Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department/School/Program

Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. John Nash

Abstract

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are learning communities that can improve the skills and knowledge of teachers and improve a sense of community. CoPs are designed to cultivate relationships among teachers and develop professional practices that increase a sense of community and knowledge attainment. This study examined the use an online CoP to increase teachers’ sense of community during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Teachers joined a private online community and shared resources about classroom management strategies.

A mixed-methods action research approach was adopted for this research study. Quantitative data was captured from pre- and post-intervention surveys that collected information about teachers’ sense of community. The information was triangulated with qualitative data from pre-and post- intervention interviews. The mixed-methods research design provided more in-depth information than could be captured by utilizing only quantitative or qualitative data. The online community of practice was partly designed by participating teachers.

The study’s results showed that teachers’ improved their overall sense of community after participating in the CoP, particularly in three subscales related to community sense (e.g., reinforcement of needs, membership, and influence). The study results imply that online CoPs are an effective strategy to improve teachers’ sense of community.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.283

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