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

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!



  1. Thanks Debbie, see you in Berlin perhaps?

  2. Sounds very good. I'm really glad you got so inspired by the Web 2.0 learning event. I always feel that something very special starts to happen, when learners can actually do something together, be creative and share their views and visions. Even on the web, many courses are still based on the traditional "read and answer questions / write a report" -method. The next step is usually "read and discuss" and after that "do and share". But the best results you get and most joy in learning you experience, when you use "do together, discuss and share" -method. This also entails (very important!) socialising, "chit-chat" (as you called it) and also expressing feelings is allowed (even encouraged).
    When I create a course on the web, I usually think of it as a journey. That gives it the necessary backbone, but allows quite a lot of creativity in planning, carrying out and evaluating.
    Well, if you think you'll, at some point, need the course creator's point of view, I'd be happy to go on with this discussion.
    Good luck for your endeavours!

  3. Hi Tiina, thanks for your message. I think you will be pleased when you see the feedback from the event; very positive. For now I am focusing on analysing the almost 150 responses I received to the survey!

    I'll keep in touch. Brian

  4. Presentation has been accepted - yippee. Will give me a chance to talk publicly about my work.