Designing Learning for Preservice Music Teachers Using Multimedia Cases to Develop Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Mildred H. Yi, Vanguard University of Southern California


The goal of this instructional design study was to improve preservice music teachers’ attainment of pedagogical content knowledge through case-based learning. Multimedia cases of problem solving strategies in instrumental ensembles were developed and presented on a web-based platform, and implemented in university music teacher education course contexts. In response to teacher attrition and difficult transitions into the profession, teacher education research has indicated the need to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and promote subject-specific teaching skills—referred to as pedagogical content knowledge (Darling-Hammond & Hammerness, 2002; Razzouk & Johnson, 2013; Shulman, 1986, 1992; Thomas & Reith, 2012; Whittaker & Van Garderen, 2009). In music teacher education, pedagogical content knowledge is described as understanding how to effectively teach specific musical skills and concepts with consideration of the learner, the learning process and the learning context. (Ballantyne & Packer, 2004; Conway, 1999; Millican, 2014). Case-based learning or case method, is the instructional approach advocated to develop this type of contextualized knowledge with building of problem solving skills through analysis of real-life or fictitious accounts of teaching. Within the field of instructional design and technology, problem solving learning models using cases have increased in use for their connection to real-life contexts, and specifically for teacher education, the development of pedagogical content knowledge. Multimedia use including video, audio, text, photo, are recommended to enhance learners’ opportunities to take active role in interacting with the information. (Baker, 2000; Domagk, Schwartz, and Plass, 2010; Jonassen, 2012; Jonassen and Hernandez-Serrano, 2002; Kennedy et al. 2012).


The methodology for this project consisted of a qualitative research in design research which is an “emerging paradigm for the study of instructional strategies and systematic design and study of instructional strategies and tools” (Designbased Research Collective, 2003 p. 5). An instructional design model referred to as ADDIE (analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate) was used to develop the case-based learning module for this study (Branch & Merrill, 2012). Data were collected from 19 participants comprising of pre-service and early-career music teachers, and university instrumental music education faculty in California. The results of the study indicated evidence of basic level of pedagogical content knowledge where the preservice music teachers’ articulation of problem solving issues became more subject specific. Under user evaluation, the participants indicated different needs and preferences regarding levels of instructional support and guidance, which suggests the need to consider student background for effective use of case-based learning. The study also highlighted the importance of learner-centered aspect of instructional design, and offers implications for evaluating existing and future curriculum resources. Overall, a wider examination of pedagogical content knowledge development in music teacher education is needed.


This study is proposed for the Music Teacher Educators: Identification, Preparation, and Professional Development ASPA, and would be most effective through a multimedia presentation. The instructional design study in instrumental music teacher education will serve to provide professional development in curriculum development and integration of media and technology for teacher educators.




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