Barriers to Implementing K-12 Virtual Education: A Study of School District Online Technology Coordinators in the State of Texas


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Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of EDUCATION in EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
The use of virtual education to augment the traditional education system has become prominent in the hopes of solving educational problems that the traditional venue cannot address. Regardless of aspirations, roadblocks to K-12 online learning persist. The purpose of the study was to identify the main transitional barriers and perceptions that accompany the implementation of K-12 online learning and virtual education. The researcher used descriptive methodology, using an internet based questionnaire to gather quantitative data. The statistics were used to summarize and organize the data. In all, technology coordinators and/or others who were responsible for online education were invited to participate in the study. At both the item and scale levels, the mean scores were used to rank order the individual and scale barriers. To answer the second and third research questions, a series of one-way analysis of variance were performed. In all analyses, the homogeneity of variances assumption was met, using the Levene's test. Cronbach's coefficient alpha was used to estimate the internal consistency of the scale scores. Quantitative data revealed that at the item level, regardless of the size (small, medium, or large) or type (urban, suburban, or rural) of the school district, implementation funding was the strongest barrier in implementing K-12 virtual education as reported by a non-probability sample of educators in Texas. The barrier which seemed to be the weakest was professional organization or union contracts. At the scale level, faculty compensation and time was the strongest barrier, while legal issues seemed to have been the weakest barrier. Analysis of data showed that differences among various district sizes and types on the basis of scale scores measuring the barriers were not statistically significant. The implications of this study reveal the need for new and proper methods of funding that will benefit the bourgeoning online programs and facilitate success
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development