Professional Learning in My PJ’s? Professional Learning Experiences for Distance Learners

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Participants learn how one online, multi-state/regulated Educator Preparation Program created a centralized online/self-service resource hub used to direct students/faculty to resources needed during the ever-changing clinical practice setting due to the Pandemic. This session highlights a virtual school that creates authentic and equitable professional learning experiences using a virtual platform.


Ashley Bartley serves as the Associate Dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix. She has accumulated over 15 years of experience in higher education. Starting her career as an instructional designer and later pairing her undergraduate work in elementary education with hergraduate degree in adult education to serve in her current capacity. Ashley oversees the design, development, and management of College of Education program and course curriculum to ensure the highest academic integrity using principles of instructional design, assessment data of student learning outcomes, regulatory requirements, and faculty expertise.
Associate Dean, Lisa Ghormley, is a career educator, beginning with her experience as an elementary classroom teacher. As a veteran teacher, Lisa helped open a progressive charter school in conjunction with Arizona State University. There, she led an effort to implement the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) throughout her entire school, serving as a full time master teacher. Lisa’s career in higher education began at the recommendation of one of her student’s parents who hand-picked her to begin her work in teacher preparation at the University of Phoenix. In addition to becoming faculty and an instructional designer, she became the College of Education’s edTPA coordinator and eventually the Associate Dean overseeing all teacher preparation initial licensure programs. In addition to these other duties, Ghormley leads all efforts by the University of Phoenix in the area of alternative teacher certification.

Extended Abstract

Participants will learn how one online, multi-state regulated Educator Preparation Program capitalized on COVID innovations to re-shape how teacher candidates were equipped with tools to validate clinical practice requirements via technology. Participants will also learn which of these practices/innovations have found a permanent place in clinical support because of the improvements they added in lieu of traditional practices.

This session will highlight a centralized online resource hub and Simulated School that creates authentic and equitable professional learning experiences that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student's field of study or career interest using a virtual platform. The Simulated School guides students through best practices of addressing classroom inequities and how to support K-12 students who have unmet social emotional needs, trauma, academic accommodations, and a history of a deficit-based academic approach.

This highly interactive session will draw from universal struggles that higher education professionals faced during the Pandemic. Presenters will model virtual tools to engage learners throughout this session. Participants will explore research-based best practices in virtual teaching and learning and complete a self-diagnosis assessment of their own degree programs regarding authentic and equitable professional learning experiences.

Session Takeaways:

- Examine the key elements of a centralized online/self-service resource hub for students/faculty.

- Create authentic and equitable professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work related to a student's field of study or career interest using a virtual platform.

- Understand how state regulatory requirements can be satisfied by using virtual experiences.

-Recognize how to repurpose existing resources to innovate new solutions.

Time allotments:

5 min Overview of issues and solutioning

15 min Self-diagnosis and needs assessment of professional learning experiences

10 min Demonstration of centralized online/self-service resource hub and Simulated School

10 min Call to Action: Ensure participants leave committed to next steps

5 min Q&A