This paper draws on the work of Helen Timperley (2015) who suggests there are six clear enablers that support educators to have professional conversations: processes, resources, culture, knowledge, relationships, as well as context. This purpose of this paper is two-fold: first, it describes how weekly web conferences that were offered for online initial teacher education students (ITES) were designed with due consideration for Timperley’s enablers for professional conversations; and second, it reports on student experiences of the ways in which the web conferences served to support professional conversations. In order to understand the complex and multifaceted ways that web conferences served to facilitate ITES engagement in professional conversations, data is drawn from thirty-two online ITES enrolled in a capstone unit in their final semester of study in a teacher education course. Using a descriptive mixed-methods case study approach, the ITES completed questionnaires, participated in follow-up interviews and completed their assessment tasks to shed insight into the impact of the web conferences. The findings reveal the powerful ways that the web conferences allowed the students to participate in meaningful professional conversations and helped develop the professional attributes expected of graduates. Importantly, the study revealed that ITES perceived that the web conferences prompted a deeper level of engagement, satisfaction and sense of achievement than alternative activities, including face-to-face tutorials.
Dyment, J. E.,
& Downing, J.
Online Initial Teacher Education Students' Perceptions of Using Web Conferences to Support Professional Conversations.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4).