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An investigation of incorporating online courses in public high school curricula

Conna S Bral, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study investigated the incorporation of online courses in public high school curricula. The researcher examined the barriers and possible solutions to using online classes at the high schools level. Solicitations for the electronic survey were emailed to high school principals in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska. Two hundred seventy-one principals from Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska rated survey items in the categories of funding, faculty and administration, technology, and implementation. Respondents were evenly distributed among the three states. The majority of respondents were from small, rural schools (86%). ^ Data analyses included reporting descriptive statistics and investigating group differences based on the school’s community type, size, and state. Analyses also compared differences between schools currently using online classes and those that were not. Funding barriers were rated as the most severe type of barriers, while barriers related to technology were the least reported barriers. Faculty beliefs about the quality of online learning and concerns about student motivation were also commonly reported barriers. ^ The solutions rated as being potentially the most helpful were in the categories of funding and faculty/administration solutions. Items such as increased funding for staff, decreased tuition for online classes, and the need for faculty training were rated as the most helpful solutions. ^ Some significant group differences were found. The need for technology solutions were more commonly identified by more Missouri principals when compared with other states. Solutions related to implementation were rated as significantly more helpful by large-sized districts when compared to ratings from the small-sized districts. Ratings of solutions from rural school principals differed from those from suburban and urban schools. There were also significant differences in ratings for all barrier and solution categories for those schools that were not currently incorporating online classes in their curricula. Those principals who reported no current use of online classes rated all barrier categories as more severe and rated the potential solutions in all categories as being more helpful in overcoming the barriers they experience. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Secondary|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Bral, Conna S, "An investigation of incorporating online courses in public high school curricula" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3293928.