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Title:Secondary choral music educators’ use of technology-assisted assessment tools
Author(s):Hawkins, Jason A.
Director of Research:Gallo, Donna; Barrett, Janet R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Barrett, Janet R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bergonzi, Louis S.; Nichols, Jeananne; Sweet, Bridget
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Music education
Technology-assisted assessment tools
Abstract:Assessment of student learning is a crucial part of what all teachers do in all disciplines and at all levels. Music educators often find administering and documenting this important step of the educational experience difficult due to a myriad of curricular and logistical challenges, but the expectation that music teachers conduct and record regular and systematic assessments has increased with educational reform efforts that rely on student growth as a measure of teacher accountability. The potential for using technology to assist with student assessment in the music classroom is substantial; however, technology integration in secondary music ensembles in particular has been found to be inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary choral music educators’ use of technology-assisted assessment tools by determining their rationales for using certain assessment-related technology; their perceptions of the efficacy of using technology for assessing choral students; and the relationships between demographic, educational, and attitudinal factors and their reported technology use. Data were obtained through a researcher-designed survey completed by 658 secondary school choir teachers who were members of the National Association for Music Education in U.S. states that require documentation of student growth as part of teachers’ performance evaluations. Results indicated that choral music educators used technology-assisted assessment tools infrequently compared with their colleagues in other disciplines, with a large percentage of choir teachers reporting that they never use technology for many areas of choral student assessment. Select technological tools were used by a large percentage of teachers (e.g., laptops, smartphones, online collaborative platforms), but many respondents reported that they use a limited range of tools when assessing choral students. While the teachers cited benefits to using technology-assisted assessment tools (e.g., efficiency in calculating and assigning grades, providing timely assessment feedback for students), many barriers were found to impede successful technology integration (e.g., lack of time, lack of resources, high cost of implementation). Multiple regression analyses revealed that choir teachers’ comfort with technology-assisted assessment tools predicted a significant increase in the frequency with which they used them as well as the variety of technology tools they use. Personal and school-related demographic variables were not significant predictors of choral music educators’ frequency of technology-assisted assessment tools use. This study suggests a number of implications that could inform current practice or policy and potentially help choral music educators assess their students in more efficient, effective, and practical ways. By identifying types of technology-assisted assessment tools that are being used most often, teachers and administrators may be able to work together to prioritize the allocation of resources and provide technology that would benefit choral students. Since barriers such as time constraints and high cost were found to limit music teachers’ use of technology, it is suggested that school administrators provide time for teachers to incorporate technological tools that will assist in student assessment, especially since administrators are now requiring a new level of assessment documentation for teacher evaluation. Finally, as comfort with technology-assisted assessment tools was the most significant predictor of increased frequency of use, those involved in the assessment process need to look for ways to help teachers feel more comfortable with technology, such as increased access to quality professional development.
Issue Date:2018-04-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Jason A. Hawkins
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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