ERIC Number: ED478377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Online Advanced Placement Courses: Experiences of Rural and Low-Income High School Students. WCALO Special Studies.
Marcel, Kathleen W.
A study examined rural, low-income students' experiences with online advanced placement (AP) courses. Interviews were conducted with 30 students, their mentors, and school administrators at four rural high schools in two Western states; 25 students were low-income. Positive comments about the online experience mentioned interaction with other students, familiarity with computers and the Internet, ease of navigation, positive experience with vendor, student collaboration, and self-direction. Only a few of the 25 low-income students passed their online AP courses. Critical issues raised included extra time spent in online learning, pace of the course, learning strategies, course selection, lack of preparation, isolation, lack of incentives, problems with group work, access to course texts, mentor issues, instructor issues, attrition, and performance. This report concludes that online AP courses complicate the learning environment for rural and low-income students. For these students to succeed in online AP courses, they must be better prepared for these courses. Online AP courses should be designed to promote active learning, student interaction, and group interaction. Because online AP courses take at least one-third more time than traditional courses, students need access to computers outside of class, ideally at home. The roles of online instructors and mentors need to be better clarified and ways are needed to offer students content help when there are no local teachers with subject-matter expertise. Recommendations for further research are presented. Two appendices present interview questions and a 15-item annotated bibliography. (TD)
Descriptors: Access to Computers, Advanced Placement Programs, College Preparation, Curriculum Design, Disadvantaged, Educational Needs, Educational Strategies, High School Students, High Schools, Independent Study, Instructional Design, Internet, Low Income, Mentors, Online Courses, Rural Education, Student Attitudes, Student Experience
For full text: http://www.wiche.edu/Policy/WCALO/documents/MarcelOnline_000.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Boulder, CO.