Online learning has become a popular option for many students in K-12 public education. One method of online instruction gaining in popularity is the live, synchronous or virtual classroom. This method allows a group of students to be online in real time with a teacher, just as they would be in a brick and mortar classroom. As the popularity of this instructional method continues to increase, concerns have been raised regarding the qualifications and preparation of teachers who take on this new role. Many new and veteran teachers are finding themselves in live, synchronous classrooms with little training or support. The purpose of this study was to investigate the skills and best practices necessary for teacher success in a virtual classroom by assembling an experienced panel of virtual classroom teachers in western Pennsylvania using the Delphi technique. An Internet based survey tool was used to ensure confidentiality and to meet the time constraints of the participants. Results of the mixed method Delphi study provided informative data regarding the skills and best practices of virtual classroom teachers through three rounds of questions, building consensus in each round. Consensus was obtained in the areas of gaining new knowledge, interacting with students, providing feedback, and integrating technology. The most common and important skills were those associated with the collaborative interaction of teachers with students, students with other students, the collaboration of teachers with their peers, the effective integration of new and available technologies, and the individualization of the instructional experience for each student.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Teacher education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Distance learning, Online education, Virtual classrooms|
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