Many districts are beginning to plan for delivering their PD remotely this summer, fall, and beyond as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivering PD remotely presents logistical and administrative challenges that require juggling many different online resources and tools to facilitate even a single online PD session. How do you ensure everyone knows about the availability of PD events? What online meeting solution will you use and how do you ensure everyone has access? How do you manage registrations, verify attendance, and assign PD credit for participants?
Here are five tips to help streamline remote PD management to save time so that you can focus your energy and resources on delivering the professional learning that your educators and staff need.
- Organize All PD Activity in a Central Location – Utilizing a centralized PD management solution for all remote PD events in your district brings consistency to the process for administrators, for those delivering PD, and for your attendees. With a single point of access, participants can see what PD events are available and register for events online, and administrators and presenters can track and manage registrations and communicate about event details.
- Provide Remote PD Event Access Details – If you’re delivering remote PD events, you’re likely using an online meeting solution such as Zoom, GotoWebinar, Google Classrooms, or similar tools. Ensuring that everyone has the access details for a PD event seems simple, but can be challenging and require “extra” work if you’re reliant on sending the details out by email. Using an online PD management solution allows you to provide webinar access details right within your PD management solution, so the information is easily accessible for registered attendees, at any time.
- Communicate Updates to Attendees – Did you add new attachments attendees need before the PD event (handouts, information, worksheets, etc.)? Do you need to change the remote access details? How do you easily communicate these updates to your registered attendees? When you manage your PD events within an online PD management system, you can easily create simple communications to all attendees directly from the system, without the hassle of downloading a list of email addresses and sending out separate communications via email, saving significant time for the PD administrator or presenter.
- Track PD Event Attendance – Tracking attendance at remote PD events is critical to ensure that attendees receive the appropriate credit to meet district requirements or to fulfill staff license renewal requirements. While this is often done with a “sign-in sheet” at in person events, utilizing a PD management system that allows for electronic sign in permits attendees to sign in from their own devices during the remote PD event, and their attendance at the event can be easily tracked within their own individual PD record. While online solutions such as Zoom allow you to download a list of attendees, an online solution with an electronic sign-in feature will save you time in tracking attendance for the numerous remote PD events you will be delivering to your staff. Tracking attendance in a centralized system also simplifies the process of distributing certificates of attendance and approving PD credit.
- Gather PD Event Feedback – Gathering feedback following a PD event is always important, but feedback is more critical than ever in this new world of remote PD. While this can be done in many ways (historically on a paper survey) or via other online survey tools, this feedback is then maintained separately from the other details about the PD event. Facilitating feedback through online forms in the same system you use to manage and track all other details for the PD the event can make it easy for administrators to review a feedback summary report to evaluate the PD session.
During this time of remote instruction and remote professional development, administrators and educators are juggling more online resources and tools than ever before. Streamlining your PD management in a centralized online system can help save everyone valuable time, increase efficiency, and reduce frustration, and can help your remote (and in person) PD events run more smoothly for everyone.