Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Ismahan Arslan-Ari

Abstract

Co-teachers at three Atlanta area schools are not providing the appropriate instruction to students with disabilities in the co-teaching setting due to the lack of collaboration in planning and teaching. The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the impact of the use of Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) as an online planning tool on the practices and responsibilities of general and special education co-teachers in the online co-teaching setting along with exploring teachers’ perceptions of the use of this online planning tool during a pandemic at three Atlanta area schools to make recommendations for its future use.

The study was guided by three overarching research questions. Research Question 1 was: How does the use of an online planning tool affect general and special education co-teachers’ practices related to the responsibilities of planning during a pandemic in the online co-teaching setting? Research Question 2 was: How does the use of an online planning tool affect general and special education co-teachers’ practices related to the responsibilities of online teaching during a pandemic in the co-teaching setting? Research Question 3 was: What are general and special education co-teachers’ perceptions toward using the online planning tool?

The methodology was a convergent parallel mixed methods design. Data were collected from six participants who represented three co-teaching pairs using a planning observation checklist, a survey, and individual semi-structured interviews. The survey and checklist data were analyzed through quantitative analysis using descriptive statistics.Participants used MS Teams to implement practices and responsibilities of co-teaching and found the tool useful and easy to use with appropriate training and support. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interview questions. The data were analyzed through inductive analysis. Five major themes emerged from the qualitative data: (a) co-teachers’ experiences using MS Teams for collaboration caused mixed perceptions of the tool, (b) MS Teams provided possible avenues for collaboration with multiple stakeholders, (c) MS Teams provided avenues for planning and instructional practices in an online co-teaching setting, (d) MS Teams as an online planning tool presented barriers in the online co-teaching setting, and (e) the integration of MS Teams requires supportive action steps to improve its usefulness and ease of use. The results of both types of data were compared for discussion and implications.

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