High School Students’ Perceptions of Online Teacher and On-site Facilitator Support in Supplemental Online Courses
Wednesday, June 26 12:20-12:40 PM Location: Jordaan 1&2
Abstract: In an attempt to better support their students and reduce online course attrition rates, some brick-and-mortar K-12 schools in the United States provide their online students with an on-site facilitator who supports students face-to-face. However, little is known about how students perceive the support provided by their on-site facilitator and online teacher. For this report, 70 students completed a survey and 51 students participated in one of eight focus groups to share their perceptions and experiences regarding online teacher and on-site facilitator support. Findings focused on the following support indicators: (1) advising students regarding course enrollments, (2) orienting students to online learning procedures and expectations, (3) facilitating interactions, (4) developing caring relationships, (5) motivating students to more fully engage in learning activities, (6) organizing and managing student learning, and (7) instructing students regarding the course content. The majority of support appeared to come from students’ on-site facilitators. An important exception was that the large majority of the content-related support came from the online teacher. While students were largely positive when describing the support from their on-site facilitators, students were split and more critical of the support (or the lack of support) from their online teacher.