Purposeful Use of a Non-Restrictive, Asynchronous Public Web-Based Forum for Facilitating Reflective Discourse with Preservice Science Teachers

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Title: Purposeful Use of a Non-Restrictive, Asynchronous Public Web-Based Forum for Facilitating Reflective Discourse with Preservice Science Teachers
Author: Bodzin, Alec Michael
Advisors: John C. Park, Chair
Glenda Carter, Member
Jack Wheatley, Member
Ellen Vasu, Member
David DeMaster, Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research has been to investigate the purposeful use of asynchronous telecommunications in a science education methods/curriculum course involving the use of a non-restrictive, public Web-based forum for facilitating reflective discourse with preservice science teachers. Thirty-two preservice secondary school science teachers participated in a public science teaching forum on the World Wide Web during their student teaching internship. The forum was designed with NetForum software to be a place where science teachers share ideas, reflections and conversations on teaching and implementation of technology in the classroom and other instructional pedagogy, while also providing support for each other as members of an electronic professional community. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to explore interaction patterns that facilitated collaborative preservice teacher reflective discourse on the forum and participants' attitudes towards using asynchronous telecommunications during their student teaching internship. Data from forum discourse analysis, interviews, and survey instruments illustrate that the use of this asynchronous Web-based forum provided the participants the opportunity to discuss and examine science concepts and reflect on classroom issues that were directly relevant to their student teaching experiences. The findings revealed that most participants had positive attitudes with respect to interacting with the Web-based forum. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in attitude between participants who had access to a networked computer and those who did not have access. An analysis of the forum postings showed that saturation in the discourse can occur with large groups participating in online asynchronous conversations.
Date: 1999-02-24
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Science Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4751


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