Teacher's Workshop

Selecting from among the available distance learning (DL) staff development options can be quite cumbersome. To help in the selection process, answer yes or no for each question below concerning each DL course you are considering. More "Yes" answers typically indicates a higher quality DL opportunity.

I. The Inservice Provider

____ 1. Does the DL activity come from a known producer of high quality inservice?

____ 2. Has that provider done quality inservice activities before?

____ 3. Are evaluations of previous DL inservice activities from that producer made available to you?

____ 4. What co-sponsors are participating in that inservice?

____ 5. Do you know of other inservice providers who have utilized a staff development activity from this provider before?

II. Quality of Product

____ 1. What speakers are included?

____ 2. Are those persons knowledgeable about the inservice topic or merely "Big names?"

____ 3. Would you hire those persons to come and do a day long in-house inservice for you?

____ 4. Is a brief Bio available for each speaker?

____ 5. Will curriculum materials be used?

____ 6. Are samples of the curriculum materials which will be used available?

____ 7. Are extensive video segments planned to exemplify the strategies to be discussed? What is the quality of those video segments?

____ 8. What interaction possibilities exist between your audience and the speakers? Can your audience ask questions live on the air?

____ 9. Is an E-mail address given for contacting each speaker?

____ 10. Is everything done to enhance the interaction possibilities that do exist?

III. Post-Telecast Follow-Up

____ 1. Are questions which are not asked live on the air addressed in any fashion (i.e. written answers provided post-telecast)?

____ 2. Are scripts from the telecasts made publicly available? Is there a fee for access of these materials?

____ 3. Are tapes of the telecasts made available, or can you have taping rights. Can they be used for post-telecast inservice opportunities?

____ 4. Can the audience interact with the speakers in some post-telecast fashion?

____ 5. Are concerns voiced by site facilitators addressed in any way?

____ 6. Is some post-telecast phone number given, in case problems arise?

____ 7. Will the provider send a video-tape of the telecast to you, in case you cannot participate because of weather problems?

This checklist originally appeared in:

Bender, W. N., Clinton, G., & Hotaling, D. S. (1996). Implementation of distance learning in staff development and teacher preparation: The curse and the promise. Journal of Staff Development.