What makes online professional development effective? The effect of quality characteristics on teachers’ satisfaction and changes in their professional practices

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschung


The number of online professional development (PD) activities for teachers has increased over the past decade. While there is evidence on characteristics of effective face-to-face PD, little is known about the quality of online PD activities. The present study investigates the quality of online PD activities as perceived by teachers, and the association of PD quality with teachers' satisfaction and their changes in practice. The study is based on survey data from N = 387 teachers who participated in a formal online PD activity. Our results indicate high levels of cognitive activation, as well as high clarity and structure of the online PD activity, and moderate levels of collaboration among participants in online PD. While all quality characteristics predict teachers' satisfaction, only cognitive activation and collaboration in online PD predict changes in teachers’ professional practices.
ZeitschriftComputers & Education
Anzahl der Seiten12
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.07.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The data were collected as part of the project E-LANE, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 1 1 We randomly selected a sample of formal online PD activities that had been offered to teachers from April to October 2021 in two large federal states in Germany. All participants in the selected online PD activities received a written invitation to take part in the survey four to six weeks after the online PD took place. We selected this time period because we were interested in learning about the changes that teachers made in their classrooms after completing the online PD. This online survey was conducted using the platform Unipark by Tivian Xi GmbH. A total of N = 387 teachers responded to the invitation and participated in our study (Brandenburg: N = 280, Schleswig-Holstein: N = 107). The teachers in the sample (81% female) worked in primary schools (41%) and secondary schools (59%) with mean teaching experience of 14 years (SD = 11.55). At the time of the survey, teachers report to have participated in M = 11.75 online PD activities (SD = 13.12) since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Funding Information:
We have no conflicts of interest to disclose, This work is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research , Germany, through the Digitalisation in Education program, Award 01JD1825A-B . The views contained in this article are those of the authors, and not their institutions or the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors