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IES Grant

Title: Professional Online Learning Module (PLOM) Project
Center: NCEE Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Carla Awardee: North Carolina State University
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards      [Program Details]
Award Period: 42 months (01/01/20 – 6/30/2023) Award Amount: $934,215
Type: Other Goal Award Number: R305U200001

The purpose of this project is to design two web-based professional development opportunities for K-12 educators, each based in a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Practice Guide, to support educators' adoption of evidence-based instructional practice. The first professional online learning module (PLOM) is aligned to the WWC's Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School guide, while the second is aligned to the WWC's guide for Teaching Mathematics to Young Children. North Carolina State University's Friday Institute is hosting both PLOMs.

The research team will develop learning objectives and online learning experiences consistent with the recommendations included in each WWC Practice Guide. They will also develop a series of aligned micro-credentials that educators who complete each PLOM can opt to earn by demonstrating their mastery of specific skills related to course learning objectives.

The team will use information collected from educators before, during, and after their participation in the PLOM to improve users' experience of the module and understand the relationship between participation and changes in teacher knowledge and self-reported behaviors. Data collected from the first cohort of enrollees, expected in fall 2020, will be used to inform improvement and enhancements to both PLOMs before a second cohort enrolls the subsequent spring (2021). Final versions of both modules, as well as an analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected as part of the effort, will be completed in fall 2021.

Project Website:


Professional Online Learning Modules Teaching K–8 English Learners Literacy and Academic Content
Teaching Math to Young Children


Bausell, S.B., Spires, H.A., Gambino, A. (2021). "I am not a teacher just yet, however...": Preservice Teachers' Discursive Engagement in an Online Literacy Professional Development Course. Paper presented at the Literacy Research Association Annual Meeting, Online.

Hunt, J.H., Duarte, A., Miller, B., Bentley, B., & Albrecht, L. (2022 January).??Impact of online professional learning on early math teacher's perspectives of practice?[Conference session].?National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Research Conference (online).??