Promoting Technology-Based Collaboration Among Pre-Service Music Educators: An Inter-University Project

Wendy Matthews
Wayne State University

Daniel Johnson
University of North Carolina-Wilmington

The purpose of this inter-university project was to explore pre-service teachers’ perceptions of collaboration and use of online technology. Twenty-two undergraduate music education majors from two separate universities participated in an eleven-week collaborative project to develop, teach, and self-assess general music lesson plans via a variety of student-selected online technologies. To determine the participants’ perceptions, the researchers administered the quantitative Technology Integration Confidence Scale and periodic qualitative questionnaires consisting of open-ended questions. Participants showed positive quantitative gains in understanding technology operations and concepts, planning and designing learning environments, applying technology, assessment, and understanding ethical and legal issues in the classroom. From the qualitative data, the researchers found four emergent themes relating to communication and pedagogical knowledge: (1) versatility and potential of collaborating through technology, (2) barriers and challenges to effective communication, (3) importance of collaborative communication, and (4) increased personal effectiveness through reflective growth. Participants reported that working through collaborative assignments increased their self-confidence and reflective thinking skills, as well as helping them recognize the value of communication in terms of curriculum and instructional effectiveness. These findings highlight the importance of identifying strategies to instruct, motivate, and evaluate pre-service music teachers as they develop 21st century skills and music teaching competencies. To conclude, the co-authors discuss implications of technology-based collaborations beyond music education for the teaching profession in general.

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