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In-service EFL teacher’s research experiences in an online professional learning community: a qualitative multiple case study

Karakaya Yıldırım, Nuriy
The aim of this dissertation was “to investigate the effects of conducting teacher research on in- service English teachers’ views of themselves as researchers, their teacher roles and their professional development as well as to find out how participating in an online professional learning community affect in- service English teacher’s research engagement practices”. The professional learning community in question was designed for the purpose of this study. Necessary materials and tasks were presented on a weekly basis for the teacher-researchers (participants) in the community. The participants were guided via the materials and tasks as well as the information sharing that took place in the community into conducting teacher research in their own contexts. Additionally, two consecutive interviews which are “initial and final interview” were used, to be able to get more insights from the experiences of the teachers related to their teacher research administration. After the teachers conducted teacher research, some positive changes in the teacher as researcher identity has been observed. Additionally, their awareness related to this form of research increased. Teacher research’s potential and feasibility were evaluated by teachers. At the end of the study, the teachers also had different and extended opinions related to the benefits of teacher research as a professional development tool compared to the beginning of the study. The teachers also gave serviceable insights related to the place of a support community in the undertaking of research and the kind of features necessary for the success of this community in an online platform.