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Abstract

This study utilized action research with quantitative data analysis to investigate the personal technological skills and use of web-based applications of nontraditional teacher candidates enrolled in elementary education courses at a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in the southeastern section of the USA. The goal was to gain a better understanding of the technological challenges encountered by non-traditional candidates and to determine how technology can inform instructional delivery of curriculum to improve this population’s representation, expression, and engagement of learning outcomes. Data were collected through an anonymous electronic survey distributed to each student enrolled in the elementary education courses. A total of 320 students were enrolled, 148 respondents participated in the survey to equal 46% (N = 148) of the elementary education teacher candidate population. Of the 148 participants, 109 classified themselves age 24 and older; for the purposes of this study, this group is defined as nontraditional teacher candidates. The results revealed that (a) the H0 was rejected for seven of the eight tested categories, therefore strengthening the HA; (b) 50% of teacher candidates, whether traditional or nontraditional, self-reported in the Learner to Basic levels category; (c) 47% of traditional and non-traditional candidates reported Proficient to Advanced level, thereby strengthening the alternative hypothesis. These findings are compelling and led to the development of a new conceptual framework, the Teacher Education Technology and Web-Based Application Survey (TETWAS), which proposes that faculty in an elementary preparatory program could promote and enhance the learning experiences of candidates.

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