The experience of teachers in distributed learning environments : implications for teaching practice
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Subjectasynchronous DL models; core reflective practice; distributed learning; e-learning; K-12 online learning; online teaching and learning
This qualitative study used a narrative inquiry approach to conduct in-depth interviews of eight distributed learning educators who designed and offered online English courses in British Columbia during the 2011/12 school year. There were three research questions: (1) How do teachers describe their professional experiences of teaching in a full time online environment? (2) What are the enablers and inhibitors for online teacher development? (3) Do teachers feel their teaching practice has changed over their career as online educators? Findings were examined through the lens of Korthagen’s (2004) Onion Model. Six themes that comprised this model, provided a framework for data analysis and insight into the process by which teachers made sense of their lived experience. The findings revealed that online educators valued their online experience because it removed the constraints of a regular classroom. They expressed frustration with some aspects of the current model of online education in BC because it prevented them from engaging in synchronous, highly connective learning projects with their students. Recognition of the fact that online educators work in a different milieu with a different set of environmental pressures is necessary to ensure the success of distributed learning in BC.
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