Integrating CMC into the in-service distance education MA in TESOL delivered by the Hellenic Open University to promote interaction and collaboration
Teacher continuous professional development, at its core, is about teachers sharing knowledge with one another to help improve their practice. This dissertation investigates the effectiveness of integrating computer-mediated communication (CMC) in a traditional in-service distance education MA in TESOL program in promoting interaction and collaboration among the academic community and the impact of this integration on learners sense of community. Research was carried out in the form of an exploratory case study combining use of a questionnaire survey, semi-structured interviews, transcript analysis and the researcher s reflective journal. Overall the study presented an optimistic case for the intervention. Employment of multiple research methods enabled the researcher to put their strengths to good use. Triangulation of results derived from multiple research methods facilitated appropriate use of verification strategies which ensured reliability and validity of the completed project. Seeking ethical permission early in the research process by requiring participants to sign a written consent form ensured that data would not be compromised by lack of permission. However, the study was particularised and confined to the unique setting of HOU and the specific sample group of participants, thus restricting generalisability of the conclusions to be drawn. A cross-HOU study would prove advantageous in order to provide larger variation in instructional design, learner and instructor attitudes.