Teachers who are called upon to teach in a virtual high school environment require preparation and support as well as an effective professional development process to help them adapt to a different educational dynamic. The virtual school reality demands that educators do more than transfer traditional classroom pedagogy and learn the various functionalities of the technologies utilized in the delivery process. Research shows that conventional professional development programs have had limited effectiveness in altering teachers’ classroom practice especially for online educators, and that ideally modeling the desired outcomes within the process itself has been most effective. While current research also calls for improved professional development for online instructors, the characteristics of such a professional development program are not fully-explored or characterized, and failure to define these characteristics increases the probability that online instructors will continue to arrive inadequately prepared. This qualitative research that is in the form of a narrative inquiry identified and analyzed the essential components of a professional training program for online teachers who were subsequently expected to modify their online classroom practice. The key participants in the case study were the administrators and teachers of a virtual high school in the province of Quebec and all of the participants were former classroom teachers who have been employed by the LEARN Virtual School. The findings of this study focused on identifying key components of a professional development program that incorporated key principles of social constructivism and the impact the program had on the online teachers’ practice. The study highlights the importance of active learning, collaboration, and metacognition in any program for teachers transitioning to the virtual environment and that teachers benefit enormously from modeling for one another.
|Commitee:||Jeter, Nari, Whitemarsh, Darylann|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||E learning, Professional development, Social constructivism|
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