The effectiveness of virtual CASE institute professional development: A participant perspective
The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) utilized, for the first time, a virtual method of delivery to train and certify teachers across the country in the summer of 2021. This study was created to research the effectiveness of the virtual CASE professional development (PD) sessions, determine the usefulness of the CASE Institute technology and virtual format, and determine the effectiveness of Lead Teacher facilitators on participant learning. Six features of effective professional development were utilized as the framework to guide the study. A descriptive survey was conducted among the participants who were certified in a virtual CASE course in the summer of 2021. From this survey, researchers were able to conclude that the participants found the PD effective because they were confident in the material learned and felt prepared to implement the material into the classroom. The participants highly remarked on the usefulness of the technology and materials and the effectiveness of the Lead Teachers. From the findings of this study, a list of recommendations has been collected for further research and practice in the use of virtual PD for CASE and other education programs. It is recommended for future virtual professional development events for the facilitator to be very intentional about promoting a community of practice among participants and facilitating peer-to-peer interaction.