A Case-Based Electronic Learning Environment for Preservice Teacher Education
Bonk, Curtis Jay
Malikowski, Steve R.
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This study took place within a teacher education program at a large Midwestern university with vast field observation placements around the state and the world. The purpose was to discover whether preservice teacher electronic conferencing on the World Wide Web about early field experiences can have an impact on the learning of educational psychology and general apprenticeship within the teacher education program. The power of asynchronous conferencing was combined with case-based reasoning and peer and mentor collaboration to electronically apprentice student learning. Research questions in five areas were examined: (1) dialogue; (2) requests for help/learning assistance; (3) scaffolding and apprenticeship; (4) attitudes; and (5) teaching philosophy. During 1996-1997, 146 undergraduate educational psychology students were randomly assigned to two different electronic conferencing groups; one group was heavily scaffolded (i.e., students received more task structuring, instructor guidance and feedback, moderator queries, and cooperative teacher recommendations) and the other was not (i.e., students received feedback from their peers, and when they requested it, help from the instructor). While students found the conferencing tool, Conferencing on the Web (COW) to be easy to use, many looked at this as an additional task burden of the class, not as an opportunity to interact with peers. (Contains 19 references.) (AEF)