Institutional Theory, secondary online education, online high school, Florida Virtual School, student success, virtual learning, impact of policy, policy
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) was established in 1997 as an online education alternative for the residents of Florida. The purpose of this study was to identify policy changes at the organizational, state, and federal levels that had the propensity to impact student success (as measured by student's final letter grade) at FLVS. In addition, this study identified which type of institutional isomporphic policy (coercive, mimetic, or normative) best classified major policy changes in the organization from 1997-2007. The use of institutional theory as the guiding framework for this study proved to be beneficial and enabled the researcher to conclude which types of policy are the most effective in increasing student success in the secondary online education environment. This study utilized ANOVA and regression analysis to detect whether or not changes in policy at the organizational and federal level have a statistically significant impact on student success in the secondary online education environment. This study reveals that student success at FLVS is consistently decreasing and that the change is statistically significant. Regression analysis found that the policy changes at FLVS in this study explain some of the variance detected in the change in the mean, or GPA, of the school. This study found that both coercive and mimetic policies have a statistically significant impact on student success in the secondary online education environment as identified in the isomorphic mechanisms outlined in institutional theory. This study is important to the field of literature regarding secondary online education in that it opens the discussion regarding types of policy and the potential impact that policy changes have on student success in the secondary online education environment. In addition, this study serves as a framework upon which future studies can be conducted and are recommended in this study.
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Wan, Thomas T. H.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
McPherson, Rhonda, "The Impact Of Policy On Student Success In Secondary Online Education: A Case Study Of Florida Virtual School" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3787.