This resource examines results from an online questionnaire that explores online and distance learning courses in Memphis area high schools.

The Southwest Tennessee Rural Education Cooperative (SWTREC), a coalition of superintendents near Memphis, “wanted to understand one another’s online and distance learning offerings and to share resources across schools.... This report presents findings on the extent of online and distance learning offerings in 2012/13 in SWTREC district high schools. Data for the study were collected through an online questionnaire administered by SWTREC districts in April 2013 and completed by one person from each participating school. District superintendents selected respondents based on their knowledge of online and distance learning offerings. Of the 21 high schools in SWTREC districts, 17 responded to the survey” (p.i). The authors discuss the findings, as well as the implications and limitations of the study.
(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Highlights from the survey findings are listed below.

  • More than 80 percent of responding schools used online or distance learning courses in 2012/13.
  • Of the 17 responding schools, 7 used both online and distance learning courses, 6 used online courses only, 1 used distance learning courses only, and 3 offered neither.
  • Online courses were used more and had higher enrollments than distance learning courses.
  • Schools that used online or distance learning did so primarily to offer dual enrollment, enabling students to enroll in a college or university and earn college credit while also enrolled in high school.
  • Eight-five percent of schools that offered online courses identified providing an opportunity for students to accelerate credit accumulation as a ‘very important’ reason for offering the courses.
  • Barriers to offering online courses include limited available technology and lack of supervision for students.