Innovating Affective and Effective Instructional Innovations

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In a world of innovative teaching and distance learning, educators have a plethora of technological approaches available when developing or modifying courses.  By employing empirical research models of fidelity of implementation and efficacy, educators can measure adherence to instructional interventions and their effect on targeted student achievement gaps.


Dr. Ramiro de la Rosa is the Associate Director for Research Innovation in Distance Education at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Dr. de la Rosa has 19 years of experience in distance education and regularly presents at national and international conferences on the topic of gamification. Dr. de la Rosa is the winner of the 2019 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning, and the 2017 Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Distance Learning by the Texas Distance Learning Association. He holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies, a Master of Education in instructional technology, and a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Extended Abstract


When re-imagining education, are we getting the biggest bang for our buck? To innovate teaching practices within distance learning, we need to break out of traditional pedagogical principles and employ empirically research-based interventions, instead. Whether the format is fully online or hybrid, educators seek out methods to determine whether or not a change in pedagogy have a significant impact on student readiness, participation, communication, timeliness, etc. Following proven models of fidelity of implementation and efficacy, educators can use measures of quality to close targeted student achievement gaps.


Self-efficacy, a construct of social cognitive theory, can add to an individual's confidence level and ability to complete assigned tasks. Self-efficacy principles are not new and have been applied to education in the form of teacher-efficacy. Teacher-efficacy fosters positive relationships within a teacher's self-evaluated level of effectiveness and ability to ensure successful outcomes within any given course, regardless of external factors out of the educator’s locus of control (Bandura, 1977; Bandura, 1997). Teacher-efficacy is calculated by one’s attitude regarding two main questions, as found through the Rand Measure. The Rand Measure shows that the more a teacher disagrees that, “When it comes right down to it, a teacher really can’t do much because most of a student’s motivation and performance depends on his or her home environment,” and agrees with, “If I really try hard, I can get through to even the most difficult or unmotivated students,” the higher the educator’s personal teacher-efficacy (Tschannen-Moran, Hoy, & Hoy, 1998). As we reflect on our responses to the questions found in the Rand Measure, we can better self-assess our practices and the level of control we hold in shaping our learner’s successes. Focusing on personal teacher-efficacy and its growth will allow us to hone in on our future presentation of ourselves, our ideas, and our content. This formation in the Social Cognitive theory has shown that the higher an educator believes in oneself and one’s ability, the educator will invest more effort, persevere longer in the face of adversity, and be more resilient when presented with stressful situations. The process of strengthening our confidence allows for the affective filter to be lowered and thereby opening new pathways for the implementation of innovative thoughts and processes involving pedagogical approaches.

Fidelity of Implementation

Research maintains that fidelity of implementation can measure how closely an intervention was implemented when compared to its intended plan (Dusenbury, Brannigan, Falco, & Hansen, 2003). An intervention can include any modification to an existing learning plan that can critically alter the learning process. Fidelity of implementation can be measured using the implemented five components of the research-based process:

•    Adherence - the determination of whether or not the learning content, such as activities and methods, was delivered as originally planned. 

•    Dose - the amount of learning content received by the students, as measured by exposure and completeness.

•    Quality of the program - the extent to which principles of good design and practice were used when developing the learning content. 

•    Participant responsiveness - the degree to which students engaged with the learning content.

•    Program differentiation - those elements that help distinguish the new learning content different from the previous intervention (Dusenbury, et al., 2003; O’Donnell, 2008).

Innovating the seminal

Cornerstone teaching methods such as rules & procedures, curriculum, environment, instruction, and assessments have proven their worth over several centuries, with little resistance or need to overhaul pedagogical approaches. However, in a world of ever-evolving technologies, it is not only sound practice but also a necessity to think outside of the box and look to innovative teaching approaches, starting with the design phase. By implementing sound practices in the fidelity of implementation, backed with high teacher-efficacy, we see a new horizon in planning that lends itself to positive outcomes for students and educators. Implementation of new approaches or interventions to close gaps in online course design are often spontaneous and lack a framework to ensure positive outcomes. It can be daunting for educators to recognize negative trends in their courses and make meaningful corrections for improvement. However, when they do recognize the need for course-specific interventions, it usually occurs in the form of student’s outcomes not being met and the realization that an improvement in the course learning needs to occur. Course-specific interventions are focused on correcting specific unfavorable shifts in our online courses; they can range from changing design structure, implementing more frequent positive reinforcement, using specific supplemental resources, modifying digital presence, fostering digital learning communities, etc. Interventions are broad and varied, as they can target the educator’s observations, peer-reviews, and evaluations. By utilizing fidelity of implementation and teacher-efficacy, educators can create an intervention plan with minimal internal factors, which could impede meaningful outcomes.


The presenters will propose a new model for guiding and measuring successful interventions. This model will focus on validation through teacher-efficacy and sound approaches of Fidelity of Implementation from the design phase through implementation, a timeframe of review, and final data collection and segregation.


•    At the end of the session, the attendees will be able to:

•    Discuss fidelity of implementation as a method for evaluating educational interventions.

•    Describe the teacher-efficacy model components as determinants to achieving learning outcomes.

•    Evaluate the relationship between fidelity of implementation and teacher-efficacy as a method for evaluating educational interventions.

•    Implement the new de la Rosa/ Handley model in the development of future interventions.



Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191.

Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Capara, G.V., & Pastorelli, C. (1996). Multifaceted impact of self-efficacy beliefs on academic functioning. Child Development, 67(3), 1206-1222.

Dusenbury, L., Brannigan, R., Falco, M., & Hansen, W. B. (2003). A review of research on fidelity of implementation: Implications for drug abuse prevention in school settings. Health Education Research, 18(2), 237-256. 

O’Donnell, C. L. (2008). Defining, conceptualizing, and measuring fidelity of implementation and its relationship to outcomes in K–12 curriculum intervention research. Review of Educational Research, 78(1), 33-84.

Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, A. W. (2001). Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive construct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 783-805.

Tschannen-Moran, M., Hoy, A. W., & Hoy, W. K. (1998). Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68(2), 202-248.