An Investigation of Students' Perceptions of Plato Computer Based Courses

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An Investigation of Students' Perceptions of Plato Computer Based Courses

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The research investigated students’ perceptions of PLATO® online courses they took to recover high school credits. The school district in the study uses online courses provided by a for-profit vendor. The schools in this district are using the program for students who need to make up credits and the courses are designed to stand alone. The participants were students at two high schools, one a traditional high school and the other an alternative high school, in a northern Minnesota school district. The researcher solicited volunteers in PLATO® classrooms and explained the purpose and method of the project. Students who consented took a survey in their regular classroom during class time. The research showed that students were positive about the program. Most students were taking an online course for the first time but technical issues with the program were minimal. Students also gave favorable ratings to the program for expectations on tests, clear presentation of material, reasonable assignments and communication about their progress in the course. The survey had mixed results in two areas. In questions about how well the course motivated them the average was closer to the positive side of the scale but 40% of the students reported the program only rarely or never motivated them. PLATO® teachers primarily monitor students’ progress and allow students to take tests. Because students were confused about questions regarding communication with a teacher the issue of interaction in an online course warrants further research.


Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Education Degree in the College of Education and Human Service Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2011
Committee names: Randy Hyman (Chair). This item has been modified from the original to redact the signatures present.

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University of Minnesota Duluth. College of Education and Human Service Professions.

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Hille, Janice. (2011). An Investigation of Students' Perceptions of Plato Computer Based Courses. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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