NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1099992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1537-2456
Teacher and Student Perspectives on Facilitating a Sense of Community through an Online High School's "Shepherding" Program
Drysdale, Jeffery; Graham, Charles; Borup, Jered
International Journal on E-Learning, v15 n2 p149-178 May 2016
Student disconnectedness remains a serious concern in K-12 online learning--especially in programs where students take most or all of their coursework online. In this research we examined a "shepherding program" designed to encourage a sense of community among teachers and students at an online charter school. Every online teacher served as a "shepherd" for 20 to 25 students and worked to establish close relationships with each student. Data was collected through 5 teacher focus groups, 5 one-on-one teacher interviews, and 10 one-on-one student interviews. A qualitative analysis using Rovai's sense of community framework examined how the shepherding program influenced shepherd-student relationships. The analysis found that the program was successful in establishing a sense of community and students and teachers shared experiences highlighting feelings of spirit, trust, interaction, and learning.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A