Research Alliance: Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance
Principal Investigator: Peggy Clements
In 2010 the New York State Board of Regents approved changes to state regulations allowing students to take online courses. Because New York does not have a state protocol for collecting data about schools’ objectives or methods for offering online courses, as is also the case for most states throughout the country, the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance at Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands collaborated with the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) to adapt a survey tool to collect information about how and why schools use online learning and what factors impede their use of online courses.
CASDA administered the survey to its member public high schools, which include rural, suburban, and urban communities surrounding the state capital, Albany. The results of the survey provide information for CASDA and its members about how and why schools in the Greater Capital Region use online courses, as well as the challenges they encounter in doing so. The findings may also prove useful to a broader population of education stakeholders and policymakers as they consider online learning policies and practices in their regions. For example, districts and states can use the information in the report as a framework to examine why their schools turn to online courses and what challenges they encounter. They can also use it for learning about the obstacles that prevent schools from using online courses, as well as schools’ objectives for wanting to increase their students’ access to online learning opportunities. Similarly, schools considering the adoption of online course options for their students can use this information to help clarify the academic objectives for enrolling students in online courses and the challenges they may encounter. These kinds of information can guide the development of policies and programs to promote the use of online courses to improve students’ academic options and outcomes.
View the report.
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