Teacher Participation in Online Professional Development: Exploring Academic Year Classroom Impacts

ID: 52371 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Tom Opfer and Debra Sprague, George Mason University, United States

Tuesday, March 27 3:20-3:40 PM Location: Edison E View on map

Presider: Terrie Poehl, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, United States

Abstract: The purpose of this mixed methods case study research was to investigate the reasons teachers chose online professional development (OPD) focusing on technology integration and how this OPD impacted teachers’ classroom practices over a six month period. Data was collected from surveys, interviews, and classroom observations. Survey data came from a pre-survey, post-survey, and follow-up survey completed by 18 teachers. Survey data was analyzed quantitatively using dependent sample t-tests and a one-way ANOVA test. The case study data was collected throughout six months after OPD and came from interviews and three classroom observations of each of the two participating teachers. Quantitative data analysis results indicated that participants believe OPD is beneficial to professional growth, believe OPD provides and enhances their skills, feel comfortable transferring the OPD content knowledge into instructional practices, and believe OPD is as beneficial as or more beneficial than traditional professional development. Five themes emerged from qualitatively analyzing the observation and interview data: (1) OPD provides hands-on opportunities, (2) OPD is practical for classroom implementation, (3) technology supports instruction, (4) classrooms are flexible and focus on student engagement, and (5) strong classroom management and organization are necessary.

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