Comparing Technology-related Teacher Professional Development Designs

This article presents a quasi-experimental study comparing the impact of two technology related teacher professional development (TTPD) designs, aimed at helping junior high school science and mathematics teachers design online activities using the rapidly growing set of online learning resources available on the Internet. The first TTPD design (tech-only) focused exclusively on enhancing technology knowledge and skills for finding, selecting, and designing classroom activities with online resources, while the second (tech+pbl) coupled technology knowledge with learning to design problem-based learning (PBL) activities for students. Both designs showed large pre-post gains for teacher participants (N=36) in terms of self-reported knowledge, skills, and technology integration. Significant interaction effects show that teachers in the tech+pbl group had larger gains for self-reported knowledge and externally rated use of PBL. Three generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were fit to study the impact on students’ (N=1,247) self reported gains in behavior, knowledge, and attitudes. In the resulting models, students of tech+pbl teachers showed significant increases in gain scores for all three outcomes. By contrast, students of tech-only teachers showed improved gains only in attitudes.

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