EDTC6106 ISTE Coaching

What is the Best Practices should be Included in Personalized Professional Development?

ISTE Coaching Standards

ISTE Standard 4: Professional Development and Program Evaluation

Performance Indicator B

● Design, develop, and implement technology rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment.

Retrieved from clipartkey.com

What is Personalized PD?

As educators in the 21st century, we focus on transferring learning from teacher-centered to student-centered to pass more ownership and empower students to lead personalized learning to meet diverse needs and goals. As education transforming, we are not expecting one class fits all. In the professional development, teachers as the learners, who have different self-determined goals and experiences cannot satisfied with the “drive-by” one-size-fits-all model of PD. The PD adopting a personalized learning approach can be effective for teachers individual growth to benefit student learning. Personalized PD places teachers in the driver seat, they can control the directions and pace to follow a unique path directed by individualized choice in how, what, when and where they learn. 

In the ISTE Standard for Students, students set personal learning goals, develop strategies leverage technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes. Teachers will be active learners in the personalized PD to understand and experience learning strategies that will be used for student-centered learning.

Best Practices for Personalized PD

Powerful Pre-assessment to Personalize teachers knowledge and experience

The personalized PD is driven by individual’s needs and will be effective when it fits teachers different readiness. The qualitative and quantitative pre-assessments, such as survey and interview can help to identify teachers level of experience, assess teachers’ needs and gauge current knowledge and skills which is the foundation for implementing a personalized PD. 

Job-embedded Teaching to Collect Data from Students

Classroom teaching is the most effective way for teachers to practice new pedagogical skills learned from professional development. Teachers will face various authentic problems when they implement new teaching and learning strategies and they will get the amount of precious data from student formative assessment. Personalized PD aims to support teachers to bridge the student knowledge gap, meet student diverse needs and achieve personal goals to reach the content standard in their unique classrooms. Collect and analyze student data from job-embedded teaching is one of the best practices in the personalized PD for teachers to understand what they need to be supported from the PD, and what they are expecting to achieve from the next round of teaching practice.

Collaborative Discussion on Authentic Problems

Personalized PD doesn’t mean teachers learn isolated on own choices and interests. But the collaborative problem-solving discussion is a powerful practice to build a personalized learning environment for teachers in which they can develop a shared language and break down isolation to create a new culture in the school. The collaborative activities can vary from interdisciplinary teaming to curriculum development and critique to collaborative action research to study groups. In each case, teachers working together to address issues of common concern facilitate the identification of both the causes and potential solutions to problems. Each teacher can be engaged and motivated by peers’ support to meet their own needs and get professional growth. 

Ongoing Support through Various Ways with Embedded Assessment

Pedagogical change requires time, including the time to establish confidence to take the risk. Ongoing support is especially critical when teachers are trying to implement new teaching strategies using digital tools. The immediate feedback of support can bring teachers back on the right track without frustrated and disengaged. The various ways such as an online forum, social media groups, instant messages can provide teachers flexible and personalized interaction to address their concerns. Cindy Young, the Vice Principal at the Gordon Denny Community School in Air Ronge Canada, said,“ with offering ongoing support we’ve seen a substantial influence on our teachers’ confidence as they learn new techniques, they can go back to their students confident that their lessons will be more beneficial for their continued literacy improvement.” The embedded assessments as the milestones which could motivate teachers learning and are another best practice in personalized PD to measure where teachers are and what the next improvement needs to be addressed.

Flexible Scheduled and Easy Access-Asynchronous eLearning PD

We cannot expect teachers changing their teaching methods and get effect on student learning after one time PD. eLearning PD is one of the best practices for personalizing teachers learning to meet diverse needs and different schedules. It is an important factor for personalized PD is that teachers can learn at their own pace. Asynchronous eLearning PD can target teachers specific preferences to reach personal goals and objectives and allow them to manage their time more efficiently.


Drake, C. 5 Best Practices for Developing Personalized PD for Teachers. Retrieved from: https://thelearningcounsel.com/article/5-best-practices-developing-personalized-pd-teachers

Hanover Research, (2013), Professional Development for Personalized Learning Practices. Retrieved from: https://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/Professional-Development-for-Personalized-Learning-Practices.pdf

Hawley, W., Valli, L. (2000). Learner-Centered Professional Development. Retrieved from: http://www.paadultedresources.org/uploads/8/6/3/4/8634493/learner_centered_pro.pdf

Pappas, C. (2016). 7 Best Practices For Developing Personalized eLearning Courses. Retrieved from: https://elearningindustry.com/best-practices-developing-personalized-elearning-courses

4 thoughts on “What is the Best Practices should be Included in Personalized Professional Development?”

  1. I really like the job-embedded teaching approach to professional development (PD). I much prefer this to the ‘sit and get’ style of PD that I have received to date. As you state, data plays a vital role to make sure that the PD is personalized and improving with every session – providing a critical feedback loop.


  2. Authentic problems leading to personalized PD is such critical part of PD being useful and meaningful for teachers. I love how you make sure to mention that this does not mean that teachers will be isolated with their PD experiences and that this is also an authentic way for teachers to connect and collaborate with each other to solve authentic problems. Great ideas, Helen! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Helen you present a well thought-out path for teachers to receive personalized PD while maintaining connections and receiving support from other teachers. I have appreciated investigating different tools and methods of my choice within the framework of the DEL program, trying them out in the classroom, then being able to share and discuss with our cohort. I also like your point about gathering data to see what teachers want out of PD and also to assess their readiness for the topics being covered. Thank you for this thoughtful post!

  4. Your statement “. The qualitative and quantitative pre-assessments, such as survey and interview can help to identify teachers’ level of experience, assess teachers’ needs and gauge current knowledge and skills which is the foundation for implementing a personalized PD”, gets to the heart of why PD is important for the education practitioner. Your intentional connection to collaborative discussion around authentic problems demonstrates the engagement that can come from within blended-learning environments. Helen, you outline the professional development for educators with thought and purpose. Thank you for pushing and affirming my thinking.

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