Let's play! Job-embedded professional development to support science teachers' transition to virtual technologies to teach the practice of science in Saudi Arabia.
Abstract: The switch to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic required a rapid and challenging adaptation of technology platforms to improve students learning. Science teachers were suddenly required to teach their classes online with little time and preparation. This breakneck shift to eLearning raised the question of how teachers can provide instruction to their students in the practices of science using virtual technologies. This study investigates an intervention to support Saudi science teachers facing the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19 in teaching the practices of science in the virtual school platform, Madrasati, through the engagement in job-embedded professional development. Seven high school science teachers were recruited from a large school district in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia participated virtually in digital game-based learning job-embedded professional development[DGBL-JEPD]. The DGBL-JEPD consists of six training sessions and eighth community of practice meetings during fall 2020. Data sources included post-interviews, audio recordings of the DGBL-JEPD meetings, observation, and teacher open-ended questioners and products. Findings included the vital role of the DGBL-JEPD in foster mutual cooperation, emotional support, and pedagogical content knowledge growth among teachers in e-learning. Results suggest that teachers' educators need to engage with the teachers daily teaching practice and provide them with professional and emotional support.
Presider: Jawaher Alsultan, University of South Florida