The effectiveness of online professional development in changing teacher’s behavior

The effectiveness of online professional development in changing teacher’s behavior

First Author: Lauren Barnes -- Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy - The Ohio State University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Jaclyn Dynia
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: To determine whether and to what extent does an online PD change teachers’ behavior in comparison to a traditional PD model.
Method: Data is from two larger studies using the Sit Together and Read (STAR) Read-Aloud Practices. The STAR 2 study was a RCT conducted in ECSE classrooms. Teachers (n=75) received a traditional PD model, 8 hours of in-person instruction. ECSE teachers (n = 70) in the STAR-Ohio study utilized a scaled-up version of the PD that included 8 online modules for about 5 hours of instruction. In both studies, one book reading was coded using the fidelity coding checklist (FCC). The FCC measures teachers’ use of print referencing during book reading including references to words, letters, book and print organization, and print meaning. Intraclass correlations for STAR 2 and STAR-Ohio were high (.95 and .98; respectively) indicating high reliability between coders.
Results: An ANOVA compared the FCC scores for the three groups (STAR 2 control, STAR 2 treatment, STAR-Ohio). The analysis was found statistically significant (F2, 142 = 13.20, p = 0.01, η2 = 0.16). A Tukey HSD indicated the STAR 2 treatment and STAR-Ohio teachers included significantly more print referencing during book reading in comparison to the STAR 2 control (mean diff = -13.74, p = 0.04; mean diff = -26.26, p = 0.01; respectively).
Conclusions: Therefore, providing online modules in place of a traditional in-person PD results in a significant change in teachers’ behavior and may provide a cost effective way for researchers to deliver PD.