School Administrators’ Perceptions of Alabama’s ACCESS Distance Learning Program
Type of Degreedissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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The purpose of this study was to examine Alabama high school principals’ perceptions about ACCESS Distance Learning. An exploratory research design was used and data were collected by survey. The survey was emailed to 508 Alabama high school principals representing the 132 school districts statewide (as of 2013). Fifty-two surveys were completed, returned, and analyzed, yielding a 10% return rate. Demographic information was collected and used as variables when analyzing other data. Quantitative survey responses were analyzed using means, standard deviations, frequencies, percentages, and Pearson’s r. Findings reveal that there was no statistical significance between principal demographics and the variables of student level of learning and instructional processes. However, results indicated that there is a positive correlation between the variables of instructional processes and levels of learning. Findings suggest the majority of principals participating in this study are supportive of ACCESS in relation to course preparedness, the learning environment, assessment procedures, high quality instruction, its personnel, and its logistics. However, they perceive that student motivation, sufficient student feedback, level of student interaction, and instructional delivery that meets students’ needs are concerns. Additionally, when asked about whether or not ACCESS provides equal to or better than face-to-face instruction, principals favored face-to-face instruction (N=35, 67.2%). This is troubling, since ACCESS received high praise from students and teachers in five external reviews (Roblyer, Bielefeldt & Olszewski, 2010; Roblyer, Bielefeld, Sampson-Gruener & 2009; Roblyer, Freeman, Stabler, & Schneidmiller, 2007a, 2007b, 2008). ACCESS policymakers should consider the feedback and expertise of principals who are directly responsible for the success of their students when making policy decisions in the future.