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The technologically complex and changing world of the twenty first century requires teachers who are both knowledgeable and skilled in using information technology in their pedagogical practices. The changing nature of information technology means that teachers need to be flexible in how they use information technology in their teaching, adaptable to the changes in technological developments, problem solvers in unfamiliar circumstances, and continuing learners throughout their professional life. These ideas are encapsulated in the concept of fluency with information technology, or FITness (Committee on Information Technology Literacy, 1999).
This research study, in progress, uses an interpretive, qualitative methodological approach to investigate the influence of self regulated learning on the development of fluency with information technology in pre-service teacher education students. This will provide opportunities for a better understanding of the phenomenon of self regulated learning as an influence within the context of learning FITness, and will assist our understanding of the connections between instruction (using self regulated learning) and outcomes (FITness).
The purpose of this paper is to describe a research study in progress that seeks to understand how curriculum structures and instructional processes may assist pre-service teacher education students to become lifelong, self regulated learners who strive to overcome their initial discomfort and develop fluency with IT.
There is abundant research on the influence of self regulated learning on academic performance (Elias & Loomis, 2000; Pajares, 1996). Winne and Stockley (1998) suggest that computer technologies may assist learners' development of self regulated learning. There is, however, a dearth of research on the influence of self regulated learning on computer fluency development. This may be because traditional notions of computer literacy have focussed on the finite, competency approach rather than on the concept of fluency with its inherent future oriented, lifelong learning needs.
Winne and Perry's (2000) analysis of quantitative measures of SRL found that most previous research in the field considered SRL as an aptitude, stable within an individual across different settings. This has contributed to our understanding of how various features of SRL work. However, researchers now recognise that more research needs to be undertaken in exploring SRL as an event developing in real contexts over time (Perry, 2002), and how the nature of those contexts influence learners' cognition and motivation (Anderman & Anderman, 2000; Pintrich, 1994). We anticipate that this study will contribute to this field by investigating one way of endeavouring to assist pre-service teachers in Australia to become capable, fluent and lifelong learners and users of information technology for their professional practice.
Figure 1 illustrates the inter-relationships of concepts underpinning this research, that is, of self regulated learning, lifelong learning and FITness capabilities on teaching professional practice.
Figure 1: Relationship of self regulated learning and FITness to teaching practice
In 2004, the curriculum design of the "Information Technology in Learning" subject was revised to ensure that it incorporated opportunities to utilise self regulated learning strategies and develop capabilities necessary for FITness. A self regulated learning strategy of goal setting, strategic planning and self monitoring was introduced by providing students with a checklist of questions to guide their attention when approaching each assignment. Similarly, a design matrix for web site creation provided a cognitive organisational strategy for student learning. A concept mapping activity was included to introduce students to another cognitive organisational strategy to enhance their learning skill repertoire.
Students developed the knowledge and skill component of FITness by using current software and hardware to create IT resources and design IT supported lessons. The assessment tasks provided opportunities to develop FITness capabilities as students adapt their multimedia design to a hypertext medium; work in small groups to analyse educational software; collaborate on the re-design of a lesson provided by a local teacher; conceptualise how IT may be integrated into their teacher roles; and think about their future professional development as technology changes.
The curriculum focus on self reliance in learning was reinforced by the approach of the academic teaching team members. Instead of simply providing answers to students' questions about using the technology, academic staff were advised to provide support in ways that helped students to learn for themselves. Rather than give the solution to a student question, staff would re-phrase the question to help clarify the key components of the student's difficulty, and then ask questions of the student in order for the student to ultimately identify the problem solution. This process reinforced the self regulated aspect of focussed questioning for learning. Eventually students would learn to refine their questions and seek their own answers. Student generated solutions are more likely to result in meaningful learning and builds confidence, than having the solution provided for them.
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Winne, P. H. & Stockley, D. B. (1998). Computing technologies as sites for developing self-regulated learning. In D. H. Schunk & B. J. Zimmerman (Eds), Self-regulated learning: From teaching to self-reflective practice (pp. 106-136). London: The Guilford Press.
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|Authors: Victoria Neville, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney. PO Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 1825, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web:
Dr Sue Bennett, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia. Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.uow.edu.au/educ/about/staff/sbennett/index.html
Please cite as: Neville, V. & Bennett, S. (2004). Using self regulated learning to manage the discomfort of becoming fluent with information technology. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 697-700). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/neville.html
© 2004 Victoria Neville and Sue Bennett
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