What makes an online community of practice work? A situated study of Chinese student teachers’ perceptions of online professional learning

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This paper brings to the fore a cohort of student teachers' perceptions of an online learning experience during school placement in a Chinese tertiary institution; it critically explores factors contributing positively to online professional learning and the development of the community. An ethnographic case study approach was adopted. Findings indicate that online communication allows participants to recognize the significant presence of others in supporting and transforming their learning. It also fosters an appreciation and embracement of the multidimensional roles that they take on. Voluntary participation and empowerment emerge as key factors making this a vibrant professional community for professional growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Early online date4 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015



  • Online communities of practice
  • Learning-to-teach
  • School placement
  • Chinese views of learning

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