Shared Practices amongst Teachers in Online Training Courses

Antje Neuhoff

Abstract


This paper researches some aspects of shared practices and social interactions amongst language teachers who took part in a modular in-service teacher training programme taught online in 2010. It evaluates whether and how the sharing of teaching practices took place in one of the courses and it investigates the sociocollaborative quality of the learning, looking for indicators of social and teaching presence based on the model of the community of inquiry (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000).

The main course activity used was the forum as a tool for asynchronous communication because discussion fora allow for reflection, feedback and extended comments, thus fostering peer collaboration (Lamy, M.-N. & Hampel, R., 2007: 40). The analysis explores patterns of participation, the tutor-learner interactions, the tutor behaviour and the interactions amongst the participants.

Throughout the course, many posts were found which reflect on teaching practice and demonstrate the sharing of teaching expertise. However, it appears that collaborative communication in an online course is difficult to achieve. Most discussions follow a simple cue (task) – response (by participant) – feedback (by tutor) structure and fail to develop further feedback levels.


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