The Benefits and Limitations of Online Group Work in a Teacher Education Program

Apr. 25, 2009

Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(2), April 2009, p. 2465-2472.

This study examined the benefits and difficulties that graduate student teachers perceived while participating in online collaborative group activities during their first year of a masters program.

Overall, it was discovered that the three most prominent perceived learning outcomes involved

1) the teachers’ recognition of the value of a supportive learning community, 2) the teachers’ belief that such practices could develop their metacognitive knowledge, and
3) the teachers’ new understanding of the constructive use of online communication tools.

Difficulties encountered while attempting to achieve these online collaborative tasks were found to involve

1) cognitive conflicts,
2) individual differences,
3) difficulties adapting to a nondifferentiated grading system,
4) time-zone scheduling problems, and
5) the unique challenges caused by not being able to communicate face-to-face.

Updated: Nov. 11, 2009