ERIC Number: EJ888156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Potholes in the Road to Virtual Schooling
Glass, Gene V.
School Administrator, v67 n4 p32-35 Apr 2010
Virtual schooling is a rapidly growing and, to many, an increasingly troubling phenomenon. In a decade, online education has grown from being a novelty act to an established mode of education, consisting of asynchronous, computer-mediated interaction between a teacher and students over the Internet. Although exact figures are hard to come by, online instruction provides all or part of the formal schooling for nearly one in every 50 students in the United States today. A few states, Alabama and Michigan among them, even require high school students to experience at least one such course before receiving their diplomas. Teaching and learning in other than a face-to-face relationship have a century-long history of success, dating from correspondence courses conducted through the mail of the early 1900s up to televised classes to those in remote locations and to Internet-supported instruction to homebound (not home-schooled) students. Educators have delivered schooling under unique circumstances that almost duplicate traditional education. The bulk of virtual schooling today can be classified as either credit recovery or full-time cyber schools. The student making up a course online that was failed or conflicted with the timing of another class gains the academic credits to graduate. Students involved in credit recovery are quite familiar to their teachers, who know what they need, what to expect from them and just what supervision is in their best interest. Seeing an increasingly troubling phenomenon, the author calls for regulatory reform of online course delivery in the areas of teaching quality, authenticity of student work and accounting practices.
Descriptors: Electronic Learning, Teacher Effectiveness, Online Courses, Credits, Internet, Problems, Charter Schools, Accountability, Educational Technology, Computer Assisted Instruction, Web Based Instruction, Distance Education, Virtual Classrooms, Educational Policy, Educational Finance, Educational Quality, Quality Control, Repetition, Required Courses
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; Arizona; Colorado; Michigan; South Carolina; Wisconsin