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Facilitator and Student Roles and Performance in a High School Distance Education Course


American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting,


This study focused on the roles facilitators and students play in high school distance education classes, how these roles affect student performance, and other factors (such as school organization) which affect facilitator and student performance. Three classrooms from three different high schools, each taking the same nationally-offered distance education physics course during the 1994-95 school year, participated. The course was delivered live, twice a day, via satellite, with telephones and a computer keypad system connecting the students with the remote teacher. The research methodology included classroom observation, interviews with classroom facilitators and students, and review and analysis of student work, extant documents, and resources used in the course. Results supported the position of theorists who contend that distance education does not constitute a distinct educational process. The same factors that affect student learning in a traditional classroom (learner skills, knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes, and course and lesson design) also affect student learning in a distance education class. The study also suggests that responsibility for the quality and outcome of distance education courses is shared among all components of the distance education system. Specifically, the course provider, instructor, and designers are responsible for providing effective, efficient instruction that maximizes student achievement. The responsibilities of the local school include ensuring that students possess pre-requisite entry skills and supporting utilization of the course as designed. In addition to course design and school factors, facilitator roles and performance requirements are defined by the needs of the students themselves. (Contains 36 references.) (AEF)


Kirby, E. & Driscoll, M. (1997). Facilitator and Student Roles and Performance in a High School Distance Education Course. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 1997. Retrieved September 16, 2019 from .

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