An investigation of online environments supporting follow-up to professional development for Texas school librarians
Mary Elizabeth Green, Texas A&M University, United States
Texas A&M University . Awarded
At the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year, school librarians participated in a face-to-face workshop during in-service training. The workshop dealt with the process of creating a TAKS Support Plan, a plan for the library to remediate deficiencies on the TAKS at their school. At the conclusion of the workshop, school librarians were given the opportunity to participate in an eight-week online follow-up course that supported implementation of in-service themes.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of online follow-up and collaboration on participant attitudes, quality of course product, and course completion in an online professional development course for librarians in 12 Texas school districts. This study used a posttest-only control group experimental design with self-selected participants. School librarians were stratified by level of service and socioeconomic school status and were randomly assigned to one of three environments. Two experimental environments were used: (a) Collaborative Follow-up and (b) Noncollaborative Follow-up and a control environment, Noncollaborative/No Follow-up. The experimental environments were given additional information and support in an online course to aid the creation of their TAKS Support Plan.
Results indicate that the professional development program that included online collaboration and follow-up produced more positive attitudes towards the professional development program than the professional development program with no collaboration or follow-up. Attitudes towards the online professional development experience from the two experimental environments were mildly positive with no significant difference across groups. Attitudes towards the professional development experience in the control environment were significantly less positive than the experimental environments. Logistic regression revealed that the likelihood of completion could be predicted by membership in professional development environment. The likelihood of completion by participants in the Collaborative Follow-up environment was significantly greater than participants in the Noncollaborative Follow-up and Noncollaborative/No Follow-up environments. No difference was found in completion rates between the other two environments. Credential proved to effect TAKS Support Plan completion. Master's degree holders in the Noncollaborative Follow-up environment and master's and bachelor's degree holders in the Noncollaborative/No Follow-up environment were less likely to complete than these levels in the Collaborative Follow-up environment.
Green, M.E. An investigation of online environments supporting follow-up to professional development for Texas school librarians. Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University.
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