Teacher Perspectives on Online Collaborative Learning: Factors Perceived as Facilitating and Impeding Successful Online Group Work
This study examined the factors perceived by in-service teachers as either facilitating or impeding successful completion of online group work in a virtual graduate school of education program. Based on a quantified qualitative data analysis of open-ended questions, five facilitative factors were identified as (a) individual accountability, (b) affective team support, (c) the presence of a positive group leader, (d) consensus building skills, and (e) clear instructions. There were also seven impeding factors perceived by the teacher participants. Although four of the factors described a lack of the aforementioned facilitative factors, another three broached new, problematic issues that need to be further considered in online teacher education programs. At the conclusion of this article, recommendations are provided that online teacher educators might consider as they initiate group projects in online environments.