The purpose of this study is to examine the characteristics of international schools that offer online courses. Secondary school principals of international schools were surveyed using a newly constructed survey instrument. Eighty three secondary school principals responded to the survey for a response rate of 61%. The principals that responded were from a random sample of international schools as well as a purposeful sample of international schools that offer online courses through the Virtual High School.
The results showed that 16 of the schools, from the random sample of 60 international schools, were offering online courses. These courses were largely being offered by external course providers that are accredited and based in the United States. The main reason these schools gave for offering online courses were to offer course not otherwise available at their school and the most common type of courses they offered were elective courses.
Finding from this study also showed that there was a relationship between institutional factors of international school and whether they offered online course. The strongest associations were the size of the school, interest coming from the school community, knowledge of the online course options available, and the ease of recruiting highly qualified teachers.
One conclusion that could be drawn from this research is that the number of international schools that offer online courses is quite low when compared to schools in the United States. There could be many reasons for this, one of which is that many of the administrators at these international schools are not fully aware of the online course options that are available to them. It is hoped that this dissertation might better inform the leadership of these schools about the advantages of offering online courses and how these courses might benefit their students.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. July 2009. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Dr. Gerald Fry and Dr. Deanne Magnusson. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 99 pages, appendices A-H.
Fischer, David Allen.
Classrooms without borders: the characteristics of international secondary schools that offer online courses..
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