An investigation into the effectiveness of computer mediated conferences, focusing on aspects of student teacher reflective practices and professional socialisation

Quirke-Bolt, Nigel Peter (2010). An investigation into the effectiveness of computer mediated conferences, focusing on aspects of student teacher reflective practices and professional socialisation. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000ed7e

Abstract

This study investigated how effectively student teachers engaged in reflective practices within on-line discussion forums, and the potential of these forums to encourage professional socialisation.

The participants in this study were a cohort of post-graduate students at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, who were studying a full-time one-year course, the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), with the aim of becoming qualified teachers in post-primary schools.

This study used both quantitative and qualitative research methods within a case study approach and utilised on-line questionnaires, focus group discussions, semi-formal interviews and an examination of the messages posted in the tutorial on-line forums using the analytic methods of interpretative phenomenology, discourse analysis and grounded theory.

This project referenced a number of methods used in other studies to identify, measure and categorise the reflective activities of the student teachers in the on-line forums. The result of this work has led to a modified approach that identified additional categories to more appropriately identify and measure the student teachers' reflective practices. The outcome of identifying these new reflective categories could offer the on-line tutor an alternative focus for their on-line teaching of reflection and their encouragement and development of the students' reflective activities.

In addition, this study identified how the student teachers' experience and socialisation within the on-line discussion forums helped them to develop their thoughts, values, attitudes and beliefs about the profession they hoped to join and so developed and supported their professional socialisation.

The findings from this study highlight implications for the use of on-line forums as a pedagogic tool in developing reflective and professional socialisation practices and a number of recommendations are presented. This is followed by some suggestions and directions for future research.

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