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The impact of text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) on teachers' professional learning (TPL)

Daly, Caroline (2008) The impact of text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) on teachers' professional learning (TPL). PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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ABSTRACT The thesis investigates the impact of text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) on teachers' professional learning (TPL). It is based on the online discussions conducted by a group of teachers participating in an accredited course in continuing professional development. Concepts of 'community' and 'agency' are identified as core conceptual links between the fields of CMC and TPL. These concepts inform theoretical perspectives on the impact of CMC, based on socio-constructivist perspectives on learning, and inform an analysis of TPL. A qualitative case approach is adopted, in which CMC is conceived of as a social and literate practice, and TPL as a complex social, as well as individual, phenomenon. As a tutor-researcher, my role in creating a narrative of the case, and contributing to its interpretation, is made explicit. To investigate in an underdeveloped field, interdisciplinary methods are developed, which are: a sociometric analysis of the discussions to examine the 'relatedness' of the online texts; the adaptation of a Qualitative Content Analysis model (Garrison and Anderson, 2003) to conduct detailed textual analysis of the discussions; and narrative interviews with the teachers to investigate their perspectives on their learning and participation in the discussions. The findings indicate that the teachers' learning contains features of community and agency, but does so inconsistently, and displays varying degrees of the effects of hegemony on agentive conceptual development. The thesis proposes that TPL within CMC is constituted by three sets of relations: peer relations, textual relations and relations of reification, by which teachers develop a process-oriented engagement with their learning. This engagement develops differently among individuals, and they occupy different positions within these relations which affects how far the learning can be identified with concepts of 'community', and how far it can be identified as 'agentive'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (10)
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 16:39
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2015 09:39
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