Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Lorrie Butler


Countless virtual school options are in operation all around the world. A growing number of teachers and students throughout the nation, continent, and world are working and learning online. With virtual learning steadily increasing, it is critical for educators to establish and implement the best online teaching and learning practices. The purpose of my study was to identify and explore the practices of effective teachers in the virtual school setting and how those practices impacted student achievement outcomes. The context of this inquiry was full-time national virtual public high school charter schools operating under the umbrella of the same national education management organization (EMO). I used a mixed methodology research design. I used extant data to identify teachers with high course completion rates. For my study, I defined completion rates as the number of students who completed each lesson in a semester course and had a final passing score. I surveyed and interviewed teachers with high course completion rates to determine the practices they used in their teaching. Based on my research and data collection, I identified best practices for virtual teaching and learning that lead to increased student completion rates. As a result, I recommended a policy that all virtual teachers participate in a professional development series to learn and implement the identified best practices.