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Title: Using a community of practice via a new technology (Moodle) for continuing professional development in Saudi Arabia
Author: Alrubian, Ali Mohammed S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 1702
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
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Given the spread of the implementation of Online Communities of Practice (OCoP) as a new approach to organisational learning in the context of continuing professional development (CPD) programmes in some countries such as the UK, USA and Australia, this study conducts a trial in which the OCoP is introduced for this purpose in Saudi Arabia. The aim of the study is to establish the potential of the OCoP to function as an approach to CPD, and how such a mechanism can be adopted in the Saudi context to have an impact upon teachers’ professional performance and development. I designed the OCoP and the sample was composed of 14 male teachers of ICT in secondary schools located in five different cities in Saudi Arabia. The teachers interacted with each other in the OCoP, discussing eight subjects that they chose for themselves. In order to explore the operation and outcomes of the OCoP, I used qualitative methods, in particular semi-structured interviews, classroom observation of a sample of teachers, and observation and monitoring of teachers’ interaction within the OCoP over a three-month period. The overall findings show the positive impact of adopting an OCoP in CPD programmes. They reveal that some teachers change their practice and improve their levels of reflection. Additionally, the findings show significant differences between the levels of contribution made by teachers in the OCoP compared with their participation and engagement in other general online communities and in training courses attended in the country’s Training Centres. Furthermore, the study points to the importance of commitment and internal motivation among teachers in the context of the OCoP since without this, the overall aims of the Community cannot be achieved. The study also raises critical issues concerning the psychological aspects of teachers’ professional development, specifically the need to allow teachers more autonomy in determining their professional needs, and the requirement for trust to be built among teachers since the presence of such autonomy and trust promotes greater engagement in the CPD process. As a result of the trial OCoP, several avenues for further research are suggested in order to gain a deeper understanding of the potential of OCoPs in the educational field.
Supervisor: Prevett, Pauline ; Dyson, Alan Sponsor: Ministry of Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CoP ; Continuing Professional Development