Pedagogy First: Aligning Teaching and Technology to Enhance Learning

Concurrent Session 6

Session Materials

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Brief Abstract

Clearly, instructional technology has the potential to foster student learning and engagement… but only if the technology effectively aligns with instructional needs. Pedagogy First (; a free, online, interactive decision-tree) provides specific technology recommendations in response to an instructor’s individualized answers to a series of pedagogical, contextual and practical questions.  


B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Holly Love is a Faculty Specialist at Grand Canyon University. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of education. Her journey started off as a secondary special education instructor through her two degrees from Arizona State University. She has also worked as a liaison and site supervisor for Rio Salado College prior to becoming a full time online faculty member at GCU. Through her 9 years of experience in higher education, she has attended multiple conferences and has spoken to many faculty regarding topics that enhance and encourage faculty to move forward in their own professional journey in the classroom.

Additional Authors

Brittany Williams works for the Faculty Training & Development department at Grand Canyon University. As a Faculty Specialist, she regularly develops and delivers professional development workshops and trainings for campus and nontraditional adjunct faculty. In addition, manages campus and nontraditional adjunct faculty by completing campus classroom peer support reviews, instructional coaching, and faculty mentoring. Brittany Williams has worked in higher education since 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and a Masters in Organized Learning and Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. As an adjunct instructor herself for both traditional and non-traditional modalities she is passionate about supporting and developing fellow instructors as they continue to expand their knowledge and progress their professional identity.

Extended Abstract

The value of Web 2.0 technology for the classroom is clear; appropriate integration of relevant technologies has the potential to enhance the student learning experience across a variety of dimensions. The value (and potential) of technology has spurred increased interest in Web 2.0 educational tools and had resulted in rapid growth of the field. The vast array of currently available Web 2.0 technologies is overwhelming; and the options only continue to expand. The wide variety of technologies available often leaves faculty unable to make informed decisions about which Web 2.0 applications are most relevant for their particular pedagogical needs. Complicating the matter further, faculty often lack the time and/or experience to research the specifics of each technology option to facilitate an informed decision-making process. To facilitate integration of appropriate, relevant Web 2.0 tools into the classroom, it is important to understand the key dimensions driving faculty’s use of Web 2.0 technologies. Presentation overviews data from faculty and instructional designers that rates the importance of technology integration decisions as well as the value of technology for addressing specific pedagogical challenges. Data is aggregated into an interactive, online decision-tree that facilitates faculty’s selection of Web 2.0 tools by guiding them through a series of questions that narrows down options to target a narrow range of the most relevant Web 2.0 tools to meet the needs of that particular faculty member. Aligned with the decision-tree, Web 2.0 options are categorized according to pedagogical application, cost, utility, ease-of-use and related dimensions.