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ERIC Number: ED534189
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 127
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-3596-6
The Extent and Nature of Online Learning in Indiana's High Schools
Briggs, Chad Stuart
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
High schools throughout the United States face ever-increasing school accountability requirements to graduate students within four years. Earning a high school diploma helps students be prepared for post-secondary educational opportunities or the workplace after high school. Students described as being at-risk for academic failure are the students who are, for a number of reasons, not leaving high school with a diploma. With approximately one in four students not graduating high school within four years the urgency to explore non-traditional avenues to educate students is critical. Online or virtual learning may well be a tool schools could implement to assist students in earning a high school diploma. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into how high schools in Indiana are utilizing online learning as a means to assist students in earning a high school diploma. Specifically, this study strove to determine the extent to which students are participating in online courses, what facilitators are being utilized in online learning, what barriers are being confronted as online coursework is accessed and whether or not high school principals perceive on-line learning to be a viable means for positively impacting a school's graduation rate. As these topics were investigated, data were disaggregated in terms to the location, in terms of urban, suburban, or rural, of participating schools. The results of this study found that students in Indiana's high schools are utilizing online learning to earn credit toward a diploma. However, this participation is dominated by students who are classified as at-risk for not graduating as many students participate for the purpose of recovering lost credit. Additionally, the barriers schools and students are confronting include the lack of resources to access online coursework. It seems if the typical student participating in online coursework is the same student with past academic failures then the solution is not to simply place a student online with few, if any, support structures in place. While students in Indiana's high schools are participating in online coursework for a multitude of reasons, most commonly to recover credit, further research is needed to determine the format of such online learning. This study recommends further study into how high schools in Indiana could blend the flexibility and self-pacing afforded by online learning with the guidance and insight of regular teacher-student interaction. Principals of high schools in Indiana are interested in utilizing online learning to assist students in graduating. However, the overall guidance from educational leaders in Indiana is rather lacking in terms of implementation and accountability guidelines. Indiana may benefit from the State exploring the initiation of a state-wide virtual school so high schools have the necessary structures in place for students to pursue online coursework consistent with Indiana core academic standards to meet Core 40 graduation requirements. [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: Indiana