In response to such overwhelming nonparticipation during the first year of the TMTP, two purposive actions were taken with Cohort 2 (n = 11) to encourage online participation.
A TMTP instructor posted his own responses to several of the teachers' comments for all to read in an attempt to generate a thread of discussion.
As the TMTP transitioned to the follow-up session phase, the project encouraged online participation by providing motivating prompts as requested by the Cohort 1 teachers.
s (1990) five criteria as a lens with which to evaluate the online component of the TMTP, it is clear that significant improvement had been made in the transition from Cohort 1 to Cohort 2 but that the complexities associated with conducting a professional development project made meeting all five criteria difficult.
Technology was, again, not a barrier the TMTP instructors needed to consider.
Recognizing the inadequacy of instructing teachers to write about "anything, anytime," the TMTP instructors asked teachers to respond to very specific prompts during the summer institute and between follow-up sessions.
Despite purposive action by the TMTP instructors to provide motivating questions, the online forum fell silent with the beginning of the school year.
As illustrated, the effort to sustain an electronic network for the TMTP teachers was unsuccessful as the network either failed to thrive from the beginning (in year one) or quickly fell silent (in year two).
This lack of focus is an important factor in the TMTP online discussion forum's failure during its first year.
At the onset TMTP staff believed that online discussion forums could provide opportunities for teachers to receive professional and social support necessary to engage in new teaching practices while making the most of their busy schedules.
An examination of the TMTP teachers' online participation in light of Riel and Levin's (1990) framework points to the teachers' lack of sense of responsibility to the group or networking tasks as a major reason for the online discussion forum's lack of success.
The teachers' positive engagement with colleagues in face-to-face meetings suggests that TMTP teachers did in fact value the building of collegial relationships.