CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Gertrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Martha M. Snyder

Committee Member

Cordelia R. Twomey

Abstract

Teachers who work with exceptional students have a critical responsibility to ensure these students receive the best possible education. A major part of the students’ education is the implementation of assistive technology in the classroom. Unfortunately, many teachers begin their career with limited knowledge of assistive technology. Therefore, they are dependent on building their knowledge base from other sources. The results of an assessment of one source, professional development courses, are reported. To assess the effectiveness of the professional development program, a comprehensive prescription was developed to identify gaps in the course objectives and make recommendations to improve the program. This prescription was made up of a needs assessment from Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers, task analysis to define necessary objectives for professional development courses, and a gap analysis of existing courses as compared to the proposed objectives. The focus of this assessment was the professional development program of a Central Florida school district. The program was found to support some of the requirements of the district’s teachers but also found areas in which the teachers needed additional support from the district. The recommendations were presented to subject matter experts within the district and the state of Florida.

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