When a Peer Group Isn’t Needed: Effective Online Learning in an Individual Mentoring Model

  • Alyssa Friend Wise
  • Chandra Hawley Orrill
  • Thomas M. Duffy
  • Rodrigo del Valle
  • Jamie R. Kirkley


In this chapter, we discuss the design and refinement of the Learning to Teach with Technology Studio, an online professional development environment for teachers who are interested in learning how to use technology to support inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning. We specifically focus on our initial design commitments of flexibility and relevancy and how they were embodied in the system. We examine the iterations made to the system in response to our design-based research efforts and explore the implications of our research on our beliefs about the role of collaboration in learning in online environments.


Collaboration Peer-groups/interaction Group work Online professional development Inquiry-based approaches Online learning Mentoring Online collaboration Technology integration Curriculum content standards Guided problem solving Learner-centered teaching Technology access Self-paced learning Feedback Mentoring Discussion forums 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the work of all of the members of the Learning to Teach with Technology Studio project who took part in the design, development, and evaluation of the system. We particularly want to acknowledge Gihan Osman and Lara Malopinsky who led some of the research efforts reported here. Work on LTTS was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Funding for Improvement in Post Secondary Education’s Learning Anytime, Anywhere Program (grant number P339B990108-01). The results reported here are the opinions of the authors and may not reflect those of the Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyssa Friend Wise
    • 1
  • Chandra Hawley Orrill
  • Thomas M. Duffy
  • Rodrigo del Valle
  • Jamie R. Kirkley
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversitySurreyCanada

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