Dr. Amber H. Rice

Applying Eye-Tracking Research in Education and Communication to Agricultural Education and Communication: A Review of Literature

Authors

Holli R. Leggette
Amber H. Rice
Candis Carraway
Marshall A. Baker
Nathan Conner

The purpose of this integrative literature review was to synthesize the eye-tracking literature related to education and communication in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) to formulate a conceptual model and develop a research agenda that guides eye-tracking research in agricultural education and communication. To do so, we reviewed the literature to identify basic elements of eye-tracking research, examined specific variables related to eye-tracking research, and synthesized the findings into a conceptual model. We found and reviewed 77 articles published between 2010 and 2016 within education (56) and communication (21). Research implications for agricultural education included an examination of classroom management practices, a comparison of novice and experienced instructors, and an exploration of educational settings. Research implications for agricultural communication included tracking fixation and frequency of eye movement when viewing advertisements and understanding the relationship between brand placement and buying decisions. Synthesizing the research in education and communication, we identified the audiences, concepts, environments, and variables related to eye tracking that could be investigated within agricultural education and communication. In conclusion, we found a lack of agricultural education and communication studies cited in the SSCI, eye-tracking technology provides variables to support a multivariate approach in agricultural education and communication, and eye-tracking equipment is expensive, which may limit diffusion in some settings.

[Faculty]

Additional Information

Date of publication:
2018

Agriculture Teachers’ Integrated Belief Systems and its Influence on their Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

This grounded theory study explored the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of experienced agriculture teachers in the plant sciences. The central phenomenon that emerged during data collection and analysis was the influence of beliefs on shaping participants’ PCK. This finding guided subsequent collection and analysis that resulted in the following central research question: what shapes experienced agriculture teachers’ PCK in plant sciences? The data presented here focused on the most emergent category shaping PCK, integrated belief systems, which included participants’ beliefs about the purpose of agricultural education, beliefs about plant science education, and beliefs about teaching and learning in agricultural education. A substantive level theory was developed that illustrated the relationships between the three belief components on participants’ PCK. These findings support further investigation into how beliefs are shaping agriculture teachers’ PCK in plant sciences and other agriculture content areas.

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Date of publication:
2018

A Case Study of Technology Mediated Observation in Pre-Service Teaching Experiences for edTPA Implementation

Authors

Emilia Dover Jackson
Kathleen Kelsey
Amber H. Rice

Agricultural education teacher preparation programs across the United States are implementing highstakes teacher performance assessments to better prepare pre-service teachers for the rigors of classroom teaching. During pilot implementation of edTPA, a standardized teacher performance-based assessment, University of Georgia (UGA) teacher preparation unit implemented a technology mediated observation (TMO) protocol to replace one of three face-to-face observations conducted by university supervisors. The instrumental case study reported here explores the outcomes of the TMO experience from the emic perspective of the pre-service teachers, their cooperating teachers, and university supervisors. Findings indicate that TMO overall was a positive experience for pre-service teachers because they engaged in self-monitoring, reflexive teaching practices, and it created opportunities for participants to collaborate with other professionals in their placement sites. We conclude that the use of TMO was overall beneficial to the pre-service teaching experience by enhancing reflective behavior among participants to improve teaching practice. To improve the practice of using TMO, teacher educators should provide wellplanned processes for the pre-service teaching cohort. Future research should focus on how TMO can be used to improve quality instruction in the student teaching experience.

[Faculty]

Dover, E., Kelsey, K., & Rice, A. H. (2018). A case study of technology mediated observation in pre-service teaching experiences for edTPA implementation. NACTA Journal, 62(1).

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Date of publication:
2018

Shaping pedagogical content knowledge for experienced agriculture teachers in the plant science: A grounded theory

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

This grounded theory study explored the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of experienced agriculture teachers in the plant sciences. The most emergent phenomenon to surface from the data was the influence of beliefs on participants’ PCK. This central phenomenon became the cornerstone for the model of what was shaping experienced agriculture teachers’ PCK in the plant sciences. The three major components that shaped the participants’ PCK were: integrated belief systems, experiences prior to and during inservice, and the influence of the school and community context. A substantive level theory was developed that illustrated relationships between these three main components and their impact on participants’ PCK. Recommendations from this study include conceptualization of experienced agriculture teachers’ PCK for a variety of agriculture topic areas and exploration into the development of PCK in preservice and beginning teachers.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2017). Shaping pedagogical content knowledge for experienced agriculture teachers in the plant science: A grounded theory. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(4), 50-64. doi:10.5032/jae.2017.04050.

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Date of publication:
2017

Teachers' Beliefs about the Purpose of Agricultural Education and its Influence on their Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to conceptualize the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of experienced agriculture teachers in the plant sciences. The overarching theme that emerged during data collection and analysis was the influence of beliefs on participants' PCK. This finding guided subsequent data collection and analysis that focused on what was shaping the participants' PCK in plant sciences. The integrated beliefs system was the driving force in shaping the participants' PCK and the primary component of this system was the participants' beliefs about the purpose of agricultural education. These individual purposes for agricultural education included: career preparation, college preparation, practical life skills, agricultural literacy, and student individualization. These purposes influenced the type of experiences teachers sought out to develop new knowledge and how they transferred that knowledge in the classroom. These findings support further examination of how beliefs about the purpose of agricultural education are influencing teacher knowledge and practice.

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Date of publication:
2018

The Influence of Crib Sheets on Veterinary Students Exam Performance, Perceived Stress, and Retention of Subject Matter Knowledge

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Catherine M. Vogelweid
Tracy Kitchel

The purpose of this two-year longitudinal study was to examine the performance of veterinary students on exams utilizing crib sheets to determine their effects on exam performance, perceived exam stress, and retention of subject matter knowledge. Scores for individual exams where crib sheets were permitted were compared with exam scores where crib sheets were not permitted utilizing one-sample t-tests. One-sample t-tests were also utilized to determine the influence of crib sheets on subject matter knowledge retention for a cumulative exam. A questionnaire was distributed to capture students' perceptions about the value of crib sheets. Researchers found crib sheet use enhanced student exam performance, but did not improve retention of subject matter knowledge. Results from the questionnaire indicated students perceived crib sheet use as a way decrease exam anxiety and provide support during studying and testing. Disadvantages surfaced by students included that crib sheets could be used as a crutch and could decrease learning. It is recommended that instruction on strategies for use be implemented in any course using crib sheets. Overall, crib sheet use was perceived as positive by students and could be a viable way to combat high levels of anxiety and depression in veterinary students.

Rice, A. H., Vogelweid, C. M., & Kitchel, T. (2017). The influence of crib sheets on veterinary students’ exam performance, perceived stress, and retention of subject matter knowledge. NACTA Journal, 61(1), 66-72.

[Faculty]

 

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Date of publication:
2017

Influence of Knowledge of Content and Students on Beginning Agriculture Teachers' Approaches to Teaching Content

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

This study explored experiences of beginning agriculture teachers' approaches to teaching content. The research question guiding the study was: how does agriculture teachers' knowledge of content and students influence their process of breaking down content knowledge for teaching? The researchers employed a grounded theory approach in which five beginning teachers were interviewed and observed teaching a lesson. The researchers found beginning teachers' knowledge of content and students greatly influenced how they broke down content knowledge for student understanding. Five major themes emerged: students' prior knowledge and enrollment in sequences of courses influenced content covered, student engagement methods were not primarily driven by content, differing perceptions of content difficulty for students shaped teaching decisions, deconstructing content for students was deemed important by teachers, and teachers engaged in a form of learning egocentrism. These findings support further research on teachers' development of pedagogical content knowledge, including knowledge of content and students overtime as it was found to be an influential knowledge base. Recommendations include providing teachers with more opportunities to explore integrating student's prior knowledge into the curriculum and incorporating student thinking about agriculture content more specifically in teacher preparation.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Influence of knowledge of content and students on beginning agriculture teachers’ approaches to teaching content. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(4), 86-100. doi:10.5032/jae.2016.04086

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Date of publication:
2016

Deconstructing Content Knowledge: Coping Strategies and Their Underlying Influencers for Beginning Agriculture Teachers

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

The purpose of this grounded theory qualitative study was to explore how beginning agriculture teachers break down content knowledge for student understanding. The overarching theme that emerged during data collection and analysis was beginning teachers' self-perceived content knowledge deficiency in various subjects within agriculture. This initial finding guided subsequent collection and analysis which focused on how teachers coped with this feeling of inadequacy in content and the underlying influencers that guided those actions. Various coping strategies occurred during planning and in-the-moment teaching stages. Underlying influencers for choosing a particular coping strategy included a combination of internal and external influencers. External influencers included structure of the school environment, individual department structure, and offering agriculture courses for core content credit. Internal influencers included teachers' content interest, perceived credibility as a content teacher, and philosophies regarding agricultural education. Recommendations include reconciling the purpose of agricultural education in teacher preparation programs, creating more accessible professional development opportunities, and examining experienced teachers in the field for similar findings.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Deconstructing content knowledge: Coping strategies and their underlying influencers for beginning agriculture teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(3), 208-222. doi:10.5032/jae/2016/03208

[Faculty]

Additional Information

Date of publication:
2016

Deconstructing Content Knowledge: Coping Strategies and Their Underlying Influencers for Beginning Agriculture Teachers

Authors

Amber H. Rice
T. Kitchel

The purpose of this grounded theory qualitative study was to explore how beginning agriculture teachers break down content knowledge for student understanding. The overarching theme that emerged during data collection and analysis was beginning teachers' self-perceived content knowledge deficiency in various subjects within agriculture. This initial finding guided subsequent collection and analysis which focused on how teachers coped with this feeling of inadequacy in content and the underlying influencers that guided those actions. Various coping strategies occurred during planning and in-the-moment teaching stages. Underlying influencers for choosing a particular coping strategy included a combination of internal and external influencers. External influencers included structure of the school environment, individual department structure, and offering agriculture courses for core content credit. Internal influencers included teachers' content interest, perceived credibility as a content teacher, and philosophies regarding agricultural education. Recommendations include reconciling the purpose of agricultural education in teacher preparation programs, creating more accessible professional development opportunities, and examining experienced teachers in the field for similar findings.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2016). Deconstructing content knowledge: Coping strategies and their underlying influencers for beginning agriculture teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(3), 208-222. doi:10.5032/jae/2016/03208

[Faculty]

Additional Information

Date of publication:
2016

The Relationship between Agriculture Knowledge Bases for Teaching and Sources of Knowledge

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

The purpose of this study was to describe the agriculture knowledge bases for teaching of agriculture teachers and to see if a relationship existed between years of teaching experience, sources of knowledge, and development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), using quantitative methods. A model of PCK from mathematics was utilized as a framework to guide the study. On the job teaching experience, teacher preparation program, high school agriculture experience, previous agriculturally related jobs and internships, internet and other media, and professional development were all reported as effective sources of content knowledge. All six of the PCK knowledge constructs were perceived by teachers as possessing them to a fair extent. The content knowledge constructs were rated higher on average than the PCK constructs. Stepwise multiple linear regressions were utilized to determine if linear relationships existed between perceived PCK bases and sources of content knowledge. Four of the PCK knowledge constructs yielded statistically significant predictive models. Six of the seven sources of content knowledge were significant predictors for at least one of the constructs. Future research should include going beyond teachers' perceptions and measuring PCK and examination into the process from the sources of content knowledge to the development of PCK.

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2015). The relationship between agriculture knowledge bases for teaching and sources of knowledge. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(4), 153-168. doi:10.5032/jae.2015.04153

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Date of publication:
2015

Preservice Agricultural Education Teachers' Experiences in and Anticipation of Content Knowledge Preparation

Authors

Amber H. Rice
Tracy Kitchel

This study explored the experiences of preservice agriculture teachers in content knowledge preparation for pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) development. The researchers employed a phenomenological approach in which six preservice teachers were interviewed the semester prior to student teaching. The researchers found there was general dissatisfaction with the majority of agriculture content courses among preservice teachers in terms of quality, quantity, and transferability of content. Interest in agriculture content areas, their views of expertise, and what they want their students to gain from their teaching were found to be possible influencers affecting the PCK development of preservice agriculture teachers. These findings provide support for further research to explore gaps in content knowledge and the professions' understanding of PCK development in novice agriculture teachers. Recommendations include considering ways to incorporate content knowledge in pedagogy courses or working with content faculty on developing assignments to help preservice teachers learn content in meaningful ways

Rice, A. H., & Kitchel, T. (2015). Preservice agricultural education teachers’ experiences in andanticipation of content knowledge preparation. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(3), 90-104. doi:10.5032/jae.2015.03090

[Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2015

Veterinary Students' Use of Crib Sheets in Preparing for Learning and Reducing Stress

Authors

Catherine Vogelweid
Tracy Kitchel
Amber H. Rice

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine actual and perceptional differences in utilizing crib sheets for a Virology course in veterinary sciences. The objectives guiding the study were to describe the exam scores of Virology course students, describe the differences amongst exam scores of Virology course students and to describe perceptions of the use of crib sheets for Virology exams by students. The researchers found exams allowing the use of a crib sheets had higher averages than exams that did not allow crib sheet use. Student perceptions of crib sheet use were that it helped them to reinforce, remember and retain course material. Students also indicated they would prefer to use the crib sheet on other exams in Virology and in additional courses. Finally, the stress levels reported by students were lower during exams that allowed them to use a crib sheet.

Vogelweid, C. M., Kitchel, T., & Rice, A. H. (2014). Veterinary students’ use of crib sheets inpreparing for learning and reducing stress. NACTA Journal, 58(2), 135-139.

[Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2014

Examining the entrepreneurial leadership proclivities of Extension educators

Authors

Ashley Jeffers-Sample
Matthew M. Mars
Amber H. Rice
Robert M. Torres

Graduate Student Thesis - Jeffers-Sample, A., Mars, M. M., Rice, A. H., & Torres, R. M. (in press). Examining the entrepreneurial leadership proclivities of Extension educators. Journal of Extension.

Date of publication:
2018