Educational Technology & Society 4 (2) 2001
ISSN 1436-4522

Determining the Impact of Training on Teacher Use for a Web-to-Database System

Steve Garrison
Computer Task Group
2425 Brooke Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99517 USA
Tel: +1 907-230-2088
steve.garrison@ctg.com

Ray Fenton
Anchorage School District
P.O. Box 196614
Anchorage, AK  99519 USA
Tel: +1 907-787-3829

Sharon Vaissiere
Anchorage School District
Tel: +1 907-787-3074

 

ABSTRACT

When instituting a web-based curriculum or assessment delivery system, how important is face-to-face teacher training? This study uses objective data and teacher survey responses to determine the impact of face-to-face training on a teacher’s Internet use of Alaska Health Online, a health education website. Approximately 80 teachers were randomly assigned to two groups, with one group receiving three days of training in the use of the website, and the other group having full access to the website, but no training. A third group consisted of “volunteers” who responded to a call to use the website. Objective data was automatically collected through web server “log files” which tracked a teacher user’s activities on the site. Completion of  a 90-item survey by participants contributed a second source of data. Results show a significant difference between the training and no-training groups, with teachers in the training group visiting the site more frequently than their counterparts, and applying materials from the site to their classes more often.

Keywords: Internet, Database, Assessment, Training, Materials delivery


Background

Government, private industry, and school districts seem to agree that professional development for teachers in Internet use, and technology in general, will help reform education. How should this staff development be structured? Some researchers suggest applying on-going training imbedded in “learning communities” (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 1999). Others suggest a multi-faceted approach to improving technology literacy, including better in-service programs, more faculty modeling of technology skills, and focus on planning and not just facilities (Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999). A recent effort to train over 400,000 teachers to use technology in instruction is underway in the half-billion dollar collaborative by Microsoft and chip-maker Intel (Edupage, 2000). Through the federal government's Digital Divide program, additional funding for teacher technology training will be available to schools. According to a report by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA, 1995), helping teachers may, in fact, be the most important step to helping students.  

What kind of training will be most effective in directing teachers to websites to acquire curricular or assessment materials? Given the large number of teachers visiting commercial and institutional websites, many  are obviously conducting self-teaching. What factors can motivate a teacher to use a website? Teacher technology literacy training is often studied, particularly with an eye to discovering optimal training methods. See, for example, papers by Roblyer & Erlanger (1998), Wepner (1998), Norton & Gonzales (1998), Davis (1999), and Franz (1998). However, very little research has been completed on comparing face-to-face instruction with self-teaching for website use. A comprehensive survey with a large teacher sample (Becker, 1999) showed that respondents who attended staff development activities about “how to use the Internet” were more likely to have positive beliefs about the Internet for classroom use. Further, the study indicated that teachers (n = 1553 actual respondents) who participated in training were more likely to use material they downloaded from the Internet in their teaching activities.  

Educators and business leaders see the starting points: recognizing that technology training for teachers is needed and devoting funds to the task. However, effecting an adoption of technology that persists from year-to-year and changes the nature of teaching practice requires a special kind of training (Zhao, 1998). According to Zhao, electronic-based teacher systems should aim to facilitate long-term adoption and should easily fit into a teacher's typical routine. Further, technologies should be "transparent" to teacher users, employ a common format, and permit multiple communication functions (such as threaded discussion lists or forums). Changing teachers’ beliefs about using technology in teaching is not easy. According to findings by Hannafin (1999), the task of altering teacher attitudes and belief structures about technology use in education is more difficult than educational reformers once presumed.       

Selected design principles outlined by Zhao for online professional development systems are incorporated into Alaska Health Online (AK Health Online). Begun in May 1999, AK Health Online has both an educational and a research aspect. First, the system delivers educational content (HealthHELP assessments) to health educators. Teachers participating in the AK Health Online project retrieve HealthHELP assessments from the Internet, communicate with fellow teachers, and use Internet student "grade sheets" to monitor student success in health. Secondly, a component of the project studies the strengths and limitations of the Internet as a professional development methodology for health educators, especially with respect to the role of face-to-face teacher training in the use of the website. Funded by the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation, this research may help to answer questions about the cost-effectiveness and appropriateness of teacher training via the Internet compared with standard training methods.

HealthHELP is a nationally developed assessment system. While it is available in other regions of the United States only on CD-ROM, AK Health Online makes HealthHELP available to its qualified users through the Internet. HealthHELP materials were developed through the combined efforts of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the State Collaborative on Assessment & Student Standards (SCASS), and others, to create a high-quality health assessment system based on national health standards. Structured assessments involve students in diverse and challenging inquiries into health topics, and provide teachers a uniform way of measuring students’ understanding of intelligent health behavior. HealthHELP has undergone bias, cultural and gender item analysis on a large sample of students around the United States. Prior to its launch, a pilot study conducted in remote Alaskan communities suggested that teachers supported the use of HealthHELP assessments, and believed them to be appropriate for Alaska Native children in their region, as well as for children of other races and cultures.

Currently, most studies of Internet use relating to teacher staff development use self-reported survey data (see for example, Becker, 1999; Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999), which, of course, contribute greatly to our understanding of how teachers interact with the Internet. This study, however, relies mostly on objective data to address research hypotheses. Our source for these data is files called server “log files,” which record many of the actions that website users complete.     

Having an adequate source of content for participants to access is important to this study’s design; if poor content were available, if the site were unreliable, excessively slow, or had other shortcomings, teachers may not wish to re-visit the site, and a confounding variable would be introduced. HealthHELP materials offered at the web site are considered by teachers and health education administrators to be among the best materials available for health education assessment.  In sum,  an attempt was made to produce a reliable site with superior content or materials, logical navigation aids, and adequate page design so that the quality of the site would not inhibit or restrict its intended use.

 

Methods

Study Design

This study explored the following hypothesis: there is no difference in teaching effectiveness based on teacher training method. In this hypothesis, "teaching effectiveness" is operationally defined as the extent to which HealthHELP is used by teachers. This definition is reasonable because applying HealthHELP in the classroom is the end result in the chain of events that begins with a teacher logging on to the website. Using this definition, teacher effectiveness can be measured through objective data and data gathered by teacher surveys. Implementation of this health program is impossible if participating end-users, in this case teachers, do not use HealthHELP. This hypothesis, therefore, tests teaching effectiveness as determined by frequency of use of AK Health Online for instruction.

Recruiting teachers for this study was conducted by mailing flyers to all Alaska districts, through discussions at conferences, and other modes of advertising. Teachers were arranged into three groups. Participating rural and urban teachers from selected Alaska school districts were randomly assigned to two of the three groups. Group 1 consisted of 39 teachers trained face-to-face in Internet use of HealthHELP during two training sessions mediated by a professional contract trainer in a centralized location. Group 2 was composed of 38 teachers recruited, but not provided with face-to-face training. Group 3 was composed of teachers who had heard about the website through discussion with peers, in the press, or through other means, and who visited the Internet site and used HealthHELP; these teachers were neither recruited for the study nor trained. Information about Group 3 was tracked along with the other two groups because a password system was required for all site users. All three groups had the opportunity to use AK Health Online in the same fashion, the difference being the training they received. Because online training was available to all teachers, it is not technically correct to say that teachers in Groups 2 and 3 had no training. Most accurately, Group 1 teachers underwent face-to-face training along with online training, while the other teachers had access to online training only.

One concern in a study of this type is that teachers in the “training” group will have an overwhelming number of reasons to use the new technology compared with the comparison group. By communicating often with teachers in all three groups, we hoped they would have a similar level of motivation to access AK Health Online website. In particular, we hoped that Group 2 teachers would vary from the treatment group counterparts only by not attending face-to-face training sessions, but would be similarly motivated to use the website. For this reason we attempted to keep all teachers, including those in Groups 2 and 3, as informed and motivated as possible by sending out many personalized emails, mailings and promotional materials, such as a kit containing a brightly colored cardboard tetrahedron bearing the AK Health Online logo. Often this encouragement was delivered while advertising an upgraded website feature. We aimed to remind all teachers as often as practicable that AK Health Online was a free service, that the site was being constantly improved, that a forum permitted teacher-to-teacher communications, and that we hoped all teachers would visit the site frequently.

 

Data Collection and Analysis

In order to test whether effectiveness varies by training method, data was collected in two ways: (a) teacher frequency of use counts, and (b) teacher surveys.

The AK Health Online computer file server was configured to log activities of every teacher user. Each time a teacher requested any page or file, including downloading HealthHELP materials and checking student progress on-line, a log entry was made. This source of data provided a complete record of each teacher's use of the on-line program. It should be noted that this method of data collection can serve as a rich source of information about a user, and other researchers are beginning to rely on it (see for example, Fuller & deGraaff, 1996; Newhagen & Rafaeli, 1996; Paccagnella, 1997). As long as the system is set up to record a user name or identification number, the researcher obtains a dated record demonstrating details of each user’s activity. Because this data is generated automatically, with no human intervention required, either by the systems administrator or user, it has the advantage of not being influenced by attitudes, selective perception, or the vicissitudes of human memory. As quoted from Newhagen & Rafaeli (1996):

Anyone who has an opportunity to watch logs of WWW servers, and who is even a little bit of a social scientist, cannot help but marvel at the research opportunities these logs open.

This data collection scheme was automatic and required no effort on the part of the teacher. Data from the computer file server permitted quantifying the number of times each teacher (by group) accessed AK Health Online materials and used other services on the website. At the completion of the study, log files from various months were aggregated and imported into a database system. Each entry in the log file became an individual database “record” with information about the user’s unique identification, the date a page was accessed, and other useful data. Figure 1 shows an excerpt from a sample log file.

 


Figure 1. Sample excerpt from typical web server log file


As Figure 1 shows, the date, time, information about file size posted, and other data is recorded.  For example, the second entry above records this information:

  • 9/1/99:  date of entry
  • 10:46:49: time of log entry
  • 37703 to 0: additional information about the file or the file serving process
  • GET:  indicates that a file was requested by the client or user, not POSTED to the server /cfdocs/akonline.../email_book.cfm: the name of the requested page
  • tfirstname, tlastname: first and last name of user from database which is sent along with page information as a parameter
  • tid: teacher id number from the database
  • password: a teacher’s password extracted from the database
  • username: another user parameter drawn from the database

The teacher’s name, username, and teacher id number (called “tid” in the figure) are recorded, which is a key part of the process. In the log file above, such teacher information is passed as a “URL parameter”; without passing these parameters, or similar ones, along with the file name, little information would be available to researchers.

Secondly, data was collected by teacher surveys. The surveys gathered qualitative information about AK Health Online, verified the count and type of HealthHELP lessons taught, and provided general evaluation information. Responses from the survey are found in Survey Results, below.

 

Layout of Website

Teachers enter the AK Health Online Website with their identification name and password through a typical login screen. HealthHELP assessments and other instructional materials are available for download from a long list of electronic files that are in a generic format, as depicted in Figure 2. Shown are but two choices in a long scrolling list of instructional material selections. This is a unique way of organizing and presenting materials for downloading; it is dynamically constructed from data drawn from a database. Most of the site’s other features, however, are commonly found on the WWW.

 


Figure 2. Listing of HealthHELP assessments available for downloading


Assessment keys for HealthHELP can be downloaded from another page, for constructed response items, and for selected response test items. Student progress can be entered and tallied online in a grade sheet, or “electronic grade book.” The website facilitates peer-to-peer communication among teachers participating in the study by permitting them to (optionally) post their names, email addresses and schools to a public table, and by providing a forum section for discussion about health teaching, website use, HealthHELP scoring, or other topics.

 

Results

Data Analysis

Data about AK Health Online website use were collected over a one-year period. During this time, each participating teacher had an equal opportunity to use the site. Because it is assumed that teaching effectiveness can take place only when teachers use HealthHELP materials, amount of use is a major determinant of "effectiveness." Counts of the number of visits to the site (through the computer log file) and the extent of use (by written surveys) were tested for group differences, and will be discussed below. The qualitative data derived from teacher surveys complement the quantitative data source. For example, while computer server log data merely show how many modules a teacher downloaded, items in the survey query teachers about the number of HealthHELP modules actually applied in the classroom.

 

Website Use Data

The log recorded 3745 separate page “hits” on the web server for registered teachers from the period 9/1/99 to 4/30/00. A number of other users also accessed the site, but unless a user was a health teacher, or a recruited member of Group 1 or Group 2 (or a volunteer in Group 3), information from their sessions is not included in this paper. The following table shows the number of teachers participating, by group:

 

Group

Number of Teachers

Status

1 (training)

39

Recruited

2 (no training)

38

Recruited

3 (through web)

58

voluntarily registered

Total

135

 

Table 1. Number of teachers participating during 1999-00 school year

 

Overall,  89 Alaskan teachers visited the site at least once. Some Group 1 or Group 2 teachers never visited the website. Complete statistics by group affiliation are provided below. 

 

Group

Number of Teachers

1 (training)

27

2 (no training)

4

3 (through web)

58

Total

89

Table 2. Number of teachers logging on during 1999-00 school year

 

Which web pages were accessed most often by teachers in all groups? The following table provides this information.

 

Page Cluster

Frequency

Page Description

%

Cumulative %

1

37

Get Adobe Acrobat

1

1

2

792

Download HealthHELP file

21

22

3

627

Manage students in grid

17

39

4

274

Search HealthHELP assess.

7

46

5

112

View teacher email listing

3

49

6

0

Rate a HealthHELP assess.

0

49

7

831

Main login page

22

71

8

606

Discussion forum, get or post

16

88

9

42

read online site support

1

89

10

54

Update one's teacher profile

1

90

11

63

view or download assess. keys

2

92

12

307

view HealthHELP assess. table

8

100

Total

3745

 

100

 

Table 3. Web pages visited most often

 

“Pages” listed in Table 3 are lumped by function and are not unique pages. For example, because of the way the software application is written, four pages may relate to “View teacher email listing,” so the frequency of hits for the four pages are clumped and shown together. As can be noted in Table 3, selected pages received a large portion of the web server “hits.”  Namely, the “Download HealthHELP file” page was accessed often, accounting for 21% of pages accessed. This group of pages enables teachers to fetch an actual HealthHELP assessment as an Adobe Acrobat file. 

The page cluster in Table 3 called “Manage students in grid” enables teachers to keep a spreadsheet-like grid to maintain student progress through HealthHELP or other subjects. This cluster was accessed often and accounts for 17% of all server hits during the study.

A third page group which was accessed often, “Discussion forum, get or post,” permits teachers to read or post questions or comments about health education. The discussion forum cluster accounts for 16% of  the total page accesses.

As expected, the main entry page into the system, called “Main login page” in Table 3,  accounts for the greatest number of page hits (22%). There is little to be gained by noting this; because users may have returned to this main login page repeatedly during a session, each hit does not mean a unique visit to AK Health Online.

How did teacher page access vary by group? Table 4 indicates trends in teacher page accesses, split by group.

 

 

 

Group

Total

Page Cluster

Page Description

1

2

3

 

1

Get Adobe Acrobat

25

0

12

37

2

Download HealthHELP file

508

21

263

792

3

Manage students in grid

568

4

55

627

4

Search HealthHELP assess.

198

15

61

274

5

View teacher email listing

86

1

25

112

6

Rate a HealthHELP assess.

0

0

0

0

7

Main login page

509

30

292

831

8

Discussion forum, get or post

547

2

59

606

9

Read online site support

24

2

16

42

10

Update one's teacher profile

39

2

13

54

11

View or download assess. keys

32

1

30

63

12

View HealthHELP assess. table

193

7

107

307

Total

 

2729

85

933

3745

Table 4. Page access by group (each entry a separate server “hit”)

 

Table 4 shows the number of page hits for each of the three groups in this study, by page type.  This table shows that Group 1 teachers had 2729 page accesses total. For Group 2 participants, 83 page accesses were counted, and 933 pages were logged for Group 3 teachers. Group 2 (non-training group teachers) made very few visits to the website. 

How do Groups 1 and 2 differ when considering the total number of pages accessed? Clearly Group 2 teachers rarely accessed pages, however a statistical test is useful in verifying this result. The null hypothesis is that teachers in Groups 1 and 2 accessed pages with the same frequency. Due to small cell counts for some, Group 2 categories were aggregated into 2 clumps (Snedecor & Cochran, 1967). The first clump contains those pages roughly relating to assessments (page cluster of 1,2,4,6,7,11, 12). Other pages were placed in the second group. A 2x2 Chi Square test of independence was completed (p < .0001, 1 df,  C2 = 3081). Keep in mind that Groups 1 and 2 contain approximately equal numbers of teachers, each with similar access, and so one would expect to see the same number of page accesses. 

A second comparison can be made between Group 1 (treatment group) and Group 3 (“volunteers”), considering the average number of page hits. Table 5 below shows the total number of teachers enrolled in the treatment group (39) compared with the number of Group 3 teachers; the Group 3 teacher total is taken from that total number of registered Group 3 teachers (58) who visited AK Health Online one or more times.

 

Page ID

Page Description

Group 1

Group 3

1

Get Adobe Acrobat

.6

.2

2

Download HealthHELP file

13

4.5

3

Manage students in grid

14.6

.9

4

Search HealthHELP assess.

5.1

1.1

5

View teacher email listing

2.2

.4

6

Rate a HealthHELP assess.

0

0

7

Main login page

13.1

5

8

Discussion forum, get or post

14

1

9

Read online site support

.6

.3

10

Update one's teacher profile

1.

.2

11

View or download assess. keys

.8

.5

12

View HealthHELP assess. table

4.9

1.8

Table 5. Average per teacher page access for Groups 1 and 3

 

Table 5 indicates that Group 1 teachersaccessed the majority of pages more often that their untrained Group 3 counterparts. Keep in mind that Group 3 teachers were not formally part of the study so statistical tests are not appropriate. Information in Table 5 is provided to help highlight possible differences among website participants, but since Group 3 teachers were not formally recruited, little is know about them.

 

Survey Results

Although incentives were offered to all teacher participants to complete the survey, it was difficult to obtain returned surveys from all teachers, particularly those in Group 2. We conducted repeated phone and email follow up appeals and, as a further incentive, offered teachers an electronic organizer upon receipt of their survey. Sixty-three teachers returned surveys, with 24 returned from Group 1 teachers, 13 from Group 2, and 26 from Group 3.

The survey contained 90 questions and is listed on this web site. Selected questions on the survey are particularly important in helping to understand the responses about HealthHELP assessment use, and these questions will be reviewed first. Data from this question is displayed below: “How many of the AK Health Online assessments you downloaded from the web did you actually use with your students?”

 

 

Group

Total

 

1

2

3

 

None

1

9

8

18

Few

5

2

9

16

Some

9

0

3

12

Many

4

0

3

7

Almost All

5

1

0

6

Totals

24

12

23

59

Table 6. Number of assessments actually used in classroom

 

 

Group

 

1

2

3

None

0.04

0.75

0.35

Few

0.21

0.17

0.39

Some

0.37

0.00

0.13

Many

0.17

0.00

0.13

Almost All

0.21

0.08

0.00

Total

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

Table 7. Percent of assessments used in classrooms per respondent

 

Table 6 indicates that Group 1 teachers generally used more assessments, compared with users in the other two groups. As can be noted in Table 7, teachers in Group 2 were more likely to NOT use an assessment once it was downloaded. In fact, about 75% of Group 2 teachers reported that they used no assessments with their students after downloading them, while twenty-one percent of Group 1 teachers responded that they used “Almost All” of the assessments they downloaded.

Several survey questions inquired about demographic information, and these data will help to show if there were differences between the three groups of teachers. Keep in mind that teachers were assigned at random to Groups 1 and 2, so one would not expect to see differences in demographics such as percent of time teaching health, grade levels taught, number of years teaching, and other areas. The table below indicates the percent of time teachers taught health.

 

 

Group

 

 

1

2

3

Total

25 or less

17

7

13

37

50

 

2

1

3

75

 

1

1

2

100

1

 

3

4

Total

18

10

18

46

Table 8. Percent of time teaching health

 

Table 8 indicates that the majority of participants likely taught health for 25% of the time or less, with only a few teachers dedicated to health education full-time. The numbers appear fairly proportional across the groups. 

Did teachers feel that web components of AK Health Online would aid them in their teaching?  Table 9 below indicates how teachers responded to the question “I like the features of the AK Health Online website (i.e. assessments, keys, discussion forum, email, grade book).”

 

 

Group

Total

 

1

2

3

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

2

7

10

19

Strongly Disagree

1

0

0

1

Disagree

1

0

0

1

Neutral

5

0

2

7

Agree

7

3

12

22

Strongly Agree

8

2

2

12

Total

24

12

26

62

Table 9. Opinions about components of AK Health Online website

 

As can be noted in Table 9, most teachers tended to like the site’s components, although a large proportion of Group 2 teachers responded that they “Did Not Use Enough to Judge.”

How did teachers respond to a question about whether HealthHELP assessments would be valuable for classroom use? This is an important question because providing assessments to download was a primary function of the site, and it is crucial to know whether participants thought the content would be useful. Table 10 below shows responses to the question, “I like HealthHELP assessments.”

 

 

Group

Total

 

1

2

3

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

3

8

15

26

Strongly Disagree

1

0

0

1

Disagree

2

0

1

3

Neutral

3

0

3

6

Agree

9

3

4

16

Strongly Agree

6

1

3

10

Total

24

12

26

62

Table 10. Opinions about HealthHELP assessments

 

In Table 10, it’s clear that most of the teachers in all groups liked HealthHELP assessments, although, as with data shown in Table 9, many Group 2 teachers responded that they “Did Not Use Enough to Judge.”

What did teachers think about training? And what did all respondents think about the need for training for a website like AK Health Online? For teachers who participated in training, this question was posed: “The summer training session was time well-spent.” The responses to this are in Table 11. Table 12 lists responses from the winter training session.

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

0

Strongly Disagree

2

Disagree

0

Neutral

1

Agree

7

Strongly Agree

13

Total

23

Table 11. Opinions about usefulness of summer training

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

0

Strongly Disagree

2

Disagree

2

Neutral

1

Agree

5

Strongly Agree

13

Total

23

Table 12. Opinions about usefulness of winter training

 

Data in Tables 11 and 12 indicate that most teachers “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the summer and winter training sessions were useful and valuable to them. Keep in mind these responses are only from Group 1 teachers, who attended training sessions.

According to respondents, would they have been able to teach themselves how to use the website without training? Table 13 lists Group 1 responses to this question: “I would have been able to teach myself how to use AK Health Online without attending the training sessions.”

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

0

Strongly Disagree

5

Disagree

6

Neutral

4

Agree

6

Strongly Agree

2

Total

23

Table 13. Could teachers have learned to use website without training?

 

Group 1 teachers were asked another question about training: “I would have used AK Health Online even if I had not participated in face-to-face training.” Results from this survey question are listed below, in Table 14.

 

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

4

Strongly Disagree

7

Disagree

6

Neutral

5

Agree

4

Strongly Agree

0

Total

26

Table 14. Would teachers have used website without training?

 

Results from this question indicate that most Group 1 teachers would not have used the website without training.  This is a somewhat surprising result, and will be discussed below.

How did the other participants respond to questions about training and the website? All three of the responses to questions about training posed to Group 2 and Group 3 teachers will be listed.  First, in Table 15, are responses to: “I think that face-to-face training on AK Health Online would be helpful.”

 

 

GROUP

 

2

3

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

3

2

Strongly Disagree

0

3

Disagree

0

1

Neutral

2

4

Agree

1

2

Strongly Agree

5

6

Total

11

18

Table 15. Non-training group responses to helpfulness of training

 

Many teachers agreed or strongly agreed that training would have been helpful. However, 3 of 18 teachers in Group 3 strongly disagreed, suggesting that certain teachers who decided to use the website on their own did not feel training was necessary.

Secondly, would the same groups of teachers have used the site more if they had received face-to-face training? Table 16 lists responses to this question: “I would have used AK Health Online more if I had received face-to-face training.”

 

 

GROUP

 

2

3

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

2

2

Strongly Disagree

0

4

Disagree

1

1

Neutral

0

3

Agree

4

2

Strongly Agree

4

6

Total

11

18

Table 16. Would training boost their use?

 

As with data in Table 15, Group 3 teachers were split, with several strongly disagreeing, and several agreeing, that they would have used the site more if they had received training.

Table 17 lists responses to the final question for these two groups regarding training. It refers to whether learning how to use the AK Health Online website was difficult, and was worded this way: “It was difficult to teach myself to use AK Health Online.”

 

 

Group

 

2

3

Did Not Use Enough to Judge

5

3

Strongly Disagree

0

7

Disagree

2

2

Neutral

3

1

Agree

0

1

Strongly Agree

0

3

Total

10

17

Table 17. Was AK Health Online difficult to learn?

 

Almost one-half of Group 3 teachers didn’t think the site was difficult to learn, with 9 teachers responding in the category “strongly disagree” or “disagree.”

 

Analysis of Open Ended Responses

Teacher participants were asked five open-ended questions about the AK Health Online program:

a.        What feature of the AK Health Online website do you like the most?  Why?

b.       What feature of the AK Health Online website do you like the least?  Why?

c.        The best thing about the AK Health Online Discussion Forum is…

d.       One thing I would change about the AK Health Online Discussion Forum is…

e.        What, if any problems did you experience using the Discussion Forum?

f.         The major barrier to my use of AK Health Online was...

 

Most teachers reported that access to HealthHELP assessments was the most valuable feature of the website. They also responded positively about the opportunity to share information and discuss health education with colleagues. Here are a few representative responses:

“It’s easy to download assessments and add to my personal files. It’s also very easy to modify the assessments, as they are needed.” (Group 1 teacher)

“The page that outlines the assessments. At a glance I can locate the assessments to check to see if they meet my needs.” (Group 1 teacher)

“The wide variety of Assessments. They are versatile for health and counseling classes.” (Group 3 teacher)

“Availability of new information and assessments tools. Avenue for new ideas! Sharing new ideas!” (Group 2 teacher)

In general, teachers responded positively to the open ended questions (c, d, e). They liked the discussion forum. Most negative comments related to issues other that AK Health Online. Some teachers, for example, used this chance to discuss problems they were having with their computer(s) at home or at work, or with Internet (network) access. The response below is fairly typical of the kind of positive response about the forum:

“The ability to think of a question and then put it on the forum and read others’ thoughts. Teachers don’t have much free time. It is nice to be able to do this at 5 a.m.!” (Group 1 teacher)

“I like the discussion forum. I only teach one class of health and it was nice to read what other health teachers do.” (Group 3 teacher)

In response to the question about the major barrier to AK Health Online use, nearly every participant who wrote a response listed “time” as the major barrier. Not surprisingly, other survey research indicates that faculty feel as though they lack time to use new technology (Parker, 1996). Here are a few examples of responses to the question about barriers:

“Lack of time to learn how to use and fit into my classroom.” (Group 3 teacher)

“Having 5 different preps in a day–not enough time to find out what it had to offer.” (Group 1 teacher)

“Lack of time. Our day is so crammed with curriculum; you can’t get to all of it.  A teacher has to pick and choose.” (Group 1 teacher)

 

Technology Used in Study

In this section, we briefly describe limitations, caused by computer and network technology, which could influence conclusions from the study. Then we present a sketch of the technologies used to develop and deploy AK Health Online.

One important question to ask about a research project based on Internet use is: what percent of the time was the site available for use? This is a critical question for at least two reasons. First, if the AK Health Online website was not available (network outages, servers dysfunctional, etc.), users could not log on, and results comparing the groups of users could be skewed. Secondly, if a user attempted to logon and found the site unavailable, they may become frustrated and not wish to re-logon. If users perceived the site as unreliable, a confounding variable could be introduced into the study.

How reliable, then, was the AK Health Online system? For the duration of the study (1999-2000 school year), there was one period of two days in which there were occasional “brownouts,” meaning that service was available but the process of logging in and performing tasks (such as downloading files) was slower than usual. Although it is possible that users became frustrated during this two day period, we received no reports. Nor was there any mention in the summative survey instrument about poor service during this period, or about the web server being slow at other times. Overall, the AK Health Online system was very reliable and provided web service in an above average manner.

AK Health Online depends on the use of a database and a web server (MS Internet Information Server). It was developed using a “middleware” software development and server platform called Cold Fusion (for diagrams and system specifics see Garrison, Fenton & Kiesel, in press; Garrison & Fenton, 1999). A contract programmer and a program manager completed custom programming to develop software for the site. Initial programming and database set-up time took about four months. A database management system called Microsoft SQL Server was used. The database stores user information, a listing of HealthHELP assessments for downloading, forum messages, student grade book information, and other data. Following software development and testing and database design, the code was moved to a Windows NT web server for deploying the application. 

 

Summary and Conclusions

Impact of Training on Web Use

How did attending face-to-face training seminars influence teachers’ subsequent Alaska Health Online use and application of assessments from the website in their classrooms? According to web server log data, the treatment group teachers visited the site much more frequently than their comparison group counterparts. Further, teachers in the treatment group were more likely to use assessments in their classrooms after they downloaded them from the site. Many Group 2 teachers (non-training) never visited AK Health Online, according to data from the web server logs (see Table 4). In this study an “effective” teacher not only spent time using the website, e.g. downloading assessments from the website, but applied assessments in their classroom. Both data sources hint at the importance of training, with teachers in the training group being more effective in acquiring and using HealthHELP assessments.

Pages which were expected to be visited often were, in fact, “hit” frequently. This helps to substantiate the veracity of web server log entries, and underlines that the website was used for its expected purposes. That is, the most popular page was “download HealthHELP files.” As this page represented the primary purpose of the site, it should have been accessed the most often, and the server logs verify this result. Had other pages considered to be of lesser importance been frequently accessed, one might doubt the quality of data found in the server logs.  

Although there is a suggestion from both the objective data and the survey responses that face-to-face training results in greater website use and greater application of materials in the classroom, it is important to note that the number of teacher participants in this study is small and many of the teachers taught health for a minor percentage of the day. Many comparison group teachers dropped-out of the study, never visiting the website, so no data is available about their Internet use from the log files. However, data from this study, in spite of a including only a small number of teachers, points to the importance of training.

 

Web Server Logs and Collecting Data

Web server log analysis proved to be a simple and convenient means to collect data. As planned, each time a page was accessed, a log entry was made on a computer file server. At the end of the period of study, information from the logs was aggregated, and counts made of pages accessed in relation to a unique teacher user. During the period of study, the logging system was very reliable, with no losses of data. With each entry in the log including a time stamp, it is also possible to parse each user’s visit on a case-by-case basis. As previously noted, those wishing to conduct educational research, communications research, or any study of individual or group web use, will doubtless find web server logs to be a rich source of information.

 

Barriers to web use

According to self-reported data, a teacher’s lack of time was the single largest barrier to Internet use. Nearly every open-ended survey response noted that teachers did not feel they had adequate time to explore new curricula, teaching methodologies, or other professional development activities. In the last few years, teachers in Alaska have been faced with a number of special developments, including a high school exit exam, benchmark testing, and a new focus on standards. There is evidence that most treatment group teachers would not have used AK Health Online if they were not part of the training program. Based on response to the question, “I would have used AK Health Online even if I had not participated in face-to-face training,” teachers in Group 1 mostly indicated they would not use the website. This question may support the notion that many teachers in Groups 1 and 2 were simply too busy to learn about new health assessments, or to study new health education websites like AK Health Online. Further, very few teachers were full-time teachers of health, and likely had to devote most classroom and preparation time to basic educational skill development activities. Using the information from surveys and demographics about teachers’ roles, it’s not surprising that website hits were limited in number.

The website itself was probably not a barrier to AK Health Online use. The site was operational nearly all of the time, and teachers liked the site and its features (see Table 9). There were very few technical support requests completed by phone or email. Information about the extent to which participants accepted or did not accept the website and HealthHELP assessments is provided only insofar as acceptance relates to the study results. In other words, if the site was exceptionally slow, contained poor quality assessments, or had other shortcomings, confounding variables would have been introduced into the study.

Was lack of training a barrier to participants using the site? Responses to this question (posed to training group teachers only) were mixed. Many teachers responded that training was important, while others responded that training would not be required to learn how to use the website. When considering Group 1 and 3 teachers’ perspectives on training, teachers in both groups responded in a mixed fashion to questions asked about training, with some respondents noting that training would be useful, and an almost equal number believing they could teach themselves to use AK Health Online without formal training. Treatment group teachers considered both face-to-face seminars worthwhile.

 

Limitations of This Study

Although our primary question was answered by this research, having a larger number of website participants in this study would have resulted in a richer storehouse of data from which to make conclusions about teacher Internet use. With more teacher participants, larger log files would have contained more entries, from which conclusions about the impact of completing training vs. self-teaching of a website may have been made. One of the results of this study was that many teachers in the comparison group (Group 2) did not visit the website often; while this lack of visits helped to answer research hypotheses, it also restricted the kinds of questions that may have been answered in the study.

It should also be noted that while an attempt was made to keep the comparison and treatment groups’ experience with regard to AK Health Online comparable (except for training), it is likely that other variables influenced the outcomes of this research. For example, teachers may have communicated with one another in particular schools more than others, as no provision to geographically assign teachers to groups was made. Diffusion of a new technology sometimes occurs as a result of discussions with others, from the influence of an “opinion leader,” or through other poorly understood social factors (Durrington, Repman & Valente, 2000). While most of the hours during training seminars focused on website navigation and scoring assessments, teachers were probably partially motivated by social factors to later visit the website.

 

Lessons Learned and Future Research

Over forty teachers were originally assigned to each of the two study groups, but because schools in Alaska are widely distributed, and teachers move from year to year, attrition was high. Researchers considering recruiting teachers for similar studies may want to recruit twice or three times as many teachers as is called for by the particular statistical model.

Concerning implementing a website like AK Health Online, one of the truly valuable lessons learned is to have a programmer available who can change code or modify database objects “on the fly.” Teachers gave us many suggestions for improving the website, and in almost all cases we were able to include their requested changes. Fortunately, a contract programmer was available for the duration of this project, and continual improvements to the user interface were possible, as well as the addition of new features. A recent paper on research with assessment websites lists several practical suggestions which we found to be very useful as well: know how users will use the system, maintain good relations with the system’s administrator, and use advanced technologies sparingly (Bonham, Beichner, Titus & Martin, 2000). Finally, consider building a system which is as simple to use as possible, tailored for the least experienced user with the oldest technology.

To our surprise, teaching health was not a primary responsibility of most of the teachers in this study. Most recruited participants were generalists; they were either at the elementary/middle school levels or teaching several high school subjects. As noted above, with curriculum, assessments and other school routines undergoing transformation, many teachers have little time to focus on activities outside of core routines. Repeating this study using a subject such as mathematics, English, or another “core” subject may result in greater user participation, more data, and the ability to better answer the question of how face-to-face training can influence Internet use. Should it be found that teachers can teach themselves for web-based systems, without participating in face-to-face workshops, school districts could realize a great savings; in this case, some training could be conducted via the Internet without regard to distance or time. Future studies on training teachers may support the opposite case, however, requiring a continuation of traditional classroom seminars needed for introducing teachers to Internet systems.

 

References

  • Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, Division of Tourism (1998),
    http://www.dced.state.ak.us/tourism/studen7.htm
  • Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, Municipal and Regional Assistance Division (1997). Community/Borough Map.
  • Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health (1997). Serious and fatal child and adolescent injuries in Alaska 1991-1994, 1, 35, 36
  • Becker, H.J. (1999). Internet use by teachers: conditions of professional use and teacher directed student use. Teaching, Learning and Computing: 1998 National Survey Report #1. Center for Research on Informational Technology and Organizations, U.C. Irvine and U. of Minnesota.
  • Bonham, S.W., Beichner, R.J., Titus, A. & Martin, L. (2000). Education research using web-based assessment systems. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33(1), 28-44.
  • Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. & Cocking, R.R. (1999).  How people learn, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  • Davis, N. (1999). The globalisation of education through teacher education with new technologies: a view informed by research. Educational Technology Review, Autumn/Winter, 8-12.
  • Durrington, V.A., Repman, J. & Valente, T.W. (2000). Using social network analysis to examine the time of adoption of computer-related services among university faculty. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33(1), 16-27.
  • Franz, K.R. (1998). Perspectives on leadership and professional development for technology in education with the Pullman, Washington, School District and I*EARN. Journal of Online Learning, 9(4), 22-25.
  • Fuller, R. & deGraaff, J.J. (1996). Measuring User Motivation from Server Log Files. http://www.microsoft.com/Usability/webconf/fuller/fuller.htm
  • Garrison, S.J., Fenton, R.J. & Kiessel, M. (in press). Comparison of web-based and electronic delivery methods for a reading assessment. Journal of Research on Computing in Education.
  • Garrison, S.J. & Fenton, R.J. (1999). Database driven websites in education. Educational Technology 39(4), 31-38.
  • Hannafin, R.D. (1999). Can teacher attitudes about learning be changed? An exploratory study. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 15(2), 6-13.
  • Moursund, D. & Bielefeldt, T. (1999). Will new teachers be prepared to teach in a digital age? A national survey on information technology in teacher education. Research report by International Society for Technology in Education, Publication of Milken Exchange on Education Technology.
  • Newhagen, J.E. & Rafaeli, S. (1996). Why communication researchers should study the Internet: a dialogue. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 1(4).
  • Norton, P. & Gonzales, C. (1998). Regional educational technology assistance initiative-phase II: evaluating a model for statewide professional development. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 31(1), 25-48.
  • Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States (1995). Teachers and technology: Making the connection, 39, 88. OTA-EHR-616, GPO stock #052-003-01409-2.
  • Paccagnella, L. (1997). Getting the Seats of Your Pants Dirty: Strategies for Ethnographic Research on Virtual Communities. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 3(1),
    http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol3/issue1/paccagnella.html
  • Parker, D. R. (1996). Faculty integration of technology in teaching and teacher education. Proceedings of SITE 96 Seventh International Conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Phoenix, Arizona, March 13-16, 1996.
  • Roblyer, M.D. & Erlanger, W. (1998/99). Preparing Internet-ready teachers. Learning &  Leading with Technology, 26(4), 58-61.
  • Snedecor, G.W. & Cochran, W.G. (1967). Statistical methods, Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
  • Wepner, S.B. (1998). Your place or mine? Navigating a technology collaborative. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 14(3), 5-11.
  • Zhao, Y. (1998). Design for adoption: The development of an integrated web-based education environment. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 30 (3), 307-328.

Appendix

 

AK Health Online Survey

 Prepared by Steve Garrison, Ray Fenton & Sharon Vaissiere

Directions:

Below is a survey on your use of AK Health Online.  It contains rating and short-answer questions that ask your opinions on the website, how it compares with other health materials (that are not online), and your teaching /technology skills and experiences.

We appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey.  The information that you provide will help us improve the website in the future for teachers and their students.  A copy of the research report will be available to you.

All information will be kept confidential and is to be used for research purposes only.  No information will be shared with your  principal or administrators.  Any time teachers are referred to in publications references will be strictly anonymous.  Under no condition will anyone outside of AK Health Online research staff be able to identify you individually by your responses to this survey.

 

TID___________

 

I.  Your Teaching Role:

 

Please check the box that best indicates your school role:

 

Teacher of health: 100% of the time                             ___________

Teacher of health:  75% of the time                               ___________ 

Teacher of health:  50% of the time                               ___________ 

Teacher of health:  25% or less of  the time                   ___________ 

 

School nurse                                                                 ___________

Other                                                                            ___________

 

 

Please put a check on the line following each of the grade levels that you teach.

Grade 1   ________       Grade 2  ________             Grade 3  ________      Grade 4  ________

Grade 5   ________       Grade 6  ________             Grade 7  ________      Grade 8  ________

Grade 9   ________       Grade 10 ________            Grade 11  _______      Grade 12  _______

 

Please indicate your years of teaching experience. ______________ years.

 

Please indicate the area in which you are certified to teach (e.g., High School-Math, High School English, Elementary, etc.)             

 

The following questions relate to your access to technology at home.  Place a check on the appropriate line for each of the items listed (Check only if the item is powerful enough so that you can use it professionally, e.g., an Atari would not count).

 

                     

                                                                                         YES          NO

Computer                                                               ________           ________

Printer                                                                    ________           ________

Access to the Internet                                             ________           ________

 

The following questions relate to your access to technology at school in your primary classroom.  Please write the number of each that you have in your classroom.

                                                                             Number

Computer(s)                                                          ________          

Printer(s)                                                                ________          

Connection(s) to the Internet                                   ________          

 

II.  Opinions About AK Health Online:

Use the scale provided to rate the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements. Circle your rating.

 

I think my students learn a lot from AK Health Online.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

AK Health Online is easy to use.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I am skilled at using AK Health Online.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I like the features of the AK Health Online website (ie., assessments, keys, discussion forum, email, grade book).

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I like HealthHELP assessments.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I plan to use AK Health Online again next year with my students?

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

For the following questions, compare AK Health Online to other SUPPLEMENTARY health materials you use that are NOT online. Circle your rating.

 

Compared with other health materials you use, rate how often you gave assessments to students with AK Health Online:

Much Less   Somewhat Less   Same Amount   Somewhat More   Much more   Did not use enough to judge
Often           Often                                            Often                    Often

 

Compared with other health materials you use, assessing students with AK Health Online is:

Much Harder   Somewhat Harder   Equally   Somewhat Easier   Much Easier   Did not use enough to judge
        To Do            To Do          Easy To Do         To Do              To Do               

 

Compared with other health materials you use, grading student work with AK Health Online is:

Much Harder   Somewhat Harder   Equally   Somewhat Easier   Much Easier   Did not use enough to judge
        To Do            To Do          Easy To Do         To Do              To Do               

 

Compared with other health materials you use, managing student grades (ie., using the online grade book)  with AK Health Online is:

Much Harder   Somewhat Harder   Equally   Somewhat Easier   Much Easier   Did not use enough to judge
        To Do            To Do          Easy To Do         To Do              To Do               

 

Compared with other health materials you use, rate how much you communicated with your colleagues about issues related to teaching health:

 Much Less   Somewhat Less   Same Amount   Somewhat More   Much more   Did not use enough to judge

 

Compared with other health materials you use, rate how effective your teaching was with AK Health Online:

Much Worse   Somewhat Worse   Same   Somewhat Better   Much Better   Did not use enough to judge

 

Compared with other health materials you use, rate how much you think your students learned from using AK Health Online:

Much Less   Somewhat Less   Same Amount   Somewhat More   Much more   Did not use enough to judge

 

Compared with other health materials you use, AK Health Online is:

 Much Less   Somewhat Less   Same Amount   Somewhat More   Much more   Did not use enough to judge
Convenient      Convenient          Convenient        Convenient           Convenient
  to Use             to Use                to Use                to Use                  to Use 

 

Compared with other health materials you use, I like using AK Health Online:

Much Less   Somewhat Less   Same Amount   Somewhat More   Much more   Did not use enough to judge

III.  Use Of and Opinions About AK Health Online Components:

 

1.  What feature of the AK Health Online website do you like the most?  Why?

 

 

2.  What feature of the AK Health Online website do you like the least?  Why?

 

Online Assessments:

3a.  How many of the AK Health Online assessments you downloaded from the web did you actually use with your students? Circle your answer.

None                        Few                       Some                          Many                  Almost All

 

3b.  Circle the expression below for the number of AK Health Online assessments you download from the web but DID NOT use in your classroom.

None                        Few                       Some                          Many                  Almost All

 

Email Feature for Teachers:

3c.  How many email messages did you send to your colleagues? (after getting email address from AK Health Online). Circle your answer.

None                        > 5                         >10                                          >50                          >100       

 

Discussion Forum:

7a.  How often did you use the Discussion Forum to submit questions? Circle your answer.

Never                       > 5                         >10                                          >50                          >100       

 

7b.  How often did you read the Discussion Forum? Circle your answer.

Never                       > 5                         >10                                          >50                          >100       

 

Finish the following...

7c.  The best thing about the AK Health Online Discussion Forum is...

 

 

7d.  One thing I would change about the AK Health Online Discussion Forum is...

 

 

7e.  What, if any problems did you experience using the Discussion Forum?

 

 

IV.  Barriers to Your Use of AK Health Online:

Rate the frequency with which technical problems prevented you from using AK Health Online:

Never     Occasionally     Sometimes     Frequently     Always     Did not use enough to judge

 

Rate the frequency with which a lack of familiarity with the AK Health Online caused you to have problems using the website.

Never     Occasionally     Sometimes     Frequently     Always     Did not use enough to judge

 

When you had a problem using AK Health Online, how useful was online help information in helping you solve your problem?

Not At All     Almost Never     Sometimes     Almost Always     Always     Did not use enough to judge
  Useful             Useful               Useful               Useful              Useful

 

Rate the following factors as they relate to barriers to your use of AK Health Online.  Use the scale provided.

1= Not a barrier 2 = Minor barrier 3 = Moderate barrier 4 = Significant barrier NS = Not sure

Not a Barrier               Minor               Moderate               Significant               Not Sure
        1                                2                          3                              4                              5

a.             Lack of technology skills.                                                                    
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

b.             Lack of interest in using technology.                                                
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

c.             Lack of administrative support for integrating technology into the curriculum.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

d.             Poor quality online help information contained in AK Health Online.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

e.             Not enough professional development related to AK Health Online.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

f.              Lack of technical support in my school.                                           
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

g.             Lack of familiarity with AK Health Online.                                       
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

h.             Lack of time to teach health during my day                                      
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

i.              Teaching other subjects prevented teaching health                                       
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

 

Finish the following...

The major barrier to my use of AK Health Online was...

 

 

V. Your AK Health Online Professional Development Experiences

Please indicate whether you participated in face-to-face training on using AK Health Online. Check one box.

 

[   ]          Yes, I did participate in face-to-face trainings on AK Health Online. If you checked “Yes” complete Section A.

[   ]          No, I did not participate in face-to-face training on AK Health Online. If you checked “No” complete Section B on Page 11.

 

Section A        (For Teachers who participated in face-to-face training on AK Health Online)

Use the scale provided to rate the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements. Circle your rating.

 

The Summer training session helped me understand how to use AK Health Online.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

The Summer training session was time well-spent.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

The Winter training session helped me understand how to use AK Health Online.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

The Winter training session was time well-spent.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I would have been able to teach myself how to use AK Health Online without attending the training sessions.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I would have used AK Health Online even if I had not participated in face-to-face training.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

Thank you, please continue on Page 12.

 

Section B         (For Teachers who did not  participate in face-to-face training on AK Health Online)

Use the scale provided to rate the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements. Circle your rating.

 

I think that face-to-face training on AK Health Online would be helpful.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

I would have used AK Health Online more if I had received face-to-face training.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

It was difficult to teach myself to use AK Health Online.

        1                  2                  3                  4                  5                  Did not use enough to judge         

Strongly                                                                                                                                Strongly
Disagree                                                                                                                               Agree           

 

Thank you, please continue on the next page.

 

VI.  Your Technology Skills (for all Survey Respondents):

Please use the following scale to describe your skills in using computers for the following types of applications/software. Check one  [   ]  per item.

1 = no experience...2 = beginner (have used it but consider myself a beginner)...3 = intermediate (use it routinely but not to its full capacity)...4 = advanced (use it routinely to its full capacity)...5 = master (could offer training to others)

 

No Experience      Beginner      Intermediate      Advanced      Master
                                                                                                                                                    1                          2                       3                        4                 5

a.     Using computers for word processing.                                                                   
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

b.     Using computers for spreadsheets, and data processing.                                   
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

c.     Using computers for classroom management (e.g., grade book, record-keeping).
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

d.     Integrating the use of the computer into regular instructional activities.          
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

e.     Using the internet for communications (e.g., email, discussion forums)           
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

f.      Using the internet to do research or obtain information.                                     
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

g.     Finding websites that match a particular curriculum goal or professional need.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

h.     Developing web pages.                                                                                             
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

i.      Programming.                                                                                                               
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]


VII.  Your Use of Technology (for all Survey Respondents):

EXCLUDING the time you spend using AK Health Online, how much time per WEEK (on average) do you spend on the following activities that use technology for your work?  Use the scale provided. Check one  [  ]   per item.

1 = none
2 = up to 30 minutes   
3 = 30 to 60 minutes
4 = 1 to 2 hours
5 = more than 2 hours

None      Up to 30 Min.      30 to 60Min.      1 to 2 Hrs.      More than 2 Hrs.
    1                  2                           3                        4                       5                      

a.     Use computers for any work-related purpose.                                                 
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

b.     Use computer software to create/update course materials (e.g., handouts, tests, lesson plans).
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

c.     Create/manage/analyze databases.                                                                    
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

d.     Create/share instructional presentations using presentational software.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

e.     Research using internet.                                                                                      
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

f.      Use internet to find lesson plans and related lesson materials.                                     
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

g.     Create/maintain web page.                                                                                  
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

h.     Use email to communicate with colleagues.                                                     
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

i.      Use educational software to support teaching and learning in content areas.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

j.      Exchange ideas with other teachers using discussion forums.
      [   ]                            [   ]                       [   ]                           [   ]                          [   ]

 

Thank you for your time and thoughtful responses. We greatly appreciate it!  A copy of the final research report will be available to all participants.


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