Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Steven Kotok

Second Advisor

Mary-Ellen Freeley

Third Advisor

Cythnia Seniuk


This phenomenological study design explored the lived experiences of teachers’ perceptions of virtual professional experiences through the lens of adult learning theory. The participants were comprised of elementary educators from a suburban county in New York state. The participants in this study were all forced to shift to virtual teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research questions addressed were how do educators describe their experiences with virtual professional development, what characteristics of adult learning do educators value most, and how does virtual professional development compare to traditional in person professional development as it relates to educators' professional growth and/or career? Through qualitative analysis of email questionnaires, interviews, virtual observation, and document analysis, coding was conducted to discover themes to better understand the educators’ lived experiences. Finding from this study were as follows: Participants preferred in person professional development experiences, the positive aspects of virtual professional development were convenience and the relevance of topics, the negative aspects of virtual professional development were lack of engagement and technological issues, and participants benefitted from in person professional development experiences as related to their careers.