Online Teaching Motivations of Pre-Service Teachers: Identifying Constructs Towards New Directions in Teacher Preparation

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

This session explores the processes of assessing motivations of pre-service teachers to teach online as they enter a field that increasingly requires them to teach in technology-based learning spaces. The PST-OTMS instrument and pilot study results will be discussed. Additionally, feedback will be solicited for future development of the PST-OTMS. 

Extended Abstract

Nation-wide K-12 trends tend towards the addition of some sort of blended/online learning experience even in traditional brick and mortar environments. Teachers are now required to build out and provide instruction within learning management systems for blended and online delivery. Severe weather days were once simply school days canceled. Now, such days have shifted to online learning days. In addition, many districts now have specific online instruction days during the school year regardless of weather conditions. Therefore, teachers now must develop the skill to be as inspirational within technology-based learning environments as they are within the face-to-face classroom, hence, expanding their reach well beyond the physical classroom space. Widespread use of online and blended teaching modalities for emergency remote learning in K-12 during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in preparedness to teach within technology-based learning environments. Post-pandemic, K-12 teachers have generally returned to face-to-face instruction. However, school districts continue to require blended and online teaching components (Smart et al., 2021). Given that research demonstrates strong connections between motivation and teaching effectiveness and persistence through challenging circumstances (Smart & Linder, 2018; DiPerna, Volpe, & Elliott, 2005; DiPerna & Elliott, 1999; Whang & Hancock, 1994), colleges of education should prepare their students to teach within the technology-based learning spaces and work to foster strong motivation for online and blended teaching. As such, it has become increasingly critical to evaluate motivational constructs related to online teaching to better understand pre-service teachers’ responses to teaching and learning within online spaces using reliable, valid measures. Our research team developed the Pre Service Teachers Online Teaching Motivation Scale (PST-OTMS) in response to a need to measure and support K-12 pre-service teachers’ motivation for online teaching, as they move into classrooms where teaching in the blended and online modalities will likely be a requirement. Our previous research with in-service teachers has shown that when teachers have positive beliefs and perceptions about online learning, their confidence in teaching online is higher (Smart et al., 2021). Additionally, when teachers feel they have administrative support, they tend to report higher confidence levels for teaching online. The findings highlight the need for building teachers’ knowledge and understanding of online teaching and learning, as well as a need to explore the factors that influence perceptions of online teaching motivation constructs. Similar construct associations have presented for pre-service teachers enrolled in colleges of education. However,  the needs and influences might be vastly different for them and the PST-OTMS constructs need to be further explored. This session will cover the development and initial pilot study results of the PST-OTMS and describe its use as a valuable assessment tool to determine the motivational needs of pre-service teachers and evaluate the impact of the degree programs on pre-service teacher motivation for online teaching and learning. Additionally, presenters will seek to acquire feedback about the constructs of the current tool from attendees and  seek input about the possible additional constructs that might be connected to the motivations to teach online of pre-service teachers. To engage participants, their feedback will be logged through a response system and real-time results will be displayed. Additionally, the session format will provide a rich environment for discussion between attendees and the presenters that will ultimately support the development of future K-12 teachers as they learn to teach in blended and online learning spaces. 


Session Objectives:

  • Describe the need for assessing online teaching motivations of pre-service teachers 

  • Explain the process of development of the PST-OTMS instrument

  • Examine the results from the initial pilot study

  • Solicit feedback about the constructs of the PST-OTMS for future development of the instrument