Date of Conferral







Darci J. Harland


As the use of blended learning in classrooms has increased across the United States, it is important to provide differentiated professional development and support to educators. As a technology-enabled form of professional development, virtual coaching connects teachers with experts in the field. However, the usefulness of individualized virtual coaching as a differentiated professional development support for elementary teachers implementing blended learning is not well understood. Using Kolb’s experiential learning theory and Magana’s T3 framework, the purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore elementary teachers’ perspectives on the usefulness of individualized virtual coaching in supporting blended learning implementation and to determine how the level at which the teachers used technology influenced their perspectives. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 K-5 teachers who participated in at least 1 year of virtual coaching for blended learning. Interview data were analyzed using a priori and emergent coding. Results indicated teachers at higher modes of cognitive processing and higher levels of technology innovation found virtual coaching useful for (a) the implementation of technology tools and strategies, (b) for shifting instructional practices for student impacts, and (c) for reflective practices for professional growth. This study contributes knowledge to the field of blended learning professional development and furthers understanding of virtual coaching as an innovative approach to professional learning. The findings may contribute to positive social change in that school districts can make informed professional development decisions that provide a convenient and flexible means for K-5 teachers to access expert support for blended learning implementation.