The Design and Development of an Online, Case-based Course in a Teacher Preparation Program
The goals of this study were to: 1) design a web-based course using WebCT for future secondary school teachers at the University of Texas Pan American, 2) evaluate the effectiveness of the course, and 3) provide a set of guidelines for designing web-based courses for other teacher educators. The participants in this study consisted of junior- and senior-level students enrolled in a secondary, teacher education program at the University of Texas Pan American. There were 17 participants, 71% were female and 29% were male. All of the participants fit at least one of the characteristics of a “nontraditional” student. All of them were married, employed full-time, over the age of 30 and 63% had one or more children. Participants completed a pretest prior to instruction and a posttest following instruction to measure achievement gains. The study was divided into two phases; participants completed a pretest and a posttest for phase I and phase II. A t-test for dependent samples was used to determine if the mean scores on the posttest were significantly higher than the mean score on the pretest for phases I and II. The results of the t-test for phase I indicated that students scored significantly higher on the posttest (M = 74.63) than on the pretest (M = 57.72; t=5.56, p = .05). In phase II, students scored higher on the posttest (M = 80.21) than on the pretest (M = 76.84); however this difference was not statistically significant. Overall, the results indicated that the course was effective. The study concludes with a set of recommendations for designing/teaching an online course for teacher educators.