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Title: Hands across the Ether: Preparing External Students for Professional Experience
Contributor(s): Masters, Yvonne  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: Professional experience can be an emotional time for any pre-service teacher. For distance education students, the natural tension of working in an unfamiliar setting is exacerbated by the "tyranny of distance": they find their own placement, have rarely had face-to-face contact with any university personnel, are often without a peer support group, and have not had the advantage of preparatory lectures at university. In 2008, the Professional Experience Office at the University of New England began trialling a variety of measures to assist external students before and throughout their professional experience. This article describes the initial trial of an online support structure, using the Sakai Open Source Learning Management System, and begins to evaluate the efficacy of that trial. The support structure provided students with a variety of resources that had to be studied before professional experience began and with a structure that was designed to guide them through a reflective process for their teaching portfolio. There was also the opportunity for the students to be involved in electronic forums where they could ask for advice from university personnel and interact with their peers. Evaluation of this online approach revealed that the support and feedback accessed asynchronously by pre-service teachers before, when, and after they were in-the-field had the potential to strengthen and enhance their teaching during the professional experience placement. However, there were technical difficulties that sometimes caused more frustration rather than the structure providing assistance. It was also clear that greater assistance was required when students were engaged in professional experience placements.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: International Research in Teacher Education: Current Perspectives, p. 211-223
Publisher: Kardoorair Press
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 0908244800
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Warren Halloway and John Maurer
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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