How Does an Online Professional Development Program Support Teacher Change?

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Sarah H. Martin

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education


This multiple case study explored elementary teachers' experiences as they participated in an online professional development program, Cognitive Literacy Strategies for the Elementary Classroom , created for this study. Specifically, the researcher sought to explore enhancements made to teachers' personal knowledge base concerning cognitive literacy strategies and their pedagogical techniques. Technology issues were also explored revealing issues concerning online learning. This research found that teachers enhanced their content knowledge base through information relating to concept mapping, word mapping, and story grammar mapping strategies. Furthermore, teachers enhanced their pedagogical techniques through information relating to the cognitive learning theory, information on the OPD, and communicating with colleagues. This study also found that technology both encouraged and discouraged online learning. Finally, this study concludes that online learning is a viable means of providing professional development for teachers.