Title: Strengthening collaboration and communication skills in an online TPD program for 21st-century educators
Authors: Sofia Gkemisi; Fotini Paraskeva; Aikaterini Alexiou; Hara Bouta
Addresses: Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Karaoli and Dimitriou 80, 185 34, Greece ' Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Karaoli and Dimitriou 80, 185 34, Greece ' Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Karaoli and Dimitriou 80, 185 34, Greece ' Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus, Karaoli and Dimitriou 80, 185 34, Greece
Abstract: The profile of the 21st-century teacher should reflect the philosophy of lifelong and adaptive learners who never stop enriching their knowledge, upgrading their skills and re-calibrating their career paths. To achieve such goals, many academic institutions implement teacher professional development (TPD) programs to support the professional development of the educational community. The goal of our research is to design an online TPD program which allocates roles and activities to learners and manages their progression through both in order to maximise the learning benefits. To this end, a PBLJii script orchestrated in line with the principles of a PBL model and the Jigsaw II collaborative strategy in a CSCL environment (Moodle) was designed and implemented to bolster collaboration and communication skills among teachers. Case study research (examination of one group) was conducted in a number of primary schools in Greece. There was both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the chat and forum messages exchanged by the inservice teachers and the results revealed significant development of their collaboration and communication skills as a result of their participation in collaborative tasks.
Keywords: problem-based learning; PBL; teacher professional development; online TPD; learning management systems; LMS; collaboration; communication skills; Moodle; primary schools; Greece; primary education; chat messages; forum messages; inservice teachers; e-learning; electronic learning; online learning.
International Journal of Learning Technology, 2016 Vol.11 No.4, pp.340 - 363
Published online: 20 Jan 2017 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article