Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-20-2019


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology (EdDIT)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Meidl

Committee Member

Dr. Ann Huang

Committee Member

Dr. Saundra Quinones


Professional Development, Online Teacher Study Group, General Education and Special Education Collaboration


In recent years, there appears to have been a shift in professional development approaches for teachers from short-term workshops to teacher communities of professional practice, which extend over a while and focus on the expert knowledge teachers need to use in their setting (Goya, 2014). A supportive approach to teacher learning communities is a teacher study group. An even more promising and flexible approach to teacher learning communities in a global aspect is an online teacher study group. An online teacher study group provided a universal and flexible venue to engage in collaborative discussion between general education and special education teachers about inclusion practices in a general education classroom for students diagnosed with autism. Therefore, the purpose of this case study was to provide a more in-depth look into the collaboration of general education and special education teachers through an online study group to learn and demonstrate best practices in the inclusive model of teaching.

Positive learning on members of this study group was satisfactory, yet the participation was not highly interactive. This study was significant in that the online teacher study group fostered the teachers’ professional growth, however; their engagement was neither highly interactive nor superior to other online professional development models, even though their anecdotal evidence supported the claim that participants enjoyed and valued the online teacher study group (Yang & Liu, 2004).