Spring 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Deb Sheffer

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Deb Pflipsen

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Beth Hillerns


The research question for this project was: How do teachers of predominantly or entirely online schools perceive the possibility of online high school for an entire district? It documents one teacher's examination of the topic through the use of interviews and surveys conducted with current online education schools in order to illuminate the possibilities for the future. The author was interested in the possibility of an automated learning system in which the program adjusted based on response in order to efficiently educate massive amounts of students per teacher. The research delves into the early programs of student driven adaptive programs coupled with the study of virtual worlds and their use in education. The findings illustrate the importance of not only self-driven students for the success of an online system, but it also reveals the teacher as playing a vital role and a necessary component for the success of the program. It also revealed that virtual spaces have been shown to enhance learning and may be an avenue for future learning. As technology continues to advance, new projects should explore how virtual spaces could be brought further into education.

Research Methodology

Interview, Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)