Purpose: Innovative use of information and communications technology (ICT) requires (new) knowledge and skills for the group that has the biggest impact on the quality of education: instructors. Facilitating professional development (PD) of instructors is crucial for the quality of one’s education system(s), perhaps even more so in times of a pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the authors’ analysis of reviews published in the last decade, this paper summarizes the key building blocks of effective PD on the innovative use of ICT during a pandemic. The authors used these building blocks to reflect on two national PD initiatives developed to support institutions of higher education in instructional use of ICT while dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings: Both PD initiatives include the same building blocks: (1) content-related building blocks focused on technological knowledge, (2) active learning and expert-supported PD (didactics-related building blocks) and (3) contextual building blocks consisting of clearly defined goals focused on the instructor's own practice, use of technology, sustained duration (e.g. taking place over a longer period of time) and evidence-informed PD. One contextual building block that was not evident in the reviews but emerged as a vital building block is “responsiveness” to the situation and needs of the participants. Originality/value: High-quality PD is crucial if one wants to safeguard the quality of (online) instruction and learning to ensure high-quality education for all students. This paper can contribute to enhancing the quality of much-needed PD on online teaching (during, but also after COVID-19).
- Higher education
- Information and communications technology (ICT) in education
- Instructor professional development