Virtual School Meanderings

August 25, 2016

Article Notice – Supporting Online AP Students: The Rural Facilitator and Considerations for Training

This showed up in my inbox earlier this week…

Supporting Online AP Students: The Rural Facilitator and Considerations for Training

Nicole Hendrix & Katherine Degner
Page 133-144 | Published online: 03 Aug 2016

American Journal of Distance Education

Volume 30, 2016 – Issue 3

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923647.2016.1198194

ABSTRACT
Online courses supplemented by on-site facilitators help many rural students pursue advanced coursework, but research is warranted to better understand facilitator role and training needs. This study examined facilitation experiences, demographic characteristics, and professional development activities of rural on-site facilitators associated with an online Advanced Placement (AP) program. Themes in qualitative data collected aligned with challenges related to facilitator role that have been documented in existing literature. One theme included facilitator engagement in direct AP instruction despite the facilitator role not requiring that responsibility. Self-reported facilitator demographic characteristics and professional development activities were then compared with those of on-site AP teachers in the same state. Results showed that facilitators demographically resembled teachers but lacked similar engagement with AP professional development. The role of facilitator excludes direct instruction, but specialized professional development like that for AP may match the needs and interests of these facilitators.

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