The Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) conducted its seventh annual needs assessment in February, 2012. Online surveys were sent to 3,814 past participants in ASDN staff development activities. Surveys were also sent to 194 network representatives in every school district in the state. ASDN Network representatives are central office leaders designated by superintendents each year and key leaders from educational organizations around the state.
The Professional Development Past Participant Survey 1) assessed participants’ satisfaction with the professional development opportunities they took part in during the previous year and 2) asked participants to detail the professional development they would like to take in the future. We received 928 responses to this survey representing a response rate of approximately 25 percent.
The Network Representatives Survey assessed 1) the relevancy of ASDN professional development opportunities to district needs; 2) satisfaction with the quality of ASDN professional development; 3) prioritization of ASDN professional development topic areas; and 4) district self-described professional development needs. We collected 90 responses from ASDN network representatives in 42 school districts and statewide professional associations for a response rate of 48 percent.
We were very pleased that approximately 90% of the survey respondents said that they were satisfied with our professional learning opportunities, that the professional development resulted in new knowledge or skills, and that their new learning will improve student academic outcomes.
Past Participants – Practical New Information
Network Representatives – Practical New Information
Relevance to Professional Development Needs
Over eighty percent of Network Representatives, and approximately 90% of past participants agreed or strongly agreed that ASDN professional development was relevant to their needs. More participants and network representatives indicated that the professional development they participated in was relevant to their needs in 2012 than in 2011.
Relevant – Network Representatives and Past Participants
Relevant – Small District v. Large District Data from 2011 and 2012
Participation in ASDN Professional Development
The percent of respondents who “frequently” participated in ASDN professional development increased slightly from 18% in 2011 to 20% in 2012. The percent of respondents who indicated they would “probably” or “definitely” participate in future ASDN professional development increased from 76% in 2011 to 84% in 2012.
When asked what priority to give to individual content areas both participants and network representatives rated reading, writing and math as the highest priorities, with an emphasis on reading. When asked for a single priority area, 37% of participants chose reading and 56.0% of network representatives chose reading.
For participants, “Effective Teaching Strategies” and “Positive Behavior Management” had the most interest (92.2% and 87.5% total agreement.)
The most interesting topic for network representatives was “Using Data to Improve Student Achievement” with a 98.9 % total agreement. The network representatives also liked “Effective Teaching Strategies” with a 94.6% total agreement.
When asked to give a single priority topic, participants chose “Response to Intervention” and “Using Technology in the Classroom” at an equal rate (16.6%). “Effective Teaching Strategies” (14.6%) and “Positive Behavior Management” (13.7%) were popular.
When asked to give a single priority topic, Network representatives liked “Response to Intervention” (23.3%), “Professional Learning Communities” (17.8%), and “Effective Teaching Strategies” (15.6 %).
We would like to thank everyone who contributed for all your opinions, good ideas and constructive criticism!