Developing Pedagogy and Course Design Skills in Novice Virtual School Teachers in Australia
AbstractTen secondary schools in a large statewide education system initiated a virtual school network to address the lack of upper secondary school courses for university entry in smaller high schools. This article highlights the yearlong professional learning program designed to prepare a cohort of classroom teachers, who were novices to teaching online, for developing and teaching fully online courses. In accordance with program goals, data include pre/post measures of teachers’ capabilities in the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Teaching, and external course reviews using the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses. Results show that teachers grew in all standards their self-reported online teaching skills, and reviewers rated two-thirds of the 21 course quality items as being Very Satisfactory and Satisfactory for a majority of the courses prior to teachers beginning to teach students. Findings indicate areas of emphasis for the ongoing work of the cohort’s professional learning community.