Education Faculty Member Receives Dissertation Award

Professor is honored for creating a tool to measure self-efficacy of online instructors.

A Texas Tech University educator has received Recognition of Merit in the 2009-2010 PDK (Phi Delta Kappa) International Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award program. Kevin Gosselin, an adjunct professor of biostatistics at Texas Tech and at the University of Texas, received the award for his doctoral dissertation, “Development and Psychometric Exploration of the Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory.” His dissertation involved researching factors to include in the Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory, creating it and administering it. The inventory measures online teachers’ perceptions of their effectiveness as teachers. “PDK received more than 40 outstanding entries this year, but Dr. Gosselin’s research stood out to the review committee,” said William Bushaw, PDK International’s executive director. “Research such as this is important because it continues to advance the field of education.” PDK International is a global association of education professionals. The PDK Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award is given to the applicant whose dissertation best meets the criteria of sound scholarship and shows the most promise for improving education. “The ongoing aim of this research is to continue to promote effective research-based instructional practices in online education, and I look forward to publishing the results of this study in the near future,” Gosselin said. Research has established that there is a close connection between teachers’ self-efficacy and their commitment to teaching, their adoption of innovations and their use of effective classroom strategies. People with a high sense of self-efficacy tend to set higher goals, be less afraid of failure and persist longer when encountering difficulties. Conversely, people with low self-efficacy may avoid tasks or give up when they encounter obstacles. Despite this, before Gosselin’s research, there was no instrument available to evaluate the self-efficacy of online teachers. The Online Teaching Self-Efficacy Inventory is a new, multidimensional measure of online teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs. An announcement of Gosselin’s award will be published in the May 2010 issue of Phi Delta Kappan, the nation’s leading journal on education policy and practice. Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu. CONTACT: Judy Simpson, assistant academic dean, Texas Tech University College of Education, (806) 742-1998 ext. 456, or judy.a.simpson@ttu.edu.