Priorities in K–12 Distance Education: A Delphi Study Examining Multiple Perspectives on Policy, Practice, and Research

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The Delphi Method of group communication was used with experienced distance education stakeholders in the United States from the areas of research, policy, and practice to identify priorities in K–12 distance education over the next five years. Data from the three rounds of this study were organized and compared using descriptive statistics. The results of the analyses by statement and by subscale indicated no significant differences among the policy, research, and practice subgroups (p > .05), indicating that experts identified common priorities. Delphi panel members advocated the following priority areas for K–12 distance education over the next five years (in order of importance): 1) evaluation of course design and delivery, 2) best practice, 3) accountability, 4) access, 5) online learning/learners, 6) professional development, 7) accreditation/standards, 8) funding, and 9) technology. Results of this study provide a framework of specific priority areas to be addressed by those engaged in all facets of K–12 distance education.

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