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Helga Dorner and Andrea Kárpáti: Mentored Innovation in Virtual Learning Environment

The major aim of the CALIBRATE – Calibrating E-Learning at European Schools Project was to support the collaborative development, use and exchange of digital learning resources at primary and secondary schools in Europe. A pilot project to co-develop and test the content and functionalities of the digital tools of the project: of the European Learning Resource Exchange (LRE) containing learning objects and assets developed by Ministries of Education of 7 EU member countries, and LeMill, a new collaborative community platform for teachers, was designed and co-ordinated by ELTE in 2006-2007. This paper reports on the Mentored Innovation Model for professional development for teachers whose ICT skills and competences needed for an educational innovation process had to be developed in parallel. Participants were invited to search for international learning resources that were made available through a network of linked repositories via the CALIBRATE portal. Design and implementation of learning resources through collaboration in discipline based, (inter)national groups required highly reflective behaviour related to the teachers’ traditional pedagogical practices. This included provision of constructive feedback and intensive engagement in the long-term co-development of learning resources. The sample of the presented pedagogical scenarios included teachers (n=23, n=20 in two iterations) located in different regions of Hungary responsible for subjects (subject-groups) such as Maths, Science, Foreign languages and Humanities. Professional mentoring, i.e. scaffolding during the knowledge creation process of teachers was provided by peers and e-moderators or facilitators in different e-learning environments and supported innovative practices not only in the preparatory phase but also during the whole innovation process. The Mentored Innovation Model relied on the three basic constituents of an online community of inquiry: cognitive, social and teaching presence. Satisfaction regarding the model was explored through the observation of perceived (subjective) values provided by the participating respondents in order to identify the role of the virtual learning environments employed, activities of the facilitator and the participants’ self-perceived social presence in the success of the training process. Mentoring was identified as a key factor of success in the in-service training process.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 108. Number 3. 225-246. (2008)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Dorner Helga, H–1051 Budapest, Nádor u. 9. Kárpáti Andrea, ELTE TTK, Multimédiapedagógiai és Oktatástechnológiai Központ, H–1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia