PERCEPTIONS OF HOW VIRTUAL LEARNING AND SEAT TIME IMPACT STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL

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Date

2015-04-29

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Authors

McAllister, Terrence L.

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East Carolina University

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify an appropriate structure to successfully serve all alternative students in an effort to increase the graduation rate and academic proficiency of the students at an alternative high school in rural Southeastern North Carolina. The following topics and subtopics will be addressed in this research: at risk, alternative learning programs/schools, high school completion, seat time, virtual learning, approaches to course credits, attendance/absences, suspension, dropouts, summary and finding, credit by mastery, results and recommendations and conclusion. The researcher addressed the following research question: To what extent, if any, did virtual learning opportunities and seat time requirements impact student performance? Quantitative research designs were used to gain insight into academic structures that serve non-traditional students. The intent of the research was to define key elements that need to occur to increase academic performance and graduation rates. Quantitative research included descriptive statistics and compilation of the data collected from the survey results. Students, parents/guardians, faculty, staff, and administrators participated in the study. Key factors that were identified in order to improve the academic performance and graduation rates for students in alternative settings were: clear mission, positive culture and climate, parent involvement, community involvement, effective leadership, professional development, aligned and focused curriculum and instruction and monitoring and assessment. Based upon this research recommendations are: the school should be a program located on the corridor of the only high school in the district, shared core values and guiding concepts that is representative of student, staff and administration, self-paced virtual online curriculum (credit by mastery) and a highly qualified staff that desire to teach at the alternative school.

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