Small Group Collaboration in Peer-Led Electronic Discourse: An Analysis of Group Dynamics and Interactions Involving Preservice and Inservice Teachers

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Although researchers and educators agree that small group collaboration is an essential part of teacher education, not much attention had been paid to examining the dynamics, characteristics, and processes of online group collaboration involving teachers in a peer-led context. Yet, understanding how online teacher learning groups evolve and what conditions facilitate or hinder learning in such an environment is important to inform teacher educators about optimal ways to organize and facilitate group learning in teacher education. The purpose of this study is to investigate group characteristics and processes that impact peer-led group discussions and the role of the group facilitators in online small group learning. Thirty-one graduate students in a teacher education literacy seminar participated in the study. The study provides a qualitative content analysis of small group collaboration and insight to support existing structures for preservice and inservice teachers' professional development.

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