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Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2009-10. First Look. NCES 2012-008
REPORT

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Abstract

This report provides national estimates about student enrollment in distance education courses in public school districts. The estimates presented in this report are based on a district survey about distance education courses offered by the district or by any of the schools in the district during the 12-month 2009-10 school year. For this survey, distance education courses were defined as courses offered to elementary and secondary school students regularly enrolled in the district that meet all of the following criteria: (1) are credit granting; (2) are technology delivered; and (3) have the instructor in a different location than the students and/or have course content developed in, or delivered from, a different location than that of the students. Findings include: (1) Fifty-five percent of public school districts reported having students enrolled in distance education courses in 2009-10 (table 1); (2) Districts reported an estimated 1,816,400 enrollments in distance education courses for 2009-10 (table 2); (3) Seventy-nine percent of districts with students enrolled in distance education courses reported enrollments of 100 or fewer students, with 25 percent reporting 1 to 10 enrollments, 27 percent reporting 11 to 30 enrollments, and 27 percent reporting 31 to 100 enrollments (table 3); (4) Eighty-seven percent of districts reported tracking all distance education courses that students completed with a passing grade, 79 percent reported tracking all distance education courses that students completed with a failing grade, and 65 percent reported tracking all distance education courses where students withdrew prior to completing the course (table 4); (5) Ninety-eight percent of districts reported monitoring student progress in distance education courses using a final grade report (table 5); (6) Twelve percent of districts reported having written policies specifying that a student cannot enroll in another distance education course when a distance education course was not successfully completed, while 6 percent of districts reported having policies specifying that a student must wait a specified time before enrolling in another distance education course (table 6); (7) Twenty-two percent of districts with students enrolled in distance education courses reported that students enrolled in regular high school programs could take a full course load in an academic term using only distance education courses, while 12 percent reported that students could fulfill all high school graduation requirements using only distance education courses (table 7); (8) Fifty percent of districts reported that a postsecondary institution in the United States delivered distance education courses in which students in their district were enrolled (table 8); (9) Districts reported that the types of distance education courses in which students enrolled were credit recovery (62 percent), dual enrollment (47 percent), Advanced Placement (29 percent), career and technical education (27 percent), and other types of academic courses (65 percent) (table 9); (10) The majority of districts reported that providing courses not otherwise available at the school (64 percent) and providing opportunities for students to recover course credits from classes missed or failed (57 percent) were very important reasons for having distance education courses in their district (table 10); (11) Fifty-nine percent of districts reported having students enrolled in courses that used the Internet with asynchronous (not simultaneous) instruction to a large extent, with an additional 27 percent reporting having students enrolled in courses that used this technology to a small or moderate extent (table 11); (12) The technology most frequently cited by districts as the primary mode of instructional delivery for the greatest number of distance education courses was the Internet using asynchronous instruction (63 percent) (table 12); (13) Ninety percent of districts with distance education enrollments reported having students enrolled in distance education courses delivered over the Internet (table 13); and (14) About three-quarters (74 percent) of the districts with distance education enrollments in 2009-10 indicated that they planned to expand the number of distance education courses offered in the next 3 years (table 14). Appended are: (1) Standard Error Tables; (2) Technical Notes; and (3) Questionnaire. (Contains 29 tables and 12 footnotes.)

Citation

Queen, B. & Lewis, L. Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2009-10. First Look. NCES 2012-008. Retrieved April 21, 2019 from .

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