Traditional or online methods of professional development: A causal-comparative study of K--12 teacher preferences

Marlene Lee Cole

Abstract

Do teachers prefer online or traditional face-to-face methods of delivery? Teachers from two coastal counties in a southeastern state who have participated in an online professional development module through TeacherLine answered survey questions regarding their attitudes toward the two methods of delivery of staff development as well as questions pertaining to teacher attitudes toward technology prior to the training and their attitudes after the training. The participants were divided into two groups--K-6 and 7-12. The results indicated that no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups on their preference between online and traditional delivery of professional development controlling for initial computer literacy skills, their willingness to incorporate technology into their teaching methods after participating in online professional development, utilizing technology as a tool in the classroom after participating in online training, nor participating in staff development if it is offered in the online format with more facilitator interaction and feedback as opposed to traditional methods after participating in online training. The results did indicate that teachers were willing to participate in another online professional development opportunity and that the majority preferred the online method of delivery.