An Exploration of Online Environments Supporting Follow-Up to Face-to-Face Professional Development

Jul. 15, 2008

Source:Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Volume 16, Issue 3, July 2008, p. 283-306

In this study we examined the effects of online follow-up and online peer interaction following a face-to face professional development workshop on attitudes towards that professional development and completion of a professional development task. School librarians were invited to work online on a three page plan outlining interventions a library program would undertake to address student weaknesses on the state mandated test. The study used a posttest-only control group experimental design with randomly assigned self-selected participants.

Three online environments were compared: (a) an environment that provided Follow-up with Peer Interaction, (b) one that provided Follow-up without Peer Interaction, and (c) a control environment that provided a traditional post workshop environment with Only Solicited Follow-up/No Peer Interaction. Online follow-up with or without peer interaction positively affected attitudes towards the professional development program. In addition, online Follow-up with Peer Interaction increased the likelihood of completion of the professional development task.

No difference was found between the completion rates for participants in the follow-up group that did not have peer interaction and those in the Only Solicited Follow-up/No Peer Interaction. environment. Our findings indicate that teacher educators are well advised to provide online Follow-up with Peer Interaction in their professional development programs

Updated: Nov. 05, 2008