Perspectives of Online Professional Learning: Instructors’ Design and Teachers’ Experiences


The pandemic forces instructors and teachers to shift mindsets and embrace online professional learning (OPL). OPL refers to internet-based learning or professional growth processes that educators engage in. OPL can be formal or informal; delivered in synchronous, asynchronous, and blended forms.

Instructors cannot replicate face-to-face experiences in an online context. Instructors must consider online affordances and redesign experiences by considering how OPL complements existing practices. The online environment enables customisation of OPL that considers teachers’ needs and creates experiences that supports teachers’ knowledge creation, application and reflection. There is greater flexibility, convenience, and accessibility. However, OPL may lead teachers to take individualised perspectives as they learn at their own pace without reflecting with colleagues.

The study aims to understand and inform OPL by studying instructors’ implementations and how teachers perceive these experiences and their preferences. The study is situated in Singapore’s formal OPL experiences; professional learning courses and programmes. A qualitative, case study research methodology is adopted. Data collection comprised interviews with fifteen instructors and twenty-six teachers, researcher observations of eleven OPL programmes, and collection of course documents and artefacts for contextual information. Thematic analyses of interviews describe instructors’ and teachers’ perspectives of OPL, particularly, design considerations, enablers, and challenges.

Findings surfaced instructors’ OPL considerations and implementations; how instructors managed and integrated technology based on teachers’ needs, and learning goals. Findings made explicit teachers’ perspectives of what they considered as supporting PL in online contexts and challenges encountered. Findings are invaluable in informing future research and designs of OPL.

Author Information
Shu-Shing Lee, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Lee Yong Tay, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Andrew Pereira, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Kalaivani Ramachandran, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Caroline Ho, English Language Institute of Singapore, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Professional Training

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon