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Building blocks of instructor professional development for innovative ICT use during a pandemic

Kim Schildkamp (Faculty of Behavioural and Management Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)
Iwan Wopereis (Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Marian Kat-De Jong (Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, The Netherlands) (Acceleration Plan Educational Innovation with ICT, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Annette Peet (SURF, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
IJsbrand Hoetjes (The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Den Haag, The Netherlands)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 27 July 2020

Issue publication date: 25 November 2020




Innovative use of information and communications technology (ICT) requires (new) knowledge and skills for the group that has the biggest impact on the quality of education: instructors. Facilitating professional development (PD) of instructors is crucial for the quality of one’s education system(s), perhaps even more so in times of a pandemic.


Based on the authors’ analysis of reviews published in the last decade, this paper summarizes the key building blocks of effective PD on the innovative use of ICT during a pandemic. The authors used these building blocks to reflect on two national PD initiatives developed to support institutions of higher education in instructional use of ICT while dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Both PD initiatives include the same building blocks: (1) content-related building blocks focused on technological knowledge, (2) active learning and expert-supported PD (didactics-related building blocks) and (3) contextual building blocks consisting of clearly defined goals focused on the instructor's own practice, use of technology, sustained duration (e.g. taking place over a longer period of time) and evidence-informed PD. One contextual building block that was not evident in the reviews but emerged as a vital building block is “responsiveness” to the situation and needs of the participants.


High-quality PD is crucial if one wants to safeguard the quality of (online) instruction and learning to ensure high-quality education for all students. This paper can contribute to enhancing the quality of much-needed PD on online teaching (during, but also after COVID-19).



Schildkamp, K., Wopereis, I., Kat-De Jong, M., Peet, A. and Hoetjes, I. (2020), "Building blocks of instructor professional development for innovative ICT use during a pandemic", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 5 No. 3/4, pp. 281-293.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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