Navigating learning journeys of online teachers: Threshold concepts and self-efficacy
Avondale College of Higher Education
Kevin P. Gosselin
College of Nursing, Texas University A&M
Daniel Reynaud, Peter Kilgour and Malcolm Anderson
Avondale College of Higher Education
Higher education institutions are developing more and more online courses to supplement and augment the courses they offer in on-campus modes. In fact, some universities now offer the majority of their courses through online contexts. However, for academic staff who design and teach these courses, the transition from teaching on-campus courses to teaching in online learning environments is not always speedy or smooth. Academic teaching staff require support, mentoring and professional learning programs to develop their existing capacities and apply them to an online context. This paper reports on Phase 2 of a research project, which takes into consideration the cumulative effect of tailored professional development measures implemented in response to findings in Phase 1. The three aims were: 1) to identify the threshold concepts that teaching staff develop when they learn about online learning and teaching; 2) to compare self-efficacy levels and threshold concepts of staff who are experienced or inexperienced in online learning and teaching; and 3) to develop customised professional learning programs and resources to extend the online teaching and course design skills of academic staff. Findings from the study are outlined by identifying threshold concepts, threshold attitudes and self-efficacy levels of online educators and the implications these findings have for designing professional development programs in higher education contexts.
By incorporating just-in-time components, many institutions purposefully design academic staff learning programs that are characterised by capacity-building intentions (Ruppert, 2001; Symes, 2005). Some of these programs are developed in online spaces (Fitzgerald & Steele, 2008; McConnell, 2006; Reushle & McDonald, 2012) by utilising online technologies (Bell & Morris, 2009), pedagogically-informed design frameworks (Bright, 2007; Doering, Veletsianos, Scharber & Miller, 2009) and online communities of practice (Koch & Fusco, 2008) as well as on-campus seminars (Fusco et al., 2011). The context of these activities has a direct influence on the quality of the outcomes of the professional learning program or activity (Matzen & Edmunds, 2007). For example, academic staff who use online resources or engage in online professional learning communities can develop online teaching knowledge and skills incidentally during their online practice (Salmon, 2013).
As well as taking into account the practical competencies and knowledge needed to be effective online educators, a revised awareness of the self-efficacy of online educators, drawing on Bandura's earlier work (1993, 1997), has been recognised by a number of scholars researching online teaching (Abbitt, 2011; Albion, 2001; Gosselin, 2009; Shepherd, Alpert & Koeller, 2007). For example, Robertson and Abdulrahman (2012) found that university teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy improved as their experience with technology increased.
Bandura (1997) defined self-efficacy as one's beliefs in his or her ability to organise and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations. Bandura contended that self-efficacy beliefs are formed through four primary sources: enactive mastery experiences; vicarious experiences; verbal persuasion; and physiological or affective state. Enactive mastery refers to experiences that an individual has had in the same or similar circumstance as the one of interest. Enactive mastery experiences are the most powerful source of self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1997, p. 80). According to the theory, successes build a strong belief in one's personal efficacy while failures undermine it, especially if failures occur before a sense of efficacy is firmly rooted. Vicarious experiences refer to the social comparisons made between an individual and an observed role model. Within the framework of this investigation, receiving instruction from a colleague on how to design an online course would provide a vicarious experience from which to judge one's own confidence to perform a similar task. Comments from an observer, or verbal persuasion, can also affect self-efficacy beliefs. Verbal persuasion has its greatest impact when the persuader is viewed as competent to provide feedback in the area of interest. For instance, a workshop facilitated by an educator with many years of experience in online instruction would provide an effective gauge of self-efficacy through their evaluation of workshop participants.
Self-efficacy is not necessarily uniform across different subjects or domains of instructional functioning and these beliefs are conceptualised to differ in generality (Bandura, 1997). Specific delineation of conceptualised domains of functioning in addition to differentiation of activities within one domain to another can elicit discriminate self-efficacy beliefs. For example, educators who judge themselves highly efficacious in face-to-face courses may be much less self-assured of their efficacy in teaching online or blended courses and vice versa. Bandura cautions against assessing self-efficacy by using measures that do not consider domain specific dimensions and tasks. Specifically, self-efficacy instruments that are too general in nature sacrifice predictive power.
In recent years, models of blended learning that integrate aspects of both distance, face-to-face, and other modalities of educational delivery have been presented (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004; Garrison & Vaughan, 2013; Glogowska, Young, Lockyer & Moule, 2011; Niemiec & Otte, 2010). Our goal for this investigation was to explore teaching self-efficacy beliefs specific to online instruction. Accordingly, the Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory (OTSEI) (Gosselin, 2009) was selected and administered to delineate the self-efficacy beliefs related to task-specific aspects of online instruction. The OTSEI has undergone psychometric evaluation and delineates five individual, coherent, and reliable factors for each of the inventory scales. Cronbach's alpha for the five scales ranged from .84 to .95, reflecting excellent internal consistency for each of the scales.
It is important to understand the nuances of online teaching self-efficacy beliefs in order to develop systems and resources to best meet faculty development needs. Accordingly, the analysis of threshold concepts held by online teachers can provide insight into their self-perceptions and confidence levels about how well they understand online education, in addition to their observations of their own practical skills. Since the self-efficacy of online educators can be adversely influenced by barriers such as a perceived lack of knowledge and deficits in practical and technical skills that can lead to anxiety about online teaching (Shepherd et al., 2007), the approach outlined in this paper recognises the important roles of technical, conceptual, attitudinal and identity-related issues that are crucial to the online educator's ongoing journey towards confidence and competence.
Higher education professional learning programs that focus on developing the online teaching abilities of academic staff have become increasingly multi-faceted - incorporating a greater variety of strategies, modes, resource types and human resources (Field, 2011; Fusco et al., 2011; Guskey & Yoon, 2009; Harasim, 2000; Northcote & Huon, 2009; Rienties, Brouwer & Lygo-Baker, 2013). Many professional development activities associated with online learning incorporate principles of online communities of practice within online contexts (Koch & Fusco, 2008). Taking these trends into account, academic staff leaders at Avondale College of Higher Education adopted a multi-pronged approach to professional development, which aimed to support academic staff develop their capacities to design and teach online courses.
Together these principles, set within a professional development context and drawn from theories of social cognition, cognitive dissonance and threshold concepts, provide the theoretical underpinning of this study which has influenced how the research aims and methodology were developed and how the findings have been reported. Furthermore, the theoretical framework of the study informed how the researchers evaluated the self-efficacy of academic staff about their online teaching abilities by recognising their "bumpy moments" (Northcote, Reynaud, Beamish, Martin & Gosselin, 2011; Romano, 2006) as they developed their self-efficacy, threshold concepts and attitudes about online teaching.
While each phase of the study, as outlined in Figure 1, was developed with similar questions and aims, it was the outcomes of each phase that informed the following phase, ensuring that each subsequent phase responded to the findings from the previous phase. In this way, the currency of staff needs were incorporated throughout the study's design and reflected within each new professional development program. Overall, the study's findings have been used to inform the design and provision of continuing professional learning programs for academic staff at Avondale in the areas of online course design and online teaching. An overview of the study design is provided in Figure 1.
Because the final aim of the study was to develop research-informed professional development strategies that were contextually relevant to the academic staff involved in the study, the research was situated within one higher education institution. For this reason, the authors do not claim that the findings of the study may be automatically generalised to wider populations of academic teaching staff. However, professional development staff and university administrators in other institutions are invited to consider the relevance of this study's findings, based on any parallel aims or conditions that exist between the institution described in this paper and their own institutions. The international collaboration that instigated the project, including selection and development of appropriate data gathering instruments, may also be of interest to other educators who are involved in the provision of professional development for online teachers in the higher education sector.
Figure 1: Flowchart for the mixed methods multiphase design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011).
For detailed findings of Study 1, see Northcote et al. (2011)
The early and most recent phases of the research are now outlined.
The data gathering was extended across three faculties for Phase 2 of the research, encompassing the Faculty of Nursing and Health, as well as the two faculties involved in the first research phase: the Faculty of Arts and Theology, and the Faculty of Education and Science. The extension of the study also enabled comparison between the experience of a new pool of lecturers at the start of their online experience with those of the beginners in Phase 1 of the research. Data were gathered during Phase 2 of the research project during the 2012 [Australian] academic year and analysed during 2012-2013.
As in the first phase of the study, Phase 2 involved the collection of data through two main sources: reflective journals and questionnaires. Reflective journals were kept by the researchers, and the Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory (OTSEI) (Gosselin, 2009) used in the first study was administered. The journals, completed monthly, captured the researchers' experiences and their observations of colleagues at various stages of experience in their online delivery of courses. The reflective journal data were collected during Semester 1, 2012 and the questionnaires were administered in Semester 2, 2012. Demographic data, presented in Table 1, were collected through administration of the OTSEI to provide an overview of academic staff participating in this phase of the research (N = 54). Additional employment data, presented in Table 2, were collected to examine faculty's teaching experiences in both face-to-face and online contexts.
Descriptive statistics were calculated on the data gathered from the five OTSEI scales for all study participants, to evaluate current online teaching self-efficacy beliefs. Each of the OTSEI scales encompasses a unique dimension of online instruction and employs a 0-10 response rating for each scale item with 0 indicating "no confidence" and 10 indicating "complete confidence" in one's ability to carry out the task. Repeated measures comparisons on the OTSEI scales were conducted to evaluate the effects of the professional development programs on participants' self-efficacy scores from the initial phase of the investigation. All tests of significance were one-tailed at an alpha level of .05.
|Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander||0||0|
|Employment status||Full time||41||75.9%|
|Sessional or casual||2||3.7%|
|Institution type||Private tertiary college||51||94.4%|
|Public tertiary college||1||1.9%|
|Years teaching in higher education||11.97||9.36|
|Years teaching in current position||7.57||6.92|
|Semesters teaching online||3.00||3.49|
|Online units taught||2.25||2.51|
|Online units designed||2.04||2.54|
|Units adapted from face-to-face to online formats||1.78||1.99|
All researchers in the project recorded responses to a number of prompt questions, set within a reflective journal on a monthly basis. These prompt questions included:
Analyses of the questionnaire and journal data enabled the researchers to determine the threshold concepts and attitudes that teaching staff encountered and developed as they learned about online learning and teaching. While the findings from analyses of the reflective journals provided evidence of concerns held by the online teachers, outcomes of the questionnaire analyses indicated areas of confidence. Subsequently, the combined findings were used to inform the design and provision of an ongoing online teaching development program for academic staff.
There is no question in my mind that online education is the way to go.... through to bumpy moments:
There is a willingness of staff to genuinely engage with a different pedagogy for online learning, especially in regard to creating an engaging interpersonal environment for students, and in providing timely feedback to student interactions, questions and assignment submissions.
Students seem to be engaging well. It is also much easier to identify who is not engaging!
I find it creates a really good learning environment to be able to give face-to-face lectures one period a week and an online lecture another. It allows me to provide links to readings, imbed YouTube/video clips I want them to watch, provide graphics etc in a reply detailed interactive lecture which provides a different learning experience than the one they have with me face to face.
I think my units have never been as rigorous as now. Online helps me create & monitor student learning much more than before. I can now see who has been doing weekly readings etc.
What concerns me is that the online service tends to provide a very mechanically-techno environment. It's so easy to respond to this challenge by simply improving technological expertise (I believe this is vitally important and necessary). However, my personal one-on-one online dialogue with students opened my eyes to a different world, a place where academic pursuits confront the challenge emerging from student's personal struggles with life.The presentation of factual knowledge is not a major problem, engaging in dialogue at depth from an online perspective can be difficult although appropriate use of forums, etc, help alleviate this concern.
Staff are still very focused on lecturing online and have not engaged fully in the idea of designing learning activities as the central focus of their Moodle sites.
Analyses of data identified concerns by staff about course design issues, including the design of effective activities and interaction in online courses, online assessment, online communication, course materials, the distinctive nature of online education, and student-teacher relationships in online contexts. The attitudes held by academic staff about online teaching and learning was also a salient theme that emerged from analysis of the reflective journal data. While some staff had a strong desire to learn more about online education, there were others who clearly lacked the motivation to become involved or were resistant, fearful or apprehensive about teaching online. Some staff were anxious about being expected to perform well in the new online teaching context.
These themes that emerged from an analysis of the data gathered from the reflective journals ranged across conceptual and attitudinal issues; as well as revealing the threshold concepts held by academic teaching staff, threshold attitudes were also evident. Some of the threshold concepts (TC) and threshold attitudes (TA) identified during Phase 2 include:
As well as identifying a number of threshold concepts and attitudes held by the academic staff at Avondale, analysis of the reflective journal data gathered in Phase 2 of the project revealed that academic staff at the institution represented three "generations" of experience:
Academic staff with little-to-no in-service training appear to be wary of online learning. They are doubtful about its capacity to equal the perceived quality of face-to-face learning and question the capacity of online learning to deliver learning outcomes based on skills and/or personal growth. Their issues are primarily fear of the unknown, a lack of confidence in e-learning, and a lack of awareness of pedagogy and skills. Staff at this stage of development can be likened to Rogers' (2003) adoptive categories of either "late majority", those who adopt technology after most staff, or "laggards", those who resist change.
Academic staff who have training and some experience in online learning and teaching have shifted from asking largely philosophical questions to asking technical questions. They have an increased level of confidence in their capacity to deliver pedagogically-sound learning experiences and are now addressing issues around their capacity to handle the technology to manage their time as online educators. Staff at this stage of development can be likened to Rogers' (2003) adoptive categories of either "early majority", those who adopt technology after the "innovators" or "early adopters", or "early adopters", those who are positive about technology and make choices about technology based on need.
With more experience in online learning, academic staff increasingly ask questions about creative delivery and learn through experimentation. They evaluate the effectiveness of what they have already done and make decisions about the processes that are or are not effective. They are likely to use and experiment with technical training and support at a higher level. The issues they report revolve around the capacity or limitations of institutional factors: mostly IT support and the 'system's' capacity to deliver what they have created and planned in their courses. Staff at this stage of development can be likened to the Rogers' (2003) adoptive categories of either "early adopters", those who adopt technology first, or "innovators", those who are willing to take risks even though they may fail.
Subsequently, a thematic structure was developed (see Figure 2) to represent the two sets of outcomes that emerged from an analysis of the reflective journal data: 1) identification of threshold concepts and attitudes; and 2) evidence of three generations of online teachers. As illustrated in Figure 2, while staff with first, second and third-generational experience expressed concern about a range of issues associated with blended and online learning, staff with third-generational experience tended to be more focused on student issues, whereas staff with less experience were more focused on institutional infrastructure issues such as the provision of IT services.
Figure 2: Thematic structure that emerged from coding reflective journals
To examine the impact of professional training programs on online teaching self-efficacy over the initial two phases, comparisons were made using repeated measures t-tests on the OTSEI scales from participants involved in both phases of the research (N = 17). The a priori alpha level was set to 0.10 (one-tailed). With the Bonferroni correction applied (0.10/5), the adjusted alpha for the comparisons across the five individual OTSEI scales was .02. The initial repeated measures t-test indicated that there was a significant difference in mean scores for the Virtual Interaction scale at pre-test (M = 4.78, SD = 1.87) than at post-test (M = 6.33, SD = 1.79), t(16) = 2.53, p = .02, d = 0.61. Although increases in mean scores were seen across the remaining OTSEI scales, statistical differences in mean scores were not found. Taken collectively, the average scores from Phase 2 (M = 5.84, SD = 1.51) were higher than in Phase 1 (M = 4.89, SD = 1.64) on the combined OTSEI scales. The results of the repeated measures t-test indicated a significant difference, t(16) = 1.86, p = .08, d = 0.45. Table 3 summarises the comparisons across each of the OTSEI scales from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the investigation.
|Scale||Phase 1: 2010|
|Phase 2: 2012|
|Selection of technological resources||3.77 (1.77)||4.46 (1.88)||1.42||.18||0.34|
|Virtual interaction||4.78 (1.87)||6.33 (1.79)||2.53||.02||0.61|
|Unit content migration||4.94 (1.88)||5.77 (1.49)||1.49||.16||0.36|
|Online course alignment||5.68 (2.24)||6.55 (1.82)||1.29||.21||0.31|
|Web based unit structure||5.27 (1.72)||6.07 (1.91)||1.31||.21||0.32|
|Total||4.89 (1.64)||5.84 (1.51)||1.86||.08||0.45|
Descriptive data from the OTSEI were examined over each phase and were contrasted with the qualitative findings. Table 4 provides the means and standard deviations across each phase of the research on the five OTSEI scales for all study participants (N = 21 and N = 54, respectively). Taken collectively, mean scores on the OTSEI were similar across phases. As with Phase 1, data from Phase 2 revealed that the selection of technological resources was an area in which faculty felt least efficacious, while highest self-efficacy ratings were reported for online course alignment. As noted previously, data from Phase 2 were inclusive of additional faculty groups and provided additional insight from a broader institutional perspective surrounding the collective self-efficacy beliefs of online instructors.
|Scale||Phase 1: 2010(a)|
|Phase 2: 2012(b)|
|Selection of technological resources||4.13 (2.74)||4.00 (2.13)|
|Virtual interaction||5.30 (2.44)||5.44 (2.16)|
|Unit content migration||5.29 (2.51)||5.28 (1.95)|
|Online course alignment||6.03 (2.53)||5.92 (2.26)|
|Web based unit structure||5.56 (2.77)||5.33 (2.09)|
|Total||5.36 (2.65)||5.26 (2.69)|
|a. N = 21; b. N = 54|
The impact of institutional infrastructure issues was a major 'bump' that emerged from this study, with academic staff being concerned about student enrolment, technological issues, and faculty and student support. A noteworthy finding from the empirical aspect of the study was that academic staff rated themselves as ineffective in managing technological issues, based on the Selection of Technological Resources Scale. The qualitative findings provide expansion of our understanding of what this means for academic staff across the three generations of experience. Academic staff with first generational experience had little to no in-service in online learning and therefore could not be expected to understand the technical issues involved. They could be likened to Rogers' (2003) adoptive categories of either "late majority", those who adopt technology after most staff, or "laggards". Those with second and third generation experience were confident with the pedagogy of online learning but faced technical issues that were seen as being largely beyond their control. They could be likened to Rogers' adoptive categories of "early majority", "innovators" or "early adopters". However, the professional development activities and resources developed as a result of this research have resulted in the development of communities of practice (Koch & Fusco, 2008; Wenger, 1998) among teaching staff, some of whom have also taken on mentoring roles (Israel, Kamman, McCray, & Sindelar, 2014) while guiding new or less confident staff in their development of online teaching abilities.
The changes that took place in the academic staff's increase in self-efficacy and confidence to teach online across the three phases of the project reflect some of the categories in Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of innovations concept whereby staff are characterised by their responses to innovation including, for example, "laggards", "innovators" and "early adopters". Encouragement of their abilities through workshops (verbal persuasion), having the experience of teaching a few semesters of online courses (mastery experiences), and instruction from mentors and colleagues (vicarious learning) appear to have resulted in increased confidence. Given that self-efficacy of online educators is often reduced by their lack of practical and technical skills in online learning (Shepherd et al., 2007), the challenge for Avondale is to cater for these needs through ongoing professional development and further upgrades to the institution's technological infrastructure in order to facilitate further 'breakthroughs' for staff.
The findings showed that academic staff were fairly confident with online course alignment, virtual interaction, web based unit structure and unit content migration respectively. In particular, staff felt most confident with online course alignment, or the ability to align learning objectives, course assignments, assessment strategies and learning activities within an online course. In contrast they were concerned about other course design issues that related to establishing relationships with students. Some were resistant to adopting new teaching approaches and were suspicious about the quality of online learning. A plausible explanation might be that first generational lecturers are yet to fully appreciate the nature of online courses and the delivery options available to them.
From Phase 1 we learned that, where training and support were provided, most academic staff were willing to venture into the world of online learning and, relatively quickly, were able to demystify the space and develop assurance and skills in handling the online teaching context. The skills and capacities already held by these staff were applied to the new online environment, with some adjustment. The findings from Phase 2 provided specific information about what type of professional training and support was needed to enable academic staff to design online courses and teach in online contexts.
Findings from Phase 1 of the research clearly identified threshold concepts that academic staff held about online learning. For example, the view academic staff had of themselves as on-campus teachers, compared to the way they thought of themselves as online teachers, was noted as a point of threshold understanding about how online teaching could occur. There was also some evidence of threshold attitudes held by the academic staff who participated in Phase 1 of the research study. Their attitude about themselves as online teachers and course designers changed as their confidence levels increased: "the attitudes of the online teachers had undergone a significant shift from concern to confidence in their ability to deliver effective pedagogy online" (Northcote et al., 2011, p. 84). Similarly, it was evident from the data gathered during Phase 2 that staff held threshold concepts and threshold attitudes about online teaching.
While the findings of our Phase 1 research revealed that academic staff had an awareness of a wide range of issues related to online education, they were primarily issues that were focused on themselves as online teachers and course designers, with some awareness of wider institutional and strategic issues. However, the findings of Phase 2 of the research indicated that staff were more aware of online education issues that affected the institution as a whole, such as professional development and online systems. Furthermore, in Phase 2 of the research, the threshold concepts and attitudes that were held by staff reflected their understanding and awareness of the interactive nature of online teaching. They had moved on from viewing the online learning context as a space to store a set of learning materials, to seeing online learning as a series of interactions in which learning and teaching could take place.
All in all, as the research progressed through two phases to date, the increase in the academic staff's self-efficacy about their online teaching skills has been associated with personal issues, such as attitudes to online teaching and identity as online teachers, behavioural issues such as observable technical skills, and environmental issues such as institutional policies and support structures. These findings suggest that threshold concepts and self-efficacy were variables that changed over time as the institution adopted online teaching and learning as part of its education strategy.
Phase 1 of the research indicated a common problem across the institution: academic staff felt disempowered through a lack of knowledge and skills about online teaching, and either wanted to be released from the obligation of online teaching, or rescued by experts. In Phase 2, among other outcomes, academic staff increasingly felt empowered in themselves, but the perceived incapacity lay in the technical ability of the system to support what they wanted to do. Consequently, a range of professional development strategies were required that catered for the different needs of the three generations of staff identified during the study, alongside an institutional focus on the scholarship of learning and teaching in blended, online and face-to-face contexts. Research into issues associated with online and blended learning (such as assessment and course design) has also been initiated at the College to provide a platform for socially constructing knowledge and values around the scholarship of teaching.
The following recommendations for practice in course design, online teaching and professional development emerged from this study and are currently being implemented:
During 2013 and 2014, there has been ongoing development at Avondale from administration through to Faculty levels of staff, including academic course restructuring and a move away from having a 'distance education centre' to having an 'online support department'. This has been evidenced by new policies for online learning and the employment of an Online Professional Development Officer. The institution has also been granted the autonomy to accredit its own courses which has made it necessary to make its internal processes more rigorous.
There was uniform agreement across the three generations that institutional infrastructure issues constituted the major 'bump'. In particular, staff rated themselves as ineffective in managing technological issues when attempting to create an online environment that supported student learning. The use of online technology between teachers and students should be a seamless experience rather than a functional barrier. The challenge is not only to support teachers with ongoing professional development in online pedagogy, but also to provide a supportive technological infrastructure at an institutional level.
The outcomes of the research continue to be incorporated into the construction of a professional development program that supports academic staff to extend their online teaching capabilities. Phase 1 indicated a lack of self-confidence in working in the online learning space, whereas Phase 2 recorded frustration by the same staff with the technological obstacles that prevented them from using their new pedagogical tools. Their changed outlook from Phase 1 to Phase 2 indicated that academic staff at this institution had developed a wider awareness of online teaching issues and had raised their threshold conceptual level, in addition to an advancement of their online teaching self-efficacy levels. There remain opportunities to evaluate future progress in the online and blended learning area, and to extend our research into other contexts at other institutions to further refine our understanding of how self-efficacy levels of academic staff are associated with their development of threshold concepts in online and blended contexts. More research is required to further refine the use of threshold concepts in association with academic staff self-efficacy levels. The existence of threshold attitudes may provide an avenue by which to predict the development of threshold concepts and skills. Although the results of the faculty development training workshop were positive, statistical power may have limited identifying additional differences. Accordingly, future research in online faculty development programs should be carried out across additional sites and with larger sample sizes
Albion, P. (2001). Some factors in the development of self-efficacy beliefs for computer use among teacher education students. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 9(3), 321-347. http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/2694
Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2007). Online nation: Five years of growth. Needham, MA: The Sloan Consortium. http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/sites/default/files/online_nation.pdf
Alsofyani, M. M. & bin Aris, B. (2011). Design and development of TPACK template: Planning effective blended courses. In Proceedings International Conference on Information Society, i-Society 2011. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5978459&isnumber=5978433
Archambault, L. M. (2008). Using TPACK as framework for understanding effective online teaching. In K. McFerrin, et al (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 5190-5195). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. http://www.editlib.org/p/28100/
Banas, J. R. & York, C. S. (2014). Authentic learning exercises as a means to influence preservice teachers' technology integration self-efficacy and intentions to integrate technology. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(6), 728-746. http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/submission/index.php/AJET/article/download/362/1181
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep2802_3
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
Baran, E., Correia, A. P. & Thompson, A. (2011). Transforming online teaching practice: Critical analysis of the literature on the roles and competencies of online teachers. Distance Education, 32(3), 421-439. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.610293
Bell, A. & Morris, G. (2009). Engaging professional learning in online environments. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(5), 700-713. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet25/bell.html
Bennett, S. & Lockyer, L. (2004). Becoming an online teacher: Adapting to a changed environment for teaching and learning in higher education. Educational Media International, 41(3), 231-248. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523980410001680842
Brack, C., Samarawickrema, G. & Benson, R. (2005). Technology advances: Transforming university teaching through professional development. In Higher education in a changing world: Research and development in higher education. Proceedings of the 28th HERDSA Annual Conference, Sydney, 3-6 July. http://www.herdsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/conference/2005/papers/brack.pdf
Bright, S. (2007). E-teachers at work: Exploring a process for reviewing e-teaching for ongoing professional learning. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007 (pp. 71-74). http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/bright.pdf
Bryman, A. (2007). Barriers to integrating quantitative and qualitative research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 8-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2345678906290531
Creswell, J. W. & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
De Gagne, J. C. & Walters, K. (2009). Online teaching experience: A qualitative metasynthesis. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(4), 577-599. http://jolt.merlot.org/vol5no4/degagne_1209.pdf
De la Harpe, B. & Mason, T. (2014). A new approach to professional learning for academics teaching in next generation learning spaces. In K. Fraser (Ed.), The future of learning and teaching in next generation learning spaces (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research) (Vol. 12, pp. 219-239): Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Doering, A., Veletsianos, G., Scharber, C. & Miller, C. (2009). Using the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge framework to design online learning environments and professional development. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 41(3), 319-346. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/EC.41.3.d
Festinger, L. (1956). A theory of cognitive dissonance. New York: Harper & Row.
Field, K. (2011). Reflection at the heart of effective continuing professional development. Professional Development in Education, 37(2), 171-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2011.559700
Fitzgerald, R. & Steele, J. (2008). Digital learning communities: Investigating the application of social software to support networked learning. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/18476/
Fusco, J., Haavind, S., Remold, J. & Schank, P. (2011). Exploring differences in online professional development seminars with the community of inquiry framework. Educational Media International, 48(3), 139-149. http://www.sri.com/work/publications/exploring-differences-online-professional-development-seminars-community-inquiry
Garrison, D. R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001
Garrison, D. R. & Vaughan, N. D. (2013). Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 24-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.09.001
Glogowska, M., Young, P., Lockyer, L. & Moule, P. (2011). How 'blended' is blended learning?: Students' perceptions of issues around the integration of online and face-to-face learning in a continuing professional development (CPD) health care context. Nurse Education Today, 31(8), 887-891. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2011.02.003
Gosselin, K. P. (2009). Development and psychometric exploration of the online teaching self-efficacy inventory. Unpublished thesis, Texas Tech University. http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/available/etd-02252009-203448/unrestricted/Gosselin_Kevin_Diss.pdf
Guskey, T. R. & Yoon, K. S. (2009). What works in professional development. Phi Delta Kappan International, 90(7), 495-500. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/003172170909000709
Harasim, L. (2000). Shift happens: Online education as a new paradigm in learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 3(1-2), 41-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00032-4
Israel, M., Kamman, M. L., McCray, E. D. & Sindelar, P. T. (2014). Mentoring in action: The interplay among professional assistance, emotional support, and evaluation. Exceptional Children, 81(1), 45-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0014402914532231
Koch, M. & Fusco, J. (2008). Designing for growth: Enabling communities of practice to develop and extend their work online. In C. Kimble & P. Hildreth (Eds.), Communities of practice: Creating learning environments for educators (Vol. 2, pp. 1-23). North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
Kregor, G., Breslin, M. & Fountain, W. (2012). Experience and beliefs of technology users at an Australian university: Keys to maximising e-learning potential. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(8), 1382-1404. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet28/kregor.html
Lefoe, G., Olney, I. & Herrington, A. (2008). Enabling teaching, enabling learning: How does staff development fit the educational technology landscape? In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ascilite Melbourne 2008. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08/procs/lefoe.pdf
Matzen, N. J. & Edmunds, J. A. (2007). Technology as a catalyst for change: The role of professional development. Journal of Research on Technology Education, 39(4), 417-430. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2007.10782490
McConnell, D. (2006). E-learning groups and communities. Maidenhead, England: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M. & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service. http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf
Meyer, J. F. & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses Project, Occasional Paper 4 (pp. 1-12). Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. http://www.etl.tla.ed.ac.uk//docs/ETLreport4.pdf
Meyer, J. F. & Land, R. (2005). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (2): Epistemological considerations and a conceptual framework for teaching and learning. Higher Education, 49(3), 373-388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-004-6779-5
Mishra, P. & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. http://punya.educ.msu.edu/publications/journal_articles/mishra-koehler-tcr2006.pdf
Niemiec, M. & Otte, G. (2010). An administrator's guide to the whys and hows of blended learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 14(1), 91-102. http://robinwofford.wiki.westga.edu/file/view/EJ909846.pdf
Northcote, M. & Huon, G. (2009). From small to large hits: Spreading the online message to academic and administrative staff via strategically-targeted development activities. In K. Fernstrom (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Communication Technologies in Education (ICICTE) 2009 (pp. 858-869). Corfu, Greece: ICICTE. http://research.avondale.edu.au/edu_conferences/8/
Northcote, M., Reynaud, D., Beamish, P., Martin, T. & Gosselin, K. P. (2011). Bumpy moments and joyful breakthroughs: The place of threshold concepts in academic staff development programs about online learning and teaching. ACCESS: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural & Policy Studies, 30(2), 75-90. http://research.avondale.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1030&context=arts_papers
Perkins, D. (2006). Constructivism and troublesome knowledge. In J. Meyer & R. Land (Eds.), Overcoming barriers to student understanding: Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (pp. 33-47). New York: Routledge.
Reushle, S. & McDonald, J. (2012). Digital communities: Context for leading learning into the future? In Future Challenges, Sustainable Futures. Proceedings ASCILITE Wellington 2012. http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/Wellington12/2012/images/custom/reushle%2c_shirley_-_digital.pdf
Rienties, B., Brouwer, N. & Lygo-Baker, S. (2013). The effects of online professional development on higher education teachers' beliefs and intentions toward learning facilitation and technology. Teaching and Teacher Education, 29, 122-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2012.09.002
Robertson, M. & Al-Zahrani, A. (2012). Self-efficacy and ICT integration into initial teacher education in Saudi Arabia: Matching policy with practice. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(7), 1136-1151. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet28/robertson.html
Rocha, A., Mota, P. & Pereira Coutinho, C. (2011). TPACK: Challenges for teacher education in the 21st century. In Back to the Future: Legacies, Continuities and Changes in Educational Policy, Practice and Research, 15th Biennial of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), University of Minho, 5-8 July. https://repositorium.sdum.uminho.pt/bitstream/1822/14823/1/AuroraPedroCD-ProceedingsISATT2011.pdf
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.
Romano, M. E. (2006). "Bumpy moments" in teaching: Reflections from practicing teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(8), 973-985. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2006.04.019
Ruppert, S. (2001). Where we go from here: State legislative views on higher education in the new millenium. Results of the 2001 Higher Education Issues Survey. Litteton, Colorado: Educational Systems Research. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED455740.pdf
Salmon, G. (2011). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Salmon, G. (2013). E-tivities: The key to active online learning (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.
Shepherd, C., Alpert, M. & Koeller, M. (2007). Increasing the efficacy of educators teaching online. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 1(11), 426-432. http://waset.org/publications/302/increasing-the-efficacy-of-educators-teaching-online
Strauss, A. L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Strauss, A. L. & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
Symes, A. (2005). Towards a framework for quality promotion and capacity development in South African higher education. Pretoria, South Africa: The Council on Higher Education. http://www.che.ac.za/media_and_publications/frameworks-criteria/towards-framework-quality-promotion-and-capacity
Ward, C. L. & Kushner Benson, S. N. (2010). Developing new schemas for online teaching and learning: TPACK. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 482-490. http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no2/ward_0610.pdf
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Wichert, R. (2002). A mobile augmented reality environment for collaborative learning and training. Proceedings of the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education. Montreal, Canada: ELEARN. http://www.editlib.org/p/9731/
|Authors: Associate Professor Maria Northcote, School of Education, Avondale College of Higher Education is course convenor of the Masters of Education by research, and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education students in the areas of mathematics education, research methods, assessment and HSIE (Human Society and its Environment). Part of her role is to support staff in developing their skills in online teaching and course design.|
Associate Professor Kevin P. Gosselin is Assistant Dean for Research and Evidence Based Practice in the College of Nursing, Texas A&M University. His research interests include postsecondary online teaching self-efficacy, health promotion, performance psychology, psychometrics, and professional identity development.
Associate Professor Daniel Reynaud is Assistant Dean (Learning & Teaching) for the Faculties of Arts, Nursing and Theology, Avondale College of Higher Education. He teaches modern history and the intersection of history, literature and media in the School of Humanities and Creative Arts.
Dr Peter Kilgour is Head of School and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Avondale College of Higher Education. His research interests include school learning environments, perception/opinion rating surveys using quantitative and qualitative data, gender issues in mathematics education, international student issues in the classroom, streaming in secondary schools, and mathematics students' and teachers' beliefs and attitudes.
Dr Malcolm Anderson is a Senior Lecturer and Graduate Studies Convenor in the School of Nursing, Avondale College of Higher Education. His research interests include traumatic brain injury, neurological disability and the psychological effect on families, and online teaching and learning in tertiary education.
Please cite as: Northcote, M., Gosselin, K. P., Reynaud, D., Kilgour, P. & Anderson, M. (2015). Navigating learning journeys of online teachers: Threshold concepts and self-efficacy. Issues in Educational Research, 25(3), 319-344. http://www.iier.org.au/iier25/northcote.html