Understanding the Effectiveness of Collaborative Activity in Online Professional Development with Innovative Educators through Intersubjectivity

Understanding the Effectiveness of Collaborative Activity in Online Professional Development with Innovative Educators through Intersubjectivity

Diane Hui (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Donna L. Russell (University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-150-6.ch020
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Effectiveness of professional development is affected by the quality of social interaction. This study examines how online collaborative dialogues might influence teachers’ decisions in their classrooms —sometimes hurting when not appropriated well. This study extends principal sociocultural approaches to cognitive concepts of intersubjectivity and activity through illustrations of empirical data. Part of a larger innovative professional development involving four classroom locations across Missouri, synchronous chatroom dialogues comprising teachers and researchers, and pre- and post-unit interviews underwent qualitative discourse and focused microanalyses. We argue that teachers purposefully used their dynamic intersubjective spaces and strategies in the management of meaning-making negotiations within an online interactive environment. The findings reveal two novel variable forms of intersubjectivity: (a) temporary suspension, and (b) resistance and disagreement. These findings provide useful implications for advanced applications and developments with information communication technology in innovations for enhanced learning and teaching as they relate to the evaluation of teacher effectiveness in implementing collaborative online problem-based activities.
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Introduction, Literature Review, And Significance Of The Study

Reform advocates in education have increasing interests and hopes for incorporating information communication technology in reforming both instructional and teacher education. These interests and hopes are important and significant. However, the outcomes of their implementation varied in the field. While some implementing groups sustained their learning, other groups did not. Drawing on the cognitive and sociocultural concepts of intersubjectivity and activity, this study examines the specific ways in which teacher understanding and learning were developed (or not) in online collaborative dialogues and the extent to which these collaborative dialogues might impact on teachers’ decision-making when implementing innovative constructivist-based professional development, between four teachers and two researchers involving four classroom locations across Missouri, USA.

Previous studies of professional development from a dialogic perspective implementing similar reforms have proven to benefit innovative teachers. As Zeichner and Liston (1996) wrote, “The challenge and support gained through social interaction is important in helping teachers clarify what they believe and in gaining the courage to pursue their beliefs” (p. 76). To facilitate optimal learning for students with technology, teachers need considerable knowledge, effort, persistence, and self-regulation to devise, implement and assess instructional plans and complex learning environments. In such processes, teachers’ collaborative professional development plays a critical role as they construct new understandings, through participation in their “community of practice” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, p. 29). The production of these communities often involved a shared practice that reflected the pursuit of learning through interacting, both with each other, and with the world.

Interest in reforming education through technology has steadily increased in recent years (NCTAF, 2003). Technology has been described as “a fact of American life” (OTA, 1995, p. 2) and the Internet as providing the “fabric of our lives” (Castells, 2001, p. 1). As such, it affects our culture, work, and communication (e.g., Hui, 2003). As the availability of technology in education has become increasingly ubiquitous, research has shown the promising potential of technology in improving student and teacher learning (e.g., Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999). Research has also affirmed the importance of connecting teachers and technology (e.g., Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, & Soloway, 1998). This is crucial for the success of standards-based reform in the American schools (e.g., Brunvand & Fishman, 2005) and has the potential to change the future of education (e.g., Tyack & Cuban, 2004; see also Dede, 1996), given the powerful role of communication technology for mediating teacher education reform. The list of often stated goals includes: (1) sharing information and new pedagogy (e.g., Berge & Collins, 1998), (2) facilitating teacher competencies (e.g., Kabilan, 2005), (3) fostering collaborative professional development (e.g., Bober & Dennen, 2001; Riel & Fulton, 2001; Zhao & Rop, 2001); and (4) building reflective communities (e.g., Berge & Collins, 1998; Borthwick et al., 2004; de Vries, Naidu, Jegede, & Collis, 1995; DiMauro & Jacobs, 1995; Salmon, 2004; Schlager, Fusco, & Schank, 2002). It has proven to be a viable alternative strategy for the development of teachers (e.g., Brunvand, Fishman, & Marx, 2003) and teacher professional development e-communities (e.g., Collison, Elbaum, Haavind, & Tinker, 2000).

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Review Board
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Mara H. Washburn
Many Western nations face a critical shortage of skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, despite... Sample PDF
Media and Women in Technology
Chapter 2
David Gefen, Nitza Geri, Narasimha Paravastu
Threaded discussions are one of the central tools of online education. These tools enhance student learning and compensate for the lack of social... Sample PDF
The Gender Communication Gap in Online Threaded Discussions
Chapter 3
Princely Ifinedo
In this study, we investigate the influence of two external influences i.e., Ease of finding and Computer anxiety on the technology acceptance model... Sample PDF
The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Continuance Intention
Chapter 4
Thanakorn Wangpipatwong
In this article, the study of how a constructivist e-learning system affects students’ learning outcomes was explored and a two-phase study was... Sample PDF
The Influence of Constructivist E-Learning System on Student Learning Outcomes
Chapter 5
Andreas Wiesner-Steiner, Heike Wiesner, Heidi Schelhowe, Petra Luck
This article presents substantial results from two projects that deal with teaching and learning with digital media in basic and higher education... Sample PDF
The Didactical Agency of Information Communication Technologies for Enhanced Education and Learning
Chapter 6
Daniel J. Shelley
E-learning and e-pedagogy continues to grow in importance in the delivery of higher education, due in part to the cost of higher education, a... Sample PDF
Comparative Analyses of Online and Traditional Undergraduate Business Law Classes: How Effective is E-Pedagogy?
Chapter 7
Ido Millet
Data Flow Diagrams and Use Cases are two popular methodologies in teaching as well as in practice. For the last 4 years, we have been using both... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions of Data Flow Diagrams vs. Use Cases
Chapter 8
Hong Lin
Agent-oriented design has become one of the most active areas in the field of software engineering. The agent concept provides a focal point for... Sample PDF
Promoting Undergraduate Education with Agent Based Laboratory
Chapter 9
Tony Jewels, Rozz Albon
For optimum workplace effectiveness in knowledge-intensive industries in which principles of knowledge management need to be applied, it is... Sample PDF
Supporting Arguments for Including the Teaching of Team Competency Principles in Higher Education
Chapter 10
Lawrence Tomei
This article helps classroom teachers create an “Interactive Lesson,” a self-paced, student-controlled, individualized learning opportunity embedded... Sample PDF
Creating an Interactive PowerPoint Lesson for the Lesson
Chapter 11
Chris Thompson, Zane L. Berge
This chapter briefly profiles three virtual schools, each at a different stage of development, yet each dependent upon a successful and sustained... Sample PDF
Planning Staff Training for Virtual High Schools
Chapter 12
MarySue Cicciarelli
Research shows that training prospective online instructors in an online learning environment is advantageous. One effective training topic is on... Sample PDF
Training Prospective Online Instructors: Theories Utilized by Current Online Instructors
Chapter 13
Michael Fedisson, Silvia Braidic
Seventh grade students were tested on their knowledge of sentences and nouns in a language arts classroom. This study was conducted over a two-year... Sample PDF
The Impact of PowerPoint Presentations on Student Achievement and Student Attitudes
Chapter 14
Henry H. Emurian
Information systems students in a graduate section and an undergraduate section of an introductory Java graphical user interface course completed... Sample PDF
Teaching Java™: Managing Instructional Tactics to Optimize Student Learning
Chapter 15
John DiMarco
This research project investigated the existence of web portfolios on academic websites in New York State. It cites disappointing results when... Sample PDF
Toward an Increase in Student Web Portfolios in New York Colleges and Universities
Chapter 16
Marianne Döös, Eva R Fåhræus, Karin Alvemark, Lena Wihelmson
Conducting a dialogue on the Web is a matter of linking thoughts in digital conversations. Dialogue differs from discussion by not being aimed at... Sample PDF
Competent Web Dialogues: Text-Based Linking of Thoughts
Chapter 17
Jeffrey Hsu
A number of new communications technologies have emerged in recent years which were originally used primarily for personal and recreational... Sample PDF
Employing Interactive Technologies for Education and Learning: Learning-Oriented
Chapter 18
Matthew Shaul
As a socially constructive learning tool, discussion forums remain central to online education. They have continued to evolve in functionality... Sample PDF
Assessing Online Discussion Forum Participation
Chapter 19
Solomon Negash, Michelle Emerson, John Vandegrieft
An empirical analysis was conducted to compare synchronous hybrid e-Learning environment with traditional classrooms. Empirical study with 165... Sample PDF
Synchronous Hybrid E-Learning: Empirical Comparison with Asynchronous and Traditional Classrooms
Chapter 20
Diane Hui, Donna L. Russell
Effectiveness of professional development is affected by the quality of social interaction. This study examines how online collaborative dialogues... Sample PDF
Understanding the Effectiveness of Collaborative Activity in Online Professional Development with Innovative Educators through Intersubjectivity
Chapter 21
Silvia Braidic
Teaching is a complex activity that involves careful preparation, delivery and reflection. As an educator, it is essential to create a sense of... Sample PDF
Effective Questioning to Facilitate Dynamic Online Learning
Chapter 22
Cindy S. York
This article briefly reviews two important goals in online education: interaction and presence. These are important goals in online education... Sample PDF
Transitioning from Face-to-Face to Online Instruction: How to Increase Presence and Cognitive/Social Interaction in an Online Information Security Risk Assessment Class
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