Experiences of secondary school students, teachers, and administrators in a distance education course

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation


Steven J. Taylor


Rural education, Administrators, Teachers, Secondary school, Distance education

Subject Categories



This study examined the experiences of secondary rural school students, teachers, and administrators, to determine these participants perspective on the influences of distance education in this model that are attributable to the technology present in the classroom. The two-way audio and video arrangement involved three schools: a host school classroom (home site) and a classroom (receiver site) in each of two distance schools linked by fiber optics. For purposes of comparison, the study also included a traditional classroom taught by the home site instructor.

Qualitative data were obtained by interviews, naturalistic observations, and document analysis. Structured and open-ended interviews were audiotaped for later transcription and analysis. Additional field notes were also generated. The data were analyzed by searching for common themes in the participants' experiences.

There were three major findings: (1) according to the participants, the teacher's characteristics are important in the success of distance education; (2) the students believed that the lack of socializing with distance students had a negative effect on their ability to relate in class; (3) and findings suggest that teenagers in particular may have difficulty in adjusting to the lack of privacy that is unavoidable with the ever-present microphones and television monitors in the classrooms.


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