MOOCS for teacher professional development: exploring teachers’ perceptions and achievements

Nikolaos Koukis (Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, Korinthos, Greece)
Athanassios Jimoyiannis (Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, Korinthos, Greece)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 11 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a study concerning a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), designed to support Greek-language teachers in secondary-education schools in implementing collaborative writing activities with Google Docs (GDs) in their classrooms. Data recorded from a post-survey were used to investigate teachers’ views and perceptions about MOOC design features, their personal achievements and the overall outcomes for their professional work and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The design framework of the particular teacher professional development MOOC was determined by the connectivist principles and addressed three main dimensions of teachers’ active participation: a) individual engagement; b) peer interaction and mutual support; and c) collaborative creation of educational scenarios and artefacts. The analysis used a mixed method that combines data from teachers’ active engagement through the MOOC platform records and quantitative and qualitative data from their responses to a post-survey questionnaire.

Findings

The analysis of the research data provided supportive evidence that the design framework was effective towards promoting teachers’ active engagement, peer interaction and support and development of learning design abilities to integrate collaborative writing with GDs in their classrooms. The findings showed that the majority of participants conceptualized this MOOC as an efficient environment to enhance their pedagogical knowledge and classroom practices and to support continuous professional development.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study may be limited by the specific sample and the context of implementation. Future research is expected to critically analyse existing results in combination with qualitative data from detailed interviews of participants in this teacher professional development MOOC.

Practical implications

The results provided supportive evidence that successful MOOCs for teacher professional development are determined by four key design features: a) connecting course content and teacher learning practices to the educational reality of the classroom; b) defining concrete learning objectives of the course; c) promoting teachers’ collaborative learning; and d) creating a learning community among peers.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic analysis of teachers’ engagement in a teacher professional development MOOC, designed to support collaborative and self-directed learning. The results are expected to be significant and valuable for wider educational contexts, as MOOCs for teacher professional development is a new, ambitious topic for both research and educational policies.

Keywords

Citation

Koukis, N. and Jimoyiannis, A. (2019), "MOOCS for teacher professional development: exploring teachers’ perceptions and achievements", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 74-91. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-10-2018-0081

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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