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ERIC Number: ED528042
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 186
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-9283-1
Student, Faculty and Administrator Attitudes and Perceptions of Virtual High School Classes at One Suburban New Jersey Public High School
Donlevie, Gina
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
The 2005 Summit on High Schools led to redesigning schools and promoting 21st Century Skills. Consequently, this study assesses the implementation of supplemental online courses, offered through the Virtual High School (VHS), at one suburban New Jersey public high school. The following questions guided this research project: (1) How do the VHS courses compare to those in a traditional setting; (2) What are the advantages and disadvantages of online high school courses, and the VHS program; (3) How effectively does the VHS program meet the needs of the students; (4) Do online courses link to 21st Century Skills and college readiness; and (5) Should this high school and others nationwide, consider and implement curriculum policy changes that pertain to online high school courses. The research design used a qualitative, cross-sectional case study of the attitudes and perceptions of those directly involved with the supplemental VHS classes. The division of the homogenous focus groups included three student groups, one faculty group, and one administrator group, for a combined total of 14 participants. The findings indicated approval of the VHS program and a plan to continue the supplemental courses for the Academic Year 2010-2011. With an equally rigorous curriculum, the ideal virtual student is an independent, self-motivated thinker. Virtual activities relied more heavily on written assessments, and at times, posed communication challenges with teachers and peers. Nonetheless, college and career readiness necessitates 21st Century technology skills. The high school implemented two policy changes that will further ensure student success: (1) permitted juniors and seniors to enroll in a VHS course, and (2) incorporated an interview process that will enable the site coordinator to clearly outline course objectives and program expectations. Additional recommendations include transcript policy revisions, and continued monitoring of Special Education, English Language Learners, and differentiated instruction. Since Picciano and Seaman (2009) projected that online learning may reach between 5 and 6 million K-12 (mostly high school) students by the year 2016, educational leaders should promote virtual school opportunities and implement online course prerequisites (p. 22). [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; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey