Student Perceptions of Online Teacher and On-site Facilitator Support in Supplemental Online Courses

Jered Borup, Chawanna B. Chambers, Rebecca Stimson


In an attempt to better support their students and reduce online course attrition rates, some brick-and-mortar schools provide their online students with an on-site facilitator who supports students face-to-face. However, little is known about how students perceive the support provided by their on-site facilitator and online teacher. For this report, we surveyed 70 students and conducted eight focus groups with 51 students to better understand the support that online teachers and on-site facilitators provided them. Our findings focused on the following support indicators: (1) advising students regarding course enrollments, (2) orienting students to online learning procedures and expectations, (3) facilitating interactions, (4) developing caring relationships, (5) motivating students to more fully engage in learning activities, (6) organizing and managing student learning, and (7) instructing students regarding the course content. The majority of support appeared to come from students’ on-site facilitators. An important exception was that the large majority of the content-related support came from the online teacher. While students were largely positive when describing the support from their on-site facilitators, students were split and more critical of the support (or the lack of support) from their online teacher.


Parental engagement, online learning, student engagement, virtual schooling, online teachers, on-site facilitators

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