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Authors: Peterson, Rob
Herrington, Jan
Konza, Deslea
Tzvetkova-Arsova, Mira
Stefanov, Krassen
Keywords: community of practice
special education
competence development
Issue Date: 8-Nov-2007
Abstract: Research and development for an Internet- facilitated distributed community of practice (DCoP) for special education in Bulgaria is in its final phase. Results from the needs assessment indicated that special education researchers, practitioners, and parents in Bulgaria would benefit from such a community and that there is sufficient Internet access. Formative evaluation results directed website usability and sociability improvements and the incorporation of Moodle, a popular course management system. An effectiveness evaluation is currently underway to investigate the DCoP’s effect on the job performance and satisfaction of special educators. Preliminary results indicate that though a DCoP has begun to coalesce, it may remain unclear if it helps special educators do their jobs better. Partnership with the European Union 6th Framework integrated project, TENCompetence, may help address this finding. The expected outcomes of such a partnership include the implementation and testing of ePortfolios and online courses to assist Bulgarian special educators with lifelong competency development.
Description: Special Education Bulgaria (SEB) is a CoP that is facilitated by a website. It’s central purpose is to connect extant geographically-dispersed special education communities in Bulgaria. The website,, has been updated progressively throughout three phases of research and grown from an initial group of 20 users to more than 200. SEB has looked to the European Union’s (EU’s) 6th Framework integrated project, TENCompetence. It is anticipated that the success of a TENCompetence-SEB partnership will depend primarily on the implementation and testing of ePortfolios and online courses to assist SEB members with lifelong competency development. This paper briefly summarizes the SEB features consistent with TENCompetence concepts of competency development, life-long learning, and professional networking. It then describes, in detail, the features needed to expand SEB from a DCoP into a suitable TENCompetence pilot.
Appears in Collections:1. TENC: Publications and Preprints

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