Online Collaboration: Supporting Novice Teachers as Researchers

By Davis, Barbara H.; Resta, Virginia K. | Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Online Collaboration: Supporting Novice Teachers as Researchers


Davis, Barbara H., Resta, Virginia K., Journal of Technology and Teacher Education


This article presents a descriptive study that examined the influence of using electronic mail (e-mail) to support novice teachers as they attempted to sustain action research projects in their classrooms. The participants included nine graduates of the Southwest Texas State University (SWT) Teacher Fellows Program and an assistant professor in the program. As part of the Teacher Fellows (a graduate-level mentoring/induction program), first-year teachers conduct action research in their respective classrooms. This study sought to determine how an online collaboration by way of e-mail could help these novice teachers continue their research efforts in the second and third years of teaching. Data was collected from e-mail messages, postsurveys, and follow-up interviews. An analysis of the data suggests that electronic collaborations are an effective method of supporting novice teachers in their research efforts. Findings include the benefits and challenges of collaborating online.

**********

The increased use of computer-mediated communication and collaboration is helping teacher educators overcome barriers such as time and place in their efforts to mentor and support novice teachers. This article presents a descriptive study that examined the influence of using e-mail to support novice teachers as they attempted to sustain action research projects in their classrooms. It includes (a) a brief review of literature related to the emerging field of electronic collaboration, (b) a description of the pilot project, (c) an analysis and findings of the data, and (d) conclusions drawn from the study.

OVERVIEW OF ELECTRONIC COLLABORATION

According to Koschmann (1996), a new area of research in instructional technology known as computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is emerging in the field of education. Also referred to as "electronic collaboration," this new focus of research is grounded in the theoretical frameworks of socialconstructivism (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996; Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1996; Vygotsky, 1978). As Bonk and Cunningham (1998) pointed out "...a few educators have come to recognize the importance of social constructivism for electronic learning because the potential for collaboration and negotiation embedded within it provides the learner with the opportunity to obtain alternative perspectives on issues and offer personal insights; in effect to engage in meaning making and knowledge negotiation" (p. 34).

In Electronic Collaborators: Learner-Centered Technologies for Literacy, Apprenticeship, and Discourse, Bonk and King (1998) highlighted the constructivist uses of technology tools. They pointed out, for example, that electronic collaboration "emphasizes active, generative learning, with curricula wherein teachers continue to perform a critical learning function as learning consultants and guides" (p. 35). In addition, they summarized and defined key sociocultural terms and principles (e.g., mediation, zones of proximal development, internalization, cognitive apprenticeship, assisted learning, teleapprenticeships, and scaffolded learning) that provide theoretical frameworks for CSCL environments.

Supporting cycles of collaboration, enactment, and reflection is time-consuming, labor intensive, and expensive. To promote change, we must find ways to make the process more efficient and unload some of the effort. Harnessing t he potential of the new technologies is one route to supporting change in education if done in a manner that is guided by current ideas about teacher learning. (p. 275)

In recent years numerous educators have demonstrated the effectiveness of incorporating technology into teacher education courses as well as inservice professional development (Bonk & King, 1998; Falba, Studler, Bean, Dixon, Markos, McKinney, & Zehm, 1999; McMullen, Goldbaum, Wolffe, & Sattler, 1998; Murphy, Drabier, & Epps, 1998; Soloway, Krajcik, Blumenfeld, & Marx, 1996; Wetzel, 1993). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Online Collaboration: Supporting Novice Teachers as Researchers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.