Managing teachers’ practicum in initial teacher preparation using an elearning platform
Zacharia, Zacharias C.
Constantinou, Constantinos P.
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This research study focuses on the development and evaluation of the Learning Space Platform as a resource for the improvement of the pre-service Teachers’ Practicum. The Teachers’ Practicum is a compulsory course for pre-service teachers studying at the University of Cyprus. The course aims at familiarizing pre-service teachers with the class environment, with planning for instruction and with the various roles undertaken by teachers in school settings. The course also involves assessment that is carried out by supervisors aiming to sustain the quality of work. This paper reflects upon describing the processes applied while embedding on line technologies in a university course like Teachers’ Practicum. Furthermore, the study discusses the users’ reactions as far as these changes are concerned and the benefits derived from using on line technologies. In order to evaluate the usability and functionality of the elearning platform, seventeen pre-service teachers and six practicum supervisors participated in a pilot study using the platform during one semester. The results indicate that the process of embedding on line learning in university courses demands great effort and time from the instructors during the design and implementation of the course but provides more time at later stages. Finally, according to the pre-service teachers and practicum supervisors, using the elearning platform for the Teachers’ Practicum provided users with enhanced time management and helped them manage the resources in more efficient ways.