The attached document is work in progress on a literature review for the Taccle 4 project. It is focused on the way that in-service teachers are being helped to gain skills in changing technologies and new pedagogies.
However it notes that there are a series of constraints and issues in this field. Firstly, CPD in this area has grown much faster than the research. Blog posts, on-line forums, conferences and other forms of communication suggest that far more is happening than is recorded in published research.
Secondly, Daly, Pachler and Pelletier (2009) argue that “the literature provides evidence that many effective approaches to ICT CPD are in place, but they remain localised” #CPD is fragmented – unlike initial training, it is not a homogenous model and interesting small scale developments may not be widely disseminated. What ICT CPD lacks in coherence, it makes up for in innovation but this is difficult to capture. As Daly, Pachler and Pelletier (2009) note, it is “a very varied provision which has grown ahead of a comparable rate of research into its effects.”
Thirdly there are issues around definitions. We have already raised the problem of defining e-learning but defining ‘CPD’ is also problematic – in terms of exactly what can be labelled as ‘CPD’ and also in terms of scale. As Becta (2006) points out:
“However, it is worth noting that the lack of a commonly agreed and well understood set of definitions of e-learning competences, taken together with the uncertainty about what constitutes good practice and effective pedagogy for e-learning, may have led many respondents to overstate the e-learning skills levels of staff.”
Fourthly, the data sources of some of the published research should be taken into account. For example, the statement “Some 80 per cent of colleges offered staff development programmes to support staff who wished to develop or adapt e-learning materials.” (Becta, 2006) is based on the replies to a postal questionnaire sent to college principals.
Finally, in looking at research into effective practices in ICT CPD in order to draw out what appear to be critical success factors, it is hard to isolate “… CPD issues which are specific to ICT CPD [as opposed to those] which are linked to wider approaches to the effective professional development of teachers.” (Daly, Pachler and Pelletier, 2009).