Skip to main content

How to Help Create Professional Development Opportunities for Educators

  • 4 Min Read

In this blog, we look at four ways to maximize professional development for educators and how your learning management system can help

Professional development (PD) programs play an important role in school culture and developing staff. These programs depend on a great deal of work, analysis, and management at all levels to provide educators with relevant skills and knowledge needed on the job. However, traditional PD programs are simply not enough for teachers. As we continuously apply innovative teaching strategies for students, we must do the same for our educators and help create PD programs that reflect the same mission for student learning.

4 Ways to Maximize Professional Development

In this blog, we look at four ways to assist with maximizing professional development (PD) and how your learning management system (LMS) can help create learning opportunities for educators.

1. Personalize Teacher Learning

When thinking about professional development for teachers it often looks like a one-time workshop where teachers of all expertise and experience learn together. However, this assumes that teachers require the development of the same knowledge and skills which is not true. High quality PD needs to address 21st-century learning and teaching. This can be done by harnessing the power of an LMS to help deliver personalized instruction.

An LMS can be used to place individual users into learning groups such as date hired, department, location, or job title. Membership rules within an LMS can automatically assign the appropriate learning making sure educators are learning the skills and knowledge that applies to them (relevant grade or area of expertise). It’s important to have PD that is tailored to individual teacher needs and developmental readiness levels in order to translate into practice.

2. Collect and Analyze Leaner Data

Professional development programs need to be able to help monitor the progress of learners, completion rates, and address areas of learner’s engagement to ensure that vital course material is being learned. That is what an LMS is designed to help enable.

An LMS helps manage course content, assessments, and interactions in a single place with a proactive mindset. Rather than pulling data from multiple spreadsheets or multiple sources an LMS can view all the courses assigned across your organization and see real-time reports on course completion. This tool can help view detailed professional development activity by user from a dashboard, including courses assigned, completed, or pending, and actively manage their enrolments.

3. Treat Educators as Active Learners

In the switch to remote and online learning, we have seen firsthand how disengaged students can be relying solely on videos and lecture-based learning. In order to combat passive learning, educators implemented a variety of innovative teaching strategies to help engage students. This same concept applies to professional development. Educators need to be given opportunities to participate and become active learners. That said, professional development opportunities need to integrate engagement strategies such as workshops, reflection opportunities, and hands-on learning.

An LMS can be used to support active learning and provide teachers, faculty, and staff with the same learning experience as students. Users can benefit from learning from traditional and nontraditional sources such as video, TEDTalks, and more.

4. Provide Opportunities for Continuous Learning

Traditionally, professional development takes place periodically, where teachers listen to a presentation from experts during half days or when students aren’t at school. This episodic one-and-done approach doesn’t cut it. In order for teachers to maintain subject area knowledge for teaching a rapidly changing world, while also remaining responsive to diverse student needs professional development needs to promote coherence and follow through.

An LMS not only hosts and manages content but can also be used to help educators continuously engage with the material before, during, and long after professional development events. This can help create an eco-system of professional development that can extend beyond the workshop, beyond the text book, and into the on-going, daily lives and work that teachers are doing. This system can also further the reach of professional development outside school through the introduction of mobile and offline content which can be accessed anytime anywhere.

Help Elevate Professional Learning with D2L Brightspace

School administrators and managers need to help make sure that the professional development needs of staff are being met. D2L Brightspace helps give teachers, faculty, and staff the next-generation tools they need to learn, develop, and succeed.

Whether you are facilitating compliance training, professional learning or lifelong learning, the D2L Brightspace platform helps give you the tools to facilitate high-quality programs that drive results.

Written by:

Zeina Abouchacra

Stay in the know

Educators and training pros get our insights, tips, and best practices delivered monthly

Table of Contents

  1. 4 Ways to Maximize Professional Development
  2. 1. Personalize Teacher Learning
  3. 2. Collect and Analyze Leaner Data
  4. 3. Treat Educators as Active Learners
  5. 4. Provide Opportunities for Continuous Learning
  6. Help Elevate Professional Learning with D2L Brightspace