Distance education technology and the teaching-learning process in a rural high school : a case study
Coutts, Julia M.
This study explores the use of a distance education technology in the teaching-learning process in a small rural high school. More specifically the study focuses on two issues: (a) how students approach learning and their views about learning in the receiving classroom of a distance education project using compressed video technology and (b) how a teacher approaches teaching and his views about teaching in the sending classroom of such a project. The data were gathered over 2 months during which the sending teacher and the five receiving students of the Law 30 class were interviewed. As well, observations were made in both sending and receiving classrooms through the duration of the study. Researcher coding categories were developed to organize the data. The findings are presented in a case study which begins by presenting a portrayal of the six participants. Then a description of the topic areas follows, highlighting the different approaches and viewpoints of each participant. The analysis deals with the underlying themes of technology, interpersonal interaction, and the additional demands made by the technology on participants. Because these themes illustrate the necessity of careful pre-planning, as well as the need for on-going support of teachers and students throughout the duration of distance education classes, suggestions are made in these areas.