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Project#1 Reflection &Objectives Addressed

Project#1: Dissertation Proposal Draft: Enhancement of Online Professional Development For

English Language Libyan Teachers

Objectives Addressed: 3, 4, & 7

For ETR 520, which I accomplished in the fall of 2014 semester, I submitted a dissertation

proposal draft. This project was the foundation start of my educational technology Ph. D.

program at ETRA Department. Before this experience, my educational research design attempts

had been something that was let to trial and error practices, as I had never used clear guidelines

to enhance my educational research in general. I discovered many things about using research

designs to develop research skills, and I became able to choose between approaches of research

as well as types of research design. For example, I was subjected to notions such as associational

research, correlational research, measurement and instrumentation, descriptive quantitative

research, and qualitative design methods and procedures for conducting ethnographic and

phenomenological research studies. Among the many things, I learned that quantitative research

investigates and quantifies variables, and how variables are related to each other; whereas,

qualitative research investigates the quality (nature) of a particular phenomenon, processes,

relationships, activities, situations, or materials.

Obviously, my experience was at first difficult and not clear, as I was supposed to apply

what I have learned and relate it to my educational majors of study. In addition, building

experience and knowledge of research became a concern for me to start working on my

dissertation. Therefore, my project focused on using research methodologies to give me

confidence and enthusiasm to improve my research skills. At the same time, this particular
project was the right start for me, because it enabled me to indulge into studying research

approaches and methods to know more about research design and apply it effectively. For me,

the objectives behind conducting this project include finding a strong ground so that my research

skills can meet my educational goals and my sponsors’ professional expectations. Finally, my

decision was to conduct a project paper about ‘Enhancement of Online Professional

Development For English Language Libyan Teachers’, and it consisted of three sections, namely

the introduction section, the literature review section and the methodology section.

The introduction section included background of the study, purpose of the research, and the

conceptual framework. The literature review presented research studies related to this paper in

terms of using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) as a conceptual framework,

determining the impact of teacher awareness on teacher online professional development, and the

relationship between levels of concern of the Libyan ESL teachers and programs of professional

development. As it proved very important to train teachers and help them gain updated

knowledge towards the use of technology into instructional day-to-day tasks, research has been

interested in teachers’ and institutions’ stages of concern. Integration of technology into

educational policies and programs, adoption of newly introduced technological materials to

instructional contexts, measurement of impact of technology on socio-educational practices, and

relating technological trends to the fields of learning / teaching are all under the umbrella of

stages of concern. Shoulders and Myers (2011) of the University of Florida investigated the use

of the stages of concern questionnaire to determine how professional development lowered the

level of concern regarding the application of certain kinds of instruction, namely “inquiry-based

instruction” (Shoulders & Myers, 2007, p. 58). Their study revealed that the more experience the

teachers possess the more consistent their concerns are towards gaining and utilizing more
developed instructional techniques.

The objectives of the project included addressing the problem of lack of online teacher

professional development although it could a solution to the problems of insufficient in-service

preparation for English language teachers and the shortage in successful ESL teachers in Libya.

The departure point of this study was the hypothesis that there is a good relationship between

teacher professional development and teacher stages of concern. This relationship can be

exploited in solving the problems of implementing online learning for teachers who seek

professional development and it is only a step towards providing of well-trained teachers.

What I have learned is that using the ‘Concerns-Based Adoption Model of change’ has

been the focus of many educational research studies, which shared the recommendation that

teacher development should be differentiated according to levels of concern. In particular,

principles of change drawn from CBAM relevant to my project include the fact that the Libyan

teachers can be studied in the light of the notions of teacher awareness, teacher information,

change management, innovation impact, personal needs, and group dynamics. The concern

levels of the Libyan ESL teacher CBAM need to be measured and determined before any project

of teacher online development can be implemented.

Finally, if this study can through its findings make gain the ESL Libyan teachers’

agreement that teacher development is a social responsibility in which benefits are individual as

well as social. Teaching is an ongoing long-life learning process where teachers add to their

knowledge and techniques and styles as they carry on doing the job. The styles and techniques of

teaching are being revised and adjusted along with teacher developing experiences gained from

online development scenarios. Through online education and self-development practices, the
teachers, the subject of this study, would be able to reflect what is learnt onto everyday teaching

and teaching becomes meaningful and creative.

My future work, as a teacher preparation educator, will benefit from conducting this

project, because it has improved my knowledge of how to research the different teaching

situations and how to relate the theoretical frameworks to each research problem. Also, as a

faculty member I will need to integrate more skills of educational research with educational

technology to develop my research design and analysis potentials. Finally, this project will help

to enhance my use of designing research instrument in the light of a review of the related

literature, the results of piloting my research, and feedback from experts for validity and

reliability issues.    

In conclusion, my gains from this project show evidence that I have satisfied the following

objectives of the MS-ERE program:

• Design a study of an educational research problem or phenomenon using appropriate

methodologies

In order to be able to design educational studies using appropriate methods, my project

focused on practicing research methodologies to improve my research skills. At the same time,

studying research approaches and methods of applying research designs to real educational

problem made my project consistent with the objectives of the class as well as those of the

Master’s program.

• Conduct a study pertaining to an educational research problem or phenomenon

This objective was met by the study project, which included writing a proposal for

investigating an educational problem from which Libyan teachers have peen suffering. Despite

their lack of teacher professional development, English language teachers in Libya have been
deprived from any training. Their in-service training has always been hindered by challenges

such as space, time, and resources. This proposed study would addressed such a problem in

Libya through the suggesting a research framework and procedures for a future dissertation.

• Distinguish between ethical and unethical behavior when conducting educational

research or evaluation

Part of the ethical practice in the project is to seek permission to use a previously

developed model called ‘Concerns-Based Adoption Model of change’. This practice is an

opportunity to reflect ethical behavior in the project and to meet the objectives of the our

research program. Also, writing the literature review involved a lot of in-text and end-of-text

citations, which allowed some considerable practice of ethical research conduct. Therefore, the

project succeeded in teaching me the principles ethical and unethical behavior for conducting

educational research.