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ERIC Number: EJ1025143
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-7069
An Online High School "Shepherding" Program: Teacher Roles and Experiences Mentoring Online Students
Drysdale, Jeffery S.; Graham, Charles R.; Borup, Jered
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, v22 n1 p9-32 Jan 2014
Several online programs use on-site facilitators to create a stronger sense of community and reduce student dropout. However, very little research addresses how programs that are fully online can provide their students with comparable support. Using K-12 online research, this case study analyzed a "shepherding program" at Mountain Heights Academy, a fully online high school. We found that the shepherding program enabled fully online teachers to provide their students with many of the services typical of on-site facilitators. The roles of the shepherding program included building caring relationships, facilitating content interaction, and providing students with the communication links they needed to be successful. In addition, the shepherding program increased teachers' job satisfaction, responsibility, motivation, and mental peace. Demands on teachers who acted as shepherds included investments of time and emotion. This case study provides fully online schools with one approach for improving student support.
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. P.O. Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327. Tel: 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A