Effectiveness of Online Professional Development for Technical Educators
Numerous studies have shown multiple benefits gained through professional development for teachers, which address increasing pedagogical content knowledge, increasing student achievement and increasing teacher job satisfaction (Banks, 2008; Colbert, Brown, Choi &Thomas, 2008; Dash, de Kramer, O’Dwyer, Masters & Russell, 2012). However, barriers to professional development, including cost, time and access, make face-to-face professional development sessions difficult to meet teacher needs (Carr, 2016). Online professional development can help to address these barriers, while meeting the needs of teachers. Employing best practices established through both online learning pedagogy and professional development techniques, teachers can increase their pedagogical content knowledge and opportunities for collaboration using online platforms. This study demonstrated, using a blend of qualitative and quantitative assessments that online professional development was comparable in effectiveness to face-to-face professional development in preparation for teaching an introductory logistics course and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Logistics Associate certification exam.