The University of Arizona

Cross-university collegiality: Supporting 21st century cooperation in preservice English Language Arts teachers

Katie Rybakova, Nicole Damico


As preservice teachers develop ideas about what it means to be and become educators, they benefit from opportunities that allow them to experience cooperative group work with diverse populations. This is especially important because during the induction phase, as they cross over from teacher education students to inservice teachers, they are often expected to engage in collegial work with their coworkers. In this article, the authors describe a cross-university project using a digital platform that afforded two sets of preservice teachers from two different universities to cooperate over the course of four weeks to inform each other’s practice. This cooperative project included peer review sessions focused on lesson plans and synchronous revision conferences as part of a digital learning community. The authors considered the affordances and limitations of using an online platform as a way to foster cooperative practice among preservice teachers. Overall, preservice teachers had a positive perception of this project. In this article, we share the planning and implementation of the project, the ways in which students engaged with both their peers and the digital tools, and the trials and tribulations of the authors as instructors of these two cohorts of preservice teachers. Ultimately, our goal is to highlight the need in teacher education for projects that engage preservice teachers in cooperative practice with both the use of digital tools and authentic conversations with others outside of their own educational communities. 


Collaboration; online learning; teacher education; collegiality; digital project

Full Text:



Agosto, D. E., Copeland, A. J., & Zach, L. (2013). Testing the benefits of blended education: Using social technology to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing in face-to-face LIS courses. Journal Of Education For Library & Information Science, 54(1), 94-107.

Alsadoon, E. (2018). The impact of social presence on learners’ satisfaction in mobile learning. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 17(1), 226-233.

Arnold, N., Ducate, L., & Kost, C. (2012). Collaboration or cooperation? Analyzing group dynamics and revision processes in wikis. Calico Journal, 29(3), 431-448.

Bird, T. & Rosaen, C. (2005). Providing authentic contexts for learning information technology in teacher preparation. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(2), p. 211-232.

Blau, I., & Caspi, A. (2009). What type of collaboration helps? Psychological ownership, perceived learning and outcome quality of collaboration using Google Docs. In Proceedings of the Chais conference on instructional technologies research (Vol. 12), Y. Eshet-Alkalai, A. Caspi, S. Eden, N. Geri, Y. Yair (Eds.), Raanana: The Open University of Israel.

Castle, K. (2004). The meaning of autonomyin early childhood teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 18(1), 55-67.

Chou, P. N., & Chen, H. H. (2008). Engagement in online collaborative learning: A case study using a web 2.0 tool. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 574-582.

Chu, S. K. W., Kennedy, D., & Mak, Y. K. (2009). MediaWiki and Google Docs as online collaboration tools for group project co-construction. In Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Knowledge Management.

Cox, D., & Nickson, L.M. (2014). A peek behind the page: How preservice teachers use social media to build understanding and community. Teacher Education and Practice, 27(4), p. 591-604.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (2007). Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons

Donnelly, D. F., & Hume, A. (2015). Using collaborative technology to enhance pre-service teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in Science. Research in Science & Technological Education, 33(1), 61-87.

Dyment, J., Downing, J., & Budd, Y. (2013). Framing teacher education engagement in an online environment. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(1), p. 134-149.

Easton, L.B. (2008). Powerful designs for professional learning (2nd Ed.). Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council.

Fleischmann, K., & Daniel, R.J. (2010). Increasing authenticity through multidiscplinary collaboration in real-life scenarios in digital media design education. CoDesign, 6(2), 61-74.

Funkhouser, B. J., & Mouza, C. (2013). Drawing on technology: An investigation of preservice teacher beliefs in the context of an introductory educational technology course. Computers & Education, 62, 271-285. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.11.005

Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Weigel, M., Clinton, K., & Robinson, A.J. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Beyond Googling: Applying Google tools to inquiry-based learning. Teacher Librarian, 37(4), 83-86.

Le Cornu, R., & Ewing, R. (2008). Reconceptualising professional experiences in preservice teacher education…reconstructing the past to embrace the future. Teaching & Teacher Education, 24(7), 1799-1812. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2008.02.008

Leppisaari, I., & Lee, O. (2011). Modelling digital native’s international collaboration: Finnish-Korean experiences of environmental education. Educational Technology & Society, 15(2), 244-256.

Moore, C. (2016). The future of work: What Google shows us about the present and future online collaboration. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 60(3), p. 233-244.

Paris, L., Boston, J., & Morris, J. (2015). Facebook and the final practicum: The impact of online peer support in the assistant teacher program. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(9), 157-175.

Pettit, S.L. (2017). Preparing teaching candidates for co-teaching. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin: International Journal for Professional Educators, 83(3), 15-23.

Piaget, J. (1970). Structuralism. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Pruitt, R. (2017). Constructivist approaches online and face-to-face: The essential role of trust. Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue, 19(½), p. 105-127.

Raman, M., Ryan, T., & Olfman, L. (2005). Designing knowledge management systems for teaching and learning with wiki technology. Journal of Information Systems Education, 16(3), 311-320.

Rienzo, T., & Han, B. (2009). Microsoft or Google Web 2.0 tools for course management. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2), 123-127.

Rodesiler, L., Rami, M., Anderson, G., Minnich, C., Kelley, B., & Andersen, S. (2014). Transforming professional lives through online participation. English Journal, 103(6), 134-149.

Steckel, B., Harlow Shinas, V., & Van Vaerenewyck, L. (2015). Artistic technology integration: Stories from primary and elementary classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 69(1), p. 41-49.

Suwantarathip, O., & Wichadee, S. (2014). The effects of collaborative writing activity using Google Docs on students' writing abilities. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 13(2), 148-156.

Walters, L. M., Garii, B., & Walters, T. (2009). Learning globally, teaching locally: incorporating international exchange and intercultural learning into preservice teacher training. Intercultural Education, 20, 151-158. doi:10.1080/14675980903371050

Young, T., & Knestrict, T. (2012). Preparing better teachers: Using collaboration in preservice education. New Horizons for Learning, 10(1).