Examination of Literacy, Knowledge, and Learning in an Online Community of Practice

By Anne Drabble.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 30, 2014 $US5.00

The value of using technology in teaching and learning is a recurrent theme with proficiency in using Information Communication Technology (ICT) explicitly recognised by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT). The purpose of this study was to examine the online communication that pre-service teachers engaged in on a social networking site as part of a curriculum and planning unit at an Australian University. The social networking site was an extension of the Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard used at the university. Pre-service teachers were required to complete four literacy learning tasks and to engage in shared communication throughout the semester. Information on the quality and frequency of communicative contributions uploaded on the site was gathered and analysed. Results showed pre-service teachers engaged extensively with the social network in a manner that provided support for their literacy learning in curriculum and planning. The ease of use and familiarity with social networks as a method of shared communication was regarded as a primary benefit for learning. Insights gained on the nature and extent of the communicative contributions uploaded suggested the approach undertaken by pre-service teachers in initiating a communication impacted on the number and quality of responses received. Pre-service teachers who adopted a socialisation style of communication elicited more meaningful responses from others which in turn extended the quality and depth of communicative exchanges. However, the findings fell short of drawing a generalised conclusion there had been learning across each of the knowledge process areas.

Keywords: Literacy, Knowledge and Learning, Pre-service Teachers, Online Communities of Practice

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 22, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 30, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 432.286KB)).

Dr. Anne Drabble

Senior Lecturer, School of Science and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Ashgrove, Queensland, Australia