Online Learning Update

December 30, 2010

An Evaluation of Online versus Campus-Based Teacher Preparation Programs

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

by Robin Chiero & Paul Beare, JOLT

Preparing teachers who can effectively meet the needs of today’s schools is a challenging task. This study compared an innovative online-supported teacher preparation program with more traditional campus-based programs in a large state university system. The study analyzed data from 2003 through 2009 annual systemwide evaluations of teacher preparation programs. Participants were program graduates who had completed one year of professional teaching and their employment supervisors. Ratings were consistently higher for the online program than for a selected campus-based program and for the system as a whole. Characteristics identified in the literature on effective online learning and on effective teacher preparation provided the framework for describing the advantages of the online program over more traditional pathways. Results contribute to the knowledge base on innovative online teaching and learning practices by investigating an entire program rather than an individual course, by using a large population of participants over a period of years, and by suggesting key characteristics that might be particularly critical in the design of an effective online teacher preparation program.

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