9th International Learning Conference Learning Conference Logo


Dr Dorit Maor
Lecturer, School of Education
Murdoch University, Western Australia

The Teacher's Role in Creating an Online Learning Community


New technologies provides the opportunity for teachers to make learning interactive and collaborative by using a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning. This involves creating a student-centred approach where the teacher takes the role of the facilitator and the students engage in peer-learning. In this paper I reflect on my role as a facilitator in a higher education online unit that was designed for science and mathematics teachers who were geographically and socially isolated. My goal in unit design was to create a networked community of learners that encouraged peer learning and reflective thinking. Qualitative data from students' transcripts suggest that peer learning became a significant feature of the community, however, the reflective thinking opportunities often were missed. This paper will discuss pedagogies used by the facilitator in promoting peer-learning. In addition, it will discuss the challenges faced by the facilitator in transforming on-line interactions to higher levels of negotiation to create reflective thinking.


When Dr Dorit Maor began to use the Internet to teach her distance education postgraduate students, one of her goals was to overcome the intellectual isolation of teachers who were enrolled in postgraduate programs at Curtin University from around the world. This led to research on different aspects of on line teaching and collaboration with students. This particular course under study was conducted wholly on-line.


Presentation Format:
30 min. Paper



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