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Comparisons of Online and Face-to-Face Candidate Learning Outcomes Using edTPA

#Twitter: 
#olc44273
Presenter(s)
Tina Heafner (UNC-Charlotte, USA)
Teresa Petty (UNC-Charlotte, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 1:45pm
Track: 
Learning Effectiveness
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Blended Program/Degree
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Location: 
Atlantic Hall
Section: 
A
Position: 
5
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Session: 
Discovery Session 1
Abstract

Using edTPA data, this study provides data informed evidence of the equivalency of online teacher candidates' learning outcomes as compared to face-to-face programs.

Extended Abstract

Abstract

Using edTPA data, this study provides data informed evidence of the equivalency of online teacher candidates' learning outcomes as compared to candidates completing face-to-face programs.

Introduction

Online learning is a popular and prevalent mode of instructional delivery in higher education. Despite is pervasive usage, data are limited documenting learning outcomes as compared to more traditional course structures. Within teacher education, much skepticism exists as colleges of education question the validity and reliability of online programs to prepare teachers in an effective manners as well established face-to-face programs. Data have yet to offer statistical evidence of similar learning outcomes across modes of deliver for teacher preparation. This study seeks to fill this gap and to challenge notions that face-to-face is the only or best method for training middle and secondary teachers.

Method

Using edTPA data, a nationally accepted assessment tool for evaluating teacher candidates' knowledge and skill preparation, this study provides data informed evidence of the equivalency of online program outcomes. At a large urban university, researchers collected summative performance data from candidates completing both face-to-face and 100% online teacher preparation graduate programs. Data from fifteen rubrics comprising the edTPA performance instrument were used. Candidate scores on rubrics were determined by external evaluations conducted by Pearson. All Pearson assessors are calibrated and inter-rater reliable is assured. Comparisons of edTPA results for all rubrics and for mean edTPA scores were made using ANOVA and Bonferoni post-hoc tests.

This institution developed a formative support program embedded within the licensure program. Each course prior to student teaching received faculty mediated instruction on specific elements of the edTPA. For example, a reading across the content areas course focused on academic language supports while a diversity course emphasized identification of cultural, language, and cognitive assets of all learners. To test the effectiveness of formative supports, a quasi-experimental design was employed. Teacher candidates in equivalent courses received formative edTPA targeted support or regular course content and instruction without mentioning edTPA. Subsequent statistical tests were performed on four subgroups: online with edTPA support, online no edTPA, face-to-face with edTPA support, and face-to-face with no edTPA. Using ANOVA, statistical comparisons were made across groups. Post hoc tests were performed using Bonferoni.

Results

Results indicate no statistical difference between mean online and face-to-face teacher candidate performance on edTPA. Online teacher preparation produced similar learning outcomes on edTPA as face-to-face coursework (see Table 2). Candidates who completed the 100% online program scored slightly higher and had less variance as compared to the face-to-face program completers (see Table 1). Based on these results, we conclude that online learning is an equally effective platform for preparing teacher candidates when measuring candidate outcomes using edTPA. Given that edTPA is a widely used measure of quality teaching skills, we contend that online teacher preparation is a viable option for preparing future teachers.

Table 1

Mean and Standard Deviation for Summative edTPA Scores and Mean Rubric Scores
edTPA Summative Scores Mean edTPA Scores
(Scale 1-5)
Mean SD Mean SD
100% Online Program 41.53 9.31 2.82 .56
Face-to-Face Program 39.41 10.45 2.66 .70

Table 2

ANOVA Table for Summative edTPA Scores and Mean Rubric Scores

edTPA Final Scores df F Partial eta- squared p
Summative edTPA 39 .462 45.701 .501
Mean edTPA 39 .659 .270 .422
P < .05

Table 3

ANOVA Table for Statistically Significant Summative edTPA Scores and Mean Rubric Scores

edTPA Final Scores
Task 2 (Video) df F Partial eta- squared p
Rubric 7 39 5.393 .857 .026*
Rubric 8 39 6.836 .871 .013*
Rubric 9 39 5.851 .836 .020*
P < .05

Within subgroups, differences were found based on level of support. Candidates prepared in the 100% online program who did not receive support outperformed those who did and there were statistical differences on three of the edTPA rubrics. Similar results were found for the face-to-face candidates; however, face-to-face candidates who had edTPA support receive higher outcomes on most rubrics than their peers with no support. Results are reported in Tables 4 and 5. This raises the importance of the need for different instructional approaches for online verse face-to-face delivery modes. Further research is needed to unravel the reasons for these documented differences.

Table 4
ANOVA Table for Summative edTPA Scores and Mean Rubric Scores for Formative Program Support
edTPA Final Scores df F Partial eta- squared p
Summative edTPA 37 .462 45.701 .501
Mean edTPA 37 .659 .270 .422
P < .05

Table 5
ANOVA Table for Statistically Significant Summative edTPA Scores and Mean Rubric Scores for Formative Program Support
edTPA Final Scores
Task 2 (Video) df F Partial eta- squared p
Rubric 7 37 4.174 .769 .012*
Rubric 8 37 3.233 .855 .033*
Rubric 9 37 6.757 .655 .001*
*P < .05

Complete results and implications will be shared in the full paper.

Conclusion

In sum, online learning program outcomes as measured by edTPA suggests that this mode of program delivery is a comparable alternative to traditional face-to-face teacher training programs. Exploring the intricate differences among instructional platforms may offer evidence of how online learning could offer innovative approaches to teacher preparation. Given the growth of online learning in high schools and the need for teachers to be trained in online instructional methods, our results offer a statistical evidence that online educator preparation programs can provide an effective pathway to teacher licensure.

Lead Presenter

Tina L. Heafner, is Professor in the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education. She is the lead social studies methodologist. She is Chair-Elect of the NCSS College and University Faculty Assembly and supports national online professional development programs through the National Council for the Social Studies. Tina's research interests include online learning, technology-mediated learning in social studies, and content area multi-modal literacies.