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2.Proposal Narrative for ID 10027429

1. Project Description
The proposed study is an intervention research project aimed at investigating the influence of
building capacity for teachers on the use of digital devices, digital content and pedagogy on the
quality of teaching and learning in primary schools in Kenya. The project is a three-year
equitable and transformative action research that will incorporate 300 teachers in the experiment
group from 100 experiment primary schools in Kiambu County in Kenya. The study will be
carried out in collaboration with Diversity Education Institute (DEI) and Sam Houston State
University (SHSU).
1.1 The Problem Central Question
The central research question for this study is “What is effect of building capacity in the use of
digital devices, digital content and pedagogy on the quality of teaching and learning in primary
schools in Kenya?” Quality of teaching activities that take place at school is the most important
factor that determines the level of learning in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor
dimensions of a learner (Kılıç, 2016). There are various ways of assessing the quality of
teaching and learning that includes performance in examinations, autonomy in learning, student
retention rate at school, acquisition of desired social and practical skills, knowledge of human
rights, higher-order thinking, authentic discussions, problem-solving and responsible citizenship
(Mualuko, 2007). Viewed from a teacher’s perspective, quality teaching and learning is
demonstrated through the actual teaching and learning processes, time spent in learning, student
progress assessment methods, teaching styles, and language of instruction in the classroom as
well as classroom organization strategies whose outcomes are literacy, numeracy and life skills;
creative and emotional skills, values and social benefits(Unicef, 2007).
Quality teaching and learning has been a great problem in Kenya ever since independence and
was then envisioned as a priority government agenda on sessional paper 10, 1965 (Republic of
Kenya, 1965) This problem has persisted over six decades now. Indeed recent study by
Gakunga, (2019) affirms this problem by asserting that Kenya government is far from ensuring
that all children receive a quality education while(Irene, 2010) affirmed that teaching and
learning in a number of schools remained low, in developing countries
The challenge of poor quality teaching and learning is evidenced by performance in the national
examination, low student retention rate in schools, and infective teaching methods among others.
In the last three years primary school national examination results indicated that candidates who
scored below average constituted 50.48%, 50.43%, and 50.69% in the years 2019, 2018, and
2017 respectively (Council, 2019). This has not been better at the secondary school level with
81.32% of candidates scoring below C+ in 2019, and 85.48% in 2018 disqualifying them from
joining university (Kenya National Examination Council, 2018) Further, (Mualuko, 2007)
stressed that lack of quality teaching and learning has led to a negative impact on the social and
economic life of citizens manifested through increased crime, impoverished persons, drug
addicts, semi-literates, unskilled persons and low life expectancy rate. This problem also affect
other sub-Saharan Africa countries and is rated by all education stakeholders as one of the
biggest challenges (Burns, 2019). In addition, World Development Report of 2018 cautions that
in many countries, children are only attending school but very little learning is taking place
(World Bank, 2018). This study is an attempt to mitigate the problem of poor quality teaching
and learning.
1.2 The Causes of the Problem
Problems of quality teaching arise from a number of factors some of which Mccowan, (2019)
identified as the rapid expansion of education, pedagogical culture, resource constraints and
governance issues particularly in the lower-income countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In Kenya, it is observed that a shortage of primary school teachers, limited provision of school
facilities, equipment and materials also contribute to poor quality of teaching(Joseph & Komo,
In 21st Century, aspects of teaching and learning has incorporated digital technology demanding
that teachers embrace and apply the same in their work to enhance quality. It is however observed
that most teachers lack digital skills needed to prepare, deliver and assess learner’s online (Hadullo
et al., 2018). Wafula,( 201 Wafula 4) noted that lack of digital skills among teachers caused the
failure of government primary school laptop project. In this era of COVID’19, quality of teaching
and learning is being hampered by the sudden closure of learning institutions, difficulties in
conducting online assessments and examinations, ineffective preparation and delivery of contents
and lack of clear learning schedules (Association for the Development of Education, 2020).
1.3 What Interventions Have Been Carried Out?
To mitigate against low-quality teaching and learning in Kenya, some interventions have been
put in place but with little impact. The Ministry of Education has set up Quality Assurance and
Standards support teams to support schools in enhancing quality (Ministry of Education, 2018).
However, Gakunga, (2019) raised concern on the teams’ inefficiency in ensuring quality
standards are maintained. In addition, a number of institutional and local level initiatives to
enhance teaching and learning quality, including the setting up of centers of excellence, some in
partnership with overseas institutions with little success (Mccowan, 2019).
The Kenya government piloted the implementation of laptop projects for all public primary
schools in the year 2013 to 2016 which was meant to improve the quality of teaching and
learning but encountered several challenges that led to its halt. Key among the challenges was
lack of adequate training in ICT for teachers and administrators, limited computer hardware and
appropriate administrative software. Recommendations around this project included equipping
teachers with digital devices, training teachers, adequate supply of electricity and formulation of
ICT policy in schools (Wafula, 2014)
1.4 What this Research Project Will do differently
This project has both intervention and research component that lacks in previous studies. It will
involve extensive, customized and up-to-date training on the integration of ICT in teaching and
learning. The training will focus on changing teachers’ attitudes and skills towards the use of
digital devices as well as enhance their digital information literacy and equipping them with
digital skills on creating digital content, delivering, and assessing learners.
The project will also provide teachers with digital devices and access to the internet to minimize
challenges that arise from lack of the same. As an intervention project, the researcher will
continually offer teachers support, mentorship and evaluate the entire project process and
outcomes. This approach has the potential to accelerate, enrich, and deepen teachers’ skills and
motivate them to engage students in quality learning (Noor-Ul-Amin, 2013)
2. Significance of the Project
The findings from this project will contribute significantly to three main groups:
i) Teachers will acquire digital skills to integrate ICT in their professional practice hence
improve the quality of teaching and learning.
ii) Integrating ICT in learning will offer students a rich, flexible, motivating and interactive
learning environment and access to wider and relevant resources to improve their academic
achievement and retention in the learning system.
iii) The insight from the study will contribute to policymakers on the best way to improve the
quality of teaching and learning in the digital era.
3. The rationale for the Project
The study is justified by the magnitude of the gaps in the quality of teaching and learning in
primary schools in Kenya. The shift to the digital era has revealed inadequacy in teachers’
professional practices requiring them to acquire digital skills and information literacy to improve
their quality of teaching as revealed in the literature. The majority of teachers who are digital
emigrants are challenged by learners who are digital natives that are posing problems of teacherstudent rapport in learning settings.
4. Theoretical Review
This study is anchored on Psychological models of educational performance, Technological
Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model, The Unified Theory of Acceptance and
Use of Technology (UTAUT).
4.1 Psychological models of educational performance
The model which has its roots in the masterly learning model holds that student’s entry
characteristics and the quality of instruction determine the level of students’ learning (Walberg,
1983). The model further recognizes that though there are many factors that go into student
learning intelligence, and family status only prior knowledge of the students, their interests,
attitudes, belief in success and the quality of instruction can be changed via teaching-learning
process. This model, therefore, fits in this study in that it ascertains that if quality of instruction is
improved student performance can also improve.
4.2 Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model
Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model developed by Koehler,
(2006) describes teacher capability to facilitate learning from certain content through pedagogy
approach and technology (Schmidt et al., 2014) The model holds that there are seven types of
knowledge which influence teaching and alarming through the integration of technology and are
essential for teachers aiming at quality teaching through technology. These include;
technological, pedagogical, content, technological content, pedagogical content, technological
pedagogical and technological pedagogical & content knowledge. The model is appropriate as it
shows integrating technology improves quality of teaching and learning which can be achieved
by building the teacher’s capacity on ICT skills.
4.3 The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT).
This theory was developed by Venkatesh (Davis, 2014) and takes into account research
evidence of several technology acceptance models that include; Theory of reasoned action,
Technology acceptance model, Motivational model, Theory of planned behavior, Model of
personal computer utilization, Innovation diffusion theory and social cognitive theory (Paper &
Kyll, 2018). UTAUT theory suggests that such categories as facilitating conditions, social
influence, effort expectancy and performance expectancy are crucial to technology acceptance.
These four factors are found to be related to both, personal intention to use and the use of
technology. By riding on these factors this study these theories will guide the implementation of
the project.
5. Summary of the Relevant Literature
5.1 Digital Information Literacy and Quality of Teaching and Learning
Digital literacy is the ability to appropriately use and evaluate digital resources, tools and
services and apply to the lifelong learning processes by making informed judgments about what
is found online (Mallaiah, 2017). Cordell, (2013) describes a digitally literate person as one who
demonstrates cognitive and technical skills to find, understand, evaluate, create and communicate
digital information in a wide variety of formats, effectively use diverse technologies, steward
information, communicate and collaborate with peers for lifelong learning.(Sparks et al., 2016)
emphasized the contribution to the success in teaching profession in that teachers training
institutions should consider the extent to which their students possess these skills.
In his study, Mallaiah, (2017) observed that there exist educational imbalance between the
rapidly developing technologies and information available to the users and recommended that
instructors be trained on how to access, store, use and disseminate information for quality
teaching and learning. Digital information literacy, Mcguinness, (2019), observed reinforces
classroom learning and recommended that instructors be equipped with digital information
literacy to improve their quality of teaching and learning.
Teachers’ Attitude on Use of Digital Devices and Quality of Teaching and Learning
Attitude is the disposition of liking or disliking something. Kesten (2016) observed that teachers
incorporated educational technology developed teaching material and attended in-service
training had more positive attitudes towards digital devices. (Montrieux et al., 2015) asserted
that use of tablet devices by teachers and students in a secondary school impact both teaching
and learning practices and recommend the introduction of policy on technical and pedagogical
support to facilitate the full potential of technology in education. Baek, (2017) noted low
differences in attitudes toward mobile learning while Seifert, (2014) observed that incorporating
mobile technology in teaching provide educators with innovative pedagogy
On his part, , Buda, (2016) argued that despite positive change on students personalities,
attitudes and schools learning material, teacher’s attitudes, willingness, and activity that cause
changes on student performance and added that while some teachers have embraced digital
technology others totally rejected its use in schools. According to (Mukherjee & Maity, 2019)
training teachers of to utilize ICT showed positive impact and emphasized the need for more
intensive teachers’ training on ICT pedagogy. Montrieux, et al, (2015) asserted that educators'
attitudes toward wireless devices are mixed with some teachers perceiving the benefits and other
distractions of the learning process.
5.3 Teachers’ Digital Skills and Quality of Teaching and Learning
Digital skills in teaching refer to competencies that teachers should have in carrying out their
work which include abilities to use, operate and work with digital devices out specific tasks
(Claro et al., 2018). Quality teaching and learning in the 21st Century requires teachers equipped
with appropriate digital skills but most teachers while dealing with students who are technosavvy consider themselves incompetent hence need for skill development support
(Vidosavljevic, 2020). Further, ProFuturo (2019), affirm that equipping teachers with
appropriate digital skills has a profound impact on learning of all children anywhere in the world.
Notwithstanding the significance of digital skill competence for quality teaching, Grand-Clement
et al., (2017) noted that digital skills are yet to be integrated into teachers’ professional
development resulting in teachers unprepared to deal with increasing technologies. On their part,
Prieto et al., (2020) revealed that teachers at all levels of education need to integrate ICT in
classroom but majority lack necessary digital skills calling for equipping teachers through
training to improve technical skills and abilities as ICT resources continue to evolve.
5.4 Teachers’ Use of Digital Content and Quality of Teaching and Learning
Traditional teacher-centered print content has prevailed as the main teaching resource while
digital content seems a new concept to the majority of teachers. In a study on use of digital
content in classrooms, Dugan, (2016) found that number of teachers who used and those who
did were almost equal due to lack of training while Peterson, (2017) stressed that ability to
research has come closer to the classroom making it easier for teachers to guide students on
how to research and analyze content sources promoting quality teaching and learning. Profound
benefits of using digital content in teaching and learning: lower cost compared to print texts,
(Eighmy-Brown et al., 2017), accessibility to the education curriculum and learning materials for
learners with a disability, (Cihak et al., 2018), accessibility to suitable learning platforms
(Sanches, 2018), usability by young learners (Maret & Tengah, 2017,) instructors ability to
create and own new digital content and access to a wider digital material (Setda, 2015).
Nevertheless, the literature reveals issues hindering its effective use and underscores need for
teacher training. In a study on English teachers’ readiness to use digital materials, Maret and
Tengah, (2017) found that teacher readiness was only slightly more than neutral due to
scarcity of intensive teachers training while (In & Chools, 2017) found the implementation of
the digital curriculum in both technical and pedagogical components as only moderately due to
constraints of teachers knowledge and skills, infrastructure and technical support. The literature
reviewed indicates a wide gap in terms of preparation, creation and use of digital content
pointing to the need teachers training.
5.5 Teachers’ Digital Content Delivery and Quality of Teaching and Learning
According to Becker, (2018), digital content should be provided in multiple formats and
delivered in multiple modes for quality teaching and learning. Quality teaching has the potential
to maximize teaching and learning by using best practice guidelines that ensure ease of access,
seamless user experience and diving of timely feedback (Mcguinness, 2019). In most developing
countries, teaching is primarily teacher-centered, rigid, chalk-and-talk and lecture-driven with
pupils taking passive roles that limit them to memorizing and reciting back which compromises
the quality of learning Akyeampong, (2017). Daggett & Ed, (2017) notes that incorporating
technology enables a combination of strategies which foster interactive and collaborative
working with students improving their learning outcomes. On his part, Kraglund-gauthier,
(2019) advocates for use of technology-enabled educational, rich pedagogical experience
allowing instructors to think and explore interconnections between subject matter and methods of
delivery even outside the classroom. Investigating types of instructional resources used in
Geography lessons in Kenya, (Schools et al., 2019) concluded that there is little or no technical
support provided to teachers in terms of instructional resources and in-service programs and
recommended computer-aided instruction to facilitate quality instruction preparation hence
promote quality teaching. In a nutshell quality content delivery in teaching and learning calls for
training in the integration of ICT in teaching and learning.
5.6 Teachers’ Digital Methods of Student Assessment and Quality of Teaching and
Evaluation of learners is one of the three key pillars in teaching pedagogy for quality teaching
European Commission, (2019) and contributes significantly to student motivation and learning
strategies (Stanojević et al., 2018). There are basically two forms of assessment formative and
summative which facilitate teachers to determine the extent to which learning objectives are
realized in particular subjects (U.S. Department of Education, 2017). A balance of the two
ensures that students, families, educators, and policymakers have the timely and appropriate
information to support individual learners and to make good decisions to strengthen overall
educational systems.
Association for the Development of Education, (2020) notes that the shutdown of education
institutions due to COVID’19 is likely to affect negatively the quality of education quality due to
disruptions in learning and in particular students’ assessments and testing. The report
recommends multiple methods of assessment with the help of technology for quality teaching
and learning. Further, the International Association of Universities, (2020) suggests the
replacement of traditional examinations with technology-aided assessments though students
expressing concern over the efficiency and accountability of online testing and assessment.
Technology-enabled assessments have the potential to reduce time, resources, and disruption and
to enhance flexibility, responsiveness, contextualization, enhanced question types, measures
complex competencies, provide real-time feedback embedded in quality teaching and learning
( Sousa et al., 2017). Further, European Commission (2019) revealed that digital technologies
offer a range of assessment formats that provide many opportunities to capture skills, attitudes
and the less 'tangible themes key in creativity and critical thinking competencies. However, most
education systems lack top-level regulations on the assessment of teacher-specific digital
competences prior to their entry to the profession requiring ICT skills in teaching and assessment
to be incorporated in teachers’ professional development process.
Sørensen and Levinsen,(2015) emphasized multimodal means of expression not only articulating
evaluations and assessments in a digital learning environment but also assess competence with
defined learning objectives, an important dimension in future discourses on any subject and its
related knowledge regime. It is, however, a major challenge for teachers to develop learning
designs for evaluation/assessment-as-a- learning practice in a digitalized learning environment
and to include both the modalities and their interrelations. Khairil & Mokshein, (2018)
recommended that digital technologies be applied in conducting formative assessment in all
institutions and this study will come in handy to train teachers on this process.
5.7 Quality Teaching and Learning
Loughran, (2018) defines quality teaching and learning as the way knowledge, skills and ability
of the teacher are employed to develop meaningful pedagogic experiences which are evident
when teaching influences and impacts students’ learning. A study on quality primary education
in Kenya (Joseph & Komo, 2017) revealed that teachers’ characteristics had a significant effect
on the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools. Opata and Wesonga, (2016) affirm
that teachers’ competence is one of the key factors that determine the quality of learning in a
school while Mualuko, (2007) cites lack of the right instructional facilities and equipment, poor
processes of delivery, in-conducive and unattractive learning environments as some of the
factors affecting the quality of teaching and learning in Kenya. On his part Setda, (2015)
recommended support for educators by building the capacity to utilize digital content for quality
teaching and learning
5.8 Relationship of the Proposed Research to Literature
From the literature review, it is evident that gaps exist in the quality of teaching and learning
especially in developing countries. These gaps fall in six independent variables under
investigation in this study: digital information literacy, attitude on the use of digital devices
ability to create and use digital content, delivery of digital content and assessment of learners
with aid of digital devices.
5.9 New Knowledge or Contribution to the Improvement of Education
The study will provide profound insight into the effect of building capacity in the use of digital
devices, digital content and pedagogy on the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools
in Kenya in particular and in developing countries in general where quality education faces a
myriad of challenges. This will be derived from the intervention approach of the study by testing
the six study hypotheses.
5.10 Conceptual Framework and study Hypotheses
From the reviewed literature the following conceptual framework and hypotheses H1-H6 were
Digital Information
Online Searching
Nature of content
Teachers Attitude
Teacher Digital Skills
Digital foundation
Digital Devices and
Content Use
Digital Content Delivery
Multiple Formats
Quality Teaching and Learning
Student Academic Performance
Conducive Environment
Relevant Content
Professional Ethics
Classroom Management
Quality Instructions
Technology Skills
Responsiveness To Students
Student Assessment
Setting exams
Results analysis
H1: Teachers’ digital information literacy significantly influences the quality of teaching and
H2: There is a significant relationship between teacher’s attitude toward the use of digital
devices and the quality of teaching and learning
H3: Teacher’s digital skills competence has a significant effect on the quality of teaching and
H4: There is a significant relationship between teachers’ use of digital content and the quality
of teaching and learning
H5: Teachers’ use of digital methods for content delivery has a significant effect on the
quality of teaching and learning
H6: There is a significant relationship between teachers’ use of digital methods for student
assessment and quality of teaching and learning
6. Research Methodology
6.1 The Program Description
This study aims at determining the effect of building capacity in the use of digital devices, digital
content and pedagogy on the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools in Kenya. .The
program is a 3-year research intervention project to build capacity for primary school teachers to
use digital devices and content in teaching and learning. Project will be referred to as the Digital
Teaching &Learning (DTL) program.
The experiment participating teachers will be in two
levels of training simultaneously: i) 300 teachers that will receive capacity building training
treatment and, ii) three hundred that will be informally trained by the teachers in group one who
receive full and direct treatment. We call this group partial treatment group. Additionally, the
control group will comprise of hundred teachers who will only be required to teach using their
usual methods and have no access to digital devices or content.
6.2 Research Design
The study will adopt a mixed method approach where both quantitative and qualitative data will
be collected. The study design is longitudinal action research that focuses on the processes of
development, improvement and continuous learning (Dewar and Sharp, 2006) and whose
principle concern is to improve a situation through active intervention. The study will include
planning, observing collecting, analyzing and interpreting information from each group of
teachers and at least three times every year to answer research questions (Kumar, 2005). The
study will have a control and experiment group that will ensure, rigorous, systematic, valid and
verifiable, empirical and critical findings.
6.3 Context of the Study
The study will be conducted in Kiambu County, a region situated in Central Kenya and whose
location in the country display characteristics of both urban and rural primary schools. The study
will involve primary school teachers registered with the professional body of teachers in Kenya
known as Teachers Service Commission.
6.4 Description of Key Constructs Measures and Data Sources
The primary outcome measures in the program will involve evaluation of change in teachers’
information literacy, attitude to use of digital devices as well as the ability to use digital devices
to create and deliver digital content and assess students which will be measured by opinion
questions using a 5-point Likert scale. Students’ academic performance data will be drawn from
progress and national examination records. The key constructs, measures and data sources are
summarized in the Table 1.
Table 1 Constructs, Measures and Data Sources
● Awareness and use
of digital devices
Collecting and
● Accessing and
managing information
● Managing
Producing and
● Transforming
● Creating
● Sharing information
● Information safety
● Feelings
● Emotions
Attitude to the use Behavioral
● Readiness
of digital devices
● Actions
● Beliefs
● Values
Digital content
Digital content
● Developing
● Integrating and reelaborating
● Copyright and
● Programming
Digital content
Communication and
● Interacting
● Sharing
● Collaborating
● Netiquette
● Managing digital
Testing and feedback
Incorporating digital
● Audio
● Video
● Animation,
Students national
● Result record
Data Source
Secondary data
Focus group
Focus group
Secondary data
National examination
6.5 Description of Participants
The teachers participating in the program will be selected from a sample 100 primary schools with
each school contributing 3 teachers making a total of 300 teachers in the experiment group.
6.6 Data Collection Instruments
Self-administered surveys both face-to-face and online questionnaires will be used to collect
quantitative data from teachers for pre-intervention, middle of intervention, and end of
intervention surveys. Interview guides and observation forms will be used to gather qualitative
data while student’s evaluation records will provide data on students’ academic achievement.
Reliability and validity test on the research instruments is significant in any research. To test
reliability, the research instrument will be pre-tested and subject the data to confirmatory factor
analysis (CFA) and Cronbach alpha test. Measures of validity in this study will include construct
validity measured through convergent validity test based on item to total correlations and factor
loadings while face validity will be tested through expert opinion.
6.7 Modes of Analysis the Project will employ.
Quantitative data analysis will be applied to data collected from (a) online and face-to-face
questionnaires for baseline, middle of intervention and end of intervention surveys (b) teachers’
workshops and online evaluation form, c) while qualitative data analysis will be applied to data
collected from, interviews, observations and discussion groups.
6.8 Sampling Design
The target population for the study will be all the 576 public primary schools spread across 12 subcounties of Kiambu Count (Kiambu County Government, 2020). Due to resource constraints a
study sample of 100 schools will be selected. The sample will be selected using stratified sampling
technique to
ensure equal chance of a school participating across the 12 sub-counties
6.9 Definition and Selection Procedures
The school selection criteria will be a primary school that has electric power connection and at
least 3 teachers registered with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) preferably teaching upper
(6, 7 and 8). This is to ensure similar characteristics particularly professional qualification in
pedagogy of education among participants that is vital in the design of this study.
6.10 Procedures for data Collection
Quantitative data will be collected at three points over the three-year duration of the study; preintervention test (baseline data), 1 year after the intervention (post-test 1) and 2 ½ years into the
intervention (post-test 2). Qualitative data from interviews, focus group discussions and
observations will be collected in the course of the program at each data collection point using
different interview papers to prevent respondents from rehearsing answers hence minimizing
testing effect. Each data collection instruments will be tailored for each group with teachers’
interviews addressing their beliefs, practices and perceptions of the DTL program while that of
administrators and other staff outside the program will investigate their perspectives of the
program. Student academic performance outcomes data will be drawn from school formative
scores, and standardized/national examination evaluation records.
6.11 Procedures for Data Analysis
Quantitative data analysis will involve comparing average scores from each of the treatment
groups and control groups, computing correlations, mean differences using ANOVA and testing
of causal relationships using regression models with the aid of SPSS and Stata software.
Qualitative data from observations focus groups and interviews will be transcribed and uploaded
into qualitative data analysis software (NVivo) to explore data patterns and trends with reference
to the interviews and observations schedules as well as analysis of any additional emerging
7. Dissemination of the Research Findings.
The traditional dissemination of journal article publications, and local and international
conference paper presentations, as well as nontraditional dissemination including policy briefs to
influence policy change, will be undertaken.
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