Preparatory School Teachers’ Self-Directed Online Professional Development

Document Type : Original Article


1 Yildiz Technical University, Turkey

2 University of Stavanger, Norway


This case study investigates how teachers render digital professional development in digital environments by interviewing with three preparatory school English language teachers voluntarily engaged in online professional development.  In order to examine their process of teacher learning in online settings, we drew on Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2012) regarding the motivation as to how they engage and learn in the course of online professional development. An exploratory approach was adopted based on the interviews, and the motivational factors of the participants together with how they exploit technology were presented in three different cases. The study revealed that all the teachers were intrinsically motivated, and the need for developing competence, exercising autonomy, and assessing relatedness were key motivational reasons behind their online professional learning. Instagram, MOOCs, YouTube and websites were the online sources mentioned by the participants when they turn to the Internet for help. The discussion focuses on implications of this study for encouraging language teachers to engage in online professional development drawing on self-determination theory.