Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

First Advisor

Janice Hinson


In the 2000 school year the Louisiana Department of Education commissioned a Distance Learning Task Force Committee to establish State Standards for Distance Education. These Standards supported the core beliefs set forth by the state's educational technology goal: "All educators and learners will have access to technologies that are effective in improving student achievement" (State Standards, p. 1). Emerging technologies, such as web-based instruction, were implemented to support these standards. These new technologies prompted the Louisiana Center for Educational Technology to establish the Louisiana Virtual Classroom. This project was a program that included a consortium of high school teachers for developing and teaching Web-based courses. This study was conducted to provide insight into fundamental pedagogical transitions for those teachers interested in teaching in a virtual environment, as well as providing online courses. The study participants were a group of five from the eleven teachers initially chosen to this project. The following questions were investigated: (a) What type of professional development training did educators need in order to teach a web-based course? What skills were needed by the instructor to be fully prepared to teach Internet-based courses? (b) What teaching strategies required implementation in this virtual environment? What was the role of the educator in this new teaching atmosphere? (c) What modifications were required in teaching methods to provide the online learner with the same learning opportunities as offered in the traditional classroom setting? What obstacles were confronted as a result of these changes? (d) How was student progress assessed to assure that students comprehended the material taught? The data collected and analyzed in this study provided a basic orientation to those future educators interested in offering web-based courses. The information built a basis on which educators developed an understanding of what was required to teach an online course.