Designing a Whatsapp VCOP model to support the effectiveness of blended-learning teacher professional learning sciences short courses

Hanekom, Pauline Wilna (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : A significant challenge globally is academic and professional skills development support of participants in blended-learning teacher professional learning (TPL) short courses. Communities of practice (CoPs) have been widely used in educational settings to offer collective, professional learning support. In many rural areas of South Africa the physical remoteness of schools affects the feasibility of physical CoPs. Virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) can potentially be an effective way to support participants in these settings. Little is however known about the ways in which VCoPs can support participants or how to effectively design, implement and maintain such VCoPs. This Design-Based Research (DBR) study offers findings that inform both these gaps in knowledge. In DBR studies a Hypothetical Learning Trajectory (HLT) usually guides the investigation of how a concept is learned. In this study a Hypothetical Support Trajectory (HST) was conceptualised to guide the investigation of how academic support can be offered. Six support goals were identified, informing six sub-research questions that ultimately informed a main research question and a main design question. Within the DBR methodology a mixed method approach was followed. WhatsApp groups were chosen as platform for the VCoPs after careful consideration of theory and practicality. Three iterative cycles were designed, implemented and evaluated, both formatively and retrospectively summative. A survey, individual interviews and downloading of the WhatsApp group messages produced quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data were analysed via frequency distribution tables and graphs, while the qualitative data were analysed by means of thematic framework analysis. The findings confirm the effectiveness of the use of WhatsApp groups as platform for VCoPs, give insights into the different ways in which different models of VCoPs can support academic and professional skills learning, and present fourteen design principles for the effective design, implementation and maintenance of such VCoPs.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : 'n Groot uitdaging wêreldwyd is akademiese en professionele vaardigheidsontwikkelingondersteuning van deelnemers aan gemengde-leer Onderwyser Professionele Leer kortkursusse. Praktykgemeenskappe, wat kollektiewe, professionele leerondersteuning bied, word wyd gebruik in opvoedkundige omgewings. In baie landelike gebiede van Suid-Afrika beïnvloed die fisiese afstande tussen skole egter die lewensvatbaarheid van fisiese praktykgemeenskappe. Virtuele praktykgemeenskappe (VPGs) kan potensiëel 'n effektiewe manier wees om deelnemers in hierdie omgewings te ondersteun. Min is egter bekend oor die maniere waarop VPGs deelnemers kan ondersteun of hoe om sulke VPGs effektief te ontwerp, te implementeer en in stand te hou. Hierdie Ontwerpgebaseerde Navorsingstudie (OGN) bied bevindings wat beide hierdie leemtes in kennis toelig. In OGN-studies lei 'n Hipotetiese Leertrajek (HLT) gewoonlik die ondersoek na maniere waarop 'n konsep aangeleer word. In hierdie studie is 'n Hipotetiese Ondersteuningstrajek (HOT) gekonseptualiseer om die ondersoek na die maniere wat opvoedkundige ondersteuning gebied kan word, te lei. Ses ondersteuningsdoelwitte is geïdentifiseer, wat ses sub-navorsingsvrae toelig, om uiteindelik 'n hoofnavorsingsvraag en 'n hoofontwerpvraag toe te lig. Binne die OGN-metodologie is 'n gemengde-metode benadering gevolg. WhatsApp groepe is as platform vir die VPGs gekies na deeglike oorweging van teorie en praktiese toepaslikheid. Drie iteratiewe siklusse is ontwerp, geïmplementeer en beide formatief en terugwerkend summatief geëvalueer. 'n Opname, individuele onderhoude en die aflaai van WhatsApp groepboodskappe het kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe data opgelewer. Die kwantitatiewe data is ontleed via frekwensieverdelingstabelle en grafieke, terwyl die kwalitatiewe data deur middel van tematiese raamwerk-analise ontleed is. Die bevindinge bevestig die effektiwiteit van die gebruik van WhatsApp groepe as platform vir VPGs, gee insig in die verskillende maniere waarop verskillende modelle van VPGs akademiese en professionele vaardighede kan ondersteun, en bied veertien ontwerpbeginsels vir die effektiewe ontwerp, implementering en instandhouding van sulke VPGs.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107288
This item appears in the following collections: