E-Learning Study Shows Rippling Impact of Professional Development

ScienceDaily reports on Boston College researchers who engaged in large-scale randomized experiments with the purpose of studying the impact of online professional development for teachers who aimed at improving their instructional practices as well as their subject matter knowledge. In the e-Learning for Educators: Effects of Online Professional Development on Teachers and their Students study, what they observed was not only that engaging in professional development had an impact on the teachers’ performance, but that it had a rippling impact on their student’s achievements.

Boston College Associate Professor of Education Laura O’Dwyer reported that:

“The studies also show that teacher participation in online professional development can translate into improvements in targeted student outcomes.”

In addition, study Director Lynch School Associate Professor Michael Russell stated that:

“Given the positive effects found across these studies, it is reasonable to expect that on-line professional development is an effective strategy for supporting teaching in difficult-to-staff content areas, like mathematics and science.”

One could easily transpose these findings to the workplace training world and make a case for the importance of professional development of training professionals. The more we know, the more we can help.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today