Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Brian R. Rathmell

LC Subjects

Computer-assisted instruction; Education, Elementary; Teachers--Self-rating of

Abstract

Classroom computer integration and the proliferation of computer-adaptive learning programs in K -12 schools continue to advance. Academic success, as well as the social and emotional well-being of students, is critical in American schools and the role of the teacher and student-teacher relationships impact these academic, social, and emotional factors. The integration of computer-adaptive learning programs into America’s elementary classrooms impacts the role of the teacher and relationships between teachers and students, placing a priority on the study of these programs and their effects. The purpose of this research was to examine how teachers perceive their role and relationships with students in classrooms where computer-adaptive programs have been introduced. This study fills an existing gap in the literature by exploring the changes taking place within classrooms that have implemented modern computer adaptive programs and identifying how teacher role and student-teacher relationships are affected. The following two research questions helped guide this study (a) How is teacher role impacted through the implementation of computer-adaptive instruction programs? (b) How do teachers perceive their student-teacher relationships through the implementation of computer-adaptive instruction programs? This inductive qualitative study used participant interviews and classroom observations to examine seven teachers’ perceptions and experiences of computer-adaptive program use. Eight main themes emerged that provide insight to help understand the dynamics occurring in today’s elementary computer-adaptive-classrooms. Five themes emerged to describe teacher role: Teachers as personal instructors, individualized instruction, teacher trust in and deference to programs, role shift from learning facilitator to program assigner, and teacher as classroom and instructional leader. Three central themes emerged to describe student-teacher relationships while using commuteradaptive programs: Teacher proximity, communication, and support. Elementary teacher perceptions of their role and relationships with students through the implementation of computer-adaptive math programs were framed using the Actor- Network Theory to model the connections between teachers, students, and programs within computer-adaptive classroom networks. Upon considering these connections, educators and education leaders will be better informed when implementing or choosing not to implement computer-adaptive instruction. Education leaders should be mindful, throughout the implementation of any education technology program, that the programs in use can have both positive and negative effects on the role of the teacher in the classroom. Without an understanding of the role shift of teachers who integrate computer-adaptive programs, school leaders risk disenfranchising the very people who are needed to maintain positive and healthy interpersonal relationships within school walls.

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Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

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