A Case Study of Online Peer Coaching of Consultant Communication Skill Development
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ABSTRACT Title of Dissertation: A CASE STUDY OF ONLINE PEER COACHING OF CONSULTANT COMMUNICATION SKILL DEVELOPMENT Lorraine L. Wizda, Doctor of Philosophy, 2010 Dissertation directed by: Professor Sylvia Rosenfield School Psychology Program The purpose of the this study was to explore how peer coaches support the development of collaborative communication skills in an online format for consultants in training (CITs). The program examined was Instructional Consultation which pairs a consultant with a teacher to work collaboratively to resolve the teacher's concern regarding a student. The focus is on improving instruction and modifying environmental variables. The study was approached using case study methodology. Research questions were: (a) how do online peer coaches support the development of collaborative communication skills in CITs and (b) what skills were selected most frequently by the CITs as focus skills? Transcripts of the email exchanges between the coaches and CITs which include self-reflection by the CIT and structured feedback from the coach are the data used. results show that the coaches use targeted feedback, examples, practical suggestions, and modeling collaborative language to support the development of CIT skills. Not all of the CITs consistently identified a focus skill (a skill they request specific feedback on from the coach). Collaborative communication skills were selected more frequently in the early stages of the process while more content related concerns were selected toward the end of the process. The findings provide a better understanding of how collaborative communication skills are supported in an online format and provide direction for future research.