Fostering Online Professional Development Between EFL Preservice and Inservice Teachers: Affordances and Challenges

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Department of English, NTNU


This study explored affordances and challenges when fostering online professional development between English as a foreign language (EFL) preservice and inservice teachers. Seventeen EFL preserviceand six EFL inservice teachers at different schools were involved in a web-based asynchronous discussion board that promoted knowledge construction and professional growth. Multiple data sources from this10-month investigation revealed the potential of enhancing knowledge construction between individuals at the cross-tiers as they increasingly engaged with this online professional learning community. Thepreservice teachers gradually explored teaching issues and the inservice teachers became devoted to integrating the information being shared. Most teachers reported that they experienced collaborativeinteraction, reflective practice, and emotional support that impacted upon their instructional ideas and/or practice; despite limitations regarding deeper levels of knowledge construction. Several concernsor difficulties seemed to hamper some teachers from frequently joining the community. This cross-tier partnership offered insights and understanding for EFL teachers about their professional growth andhow they dealt with pedagogical implications and issues.