Online professional learning in response to COVID-19—towards robust evaluation

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As COVID-19 continues to impact upon education worldwide, systems and organizations are rapidly transiting their professional learning to online mode. This raises concerns, not simply about whether online professional learning can result in equivalent outcomes to face-to-face learning, but more importantly about how to best evaluate online professional learning so we can iteratively improve our approaches. This case study analyses the evaluation of an online teacher professional development workshop for the purpose of critically reflecting upon the efficacy of workshop evaluation techniques. The evaluation approach was theoretically based in a synthesis of six seminal workshop evaluation models, and structured around eight critical dimensions of educational technology evaluation. The approach involving collection of pre-workshop participant background information, pre-/post-teacher perceptions data, and post-workshop focus group perceptions, enabled the changes in teacher knowledge, skills, and beliefs to be objectively evaluated, at the same time as providing qualitative information to effectively improve future iterations of the workshops along a broad range of dimensions. The evaluation approach demonstrated that the professional learning that was shifted into online mode in response to COVID-19 could unequivocally result in significant improvements to professional learning outcomes. More importantly, the evaluation approach is critically contrasted with previous evaluation models, and a series of recommendations for the evaluation of technology-enhanced teacher professional development workshops are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalFuture Internet
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • professional development
  • technology-enhanced teaching
  • evaluation frameworks
  • COVID-19
  • Technology-enhanced teaching
  • Professional development
  • Evaluation frameworks


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