Despite the ever-increasing number of online professional development (OPD) programs, relatively few studies have been conducted to examine the efficacy of such programs for teachers and students. This manuscript presents findings from an impact study of OPD courses in fractions, algebraic thinking, and measurement on 79 fifth grade teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and pedagogical practices as well as their students’ mathematics achievement. The OPD courses were offered one course per semester for three semesters, and each course comprised 1 week of orientation and 6 weeks of course content. Overall, teachers participated in more than approximately 70 hours of OPD. The research findings showed that teachers who had been randomly assigned to the experimental group had significantly greater gains in scores for pedagogical content knowledge and pedagogical practices than teachers in the control group. Nevertheless, the positive changes in teacher outcomes did not translate to any meaningful differences in students’ mathematics achievement.

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Dash, S., Magidin de Kramer, R., O'Dwyer, L. M., Masters, J., & Russell, M. (2012). Impact of Online Professional Development on Teacher Quality and Student Achievement in Fifth Grade Mathematics. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 45(1), 1-26.