What are they doing and how are they doing it?
Barbour, Michael Kristopher
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined the nature of virtual schooling in Newfoundland and Labrador secondary education. The primary goals of this research were to investigate the virtual school learning experience for students in the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) including the kinds of support and assistance most frequently used and most valued by students learning in a virtual environment. Data were collected related to what students did during their asynchronous class and synchronous class time, along with where they sought help when they needed content-based assistance. Students were interviewed and observed during their virtual school class time. In-school teachers were interviewed and e-teachers were also observed. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method utilizing Microsoft Word® as a tool for qualitative data analysis. Findings indicated that during their asynchronous class time students were often assigned seat work or provided time to work on assignments, however, students rarely used this time to complete CDLI work. When the students required assistance they usually relied upon their local classmates. If peer support was not successful, they turned to their e-teacher if it was during synchronous class time or if they had the time to wait for a response. If it was during asynchronous class time or if they needed more immediate feedback, they would seek out their in-school teachers. Students rarely used most of the support resources provided by the CDLI. Further research is needed to improve asynchronous teaching strategies exhibited, to better understand the virtual school experience of lower performing students, to improve upon the identification of students who will be successful in and provide remediation for students who are weak in certain characteristics, and finally to investigate how e-teachers and in-school teachers encourage greater interaction and sense of community to allow students to learn in the social process from their more capable peers. As the goals of this future research are to impact the practice of virtual schooling, design/development research may be a suitable methodology for these future studies.