Written Speech: A Barrier to Knowledge Building in Blended Learning Teacher Professional Development

Written Speech: A Barrier to Knowledge Building in Blended Learning Teacher Professional Development

Pamela Moen (Northcentral University, Scottsdale, USA) and Kelley Walters (Northcentral University, Scottsdale, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.2018100103

Abstract

Data collected within this qualitative, multiple-case study included teachers' knowledge building preferences for written speech in a virtual community of practice (VCoP), blended learning, teacher professional development program. This data was analyzed using the theoretical tenets of Vygotsky's social constructivist learning theory. Through heterogeneous sampling, six sites were selected from 11 program participating schools, with 11 participating teachers purposively selected from these sites. Following semi-structured participant interviews, data were coded and analyzed, where the findings indicated that participants preferred the audiovisual learning content to the written activity format in the blended learning, VCoP teacher professional development program. Program developers may use the research findings to guide the development of VCoP content alternatives to singularly text based online professional development delivery models. Recommendations for future research include studies that address the impact of audiovisual VCoP content on knowledge building.
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Literature Review

Although Vygotsky, as a developmental psychologist, advanced his views on language, cognitive development, and culturally based learning through the social and cultural lenses of early Soviet Russia, these views remain relevant to the educational practices of the digital age (Ahmadian, Pouromid, & Nickkhah, 2016; Baleghizadeh, Memar, & Memar, 2011; Linask, 2012; Smagorinsky, 2013). Accordingly, numerous researchers have applied Vygotsky’s theoretical framework to the implementation of collaborative practice strategies and subsequent analyses of social presence in online settings (Arshavskaya & Whitney, 2014; Brooks & Gibson, 2012; Churcher, Downs, Tewksbury, 2014; Liu & Lan, 2016; Siriwardane & Durden, 2014). Likewise, there have been frequent studies on writing activities in virtual environments and their effect on learning, but few have applied Vygotsky’s language based learning theory for analysis of the impact of written speech on adults as an online knowledge building tool (Ahmadian et al., 2016; Arshavskaya & Whitney, 2014; Farr & Riordan, 2015; Jablonski, 2015; Kuo, Belland, Kuo, 2017; Lee, 2015; Siriwardane & Durden, 2014). Vygotskian based literature that is available on language acquisition and written speech is primarily directed toward second language acquisition studies (Ahmadian et al., 2016; Arshavskaya & Whitney, 2014; Baleghizadeh et al., 2011).

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