edWeb 2021 Professional Learning Survey

“We are not isolated in our common concerns regarding student learning in light of the COVID pandemic, and it has been a great resource to find solutions to common problems shared by fellow educators.”

edWeb is a professional learning network that provides teachers and all educators with free online professional learning communities and edWebinars. edWeb makes it possible for educators to participate in personalized, collaborative learning – anytime, anywhere.

We’ve been conducting research on our members’ attitudes about professional development for a number of years, and began an annual Professional Learning Survey 4 years ago to benchmark changes in attitudes on a consistent basis. edWeb has seen a significant increase in our online community and webinar viewership as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  We added some questions to the survey this year to get feedback on how professional learning has helped with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Professional Learning Survey was conducted the week of April 12th. The survey was sent via email to 125,000 edWeb members and received 1,295 replies, a 1% response rate, with no incentive.  The quantity and response rate is comparable to past years.

2021 Key Takeaways

  • We added questions on the COVID-19 pandemic this year, and 62% of respondents said that edWeb was better than other professional learning programs for getting support during the pandemic.
  • Our members report that in three areas of importance during the pandemic, edWeb has been very helpful: social-emotional issues (66%), remote learning (63%), and equity (60%).
  • edWeb members continue to rate webinars as the type of professional learning that helps the most.
  • The most important features of professional learning are that the content is current and relevant, and that they can participate on their own time.
  • Our members continue to report that edWeb has an impact on their own students’ learning, and that the knowledge is shared and frequently has a school-wide impact on student learning.
  • The top reasons our members participate in professional learning are to improve learning for their students, learn new ideas and practices, and to improve teaching.
  • edWeb continues to provide high quality, current, effective professional learning at a time when is has been needed more than ever.
  • We received over 1,100 overwhelmingly positive and thankful comments from members expressing in their own words how edWeb has helped them during this most challenging time.

Summary of Results

The first question in the survey asks, “What type of professional development helps you improve as a teacher?” For 4 years in a row, our members have responded that webinars are #1, followed by conferences and workshops, teacher education courses, online professional learning networks, PD provided by their school/district, and PD provided by vendors. 

Question 1

Each year we ask teachers why they engage in professional learning, and consistently, the top 3 answers are to improve their teaching, to learn new ideas and practices, and to improve learning for students. The results reflect the dedication of educators to the larger goal of professional learning – to have an impact on student learning.

Question 2

We asked teachers what features are important in a teacher professional development program. The most important feature is that the content be current and relevant, followed by the flexibility to participate on their own time, that the program is free, and the ability to receive a certificate of completion.

Question 2

The survey asks “How has edWeb helped you in the past year?” and results show edWeb has been most helpful for acquiring valuable information and resources, increasing knowledge in their field, making learning more engaging for students, getting support not available in their school/district.

We asked about three new topics that have been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, and edWeb was rated very helpful in these areas: social-emotional learning (66%), remote learning (63%), and equity issues (60%). Help integrating technology, which was so important during the pandemic, was ranked very helpful by 55% of respondents, but the other areas ranked higher.

Question 3

We asked, “How does edWeb compare to other professional learning programs that you’ve attended?” and 62% of respondents said that edWeb was better for getting support during the pandemic. Respondents also reported that edWeb was better at improving their teaching (70%), making learning more engaging for students (67%), having an impact on student achievement (57%), and to learn about technology (49%).

Question 4

50% of respondents say that edWeb has a high impact on their students’ learning. In addition, members share their learning and that is magnifying the impact. 47% of respondents report that they share their learning with their peers, and that is having an impact on the students of their colleagues. 31% of respondents report that their learning is having a school-wide impact on students’ learning. It’s not easy to quantify the impact of professional learning on student learning, but quantitative responses to our survey questions, and the many qualitative comments we received are evidence that edWeb is having a high impact on student learning.

Question 5

For the past 3 years we’ve ask our members “How likely are you to recommend edWeb to a colleague?” The answers to this question on a scale of 1 – 10 can be converted to a “Net Promoter Score (NPS),” a value that is used to show the strength of a brand. edWeb’s NPS score was 55 in 2019, 70 in 2020, and remains exceptionally high at 69 in 2021.

Question 6

We received over 1,100 comments from our members who took the survey! Their comments are overwhelmingly positive and thankful for our free service that provides the kind of high quality, online professional learning they need and CE certificates for their PD hours.  

“edWeb is a wonderful resource for teachers, and it helps teachers stay current with trends and methods, with earning CEUs for re-certification, with complying with PD requirements. All this with the flexibility of watching live or watching a recording for each webinar.  It is a wonderful resource and service, and I am truly grateful.”

Here is a wordcloud of comments we received.

Comments Wordcloud

The edWeb community has grown to over 1 million educators around the world, a 50% increase in 2020. Viewership of our edWebinars increased over 65% in 2020.

During this terrible year with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are honored and thankful to provide a free service that helps teachers, administrators, librarians, and all educators share their best ideas and practices. Collaboration is how we’ll come out of this pandemic with a better education system, and a more equitable and engaging learning experience for all students.  

For the full survey report, click the button below. 

Download the edWeb 2021 Survey Results

For questions on the survey, contact [email protected].