ERIC Number: ED486628
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-25
The McREL Rural Technology Initiative: Research And Evaluation Study
Lauer, Patricia A.; Stoutemyer, Kirsten L.; Van Buhler, Renecca J.
Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
This study investigated McREL's Rural Technology Initiative (RTI), an online professional development intervention that provides opportunities for teacher collaboration while delivering training to teachers and administrators on instructional improvement, including the use of technology for teaching and learning. The purposes of the study were: (1) to examine the effects of online professional development on teacher professional community and teacher retention, (2) to evaluate the influences of the RTI on teacher instruction, teacher and administrator use of technology, and administrator practice, and (3) to identify those aspects of the RTI intervention that worked best and those that should be changed. From a pool of 22 schools, McREL researchers chose seven pairs to participate in the study, based on the extent to which their rural status, demographic characteristics, and technology environments matched. Within each pair, schools were randomly assigned to the RTI treatment group or to the no-treatment control group. The study sample included 126 teachers and 14 administrators from six treatment schools (one school withdrew from the study) in four states, and 136 teachers and 17 administrators from seven control schools in three states. Data were collected through teacher and administrator surveys administered before and after the RTI, an administrator interview and survey, and two focus groups. In addition, two of the online threaded discussions were analyzed for content. The data indicated that the RTI was implemented as planned with relatively few technological difficulties. However, teacher participation in RTI activities varied considerably, with those who participated more perceiving more impact on their instruction and their students' learning. The following are appended: (1) Survey Items and Scales; and (2) Supplementary Tables and Graphs.
Descriptors: Teacher Collaboration, Intervention, Teacher Persistence, Instructional Improvement, Rural Areas, Educational Technology, Technology Integration, Professional Development, Teacher Surveys, Administrator Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, 2550 South Parker Road, Suite 500, Aurora, CO 80014. Tel: 303-337-0990; Fax: 303-337-3005.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning, Aurora, CO.