Long Distance Learning Programs for Teacher Development

Assessment of Effectiveness of Long Distance Learning Programs for Teacher Professional Development: What Works, What Doesn’t

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Abstract

Nest USA (National Education Support Trust USA) conducted a research to evaluate the effectiveness of its Long Distance Learning (LDL) programs in Nepali schools. A teacher survey was used to compare teachers’ knowledge, teaching styles, and confidence in teaching English literacy between teachers who participated in LDL sessions with technology support and non-participating teachers of similar background. Results suggest a statistically significant difference in teacher knowledge of English literacy development. Implications for the use of the measure are discussed.

Background

Nest USA has been working with schools in Nepal by holding LDL programs for teacher professional development in English literacy education. We aim at building up teachers’ capacity to teach English by providing fundamental content knowledge and resources along with student-centered teaching strategies. Educational resources are accessed on the website, which are interactive with the LDL programs. In order to improve our educational materials as well as scale-up and expand the work throughout schools around the world, we conducted a research that evaluates the effectiveness of LDL programs.

Purpose and Questions

The study aimed at identifying what works and what does not work to improve the quality of LDL programs. Some of the initial research questions include:

1) Have LDL programs helped teachers build content knowledge in English literacy?

2) What kinds of teacher knowledge questions can differentiate the knowledge of participants in the LDL program from non-participants with a similar background?

3) Have LDL programs affected teachers’ teaching styles or approaches?

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