Collaborative Online Communication: Establishing Learning Communities for Pre-Service Teachers in the Field
When pre-service teachers are in the field completing the professional experience, they do not have access to the on-campus support network that usually exists through social interaction and shared communication. This may cause them to feel isolated at a time when they are anxious about accessing teaching resources, developing meaningful learning activities and managing student behaviour. They may also be concerned about the ability to put knowledge and understanding into practice under the watchful eyes of classroom teachers and students. This paper examines the use of the Learning Management System Blackboard, as a means of providing valuable opportunities for pre-service teachers to engage in collaborative online communication. In this context, the online communication can be successful in connecting pre-service teachers and building genuine learning communities that support the profession. The communicative support provided through Blackboard can be accessed asynchronously and has the potential to strengthen and enhance the teaching experience of pre-service teachers during the professional experience.
Keywords: Pre-Service Teachers, Professional Experience, Collaborative Online Communication
Dr. Anne Drabble
Lecturer, School of Education, Australian Catholic University