Extending classrooms through teacher collaboration in Virtual Learning Environments

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This paper explores arrangements and conditions enabling and constraining teacher collaboration to extend classrooms through Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). It draws implications from a participatory action research project in three small, rural Finnish schools funded by the European Social Fund (2015–2017). Data were mainly collected through discussions and interviews with five teachers. The theory of practice architectures serves as a theoretical and analytical framework. The collaboration challenged and enabled cultural-discursive, material-economic, and social-political arrangements on three levels. On a classroom level, the VLE enabled new teaching practices (e.g., student collaboration, formative assessment). However, a lack of digital competence among teachers and students hindered the cross-classroom collaboration. On a school level, the school leaders enabled or constrained the arrangements depending on the provided support or lack thereof (e.g., schedules, faculty involvement). On a regional level, the infrastructure (e.g., transportation) for collaboration would require arrangements developed in dialogue with the schools (e.g., digital systems). The paper concludes that changing teaching practices in relation to VLEs requires slowly evolving previous and new architectures simultaneously on all three levels.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)
JournalEducational Action Research
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Practice architectures
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Teacher collaboration

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