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Virtual benchmarking as professional development: Peer learning in authentic learning environments

Leppisaari, I., Vainio, L. and Herrington, J. (2009) Virtual benchmarking as professional development: Peer learning in authentic learning environments. In: 26th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) , 6-9 December 2009, Auckland, New Zealand.

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    Abstract

    The creation of a virtual benchmarking model as a tool for professional development of
    teachers is examined in this article. The process employed authentic learning criteria as
    reflection and dialogue tools in a peer review of e-courses. The learning space the virtual
    benchmarking process provided and its effectiveness in supporting professional
    development as experienced by teachers are described. Strengths and development
    challenges of the model are discussed. The project itself became an authentic learning
    environment in which elements structuring authentic learning promoted peer learning and
    collaborative construction of knowledge. Virtual methodologies were tested and developed
    with the use of Adobe Connect Pro and Ning. Teachers felt new knowledge could
    immediately be transferred to their work and authenticity in e-learning fostered by
    increasing collaborative construction of knowledge, strengthening reflection and deploying
    interactive social media. While considered useful and a time-saver, further improvements to
    the multiphase model should focus on process instructions and role clarification.

    Publication Type: Conference Paper
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
    Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
    Copyright: Copyright © 2009 Irja Leppisaari, Leena Vainio and Jan Herrington
    Conference Website: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/auckland09/
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1909
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