Online professional development: Transferring skills learned to the classroom
Teresa Coffman, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
Virtual communities are a new avenue towards increasing the effectiveness of professional development for K–12 teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent K–12 teachers transfer lessons learned in an online professional development module to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms. The data for this research study was collected through the virtual online community of Tapped In. A mixed methods approach was used to gather the data. Descriptive statistics were used for the quantitative analysis to determine summative results. Qualitative data was obtained through interview questions. Both the quantitative and qualitative research was used to gain an understanding of the experiences, participation level, and transfer of knowledge back to the participant's traditional classroom environment. The information obtained demonstrates how teachers apply technology integration methods and strategies learned in an online professional development virtual community to their traditional classroom learning environment. It also shows how teachers create their own meaning from the material in an online learning community so that it can be transferred to their classroom settings to enhance student learning. The results additionally depict how online professional virtual communities utilize learner-centered approaches that encourage self-discovery, active participation, and collaboration with peers and experts. This study corroborates the premise that online virtual communities, such as Tapped In, definitely have a place in professional development for teachers.
Coffman, T. Online professional development: Transferring skills learned to the classroom. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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