Quality teaching is considered the most significant in-school factor that affects students’ learning and achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Donaldson, 2011; Hattie, 2008). Therefore, providing teachers, as lifelong adult learners, with many opportunities to update their professional knowledge and enhance their skills in continuous professional development (CPD) programs has gained increasing importance in the educational policy field. This qualitative multiple case study aims at providing an in-depth exploration of the experience of seven purposefully selected middle and high school STEM teachers who utilized a five-week instructor-facilitated MOOC about assessment for learning as an optional model of CPD. The teachers’ online participation was supported by further reflections on practice in their onsite professional learning community (PLC) at their workplace. Document review and interviews were administered through and at the end of the program respectively. Four participants completed the program according to the timeline with a high level of satisfaction with the content and mode of learning. The adult learning theory and Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model construct the foundation for data analysis. Within-case analysis of each participant as a unique case and cross-case analysis revealed the themes of autonomy, experiential learning and reflection, engagement, contextualization, and effectiveness. In conclusion, the participants viewed this model as an informative, flexible, and convenient mode of learning. However, learning through a MOOC needs more adaptation to their context, which was partially supported by attending with colleagues, discussing the concepts, and reflecting on the new practices.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


International & Comparative Education Department

Degree Name

MA in International & Comparative Education

Graduation Date

Spring 5-31-2020

Submission Date


First Advisor

Osman, Gihan

Committee Member 1

El-Deghaidy, Heba

Committee Member 2

Karkouti, Ibrahim


130 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


Firstly, I would like to deeply thank Dr. Osman for her extraordinary mentorship, support, and patience throughout the thesis writing process. It is truly an honor to have such a critical and empowering research advisor. Also, I am extremely grateful to Dr. El-Deghaidy and Dr. Karkouti for all their insightful remarks, guidance, and advice. Secondly, I want to thank all the teachers who participated in this study for their enthusiasm and self-determination for seizing any professional opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in order to support their students with the best learning experience they can provide.