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ERIC Number: ED517911
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 91
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-0063-0
A Qualitative Study of High School Principal Decisions regarding Distance Learning in South Dakota Schools
Fischbach, Kami Jo
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
The use of the distance learning courses continues to grow. Previous research focuses on the effectiveness of distance education, typically examining the performance, attitudes, and satisfaction of distance education students and comparing them to those attending traditional classes. High school principals have this information to use when making their decision to offer distance courses to their students. The purpose of this naturalistic inquiry study was to discover the perceptions regarding the distance education delivery methods based upon the experiences of high school administrators in South Dakota. Specifically, this study examined the decision making process of the high school principals. This study identified the high school principals' decisions to offer distance courses were made based upon the needs of the school and its students. Five predominant themes emerged from an analysis of the data gathered from participant interviews: (a) school resources, (b) cost-effectiveness, (c) student needs, (d) quality of the course, and (e) personal experience. These perceptions proved to be noteworthy topics for discussion. Principals described how school resources were to offering courses to meet the requirements set forth by the South Dakota Department of Education, and if the school's resources could not provide that course for the students, a distance course would be a viable substitute. The cost effectiveness did play a role in the decision process. A student's specific needs are a consideration for high school principals as well. Students preparing for different fields of career or study should focus on courses that will help to educate them for their future. The quality of the course was determined by the principals from student opinion, due to their lack of guidelines for evaluating a distance course. Personal experience also guided the principals' decision to offer their students an opportunity to offer a distance course. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota