Professional development programmes that include teacher collaboration can help teachers meet their professional needs and control their professional lives. They can voice their needs and expectations to peers who share similar experiences. Moreover, teachers can discover new teaching roles and opportunities, develop new skills and find motivation in being a member of a group (Burbank & Kauchak, 2003, Hawkes, 2000). With the affordances provided by Web technologies, the potentiality of online communities of practice (CoPs) as a means of improving teacher professional development has become a reality and is gaining popularity. The Online Continuing Professional Development for Teachers (e-CPDelT) project aimed to develop three online CoPs; that is, English, Mathematics and Science communities among twenty Malaysian Smart school teachers. This paper undertook a comparison of the key dimensions, as expounded in Wenger’s (1998) CoP framework of one of the three cohorts, which is the English cohort. The findings revealed that the English cohort did not measure up to the criteria required for a successful CoP although the key CoP dimensions were present. The paper further analysed the focus group interviews using the CoP dimensions as a framework to identify the reasons for this phenomenon.
|Keywords:||Online Communities of Practice, Teacher Professional Development, Online Learning, Teacher Learning|
Professor and Chair of School of Language Studies and Linguistics, School of Language Studies and Linguistics, The National University of Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Lecturer, School of Distance Education, University of Science Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Language Studies and Linguistics, The National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Associate Professor, School of Language Studies and Linguistics, The National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
School of Language Studies and Linguistics, The National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
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