International Journal of Social Policy & Education

ISSN 2689-4998 (print), 2689-5013 (online)

High-Quality Professional Development Characteristics and Challenges Faced in Response to COVID-19

Joanne L. Hood and Lisa Flanders-Dick


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, educational leaders quickly realized the need to provide online professional development opportunities for their instructors to ensure they possessed the skills necessary to effectively provide online instruction. Due to the sudden shift of the educational landscape, many districts and universities found themselves scrambling to provide training without time to consider high-quality elements of the professional development or plan for the possible challenges that could exist. In this article, the authors discuss the high-quality professional development elements of content focus, active learning, collaboration, and duration. Example applications of each element are included as they could apply in an online environment. Challenges while providing professional development, skills, structure, and pedagogy, are addressed. Information gained in this article can support both school districts and universities and is relevant over a year later as educational leaders continue to navigate through the barriers of COVID-19.