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Teacher educators' readiness, preparation, and perceptions of preparing preservice teachers in a fully online environment: an exploratory study


Downing, JJ and Dyment, JE, Teacher educators' readiness, preparation, and perceptions of preparing preservice teachers in a fully online environment: an exploratory study, The Teacher Educator, 48, (2) pp. 96-109. ISSN 0887-8730 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1080/08878730.2012.760023


With a view to attracting more students and offering flexible learning opportunities, online teaching and learning is becoming increasingly widespread across the higher education sector. It is now found across a wide range of disciplines (e.g., business, health, psychology, accounting, information technology) and program levels (e.g., from associate degrees to doctorate degrees). Online delivery is also strongly represented in the teacher education sector at many universities. Research of online delivery in higher education generally and teacher education specifically has pointed to a range of benefits and challenges associated with this mode of learning. Within the teacher education literature, many aspects of the online preparation of teachers remain poorly understood. More specifically, there is scant literature on the experiences and beliefs of teacher educators in relation to their readiness and preparation for online teaching as well as their beliefs in relation to the appropriateness of online education for preservice teachers. This article responds to this gap in the literature and reports on an exploratory study that worked with academic staff, teaching in a fully online teacher education course, at a mid-size Australian university. Twenty-seven teacher educators completed a 34-item questionnaire that consisted of closed and open-ended questions. With regards to readiness and preparation for teaching online, the majority of teacher educators reported lacking confidence and competence in the technological and pedagogical skills required to teach online. By and large, the study participants were welcoming of individualized ‘‘at-elbow’’ support that seemed to abate some of their fears of online teaching. The teacher educators were generally divided on whether the online classroom was an appropriate method for preparing preservice teachers. This article concludes with several recommendations for consideration by teacher educators who work in an online environment and sets the stage for a more ambitious study.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Educational technology and computing
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:Downing, JJ (Dr Jillian Downing)
UTAS Author:Dyment, JE (Associate Professor Janet Dyment)
ID Code:84393
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2013-05-10
Last Modified:2014-04-28

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