COLiE Collaborative On-line Learning in Education

Teachers that learn together

learn better

There is good evidence that successful professional development occurs when teachers are able to engage in inquiry- based collaborative professional learning.  However, it is also true that there have been many instances where communities of teachers have failed to develop any significant professional and actionable knowledge during their collaborative professional development programmes.  This raises the question as to why this might be so, and what might be done to overcome the challenges that these teachers faced.   Several years ago I began a journey to find out what really happens when teachers are brought together to learn collaboratively, and in particular what this means when learning is online.  I have a particular interest in online professional development because it has the potential to be a game changer for teachers in isolated communities.  These teachers in small remote schools don’t have the same opportunities to access professional development expertise that is readily available in large urban schools - unless professional development is online. I looked at lots of different online learning programmes over the years, and even ran some research myself to see if I could find out why developing and sustaining online professional development communities is such a challenge. 
One of the first challenges that I faced when I began research about online collaborative learning was trying to establish what characteristics of a community might need to be observed or measured. I decided that I would rely on Cultural Historical Activity Theory  (Engström) to help me to answer these questions, as it has been used as a theoretical lens for learning community investigations by other researchers.  Figure 1. A CHAT triangle diagram

Cultural Historical Activity Theory

A learning community can be investigated using Cultural Historical Activity Theory as an investigative framework.   At the absolute simplest level such an investigation would examine the: subjects of a community, the mediating artifacts community members use to help them to work together, the rules community members use to help them achieve their collective goals, the shared purpose of the community (object), and the roles that need to be filled within the community by it’s members (division of labour).  Current Research Aspirations My current research aspiration is to develop effective tools, the design of which are underpinned by activity theory, that members of a learning community can use to help them to self-evaluate and develop their learning communities.  I have developed a tool called the Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) that may be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a learning community, and am looking at developing a list of effective strategies for addressing community development challenges. 
This tool is used by teachers to generate a snapshot of where their community is on a developmental progression, and what they might do to advance their community. Michael Moroney PhD Coming soon…  www.profdev.co.nz A site dedicated to sharing resources about professional development in the workplace.

Laerd Statistics

I am pleased to recommend Laerd Statistics  as an excellent on-line resource for those of us that need to use statistics from time to time.  Please visit the Student Links page at this site for a list of links to other useful websites.  

Welcome

This site is also a portal for the students that I teach. This website is primarily a repository of information about my research interest in Collaborative On-line Learning in Education (COLiE).  In particular it reflects my interest in the use of technologies that promote learning between  geographically separated students, tutors, teachers and lecturers.  Michael Moroney (PhD)
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Welcome

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Dr Michael Moroney This site provides some resources and information about online learning, research and systems development and mobile application development.  It is basically a summary of my interests and some resources for the students I teach. Current development work

Teachers that learn together learn

better

There is good evidence that successful professional development occurs when teachers are able to engage in inquiry-based collaborative professional learning.  However, it is also true that there have been many instances where communities of teachers have failed to develop any significant professional and actionable knowledge during their collaborative professional development programmes.  This raises the question as to why this might be so, and what might be done to overcome the challenges that these teachers faced.   Several years ago I began a journey to find out what really happens when teachers are brought together to learn collaboratively, and in particular what this means when learning is online.  I have a particular interest in online professional development because it has the potential to be a game changer for teachers in isolated communities.  These teachers in small remote schools don’t have the same opportunities to access professional development expertise that is readily available in large urban schools - unless professional development is online. I looked at lots of different online learning programmes over the years, and even ran some research myself to see if I could find out why developing and sustaining online professional development communities is such a challenge. 
One of the first challenges that I faced when I began research about online collaborative learning was trying to establish what characteristics of a community might need to be observed or measured. I decided that I would rely on Cultural Historical Activity Theory  (Engström) to help me to answer these questions, as it has been used as a theoretical lens for learning community investigations by other researchers.  Figure 1. A CHAT triangle diagram

Cultural Historical Activity Theory

A learning community can be investigated using Cultural Historical Activity Theory as an investigative framework.   At the absolute simplest level such an investigation would examine the: subjects of a community, the mediating artifacts community members use to help them to work together, the rules community members use to help them achieve their collective goals, the shared purpose of the community (object), and the roles that need to be filled within the community by it’s members (division of labour).  Current Research Aspirations My current research aspiration is to develop effective tools, the design of which are underpinned by activity theory, that members of a learning community can use to help them to self-evaluate and develop their learning communities.  I have developed a tool called the Community Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) that may be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a learning community, and am looking at developing a list of effective strategies for addressing community development challenges. 
This tool is used by teachers to generate a snapshot of where their community is on a developmental progression, and what they might do to advance their community. Michael Moroney PhD Coming soon…  www.profdev.co.nz A site dedicated to sharing resources about professional development in the workplace.

Laerd

Statistics

I am pleased to recommend Laerd Statistics  as an excellent on-line resource for those of us that need to use statistics from time to time.  Please visit the Student Links page at this site for a list of links to other useful websites.