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The Impact of and the Key Elements for a Successful Virtual Early Field Experience: Lessons Learned from a Case Study

, Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching, United States ; , University of Cantebury, New Zealand

CITE Journal Volume 10, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


Virtual schooling, or the practice of offering K-12 courses via distance technologies, has rapidly increased in popularity since its beginning in 1994. Although effective interaction with and support for students in these environments requires a unique set of skills and experiences, teacher education programs rarely include teaching and facilitation competencies for virtual school education. Even less has been offered in terms of virtual field experience. A pilot virtual field experience enabled teacher candidates to observe how a high school science course was taught by an exemplary teacher using blended technologies. Key findings show that the virtual field experience helped to clarify misconceptions, preconceptions, and concerns and led to a better understanding of Virtual School teaching skills and teacher’s role as well as the supportive role of technology. Teacher candidates also reported an increased interest in Virtual School and learning goals at the end of the experience. Five key elements were also identified as contributive to the successful experience. The elements were putting the “virtual” in the virtual early field experience, increasing awareness through external and internal informational gathering methods, including self-paced and guided observation, providing guided hands-on experiential learning, and including on-site observation.


Compton, L. & Davis, N. (2010). The Impact of and the Key Elements for a Successful Virtual Early Field Experience: Lessons Learned from a Case Study. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(3), 309-337. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved August 4, 2021 from .


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