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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

Massive Open Online Courses: A Source of Effective Professional Development for In-service Teachers

Publication Date: 
December 2021

The ever-changing needs of society justify the necessity for teachers to engage in continuous learning. Teachers are encouraged to participate in professional development activities that will help them develop the knowledge and skills that are required to meet the needs of a 21st century society. It is recognised that access to professional development has increased since Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) became an option for in-service teachers who traditionally found it difficult to access certain professional development activities because of distance and lack of convenience.A survey was administered to 72 respondents to capture the experiences of in-service teachers from the Caribbean, who participated in a MOOC offered by the Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN). The survey explored the MOOC participants’ perception of the MOOC as a source of professional development, as well as the extent to which they applied the content learnt in the ITEN MOOC. The findings of this research show that 95% of the participants perceived the ITEN MOOC to be an effective source of professional development and were able to apply the content to their professional context. The findings further suggest that MOOCs across the globe provide an opportunity for in-service teachers to forge partnerships and establish learning communities that will improve their professional knowledge and skills.

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