Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE)
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
This paper describes the design and implementation of an online learning community-based Teacher Professional Development (TPD) model to support ongoing teachers’ professional learning in Indonesia. Teaching can be a very isolating career, frustrating, especially for those who work in rural and remote areas and can receive little support from other colleagues. Research shows that ICT displays a lot of potential to support teachers’ ongoing professional learning process. However, ICT itself is not the only answer to tackle this challenge. The key is the process of facilitating of online social learning. This paper presents the results of research, which undertook a case study of the design and implementation of an online learning community in a developing country such as Indonesia. The authors examine in what ways synchronous and asynchronous online learning environments could facilitate social learning interaction among educators from dispersed geographical locations and support teachers’ professional learning. Three online learning environment investigated include Web Portal Discussion Forum, Skype and Facebook. The results showed that while Facebook has the biggest membership, involvement in this online environment was not as intensive as in the Discussion Forum and Skype. However, Facebook has opened up to a new way of sustainable interaction that leads to professional knowledge construction. Synchronous online interaction, on the other hand, attracted most of the educators, yet it had the lowest, but most intensive social learning interaction. The paper discusses what factors facilitated and inhibited the process of social learning interaction in these three online learning environments. This paper concludes with a reflection on the relevancy of this online learning community-based TPD to existing TPD practice in Australia.