Professional Learning Communities

By: Heather Hemming  

One of the challenges of asynchronous course delivery is that by nature they involve less live interaction that either face-to-face classrooms or using online synchronous platforms. For the most part, establishing collaborative online communities for students is considered basic to course delivery. For those engaged in online teaching it is well understood that the creation of dynamic online learning communities entails much more than connecting students enrolled in the same course. Making learning meaningful with authentic opportunities for participants to engage in “deep learning” was, in this case study, a paramount feature to the course design. Marrying the opportunities technologies offer with this goal led to the creation of an assignment aimed towards knowledge creation and purposeful use of digital tools and resources that enable and accelerate the process of deep learning. The study is descriptive and exploratory in nature. The focus of this exploration is an assignment entitled Leadership & Informal Assessment - Preparing for a Professional Learning Community. This task was intended to embed the assessment framework within the context of the assignment. Data collection was analyzed using the following items on a 5- point scoring scheme. Did the assignment: create a session whereby participants are actively involved in learning and using embedded technology, reflect a understanding of the principles assessment and the topic of focus? And, adopt a facilitating approach? The results indicate promising possibilities that may have implications across several realms beyond course delivery.

Community, Professionals, Assessment
Technologies in Knowledge Sharing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Heather Hemming

Professor and Academic Administrator, Education, Acadia University