"Our experience has led us to conclude that the pedagogical beliefs held by the SME/F are the best instructional foundation for original designs of courses delivered online through a LMS. This conclusion is supported by Ertmer's (2005) examination of the research conducted on teacher beliefs: '…beliefs are far more influential than knowledge in determining how individuals organize and define tasks and problems' (p. 28). She also draws a direct connection between pedagogical beliefs and technology skills:
Given that these [technology] skills are unlikely to be used unless they fit with teachers’ existing pedagogical beliefs, it is imperative that educators increase their understanding of and ability to address teacher beliefs, as part of their efforts to increase teachers' technology skills and uses (Ertmer, 2005, p. 37).
Ertmer (2005) demonstrates how pedagogical beliefs have a global effect on a teacher’s perceptions about new instructional tools and practices when she states 'Even new information (about technology, alternative teaching methods, etc.), if attended to at all, will be filtered through these existing belief systems' (p. 30). Our instructional process recognizes and embraces this filter by systematically exploring, documenting, and integrating the SME/F’s pedagogical beliefs into the course design."
We have created an Instructional Tool to facilitate the systematic discovery and integration of pedagogical beliefs called the Subject Matter Expert Personal Resource Inventory (SMEPRI). In an upcoming post I will provide more information on this tool.
Joeckel III, G.L.; Jeon, T.; Gardner, J. (2009). Instructional Challenges in Higher Education Online Courses Delivered Through A Learning Management System By Subject Matter Experts. In H. Song (Ed.), Distance Learning Technology, Current Instruction, and the Future of Education: Applications of Today, Practices of Tomorrow, Idea Group Publishing, New York. Chapter accepted for publication.