Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Learning Technologies Division

First Advisor

Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lauren Margulieux, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Leanna Archambault, Ph.D.


Online learning continues to grow in importance in many countries around the world. However, many teachers do not possess the unique skills needed to teach online. Professional development is a logical way to help in-service teachers gain these skills. Although research exists on features of effective professional development, relatively few studies have examined training specifically designed for developing online teaching skills. A popular framework through which to view these skills is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Despite this framework’s dominance in the literature, the role that contextual factors play in the development of TPACK is not well understood. This study addresses these gaps in the literature by investigating how teachers’ unique contextual factors impact their TPACK both before and after a training program and explores the role that different aspects of the training program may have played in teachers’ TPACK development. Using an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach, this study first examined results from a survey completed by primary school teachers in nine Caribbean countries who participated in an 11-week training program for online teaching both before starting the program (N = 505) and after program completion (N = 177). Quantitative analysis found that many factors, including colleague collaboration, access to technology, and level of autonomy in teaching were associated with differences in TPACK scores and subscores. Qualitative data collected through interviews with participating teachers provided context for these findings by exploring how and why some of these phenomena occurred. The role that different aspects of the training program played in the process of TPACK development was also explored through the interviews during this second phase of research, indicating that factors such as support from colleagues and active learning through practical application facilitated learning. However, some participants encountered obstacles such as a lack of access to technology and program content that was not fully compatible with the program duration or participants’ interests. Implications include the need for school leaders to better facilitate collaboration among teachers and build communities within training programs. Additionally, further efforts must be made to equip teachers and students with access to technology.


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