A useful framework for teacher professional development for online and blended learning to use as guidance in times of crisis

Teacher professional development (TPD) started getting attention around 30 years ago. Thomas Guskey in his book “Evaluating Professional Development” (2000) stated that in the history of education, the professional development of educators had increasingly gained greater importance. Learning professionals all around the world have agreed that in order to provide meaningful learning opportunities for students, meaningful learning opportunities need to be offered also for teachers (Nel 2017; Siko and Hess 2014; Thoma et al. 2017).

Bartalo (2012) claimed that the key to providing better learning opportunities for students is by taking what we know through research and putting it into practice. One of the main goals of this Special Issue is indeed to offer the community of researchers, designers and practitioners best practices and quick solutions to address the immediate teaching and learning needs, based on several high-quality research and development papers published in ETR&D; and to provide practical information aimed at helping educators better prepare for the future of education.

In “Improving Teacher Professional Development for Online and Blended Learning: A Systematic Meta-Aggregative Review”, Philipsen et al. (2019) provide a framework for teacher professional development (PD) for online and blended learning (OBL). Philipsen et al.’s framework, which resulted from the analysis of 15 research papers published between 2004 and 2015, introduced six interrelated components: (1) Design and develop a supportive TPD program and environment for OBL; (2) Acknowledge the existing context regarding OBL; (3) Address teacher change associated with the transition to OBL; (4) Determine the overall goals and relevance of teacher PD for OBL; (5) Acknowledge teacher PD strategies associated with the transition to OBL; and (6) Disseminate knowledge, skills and attitudes about OBL and evaluate the teacher PD.

Several scholars were interested in responding to Philipsen et al.’s systematic meta-aggregative review (2019). These respondents agreed that Philipsen et al.’s paper offers several valuable ideas and guidelines for reflection on how to develop TPD for OBL in times of crisis, and covered the perspectives of practice, design, international, research, adoption and diffusion of innovation, critical pedagogy, and practice K-12; as summarized in the following table:

Respondents Perspective Title Philipsen et al.’s framework value and impact
Aytac Gogus Adoption & Diffusion Shifting to digital: Adoption and diffusion To plan, develop, and implement an effective and efficient TPD for OBL contributes to teachers’ adoption and diffusion
Barbara Lockee Research Shifting Digital, Shifting Context: (Re)Considering Teacher Professional Development for Online and Blended Learning The impact of this study is that it resulted in a guiding framework that provides a potential model of inquiry to examine TPD for OBL strategies employed in a crisis context
Florence R. Sullivan Critical Pedagogy Critical pedagogy and teacher professional development for online and blended learning: The equity imperative in the shift to digital The value of this study is in its Implicit alignment with critical methodologies
Javier Portillo Berasaluce & Arantzazu Lopez de la Serna International Response Article to “Improving Teacher Professional Development for Online and Blended Learning: A Systematic Meta-Aggregative Review” from an International Perspective The findings can be clearly applied to guide an appropriate TPD for the recovery as well as for a resilient education system
Serdar Abaci, Judy Robertson, Holly Linklater, & Fiona McNeill Practice Supporting School Teachers’ Rapid Engagement with Online Education TPD became immediately relevant and highly sought after, and this framework provides useful ideas and guidance for preparing K-12 teachers for OBL
Tania Heap, Ruthanne Thompson & Adam Fein Design Designing Teacher Professional Development Programs to Support a Rapid Shift to Digital The findings offer insights into the design and development of curricula that help teachers become successful in online environments
Yunjo An Practice
A Response to an Article Entitled: “Improving Teacher Professional Development for Online and Blended Learning: A Systematic Meta-Aggregative Review" Few existing studies examined the potential differences between generalized teacher PD and teacher PD for OBL; Philipsen et al. addressed this gap

These seven responses to Philipsen et al.’s study provide practical information for Educational Professionals by connecting published research to the current global crisis of rapidly moving face-to-face teaching and learning to online delivery, which was the purpose of this special issue.


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Correspondence to Gloria Natividad Beltrán del Río.

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Natividad Beltrán del Río, G. A useful framework for teacher professional development for online and blended learning to use as guidance in times of crisis. Education Tech Research Dev (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-021-09953-y

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