CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY ANALYSIS OF AN ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE OFFERED VIA BLACKBOARD
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to examine the nature of online professional development (OPD) for K-12 educators in the context of Blackboard, a web-based courses management system (WBCMS). Considering the widespread access to the Internet, an increased demand for teacher professional development, and the advances in information and communication technologies, a proliferation of online professional development courses for teachers has emerged in recent years (Dede, 2006; Galley, 2002). With such a wide variety of online professional development courses available, it is important to study the characteristics of effective OPD courses in order for educators responsible for coordinating staff development to gain the knowledge to better create, facilitate, and select online professional development (OPD) courses and/or opportunities for K-12 educators. This case study examined the factors impacting educator interest and engagement in OPD courses, the characteristics of OPD courses that educators (participants) perceived as effective, and how a specific OPD course addressed the characteristics of effective professional development. The findings in this study identified three reasons for which the participants chose to enroll in an online professional development course. They are: (1) maintaining teacher certification requirements, (2) interest/relevance, (3) convenience (time). After engaging in the entire OPD course, participants reported three perceived characteristics of effective online professional development courses - instructional design, interactivity, and collaboration. These findings agreed with the research literature in that instructional design, interactivity, and collaboration are important characteristics in online professional development. It was determined in this case study that online professional development meets the four overarching characteristics of effective professional development of: (1) time, (2) collaboration, (3) content and pedagogy focused, and (4) relevance. The findings from this case study offer a description of the nature of effective online professional development and may be used as a foundation for discussing implementing online professional development courses in school districts.
TypeUniversity of Pittsburgh ETD
Taylor, Jeffrey (2012) CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY ANALYSIS OF AN ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE OFFERED VIA BLACKBOARD. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.