Higher-ed instructors most often prefer to participate in online professional development (PD) opportunities that focus on training for online software and digital resources (34 percent), classroom management strategies (34 percent), and digital device training (33 percent), according to a new survey.

The 2016 Vision K-20 Professional Learning Survey Report is the ninth annual national K-20 educator survey from the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA, and also is the first survey focusing on online PD.

The study included responses from educators at two-year and four-year institutions.

(Next page: More results from the online PD survey)

Roughly half of higher-ed respondents (51 percent) said they are currently enrolled in online PD or were enrolled in the past year, and 49 percent were not.

“Educators have an increasing number of online professional learning choices that provide them with a flexible alternative to traditional professional development formats,” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of the ETIN. “The Vision K-20 Professional Learning Survey provides educators and administrators with critical insight to how educators are taking online PD courses, why they take them and who provides them.”

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Study participants said they enroll in online PD courses due to personal interest or to increase personal knowledge (80 percent), to receive continuing education credits (32 percent), as a job requirement (32 percent), to qualify for a salary increase (13 percent), or to receive a digital badge (10 percent).

The most common online PD subject areas are training for education software, digital applications, digital programs or other digital products (43 percent); training for teaching online (31 percent); training for student assessments (27 percent); classroom behavior/management (22 percent); and training for electronic or digital devices (20 percent).

Responding educators most commonly enroll in online PD provided by educational institutions (64 percent), but they also enroll in courses via online communities (42 percent), those provided by a company or vendor (34 percent), or a course from a conference organizer (10 percent).

Online PD course content includes videos (87 percent), discussion forums (87 percent), quizzes or assessments (78 percent), audio (76 percent), and slides (74 percent).

More than two-thirds of participating educators said their online PD courses were self-paced (67 percent).

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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