of this study is to examine the instructional internet use by all tenuretrack undergraduate engineering faculty in the United States. Specifically, professors will be asked to report about both their beliefs and practices regarding internet use in their undergraduate courses through the completion of a researcher-developed survey instrument. A factor analysis will be performed to identify constructs that characterize differing levels of faculty internet use, and to assess the presence and degree of integration of the technology component of the TPACK framework. Finally, a regression analysis will be used to determine how faculty and institutional characteristics correlate with instructional internet use.
This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of the scope of instructional internet use in undergraduate engineering education, and to provide a useful framework to facilitate discussion of best practices for internet use in engineering education. Findings from the study may also inform institutional policy and practice regarding
professional development initiatives.
**USD graduate students and faculty are welcome free of charge.