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Reflective Outcomes in Asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication: A Case Study using a Comparative Method

PAVLIDOU, AIKATERINI (2011) Reflective Outcomes in Asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication: A Case Study using a Comparative Method. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In an era of constant educational reforms, many acknowledge teachers’ professional development as the keystone to educational improvement. The issue of whether teachers’ development is adequate has been crucial in all times, especially now that professional education faces a number of challenges due to the rapid technological development and the need for lifelong learning incited by globalization of world economies. Nevertheless, although common acceptance exists that reflective practice is a key ingredient for professional development, the art of cultivating reflection in the context of CPD requires further attention.

A review of the literature shows a long history on research that embraces a wide range of strategies that argue to promote teacher reflection. However, there is unclear evidence about whether reflective thinking – as a meaningful professional objective – may be promoted through collaborative computer mediated discourse. What’s more, although there is a plethora of assessment tools that claim to assess reflexivity, very few authors exemplify the theoretical framework underpinning the notion of reflection employed in their studies.

The purpose of this study has been to examine whether, and if yes how, reflective thinking is promoted through collaborative asynchronous computer mediated communication by comparison with traditional face to face discourse. A case study using a comparative method was employed to analyze the electronic discourse by comparison with the face to face dialogue of twenty post 16 education practitioners in the UK. Research design considerations and implications related to what constitutes evidence of reflection and how it may be represented for the purposes of reporting on research outputs are also critically examined.

The results lend support to the view that, although reflective outcomes can be accomplished in an asynchronous computer mediated communication, the recurring theme of storytelling observed in the face to face discourse appears to cultivate and influence the depth of reflexivity achieved.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Computer Mediated Communication, On-line Learning Communities, Social Presence, Teacher Development, CPD, Reflection, Reflective Thinking, Taxonomies, Qualitative Research, Research Methods, Comparative Design, Case Studies
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Dec 2011 16:20

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