Transforming pre-service teacher education through Virtual Exchange: a mixed-method analysis of perceived TPACK development

Rets, Irina; Rienties, Bart and Lewis, Timothy (2020). Transforming pre-service teacher education through Virtual Exchange: a mixed-method analysis of perceived TPACK development. Interactive Learning Environments (In press).

Abstract

Across the globe teachers are increasingly using online communication tools to bring together learners from different countries, and offer them social interaction opportunities to learn a new language or a new skill via Virtual Exchange (VE). While there is some mostly anecdotal evidence of VE on satisfaction and improving language skills, few studies have investigated the impact of VE on pre-service teachers’ TPACK development using mixed methods. To remedy this gap, in this study we used a robust pre-post design of TPACK in two VEs with 55 pre-service teachers to explore its impact on their perceived TPACK development. Using k-means cluster analysis of TPACK, we identified three groups of participants who reported high-medium-low TPACK gains. We then triangulated these gains with the actual lived experiences and reflections of 25 participants by analysing over 400 online diary entries. Our findings indicated that most participants reported positive TPACK gains but the narratives of their VE experiences differed widely. The results of this study can inform the design of VE and can help identify pre-service teachers who might need more support when learning and collaborating online.

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