Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Deborah MacPhee


This qualitative study investigated teachers’ participation in an online learning space. Nine participants including seven practicing teachers and two student teachers engaged in an online learning group via a secret group on Facebook. During the four months of participation, teachers collaborated through questions posed to the group, articles, infographics, videos shared from outside educational sources, book recommendations, and examples of classroom scenarios. The purpose of this study was to understand how an online collaborative thirdspace could provide novice and experienced teachers space to explore their beliefs and practices outside of their immediate educational contexts. This study is grounded in a social constructivist paradigm and employs action research within an online thirdspace. Pre- and post-study questionnaires, online posts, and post-study interviews were included in the data sources of this study. All data were first coded using an inductive approach including two cycles: descriptive and subcoding. Then online posts were coded deductively using the framework for understanding teaching and learning (Bransford, Darling-Hammond, et al., 2005) to understand what participants discussed in the online learning space. Findings demonstrate that engagement in the online space led to participants shifting practices. Findings also demonstrate the encouragement and cordial tone in the discussions within the online learning space may have interfered with deeper critical conversations. These findings suggest a need for the field to consider the discourse of conversations in school contexts and the possibilities of online professional learning contexts for educators outside of traditional experiences.


Imported from ProQuest Belcher_ilstu_0092E_11628.pdf


Page Count