CCE Theses and Dissertations

Technological Literacy Assessment in Secondary Schools Through Portfolio Development

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Douglas R Garber


Secondary school students lacking technological literacy required for job success in the 21st century participated in an action oriented research study to increase their literacy levels. A team of teachers, 9th-grade students, media specialists, and a researcher implemented a technological and information skills model across subject -area disciplines in an effort to identify the needed skills and implement an instructional program for technological literacy. The researcher worked with a formative and summative committee to design and produce a conceptual design, scope, sequence, and instructional schedule that served four grade levels across subject area curricula. Teachers used an interdisciplinary approach to instruction and determined that effective and efficient teaching for technological literacy across the curriculum was achieved. Students successfully demonstrated performance in 14 core competencies over a two-month time period during regular courses in five major disciplines. During the study, students benefited from opportunities to engage in supplemental technological activities by individual choice. Performance of technological objectives was marked and entered on checklists for planned future entry into a networked database for use by all teachers and administrators. Individual checklists were printed and became a part of student portfolios displaying technological learning. Other items in the portfolios included self-entry and exit-analyses and pre- and post-instruction compositions. Assessment instruments developed for the study were used to evaluate teacher attitudes, portfolio development, student attitudes, and class performance. Teachers and technology committee members judged the program to be successful and projected a need for implementation of the program for the entire school population. Findings and recommendations showed that cross-discipline instruction based on the model used in the study was a solution for increasing student levels literacy through increased understandings and demonstrated performance. The study revealed a need for further research in areas of curriculum space, cooperative work, and contextual problem-solving education as they apply to improving technological literacy in secondary schools.

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