Distance Technologies in Collaborative Research: Analyzing the Successes and Barriers

Robert Mayben
Sharon Nichols
Vivian H. Wright
University of Alabama


This study investigates uses of distance technologies to support collaborative research among groups of teacher educators using online instruction to enhance their instructional practices. The primary goal of this study was to examine the successes and barriers of the use of distance technologies for collaborative research. The study includes a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of particular distance communication tools. Data were collected via a survey administered in a Web-based format. Results indicate that e-mail and the telephone are considered the best facilitators of collaboration via a distance. The discussion reveals that technology infrastructures and participant skills play major roles in the selection of collaborative tools.

About the Author(s)...

Robert Mayben is a computer applications teacher at Etowah High School in Attalla, Alabama. He is also pursuing a doctoral degree in Instructional Leadership with an emphasis in Instructional Technology at The University of Alabama. He was an inaugural graduate of the Computers and Applied Technology Master’s program in the Secondary Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning Department at The University of Alabama. His research interests include curriculum technology integration, educational graphic design, online learning and communications, and the psychological and social issues within educational technology. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sherry Nichols, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Science Education at The University of Alabama. She teaches courses which include: prospective elementary and secondary science teaching methods, technologies for secondary science teaching, and qualitative action research. Dr. Nichols research interests have focused on elementary science teacher "tools for reflection", case writing for professional development, feminist science pedagogy, and sociocultural issues in science teaching.

Vivian H. Wright, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at The University of Alabama. She works with teacher educators on innovative ways to infuse technology in the curriculum to enhance teaching and learning and has helped initiate and develop projects such as Electronic Portfolios for the Preservice Teacher, Master Technology Teacher, and Technology on Wheels. Dr. Wright's research interests include asynchronous education, specifically Internet and E-Learning, and K-12 technology integration. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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