Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Mixed Methods Study of Educators’ Perceptions and Comfort Levels of Professional Learning in a Blended Model
by Hartman, Gina, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2020, 150; 27829533
Abstract (Summary)

As technology evolves in our society and schools, the professional learning designed and facilitated for educators must also evolve. The purpose of this mixed methods, multi-state study was to examine the impact and effectiveness of a blended professional development model. The researcher investigated educators’ skills, comfort levels, and attitudes when participating in a sustained blended professional development model by using pre- and post-surveys and questionnaires, in addition to interviews at the conclusion of the nine-month study. Furthermore, the researcher sought to identify characteristics of a blended professional development model that educators deemed most important to changing their practice. Participants in the study were educators from three different school districts in three different states around the United States. Results from the study revealed significant improvement in educators’ comfort levels when both designing and implementing digital lessons after they participated in an ongoing blended professional development program. In addition, the four characteristics of a blended professional development model that were identified to have the greatest impact on educators’ professional practices were (1) learning at their own pace, (2) participating in an active learning model that engaged them directly in the new instructional practices they were learning, (3) being part of a collaborative learning community both in a physical and digital environment, and (4) being able to immediately apply their new learning because the professional development content was relevant and meaningful to them. Furthermore, findings from the study revealed that educators had a deeper level of integration and usage with the learning management system they were using in their district at the conclusion of the professional development program, and many participants cited that they had shifted from a traditional teacher-centered classroom to a more student-centered environment. As a result of this long-term study, the researcher developed a blended professional learning planning guide, along with a blended professional learning checklist. The researcher recommends that educational leaders utilize these two documents when they seek to design effective, researched-based professional development for educators using a blended/hybrid model. Further research is needed to continue to discover the impact of professional development delivered in a blended model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Elder, Robyne
Commitee: Winslow, Kevin, Alsobrook, Joseph
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational technology
Keywords: Instructional practices, Professional development, Technology
Publication Number: 27829533
ISBN: 9781658490634
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