Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation


Jing Lei


digital native, Learning By Design, modeling, preservice teacher technology preparation, reflection, TPACK

Subject Categories



Effective technology integration in teaching requires teachers to construct technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). To help teachers develop TPACK, the learning environment must address the situated nature and complex interplay of technology, pedagogy and content. Learning By design (LBD) has been proposed as one promising instructional model to create such a learning environment. To explore effective and theory-grounded technology instruction for digital native preservice teachers, an LBD environment was designed, developed and implemented in a technology integration course for preservice teachers. Using design-based research methodologies, this dissertation research study is intended to explore whether LBD is effective in helping digital native preservice teachers develop TPACK, how LBD takes effects, and what improvement can be made to the learning environment.

This dissertation is in multi-paper format and consists of four individual papers. Each paper focuses on one aspect of the research study. In paper #1 (Chapter 1), Learning by Design: Technology Preparation for Digital Native Preservice Teachers, the researcher describes the research purposes, the theoretical framework and instructional design model behind the courses, and the application of LBD in a technology integration course for preservice teachers. In addition, as the first paper in this multi-paper dissertation, the researcher also introduces the research design and methods of the study.

In paper #2 (Chapter 2), Learning By Design for Preservice Teacher Technology Preparation: How Effective Is It and in What Ways, the researcher examined whether an LBD environment is effective in helping preservice teachers develop TPACK, and described how the participants perceived the effectiveness of LBD. The results indicated that LBD can be an effective instructional theory in designing learning environments to facilitate preservice teachers' TPACK development. The participants generally agreed that LBD was helpful for them to learn about teaching with technology. They felt more comfortable with and confident in using technology in their teaching. Recommendations are made for future research and practices.

In paper #3 (Chapter 3), Using Live Dual Modeling to Help Preservice Teachers Develop TPACK, the researcher investigated whether a Live Dual Modeling strategy in the LBD environment was effective in helping preservice teachers develop TPACK and what conditions influenced the use of this strategy. The findings showed that preservice teachers demonstrated the initial ability to transfer what they learned in the modeling to real-world classroom teaching. When Live Dual Modeling is used, attention should be paid to the conditions that influence the effectiveness of the strategy due to preservice teachers' limitations in their overall knowledge base, practical experience, and ability to transfer learning to other contexts.

Paper #4 (Chapter 4), Cultivating Reflective Practitioners in Technology Preparation: Constructing TPACK through Reflection, investigated the participants' TPACK development as manifested in their reflection journals and how reflection helped preservice teachers construct TPACK. Through content analysis of the participants' reflection journals, the researcher found that the preservice teachers constructed their initial TPACK awareness. However, their TPACK development was incomplete and superficial. Interviews with the participants showed that reflection helped them describe and elaborate on their technology integration experience, be more confident in their ability to use technology for teaching, and be more reflective and open-minded about using technology in classrooms. Finally, the researcher discussed this study's implications for teacher educators and researchers.


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