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This article was originally published as:

Northcote, M., Gosselin, K. P., Reynaud, D., Kilgour, P. & Anderson, M. (2015). Navigating the learning journeys of online teachers: Threshold concepts and self-efficacy. Issues in Educational Research, 25(3), 319-344. Retrieved from



130103 Higher Education| 130306 Educational Technology and Computing| 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators

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Higher education institutions are developing more and more online courses to supplement and augment the courses they offer in on-campus modes. In fact, some universities now offer the majority of their courses through online contexts. However, for academic staff who design and teach these courses, the transition from teaching on-campus courses to teaching in online learning environments is not always speedy or smooth. Academic teaching staff require support, mentoring and professional learning programs to develop their existing capacities and apply them to an online context.

This paper reports on Phase 2 of a research project, which takes into consideration the cumulative effect of tailored professional development measures implemented in response to findings in Phase 1. The three aims were: 1) to identify the threshold concepts that teaching staff develop when they learn about online learning and teaching; 2) to compare self-efficacy levels and threshold concepts of staff who are experienced or inexperienced in online learning and teaching; and 3) to develop customised professional learning programs and resources to extend the online teaching and course design skills of academic staff. Findings from the study are outlined by identifying threshold concepts, threshold attitudes and self-efficacy levels of online educators and the implications these findings have for designing professional development programs in higher education contexts.


Used by permission: Issues in Educational Research and the authors.

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