A Teacher Professional Development Program in the Pedagogical Model “Online Communities of Practice”

By Georgios Fessakis, Sofia Theodoridou and Maria Roussou.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 20, 2014 $US5.00

Online Communities of Practice (OCoP) is a pedagogical model that is consistent to the situated learning theory and enables the systematic utilization of internet services and tools for the implementation of new kinds of educational applications. Teachers’ and students’ roles in OCoP are very different from those in traditional classes. Teachers’ professional development (PD) proved to be a necessary precondition for the successful cultivation of an educational OCoP. In this paper, a specially designed teacher professional development program concerning the educational OCoP utilization was presented. For the design of the program the authors took into consideration modern research about e-learning design for OCoP, OCoP management, ICT integration in education, and teacher professional development success factors. The proposed program was designed according to the TPACK framework and it was described in terms of learning goals, lesson plans, and activity schedules. The evaluation of the PD program’s first implementation by the participant teachers showed that it was quite well received and it was assessed as effective by the trainees. In addition, specific improvements are proposed to formulate the future versions of the program. The proposed PD program is fairly independent from specific knowledge domain and software platform, so it could be adapted for use in other cases of educational OCoP.

Keywords: professional development, online communities of practice, TPACK, ICT

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.61-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 20, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 736.121KB)).

Dr. Georgios Fessakis

Assistant Professor, Learning Technology and Educational Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece

Dr. Georgios Fesakis holds a B.Sc. in Informatics, a M.Sc. in Advanced Informatics Systems from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a PhD in Informatics Didactics form University of the Aegean. He has many years of extensive experience as a researcher and as computer science teacher in secondary public schools. Georgios is teaching undergraduate and postgraduate ICT related courses at the University of the Aegean as adjunct lecturer (2004-2007), as elected lecturer (2007-2012) and currently as an elected assistant professor. His main research interests include ICT design and development for learning, ICT & Mathematics Didactics, Intelligent systems, CSCL. He has published several articles in journals and conference proceedings. Georgios is a research associate of LTEE since 1999.

Sofia Theodoridou

Director, Environmental Education Center of Edessa-Giannitsa, Greek Ministry of Education, Edessa, Greece

Mrs Sofia Theodoridou posses B.Ed. from the Department of Primary Education of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Faculty of Humanities. She holds also a M.Ed. in “Models for Educational Units Design and Development” from the University of the Aegean. She is responsible of the Environmental Education Centre of Edessa-Giannitsa, with great experience in constructing and maintaining collaborative networks of sustainable development and rubbish manipulation. Sofia is qualified in developing, organizing and facilitating environmental education related events, conferences and youth camps. Her interests include adults and youth environmental education, innovation, and sustainability curriculum development.

Maria Roussou

Member of the Educational Team, Environmental Education Center of Edessa-Giannitsa, Greek Ministry of Education, Edessa, Greece

Ms Maria Roussou holds a degree from the Department of Primary Education of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is currently attending a Masters Program in Management of Educational Organizations at Hellenic Open University. During 2003-2004 she was a scientific collaborator in the “Geomorphologic and Political Map of Greece” project of the Department of Geography at University of Aegean. Her main duty in the project was to create learning material for the course of Geography in High School. Ms Roussou has served as a teacher and assistant principal in public primary schools for 6 years since 2004. She is currently a member of the educational team at the Environmental Educational Center of Edessa-Giannitsa. The team develops and implements environmental education curriculums and programs for adults and youths for traditional classrooms and for outdoor experiential learning. Ms Roussou has strong interest for sustainability/environmental education, ICT enhanced learning, and creative teaching and learning in online communities.