Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Doug Hearrington

First Committee Member

Dr. Jo Williamson

Second Committee Member

Dr. Binbin Jiang


In all domains, certain individuals consistently perform better than their peers. In ill-structured domains such as education, the identification of experts can be difficult. This is especially true when considering technology integration experts (TIEs). In order to be a TIE, one must be an expert in content knowledge, pedagogy, and instructional technology. Systematically identifying and studying TIEs could provide characteristics consistent with expert performance.

Typically, it takes 1,000 hours, or ten years, of practice to acquire expertise. In domains such as education, the acquisition of expertise can happen sooner. Acquiring expertise can be further hastened by deliberate practice. Not all practice improves performance. To improve performance, activities to improve performance should be carefully planned.

This study compared the cognitive decisions made by TIEs while planning technology-rich lessons to four novice teachers using a cognitive task analysis (CTA) methodology. This research followed a streamlined version of CTA, applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA). According to this study, the identified characteristics of expert performance were using technology to increase student and teacher collaboration, plan student product prior to technology use, plan each lesson on a macro and micro level, model for students and differentiate instruction.

Based on the findings of this study, improvements to teacher preparation programs and professional development could be made. By using the cognitive decisions TIEs make, novice teachers could practice skills they currently lack, thus improving their performance.