Development and Viability of an Alternative Virtual-Contextual Model in Teacher Training: Continuity Initiative in Laid-back Settings

Nena Padilla-Valdez, Tria Umbara, Muhammad Randy Fananta


Initiatives to ensure the continuity of training programs within the COVID-19 environment had been regarded emergent and discretionary particularly in laid-back settings. The training initiative to improve the professional practice of 35 public primary school teachers in Sumba, one of the remotest islands of Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia fitted this mold. The call for a responsive training that grounds teachers’ teaching and the context of their professional training remained a vantage point for systemic exploration. Qualitatively designed, this study explored the practicality of combining the virtual and the conventional teacher training mode. It hinged on a 1-year training period, of which five months charted the implementation of the face-to-face or conventional mode and the next seven months spanned the implementation of both virtual and conventional training modes. Guided by the systemic analysis approach, data collection emerged into two timelines. Phase 1 data collection framed the conceptualization of the virtual-contextual model and Phase 2 data collection grounded the operational features of the alternative-virtual framework. For validity triangulation, three external master trainers of trainers (MTOT) scrutinized the frameworks and a school site mentor, the overseer of the training program. Likewise, data from related trial studies formed integral part in the revisions of the training models. Formative and summative trainee artifacts such as lesson plans, teaching and learning materials, reflection notes, self- and peer reviews as well as interview typescripts were pooled, thematically coded, and inductively analyzed. Moreover, demonstration teaching tasks were assessed and were used to explain teacher practice orientations and improved changes. The findings yielded four (4) combined delivery strategies featuring the virtual-contextual model: (1) virtual synchronous training and asynchronous training; (2) teacher and peer interactive activities and formative support from the school-based mentor; (3) online and direct feedback from virtual trainers and school-based mentor; and (4) workplace formative-summative assessment and intermittent incentives with parallel extrinsic reinforcement. In conclusion, the combined outcomes of these four strategies propelled a layered yet mutable or alterable teaching attributes in the aspects of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), namely: curriculum knowledge, learning instruction, understanding how students learn, and specific content mastery.


alternative Teacher Training, Virtual-Contextual Approach, New Normal Era, Synchronous-Asynchronous, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Training Delivery Strategies

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