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Student perceptions of online peer learning in preservice music teacher education: motivation, social-emotional learning, and classroom climate




Herman, Christina Haarala, author
Johnson, Erik, advisor
Decker, Derek, committee member
Bacon, Joel, committee member

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Music instruction has historically depended upon a master-apprentice model in which teacher-determined goals serve as the focal point of the classroom and reduce opportunities for collaboration among peers (Allsup, 2003; Green, 2008; Wis, 2002). However, collaborative learning practices, such as peer-assisted learning (PAL), have been established as effective instructional methods in a variety of music learning contexts (e.g., Alexander & Dorow, 1983; Duran et al., 2020; Goodrich, 2007; Johnson, 2013). Recently, scholars have extended investigations of collaborative learning practices into the realm of online learning environments (Altinay, 2017; Biasutti, 2011; Raymond et al., 2016; Shawcross, 2019; Thorpe, 2002). Peer-assisted learning experiences have been identified as one of many successful strategies for meeting the diverse needs of students in online contexts (Altinay, 2017; Keppell et al., 2006; McLuckie & Topping, 2004; Raymond et al., 2016; Razak & See, 2010); however, there is a lack of scholarly literature surrounding online PAL in the context of preservice music teacher education Though online learning is not new in the realm of formal education, rapidly developing technologies have increased the impact and prevalence of online learning in many educational settings, including preservice music teacher education (Dumford & Miller, 2018; Statti & Villegas, 2020; Sandrone & Schneider, 2020). Specifically, growing health and safety concerns related to the spread of disease in a global pandemic have necessitated a shift in the delivery of instruction from face-to-face settings to online classroom environments. Given the increasing demand for flexible online learning solutions, music educators would benefit from context-specific knowledge about the interaction of PAL solutions with online music learning environments. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore student perceptions of an online PAL experience in a preservice music teacher education course through the self-reported lenses of student motivation (Elliot, 1999), social-emotional learning (CASEL, 2003), and classroom climate (Dwyer et al., 2004; Moos, 1979). Quantitative data were collected via questionnaire measures (Coryn et al., 2009; Elliot & Muarayama, 2008; Kaufmann et al., 2016; Kaufmann & Vallade, 2020) and follow-up interviews were conducted with four participants who were selected using a maximum variation sampling approach (Jones et al., 2013; Raymond et al., 2016). Data revealed that student perspectives were likely influenced by their individual motivation orientation, capacity for social-emotional learning, and perception of the online classroom climate. Interview participants provided further context to these findings by sharing their individual experiences with group interactions, peer feedback, student connectedness, and course structure.


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music education
peer-assisted learning
collaborative learning
preservice music teachers
online learning


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