Promoting Collaborative Learning in Online Teacher Education

Promoting Collaborative Learning in Online Teacher Education

Vassiliki I. Zygouris-Coe (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8632-8.ch065
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Abstract

Online learning continues to grow as a learning option for millions of students in US colleges and universities. Collaboration plays an important role in student learning. This chapter presents information on how collaborative learning was designed and implemented in a comprehensive online course in reading for pre-service and in-service 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 for promoting collaboration in online teacher education courses.
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Introduction

In this chapter, the author describes 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, the author will present her rationale for incorporating collaborative learning experiences in an online education course, the ways in which collaborative learning was incorporated, assessed, and monitored, and she will also share overall observations about benefits and challenges associated with collaborative learning in this situated context. The author will also reflect on the role of collaborative learning in teacher preparation courses. 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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