Professional development and its’ role for higher education instructors’ TPCK, self-efficacy and technology adoption as well as their technological and didactical implementation of distance teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abstract: Due to the sudden onset of COVID-19 pandemic, on-site higher education institutions in Germany had to immediately to implement distance teaching. The way instructors designed their courses may have been influenced by their initial levels of knowledge, confidence and attitudes. In two online surveys among N = 576 higher education instructors, we investigated the potential impact of participating in professional development on instructors’ TPCK, self-efficacy and self-, task- and impact-oriented Stages of Concerns about implementation of distance teaching. We researched the relational patterns of these factors with instructors’ technological and didactical design of their courses, as expressed by the frequency of distance tool use and interactivity according to the ICAP model. Results showed that instructors reported very little prior experience with distance teaching, mostly relying on asynchronous, passive teaching in the first distance semester, but reported more frequent and synchronous tool use and more generative teaching in the second semester. Regression analyses showed that while participation in PD courses and TPCK were positively related to a frequent interactive teaching, aversion to distance teaching negatively affected distance teaching adoption and more interactive teaching modes. Our study links teacher-related factors with the way they design their distance classes and delivers implications for further competence development of higher education instructors.