Smith, Kara N. “Online Teacher Professional Development”. PhD, Boston College, 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/1949.
The most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, focuses on the continued importance of teacher professional development. There are a great deal of challenges involved with delivering high-quality teacher professional development to all teachers, however, such as time, geography, and available resources. Online professional development is emerging in the literature as a viable alternative to traditional face-to-face online professional development. With the recent emergence of such a trend, however, very little research had been conducted on the quality of the individuals providing the online PD to teachers. The aim of this study was to examine one online facilitator-training program which was designed to train facilitators in the skills and best practices associated with delivering high quality PD to teachers across eight states. Using survey data collected over a two-year period, this dissertation explored the relationship between facilitator trainee ratings of training workshop quality and teacher outcomes of interest through a set of five regression equations. While only three of the relationships were found to be statistically significant, all provided valuable insight nonetheless. Specifically, the significant contributions include; a better insight into the relationship between training facilitators to deliver PD specifically in an online format and teacher perception of course quality, a series of tools to measure this relationship with other facilitator training programs in the future and, a contribution to the sparse literature currently available on this topic.