The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

E-learning in teacher training: From scepticism to careful optimism

Patrick Murphy, Nord University (Norway)


Teacher training is under pressure of rationalization and cost reduction, and the point of departure for this case study is gathering-based teacher training at Nord University, where the students meet physically on campus three weeks and have three weeks of online sessions per semester. There are a number of challenges involved with this format, especially as the work of the (future) teacher is founded largely on relation building, and it may appear as a paradox that a teacher training program on the one hand should ideally be one of modelling, and on the other hand moves towards more online learning where such important relation building is ideal neither for student-student nor student-teacher relationships. Though increasingly more teachers become proficient in e-learning and online teaching, it is still a long road to travel, and unfortunately there is an impression that there is still a large number of teachers in higher education that base online teaching on the traditional lecture. The students are from own experience not sufficiently active – or indeed activated - during an online session, and the barrier to relation building is greater than meeting face to face in the classroom. This case study is based on working with the graphic novel Illegal [1] in the subject English, and addresses the following two challenges: 1) fostering student activity both prior to and during online sessions, and 2) teacher/student interaction prior to and post online sessions. Preparations for the online class of the case study are secured through an interactive learning path, and the following 5 hour online session is conducted without synchronous presence of the teacher. The preparatory learning path and the accompanying online session has the ambitious aim of 100% student activity. In order to achieve this, both learning path and online session are thought out and constructed based on elements of social constructivism, collaborative learning, personal cognitive development, connectivism, and in-depth learning. The principle ideas of and behind Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences are central in triggering and fostering a variety of student learning styles both during the preparatory learning path as well as the online session. This paper thus takes the reader through the process and contents of an e-learning session – as well as the findings in form of student feedback and teacher reflection.


Teacher training, e-learning, student activity, teacher involvement



[1] Colfer, E., Donkin, A., Rigano, G. (2018) Illegal. London: Hodder Children's Books



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