Issues of collaboration and co-construction within an online discussion forum: information ecology for Continuing Professional Development

Maulfry Worthington

Abstract


This study was part of a collaborative e-learning project for continuing professional development (CPD) as part of which teachers participated in online dicussions on an aspect of young children's mathematical development and related pedagogy. Analysis of the discussion data through tracking lexical links formed by 'cohesive ties' highlights rich language use and collaborative meaning-making. Analysis of transcripts of telephone interviews with teachers participating in the online discussion emphasises the extent of their meta-cognitive concerns and indicates deepening levels of learning. The findings indicate that the dialogical context can be enriched by teachers through the use of 'e-nat-graphics' sourced from the children in participants' own classrooms. Woven through the study are questions concerning the impact of collaboration in the online project work in terms of its impact on the teachers' own pracitce, which also extended to some other colleagues. The findings suggest significant benefits for teachers who are involved in CPD through e-learning. As a consequence of their involvement, the Early Years teachers in the project incidentally reported increased confidence and enthusiasm about their own use of ICT.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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