Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring teachers' perceptions of professional development in virtual learning teams
by Purnell, Courtney Paschal, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 150; 3536491
Abstract (Summary)

The demand for virtual education is rapidly increasing due to the proliferation of legislation demanding class size limitations, funding cuts, and school choice across the United States. Virtual education leaders are discovering new ways to enhance and develop teachers to become more efficient and increase quality of learning online. Learning teams are one tool implemented by professional development departments in order to obtain a community of shared best practices and increase professional learning for teachers. Several studies exist on the implementation of learning teams; however, none of these studies has examined the implementation of learning teams in a virtual environment in a school setting. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of virtual learning teams to their professional development in a completely online K-12 environment. An exploratory case study research methodology, with a heavy emphasis on virtual communication tools was used to interview eighteen professional learning community participants to understand their perception of professional development during the implementation of virtual professional learning communities at Florida Virtual School. Five major themes emerged from the interviews, which were teacher professional development as it relates to student success, collaboration, balance, knowledge gained from being a part of a virtual learning team, and teachers’ perceptions of student success.

Keywords: virtual education, learning communities, virtual learning teams, case study research, qualitative, student success, teacher success, teacher teaming for success, collaboration, relationship building in online communities, work-life balance in an online environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bryan, Valerie
Commitee: Shockley, Robert, Watlington, Eliah
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational technology
Keywords: Professional development, Student success, Virtual education
Publication Number: 3536491
ISBN: 978-1-267-94813-7
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