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Online teacher CPD: a reading list

A collection of key reading. Updated as new learning takes place.

Last updated: April 2022

Online teacher CPD

Online teacher CPD: principles from research and practice

Tyreman. 2021. 


‘The idea that learning is the most important factor in an online learning experience may not surprise many teachers but it’s a principle that’s often forgotten when faced by a sea of seductive screens. Conversations about learning soon speed towards decisions over hardware, software, design, the nature of interactions and we’re soon tangled in the trappings of technology.’

What does good online CPD look like?

Schools Week. 2019.


‘Effective CPD often exposes us to new perspectives that can feel discomforting. We can encounter something that makes us question our practice. Conversely, we can dismiss a finding too quickly when bias clouds our judgement. Learning online can allow time to return to ideas we find problematic, after having taken time to think.’

Rapid Evidence Assessment Summary: Remote Professional Development

Education Endowment Foundation. 2020. 


‘School leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring enabling conditions are provided for remote coaching and mentoring relationships to be successful. They can support staff to prioritise their PD by creating protected time within the working day for staff to engage with PD sessions or materials.’

Remote professional learning: Rapid Evidence Assessment

Education Endowment Foundation. 2020. 


‘Remote PD is found to be effective in improving a range of outcomes, including practitioner knowledge and skills and improving outcomes for pupils or other service beneficiaries. The evidence on the relative effectiveness of remote and face-to-face PD is less consistent.’

Professional learning online

Burns. 2020.


‘With a plethora of potential distractions literally at their fingertips, engaging the thinking of participants online is so crucial. This is where learning design is so fundamentally important.’

Remote teacher professional development: six principles for effective programmes

Education Development Trust. 2020.


‘Regardless of whether the programme is delivered in a face-to-face, remote or blended format, it should follow the same principles of effective professional development identified by rigorous research and systematic reviews of the latest evidence.’

Developing athletes during quarantine. Some thoughts.

Lemov. 2020.


‘Watching the game regularly can make athletes more perceptive about playing the game, but it won’t do so automatically. Just having a ‘watch party’ won’t make anyone better unless you approach it intentionally.’

Remote coaching

Tyreman. 2020.


‘It’s useful when coaching virtually to summarise and paraphrase to show your active listening. You may find it’s also necessary to exaggerate your body language to bridge the gap of not interacting in the usual manner.’

Improving teacher professional development for online and blended learning: a systematic meta-aggregative review

Philipsen, Tondeur, Roblin, Vanslambrouk. 2019.


‘Acknowledging the existing context is essential if teachers are to be expected to successfully implement OBL in their practice. Guskey (2000) indicates that teachers may be faced with institutional barriers when it comes to implementing new knowledge, skills, attitudes, or ideas.’

Technology-supported professional development for teachers: lessons from developing countries

Education Development Trust. 2018.


‘The research-informed consensus about effective teacher professional development says the use of technology for teacher professional development needs to be considered within the wider context of thinking about effective professional development.’

The Impact of online CPD programme compared to face-to-face CPD programme on science pedagogical practice in Saudi Arabia

Binmohsen. 2015.


‘Teachers who participated in the online CPD programme could also afford longer periods of time to ponder the course materials and reflect upon them during the discussions. Online CPD programme providers could ensure that their programmes facilitate a valuable degree of discussion among and between learners.’

Teachers’ perceptions and experiences of CPD: opportunities and needs in Hong Kong primary schools

Wan. 2011.


‘Effective professional development should provide teachers adequate chances to try new ideas and strategies, with feedback on practice, sufficient technical, psychological and administrative support, and opportunities to gain a conceptual understanding of the underlying rationale.’

Teachers’ perceptions of an online professional development experience: Implications for a design and implementation framework

Powell. Bodur. 2019.


‘Access to online teacher professional development does not ensure quality experiences or outcomes and may create a false sense of effectiveness if technology is used merely as a delivery tool void of effective design or implementation principles.’

Comparing the Impact of Online and Face-to-Face Professional Development in the Context of Curriculum Implementation

Fishman. Konstantopoulos. Kubitskey. Vath. 2013.


‘Affordances of the online PD, such as proximity to practice, the ability to reflect on prior or proximal practice as part of PD because the PD happens during the school year and not during the summer before, and the ability to move at one’s own pace, to work in small chunks of time, or to review individual PD lessons may balance out the affordances of the face-to-face PD.’

Face-to-face and online professional development for mathematics teachers: a comparative study

Russell. 2009.


‘Asynchronous learning environments in which communication is primarily written may provide conditions that promote reflective inquiry… the online approach, which was free from time constraints and maintained a record of written interactions, promoted critical thinking and in-depth reflection on content.’

Online communities

Online communities collection of reading, listening and research.

Tyreman. 2020.

Reading list

Online learning generally (not specific to teacher CPD)

Everything you need to know about blended learning

FutureLearn. 2021.


‘Moving towards a blended learning environment can take time. As well as the necessary setup and logistics, training and material preparation is often needed. It can be difficult to manage this time alongside current teaching requirements.’

Remote learning: why hasn’t it worked before and what can we do to change that?

Daisy Christodoulou. 2020.


‘All online content is not created equal. It varies in quality, reliability and design. One of the side-effects of the common idea that “content doesn’t matter” is that it’s assumed that if students can’t find what they need online, then teachers can easily throw something together that will do the job.  But creating high-quality text is not easy. Creating high-quality multimedia resources is even harder.’

Digital technology in education: Selected reading

Scutt. 2020.

Reading list

Accessible by design

Tyreman. 2021. 


‘A commitment to equity demands high levels of energy, time and learning. We need to change how we are used to doing things. We must not only believe that everyone deserves equal access to education but be willing to do the hard work of making that access a reality.’

Using digital technology to improve learning

Education Endowment Foundation. 2019.


‘Consider how technology will improve teaching and learning before introducing it New technology can often appear exciting. However, it can become a solution in search of a problem unless it is introduced in response to an identified need.’

Does eLearning Work? What the Scientific Research Says!

Thalheimer. 2017.


‘Focus on the most important learning factors first. Be sure you are utilising methods such as realistic retrieval practice, space repetitions, and feedback.’

10 Principles of Effective Online Teaching: Best Practices in Distance Education

Hill. 2015.


‘When we step into a physical classroom we are stepping into a time-tested model with well-defined operating parameters. The asynchronous online classroom has little to no similarity to the classroom experience. The course instructor is left on their own to figure out what constitutes a successful learning experience.’

The 7 elements of a good online course

Veletsianos. 2020.


‘1 – Equitable – Students’ backgrounds and socioeconomic circumstances are taken into account in the design, content and delivery methods.’

Distance learning – thoughts on inclusive design

CORE Education. 2020.

Blog and video

‘Build supports, including useful tools, into the way we design our online offerings and make them available to everyone.’

Effective approaches to distance learning

Muller and Goldenberg. 2020.


‘Effective pedagogical approaches are relatively independent of the medium in which they occur. Approaches that have been found to support student learning in the face-to-face classroom (e.g. highquality feedback and formative assessment, supporting metacognitive strategies and collaborative learning) have also been found to be effective in an online learning environment.’

12 Building blocks to use learning technologies effectively

Kirschner and Neelen. 2020.


‘Supporting learners is a key part of effective instruction. When learners aren’t ready to complete a task independently, as an instructor/facilitator, you need to give them temporary, individual, and adaptive support. This is usually called ‘scaffolding’. Over time, when learners become more capable, scaffolding fades.’

Heritage Fund. 2020.

Blog and video

‘Synchronous learning takes place in real time, with all learners working together. Asynchronous learning takes place over an extended period of time, with learners working at their own pace.’

Maxwell. 2016.


‘Often, online learning extends other types of control—in some cases students can choose the time at which they do their online learning, the path they want to take to learn a concept, or even the location from which they want to complete the online work—whether in a brick-and-mortar classroom or anywhere else.’

JISC. 2020.


‘You need to know what platforms are available and how they support teaching and learning effectively. What do you want your learners to do? How do digital tools and techniques help learners to achieve the learning outcomes?’

Hrastinski. 2019.


‘Garrison and Kanuka (2004) define blended learning as “the thoughtful integration of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences” (p. 96).

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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