Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Scott Bailey

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Leah Wickersham-Fish

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Julie McElhany


The core problem that drove this study was high attrition rates and low student academic growth in virtual students when compared to their brick and mortar peers. To investigate this issue, the study focused on one issue related to the core problem: student engagement. The purpose of the study was to determine what pedagogical practices and instructional strategies were utilized by teachers in their virtual learning communities (VCLs) in order to engage students in the virtual classroom. This explanatory-sequential, mixed methods, single case study was conducted through the collection of archival data and through a teacher questionnaire and follow up focus group interviews. The sample population included 25 virtual teachers from one virtual charter school in Texas. The findings indicated that teachers with higher engagement scores utilized a combination of communication methods (i.e., calls, texts, and emails) and provided students with supplemental resources outside of the curriculum. The findings for teachers with lower engagement scores indicated that utilizing a single method of communication and focusing on 1:1 tutoring over contacting students was less impactful on overall student engagement scores.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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