Because of the increase of online education options and the continuously increasing demands on teacher time, this case study analyzed online mentoring's effectiveness for beginning teachers in one Midwestern school. Specifically, the case study analyzed what, if any, the effects were of including an online learning forum to modify the traditional teacher mentoring program as well as the experiences of the mentees. A further analysis was conducted considering the administrator's role in the creation and facilitation of an online learning forum for teacher mentoring. To guide the creation and maintenance of the online learning forum, the participating teachers completed the survey 'Beginning Teacher's Views on Practice' three times throughout the year of research. Both quantitative survey data as well as qualitative data including in-depth interviews and discussion board posts were later analyzed. From the survey analysis it was concluded that of the 12 areas of needed development indicated by the participating teachers, nine indicated minimal to strong positive growth. This level of growth indicated the online learning forum was able to provide beginning teachers with necessary career development. In regard to the experience of the mentees, through indepth surveys it was indicated that the online mentoring program often reflected aspects of previously conducted research; however, most importantly, the online learning forum experience provided a structured but personalized approach to learning. Considering the administrator's role in the facilitation of the online learning forum, it was concluded that the role is complex in that no matter the amount of trust and community built between the administrator and the beginning teachers, there is still a supervisor-subordinate relationship that is difficult to overcome. Although this case study offers a general context of an online learning forum for beginning teachers, further studies should investigate a larger number of participants who span several schools or several districts to increase participation and variety of perceptions and experiences. Further, it would be advantageous to investigate how multiple, non-administrative mentors who maintain the online learning forum affect the participants' experiences.
|Commitee:||Ayres, Deb, Long, John|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, School administration, Educational psychology, Teacher education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Beginning teachers, Online learning, Online mentoring|
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