Benefits and Challenges of Collaborative Learning in Online Teacher Education

Benefits and Challenges of Collaborative Learning in Online Teacher Education

Vassiliki I. Zygouris-Coe (University of Central Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8047-9.ch076
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Abstract

Demand for online learning is increasing in US colleges and universities. Learning does not occur in a vacuum; students learn independently and collaboratively. But, is there room for collaborative learning in online courses? This chapter presents information on how a teacher educator designed and implemented collaborative learning in a developmental reading online course for preservice and inservice educators in grades P-12. The author presents details on course design issues, instructional practices, benefits, and challenges associated with collaborative learning in this online course, and implications for further development and evaluation of collaborative learning in teacher preparation programs. The author also provides recommendations from lessons learned for promoting collaboration in online teacher education courses.
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Introduction

In this chapter, I will describe how collaborative learning was designed and incorporated in a graduate level online course in reading for preservice and inservice educators. The purpose of this chapter is not to formally assess or evaluate collaborative learning; instead, I will present my rationale for incorporating collaborative learning experiences in an online education course, the ways in which collaborative learning was incorporated, assessed, and monitored, and lessons learned about benefits and challenges associated with collaborative learning in this situated context. I will also reflect on the role of collaborative learning in teacher preparation courses in the context of 21st century learning. Collaborative learning can support online and teacher preparation learning goals and objectives by promoting critical thinking skills, perspective taking, shared knowledge and decision-making, content knowledge, and reflection.

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