The use of computer-mediated communications as a means of continuing professional development for school psychologists: A needs assessment
Pamela Marie Caehill, State University of New York at Albany, United States
State University of New York at Albany . Awarded
Over the years, school psychologists have evidenced significant interest in continuing professional development (CPD) programs, and in peer consultation as a means for CPD. Computer-mediated communication (CMC) presents several advantages over face-to-face peer meetings, including flexible scheduling, on-the-job problem-solving, and the discovery and sharing of practical information. This means of peer interaction has not been explored by researchers in school psychology, and no current research examines the needs, desires, and capabilities of practitioners to participate in computer conferencing.
The purpose of this research study was to explore the current level of interest, goals, and capabilities of school psychologists in New York State to participate in peer-led computer conferencing as a means of CPD. A survey of school psychologists currently practicing in NYS public schools provided relevant information. This study comprised a needs assessment of current practitioners in school psychology regarding their current abilities, interests, and goals relative to CPD, computers, and CMC.
Results confirmed apparent widespread endorsement by school psychologists of CPD activities in general and of peer consultation in particular. A clear majority of the school psychologists expressed willingness to utilize computer-mediated peer consultation; however, limitations existed in the form of inadequate computer training and insufficient experience with various computer applications. Further research is recommended to determine preferences regarding attendance, scheduling, and content of CMC peer consultation, as well as participant response to this medium.
Caehill, P.M. The use of computer-mediated communications as a means of continuing professional development for school psychologists: A needs assessment. Ph.D. thesis, State University of New York at Albany.
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