Prepare Problem and Purpose Statements Anthony Nwora EDR-8300 Dr. Dale Crowe Northcentral

Prepare Problem and Purpose Statements
Anthony Nwora
Dr. Dale Crowe
Northcentral University
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Problem Statement
The problem addressed by this study is viability of distance learning in rural areas. The specific problem that has been addressed in this study is the viability of distance education for many rural high schools in Virginia. This study has been guided by the knowledge that there are very many obstacles in establishing and maintaining a distance education program. These obstacles must be overcome in order for this program to be successful. One of the obstacles that hinder the success of distance education is funds (Dunnick, 2015). Rural schools have limited funds required to run this program and this makes it difficult for them to use it and get the expected results. The second factor that affects distance education is inability to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. Additionally, many rural high schools serve populations that are regarded as poor and this makes it hard for the schools to obtain the right funds. Teachers are also not attracted to rural schools. Another obstacle is lack of expansion of the curriculum to accommodate distance education.
Area of Interest
The main area of interest is distance education. Before 2020, distance education had become popular among schools and especially those that are in rural areas. The main factor that led to this popularity is advances in information technology. Technology has made it easier for educators to teach their students (Howard, Schenk, & Discenza, 2004). Many people prefer distance learning because it enables them to acquire knowledge and skills from different location without getting into the physical class. In 2020, Coronavirus pandemic led to the closure of schools and students were required to learn from home. This has led to an increase in the use of distance education programs. One of the issues that students in rural areas face is lack of transport and the cost of transport. The solution to these issues is distance learning.
Distance learning is highly recommended for rural high schools in the United States because it can help students to have access to highly qualified teachers. This learning strategy can also be helpful in that it can reduce the cost incurred by accessing highly qualified teachers (Liu & Yen, 2014). Distance education is also beneficial to students living in rural areas because they do not have to go to the physical class to be taught. They can receive education from home.
Even as distance education continues to be applied and recommended, educators are concerned whether this type of learning is effective as face to face learning. With face to face learning, students are usually in class with their teacher and there are fewer distractions as compared to distance learning. Another concern is whether students in the rural areas can be able to maintain this program due to the internet cost required for the program. These concerns raised by scholars with regards to the effectiveness of distance learning have inspired this research area.
Problem and Purpose Statement
Theoretical Focus
Applied Focus
First sentence of Problem Statement
An investigation to analyze distance education
An investigation to determine the effectiveness of distance education
First sentence of Purpose Statement
To investigate the effectiveness of distance education
To determine whether distance education is effective and whether it can benefit rural high schools
Problem Statement
The problem is that even though distance education can be viewed as a better and viable option or alternative for high schools in the rural areas in the United States, there are a number of obstacles that can hinder the process of establishing and maintaining this strategy. One of the challenges that rural schools face that makes it hard for this program to be established and maintained is lack of funds. Many schools survive through grants (Howard, Schenk, & Discenza, 2004). The government also allocates some fund to the schools but these funds are not usually enough because there are very many things that the funds allocated have to cater for.
The second obstacle hindering the effectiveness of distance education in rural high schools is lack of highly qualified teachers. It is very difficult for high schools in the rural areas to have access to highly qualified teachers (Wardhani, 2020). Many highly qualified teachers prefer to work in urban areas as compared to rural areas. This causes teachers not to engage in distance learning programs for schools in the rural areas. I believe that a lot of incentives has to be channeled towards attracting highly qualified teachers to work in the urban areas.
The third obstacle is lack of financial resources. Many families in the rural areas that are in the bottom threshold financial difficulty my not be able to afford all the resources required to establish and maintain distance education for their children. It becomes very hard for students to engage in this program because they do not have the right gadgets and funds to cater for internet cost.
Another obstacle is lack of support from schools. Distance education must be supported by rural schools in order for it to be effective (Wardhani, 2020). Schools must be ready to expand their curriculum with the use of distance education. They must also inform the people in the rural areas about the distance education program. Community members must be informed about the program in order for them to allow their children to participate.
Dunnick, R. D. (2015). The effectiveness of distance education in a small rural high school: A phenomenological study. Liberty University.
Howard, C., Schenk, K., & Discenza, R. (2004). Distance learning and university effectiveness: Changing educational paradigms for online learning. Hershey, PA: Information Science Pub.
Liu, H. C., & Yen, J. R. (2014). Effects of distance learning on learning effectiveness. Eurasia journal of mathematics, science and technology education, 10(6), 575-580.
Wardhani, N. W. (2020, October). The Effectiveness of Distance Learning for Elementary School. In The 5th Progressive and Fun Education International Conference (PFEIC 2020) (pp. 114-119). Atlantis Press.
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