Practitioner Development in Online Learning Theories

Session Description
The number of distance programs are increasing for online learners. Kee & Bonk (2006) stated that, “given the rapid growth of online education and its importance for post-secondary institutions, it is imperative that institutions of higher education provide quality online programs (p. 23)” Locally, the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa College of Education elementary department had an increase in two online education programs in the past two years alone. There are numerous theoretical frameworks for online education emerging due to this increase in online education programs (Picciano, 2019). Siemens (2004) a theorist for connectivism, addressed shifts in digital information flow with the eight principles of connectivism. Harasim (2012) then went on to engage in the ideas of how to utilize that digital information in a collaborative space to foster knowledge building. Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) added the next layer by discussing “presence” and providing an approach which educators could apply to analyze the effectiveness of their online instruction. Teacher preparation programs (TPP) can learn much from these frameworks to enhance engagement and increase student knowledge. However, there is an additional element in TPPs that instructors need to be aware of: practitioner development in field-based programs. The current online theoretical frameworks do not yet appear to address this idea comprehensively.
The researchers currently coordinate and teach in a hybrid/online field-based teacher preparation program. In this study, a hybrid/online is defined as one that holds informational sessions both online and in a face to face setting. Field-based is defined as having students engage in applying their content and skills in an actual educational classroom setting. The combination of information delivery and application provides both instructors and students the opportunity to develop and evaluate their practitioner skills. This study hopes to uncover to what degree current online theoretical frameworks address educational practitioner development in TPPs, and use this information to improve practices as online educators and to inform future research.
Ronnie Tiffany-Kinder
Ronnie Tiffany-Kinder, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, HI
Ronnie Tiffany-Kinder is a teacher educator in elementary education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She teaches courses in literacy methods and introduction to teaching. She also supervises student teachers on Oahu, Kauai and Lanai. Her research interests include critical literacy, self-study in teacher education and online/distance learning education.
Rayna Fujii
Rayna Fujii, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, HI
Dr. Rayna Fujii is an Assistant Specialist and Statewide Coordinator for the Institute for Teacher Education Elementary Department. She teaches courses in elementary social studies, introduction to multicultural education, and introduction to teaching. Her research interests include elementary social studies education, social studies for social justice, and online/distance learning education.
Session Type
20-Minute Session
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