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Project#5 Reflection &Objectives Addressed

Project#5: Evaluating the Libyan ESL Pre-service Teachers’ Preparation Program

Objectives Addressed: 1, 3, 4, 5, & 7

This project was titled ‘Evaluating the Libyan ESL Pre-service Teachers’ preparation

Program’, and it was submitted for ETR 531 of the Spring 2018 semester. This class was an

interesting and informative class focusing on evaluation of educational programs. As an ETR

class, it was full of group practice and learning which gave me strong ground to attend and

improve. I felt that everything I was learning in this project had become a real part of my

educational technology program of ETRA department. The program included creating an

educational program evaluation using appropriate educational research methods. My project

aimed to evaluate the Libyan ESL pre-service teachers’ preparation and development program,

which is part of the teacher preparation syllabus at the English Department, Janzour College of

Education University of Tripoli. I chose this setting because I know they have a problem of

implementation. According to Libyan professionals and educators, the problem is that the ESL

pre-service teachers (the outcome of the English Department) have so far failed to achieve the

program objectives in teaching English to school children effectively through using the latest

techniques and the right teaching methods. English language classes in Libya’s public schools

are supposed to help the students master the content of the textbook and pass the final

examinations at each level until they are graduated from high school. However, the students,

their parents, the school districts staff and educators, program assessors, and above all the

educational authorities have always complained that these programs are not giving us the right

quality of teachers, who can help the students achieve. On the other hand, the newly graduated

teachers (the outcome of the English Department) argue that their preparation is lacking many
things and their teaching practicum is not enough or is not preparing them for the actual

classroom activities, and so they usually fall on informal teaching techniques, which differ from

one individual to another. It seems that what they are learning as foreign language pre-service

teachers is not helping them to become effective ESL teachers. This multifaceted problem could

be the result of implementing a defected preparation program. Thus, an evaluation of such

program might help identify the difficulties and concerns of the English Department faculty and

staff, and hence lead to suggestions regarding the program improvement to meet its objectives.

My project started with the needs assessment, which included qualitative interviews with three

members of English department staff, who are in charge of preparing the syllabus content and the

implementation of the program plans.

According to the Theory-Based Model, which I was using in my evaluation, it is essential

to have a theoretical framework. Therefore, this evaluation project used two constructs of

TPACK, (namely PCK and TCK). Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) was originally

developed by Shulman in 1986 and as technology continued to advance, the focus on Shulman’s

PCK enhanced an experimental interest for integrating technology with pedagogy and content. In

order to include technology in the model, studies of teacher preparation development have

developed PCK into a new framework called TPACK, i. e. Technological, Pedagogical, and

Content Knowledge. Teaching skills and strategies are mainly a result of educational college

instruction, and are, consequently, considered a vital component of pre-service teacher

knowledge.

The project of evaluating such an educational program as the Libyan ESL pre-service

teachers preparation and development then involved using the information, which the

interviewees provided in the needs assessment process. Therefore, the following stage of the
project included data analysis, discussion of the results, and drawing conclusions and

recommendation to be reported to the English Department so that they can act on them and take

future decisions toward the improvement of their outcomes. For example a comparison between

the current situation and the department specific objectives can lead to a future decision to

integrate technology into the teacher preparation program. The main section of this evaluation

project was the section that presented the methodology, as it included setting, the procedures,

participants’ information, and the survey to be used in the quantitative phase. The final section

was the presentation of the results, which besides presenting implications and limitations it

included the suggestions, the recommendations, and the conclusions.

This project was based on using research approaches to evaluate an educational program

and provide feedback and practical suggestions for stakeholders to use in their future decisions

about improving their outcomes. The stakeholders were interviewed based on their involvement

with the program implementation not on their performance. Therefore, the questions in the needs

assessment phase were focused on collecting data about the syllabus and materials of the

program to measure the effectiveness of the current implementation plans. I learned how to

create a needs assessment instrument, how to approach stakeholders and educators for data

collection arrangements, how to analyze the data, how to develop my research approaches from

qualitative to mixed methods, how to criticize an educational environment, and how to evaluate

an educational program. My experience with this program evaluation design and conduct was a

valuable opportunity to adventure into using mixed methods for the first time in my research

practice. Obviously, the feedback from the stakeholders granted me an opportunity to learn the

techniques and suggestions of improving my program evaluation strategies.

The experiences I gained I this project will soon help to guide my future educational
research and teaching as faculty member in a Libyan university, namely University of Tripoli. In

one way, it will improve my creativity in using evaluation models to develop educational

programs on the campus at my university. Furthermore, it will help me to participate in initiating

educational plans using effective methods of assessment and evaluation. Finally, it will help me

improve my skills in the field of educational technology, which will also be useful in the fields of

my career as an educator.

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

objectives of the MS-ERE program:

• Design and/or select appropriate assessment or evaluation tools for a given educational

problem

For the evaluation project I had to use a mixed-method approach conduct research and

evaluation to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data Therefore, this objective was met, as

the design required that I had to address Q1 and Q2 using quantitative and statistical analysis to

measure the regression between the study variables. In addition, phenomenal qualitative data

analyses were used to address Q3 and Q4. Also, the project involved utilizing an existing survey,

which was designed and developed by Koh, Chai1, and Tsai (2014).

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

methodologies

In this proposal, the research problem was the educational issue of the Libyan ESL pre-

service teachers who, failed to apply most recent methodologies in their teaching practice. The

evaluation proposal used both quantitative and qualitative methods and was an opportunity for

me to design a study utilizing a mixed method design. As a result, the objective above was

satisfied through this design of the evaluation project.


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

Conducting this evaluation project involved investigation of an educational research

problem. A mixed method design would normally require the application of both quantitative

and qualitative data collection procedures, which means that my work on this project included

satisfying this objective.

• Demonstrate effective communication skills by presenting and defending a research

project

Working on this project involved communicating with stakeholders via interviews, which

were conducted on line by means of Skype Telecommunication Application software. This

experience reflected a communicative practice pertaining to the above objective. Also, the ETR

531 included many communication and presentation skills through presentations of materials and

group discussion. These class and project experiences are parallel with the objective that requires

communicative abilities for presenting and defending research components.

• Distinguish between ethical and unethical behavior when conducting educational

research or evaluation

This is project involved approaching an educational setting to study (Janzour Education

College of Tripoli University) and a population to sample from and survey (Libyan ESL pre-

service teachers), and so it was necessary to practice the ethical measures for fair and appropriate

research conduct. Thus, the proposal included conducting the evaluation in an ethical, moral and

responsible manner and the participants will have the right to decide when, to what extent their

participation is continued Creswell (2012). Also, before administrating the survey and the

interviews, the researcher would seek permission from the Northern Illinois University

Institutional Review Board (IRB) as well as officials and administrative staff at Tripoli
University. All this ethical practice meets the above objective of ethical behavior related to

educational research and evaluation.


References

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative

and qualitative research. (4th Edition), Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Geng, G., & Disney, L. (2014). Exploring Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge of and Ability to

Use Text Messaging. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(7), 172-182.

Gravetter, F. J. & Wallnau, L. B. (2014). Essentials of Statistics for Behavioral Sciences. (8th

Edition), Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Kablan, Z., & Kaya, S. (2014). Pre-service Teachers’ Constructivist Teaching Scores Based on

Their Learning Styles. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(12), 65-77.

Koh, J. H. L., Chai1, C. S., & Tsai, C. C. (2014). Demographic Factors, TPACK Constructs, and

Teachers’ Perceptions of Constructivist-Oriented TPACK. Educational Technology &

Society, 17 (1), 185–196.

Park, S. H. &Peggy A. Ertmer, P. A. (2007). Impact of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) on

Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding Technology Use. JRTE: Journal of Research on Technology

in Education, 40(2), 247-267.