K-12 online learning continues to grow, and with it, the need for well-trained online teachers. This multiple-article dissertation explores K-12 online teaching professional development. A literature review describes research trends regarding unique strategies and competencies related to online teaching. It explores strategies such as acting as a facilitator, developing course knowledge, encouraging student engagement, interacting regularly with students, giving feedback, and developing time management skills. The literature review suggests that there is a lack of specific recommendations about what content should be covered and why professional development is beneficial for both teachers and students. Programs that incorporate online teaching professional development specific to their model may have more satisfied and motivated students and teachers. The second article provides insight into the design process for a K-12 online teaching professional development course that focuses on effectively communicating with online students. The course is designed as a professional development opportunity to enhance teachers' knowledge of online pedagogy and technology skills unique to communicating in the online environment. The course contains hands-on experiences and activities, allowing teachers the opportunity to learn in the role of teacher and student. The professional development was designed using Desimone's five core features commonly used for traditional classroom teacher professional development. This article describes the professional development goals, course structure, evaluation process, and preliminary findings. By sharing the development and design of this professional development course the hope is that other K-12 online designers and administrators will have a framework on which to build. The final article presents the implementation and evaluation results of the professional development course mentioned in article two. This case study shares the learning perspective of 80 teachers that completed the professional development course through pre and post assessments and a course evaluation. Researchers conducted interviews with 11 participants to further explore how the course impacted their pedagogical and technical knowledge in relation to effectively communicating with their online students. Overall, participants reported a satisfactory experience and personal growth in the topics provided. More research is needed on the effects of professional development for online teachers and if it can help lead to student success.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





online teaching, professional development, interaction, K-12 online learning



Included in

Education Commons