Hamel Internet Collaborative Tools in Preservice Teacher Education

Hamel, C. (2012). Supervision of Pre-service Teacher: Using Internet Collaborative Tools to Support Their Return to Their Region of Origin. Canadian Journal of Education, 35(2), pp. 141-154.

Summary: This study used a design experiment of three iterations to understand how university supervisors could supervise pre-service teachers (PSTs) in remote locations in Quebec, Canada. Placing PSTs in remote locations served a local school need of a teacher shortage and students’ desires to teach in their hometowns. The study investigated the use of video-conferencing as the technological tool. The findings indicate that, although not as ideal as the face-to-face supervision, the video conferencing was able to accomplish the required tasks of the supervisors.

Key Words: supervision, student teaching, field experiences, remote supervision, technology, technology in supervision, supervisory relationships, video conferencing, video, social nature of learning, supervision in teacher preparation


Conceptual Framework:


Research Questions:

  • How could students in remote areas be closely supervised in order to respect the requirements of the practicum?
  • What uses of the Internet could help to adequately support the process of educational supervision in order to ensure quality in a long-distance relationship?
  • What connections could be made between technological tools used in the Remote Networked Schools initiative and the need for supervision of students?
  • How was the practice of supervision modified, in the sense that the dynamics of mediation were not uniquely governed by a face-to-face presence?



Design Experiment, 3 iterations

Semi-structured interviews with the supervisors

Observing the evolution of the supervisors’ practices with the technological tools over a five year period



15 week practicum

3rd iteration: 2 supervisors and 31 PSTs


Intervention Description:

Used video conferencing and knowledge forums to support PSTs’ supervision in remote locations



  1. Video-conference tools facilitated better synchronous supervision by facilitating support and feedback to the PSTs.

    1. PSTs preferred video conferencing to audio conferencing. They liked seeing their peers.
    2. Video facilitated more easily the classroom observation and the conversation among the PST, cooperating teacher, and supervisor.
    3. However, there was less spontaneity in conversation and a greater need for more non-verbal cues because of the video conferencing.
  2. Reproducing the Practicum Collaboration in Remote Area Using the Electronic Forum

    1. “…PSTs all agree that the forum allowed them to remain focused on the learning acquired in training while finding there a needed sense of collegiality among colleagues” (p. 148).
  3. Continuity in the Act of Mediation

    1. Cooperating teachers in the remote locations were new to the role of cooperating teachers, therefore, they had to learn a great deal about their roles and responsibilities.
    2. University supervisors were unfamiliar with the school contexts, so they had to learn a great deal about the school and the communities.
  4. A Requirement for Greater Autonomy for the PST

    1. “PSTs perceived that they had to act very proactively to inform the university supervisors in sufficient detail about what was happening in the practicum” (p. 151).
  5. University-Community Partnership in Remote Regions

    1. It widened of the networked schools.
    2. Allowed cooperating teachers to have these kinds of roles which were not previously offered to teachers in remote locations and to extend professional development about the role of cooperating teacher to them.


Key Passages:



** Note to self: This article frames the purpose of supervision in teacher education as being about linking theory to practice.