The allure of online education for the Millennial student
Ward H. Andrus, University of La Verne, United States
University of La Verne . Awarded
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to identify and describe learning preferences of current high school students enrolled in online courses. The study further identified the students' perceived benefits and academic attractions to online education. The study also addressed the degree of satisfaction with their online courses. The study's final question examined what students perceive as the obstacles of traditional high school.
Methodology. The subjects of the quantitative survey were a final population of 441 online high school students from Florida Virtual School; Washoe County's WOLF Academy in Reno, Nevada; and the Kent Phoenix Academy in Kent, Washington. Subjects responded to an electronic survey where they rated their perception of the level of importance of various aspects of online learning. The results of the survey were analyzed to determine their relative level of importance and significance.
Findings. Data from this study indicate that students who are enrolled in online high school courses value the flexibility of time and pace of learning in their program. Students also indicated their high level of satisfaction with their teacher. The data also indicated the students' level of dissatisfaction with rigid school schedules they had experienced in a traditional high school.
Conclusions. The study data supported the conclusions that students value the ability to manage their own time when learning. They want a system that allows them to learn at their own pace and have the independence to set their own learning schedules. The study further supported the conclusion that students are not displeased with their traditional high schools as much as they are attracted to learning preferences, features, and benefits of an online school.
Recommendations. The study's conclusions recommend that educational programs and policymakers develop school systems that allow for student autonomy. Students should be granted greater control over their daily, weekly, and yearly learning schedules. The study further concludes that policymakers take advantage of the benefits of online learning for the many smaller and rural schools that are not able to offer as many courses and are limiting access to a rich curriculum.
Andrus, W.H. The allure of online education for the Millennial student. Ph.D. thesis, University of La Verne.
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