Keil, Matthew James (2014-04). Teacher Professional Development: Assessment on Teacher's Perceptions of NASA's Online STEM Professional Development. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Data were collected from 32 teachers using mixed methods to investigate teachers' perceptions of online professional development (PD) offered through a school-community partnership. The partnership between multiple school districts nationwide and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provided teachers with an online Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) PD course called MicroGX. A thorough analyses of data from two surveys, observations, and documents were used to answer the primary questions: 1) What components of MicroGX are deemed effective from the teachers' perspective? 2) How does the effectiveness of MicroGX compare with other online PD from the teachers' perspective? The data from this study provide evidence that subjects perceive MicroGX as a positive experience with many effective components that are more effective than participation in other online PD. Survey data show a majority of the subjects feel the MicroGX course was more of a positive than negative experience. All subjects would recommend this course to another teacher and overall, subjects were most satisfied with the interaction with others, resources, support, content, and content delivery. Ninety-seven percent of subjects were satisfied with the course. Ninety-four percent of subjects would participate in the course again and consider participating in more online PD offered by NASA. Seventy-one percent of subjects feel that MicroGX was more effective than other online PD in which they have participated. Effective components include content knowledge, student impact, resources, and support. All subjects agree this experience has inspired them to bring NASA content into the classroom, influenced them to make changes to their teaching activities, do not disagree they can immediately apply what they learned from this experience to their teaching about STEM, and do not disagree they will be more effective in teaching STEM introduced in this experience. All subjects do not disagree that the resources will be effective in increasing their students' interest in STEM topics and that this experience provided ideas for encouraging student exploration, discussion and participation. Based on the finding of this study, recommendations were made to aid future development of online PD and assist K-12 leaders in selecting future PD for their teachers.

publication date

  • April 2014