About my research

My research was set in the context of the European Commission’s eTwinning initiative and it looked specifically at the use of eTwinning Learning Events (non-formal learning). It examined how the community influences the development of teachers’ competence in online collaboration and discourse, and it considered the contribution of social aspects and online moderation.

I am very grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Julie-Ann Sime from Lancaster University, and to my eTwinning soulmate, Tiina Sarisalmi, for their invaluable support. And to my examiners, Prof. Marilyn Leask from the University of Bedfordshire and Dr. Don Passey from the University of Lancaster, for their valuable advice.
Keywords: online learning communities; community of inquiry; online collaboration; content analysis; social presence; social ties; teacher training

Friday, 28 May 2010

eTwinning Professional Development Workshop

I am really sorry that I am missing the PDW in Sardinia this week. It would have been a good opportunity to have met face-to-face with some of the teachers who are using the Learning Events and Groups.

I produced a presentation giving some of the results of my online survey folloing the Learning Event on web 2.0 (see link). I hope people find it interesting and look forward to receiving feedback.

Brian at home in the UK with his family

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Online Educa Berlin

I've submited a proposal to present my research 'work in progress' at Online Educa taking place in Berlin in December. I would like to present my observations from the recent eTwinning Learning Event on web 2.0 and, in particular, an analysis of the online survey that I did.

If accepted, I understand there will also be a possibility to produce a paper for the proceedings, which will be co-authored by Julie-Ann (my supervisor) and Anne Gilleran (from EUN).

The experience of doing this will be useful for when I prepare more formal academic papers in 2011. Fingers crossed that it is accepted!


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Amazing book

Found this book thanks to the eTwinning newsletter. Looks interested and very much related to our recent Learning Event.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Online questionnaire

I've been working on an online questionnaire to solicit more in-depth feedback from the teachers who participated recently in the web 2.0 learning event. A test version of the questionnaire is available here; the real version should be launched this week, now that ethical approval has been given by the University.

I've focused my questions on the impact of social connections and the extent to which competences were developed. It is certainly a challenge to word the questions in such a way that present a choice between equally plausable and valid answers. It was also a challenge to find a way to present the questions in the way that I wanted, using the options available in the tool that I am using. I must say I am quite impressed with how simple FreeOnline Surveys.com is to use. And the results are presented in user friendly way.

I am looking forward to seeing the answers. Fingers crossed that a good percentage of participants respond.