Browsing by Author "Smith, Leala L."
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ItemVirtual Professional Development for Public High School Teachers: A Qualitative Study on Educators’ Preferences and Engagement(2023) Smith, Leala L.Virtual professional development has become more commonplace since the onset of the COVID- 19 pandemic in the United States forced many schools to operate using remote or hybrid models in the 2020-2021 school year. The problem was a lack of qualitative insight into the effectiveness of virtual professional development for high school teachers in Maryland. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to evaluate how virtual delivery of professional development sessions for high school teachers affects teachers’ engagement, satisfaction, willingness to participate, and self-efficacy with technology. There was a gap in the literature on how virtual professional development compares to in-person professional development from teachers' perspectives. This study was grounded in Burns’ transformational leadership theory and Kolb’s experiential learning theory. The guiding research questions garnered insight into teachers’ lived experiences, self-efficacy with technology, willingness to attend, and satisfaction regarding virtual professional development. The 15 participants comprised the sample taken from a population of roughly 300. Participants were teachers in a Maryland public school district who taught in the district school before, during, and after the 2020-2021 school year. Teacher participants engaged in semi-structured interviews on their lived experiences with professional development via Zoom. Data were analyzed using Hycner’s steps of qualitative data analysis. Results found teachers are more willing to participate in professional development held virtually instead of in-person, as the virtual model can save them time and money, reduce stress, and allow for a comfortable work environment. School and district leaders may use this study’s outcomes for data-informed decision-making on professional development design and delivery.