Day 1 prospectus presentation acmcdonald

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  • This brief presentation will introduce the general content of my research prospectus, based on my efforts to date to meet the University of Phoenix Academic Review Board (ARB) expectations. I fully expect the content to be refined and/or changed substantially as I continue my work towards completion of my dissertation. Included in this presentation are a description of the background of the problem I intend to study, a more specific description of the problem I intend to research, and a description of the purpose of my research. Additionally, I will provide a more detailed description of the research to be conducted and I will include details regarding the population that will be surveyed to collect my data. Finally, my 3 research questions and corresponding null hypotheses are shared to further inform you of the intended nature of my research.
  • Distributed learning opportunities for students using online technologies is a rapidly growing option for students enrolled in public education (Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008; Marsh, Carr-Chellman, & Sockman, 2009). More and more options are available for students enrolled in public schools to choose to take part, or all, of their courses online. For the purpose of this study, the phrase online learning refers to classes in which 80 percent or more of the learning activities are online, as well as blended or hybrid courses in which 30 to 79 percent of the learning activities are delivered online (Picciano & Seaman, 2007).   Successful implementation of an online learning program is dependent upon not only computer hardware and other technologies, but also on the behavior of students, teachers, administrators, and parents (Means, et al., 2009). Significant research exists regarding effective online teacher practice, however significant research on the topic of effective leadership practices of public school administrators in online and blended environments does not yet exist (Picciano & Seaman, 2007).   As students and teachers continue to interact more and more in virtual environments, the behavior of those in formal leadership roles will be critical to the long-term success and continued improvement of online and blended programs. Research on effective leadership practices in an online environment has the potential to add significantly to the existing knowledge regarding the influence of educational leadership behavior on student achievement. This research will examine differences that may exist between the leadership behavior of traditional public school administrators and administrators in online and hybrid public school environments.
  • Significant research has been conducted regarding effective leadership behaviors in public education. Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) identified 21 different leadership behaviors that influence student achievement in traditional public schools in a comprehensive meta analysis of school leadership research studies. Significant research has not yet been conducted regarding effective leadership behaviors in online or hybrid programs (Picciano & Seaman, 2007).   This study examines the problem of understanding leadership behavior in online and hybrid settings in Alberta public schools. Specifically, the problem is understanding if, and how, preferred transformational leadership behaviors differ between administrators in traditional public education settings compared to administrators in online or hybrid public education settings.   School principals in the province of Alberta, Canada, will be surveyed using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire to determine their preferred leadership styles. Analysis of survey results will be conducted to identify any differences that may exist.
  • The purpose of this causal-comparative ex post facto quantitative study is to examine the similarities and differences in preferred leadership behaviors among formal school leaders in traditional Alberta public schools and formal school leaders in online or hybrid school settings in the province of Alberta, Canada.   Causal-comparative study is used to compare behaviors among the two groups because it is not possible to have an experimental design (Schenker & Rumrill, 2004). This study will be an ex post facto study (i.e. no control group and no independent and dependent variables) because the administrators being studied are already in their leadership positions (Schenker & Rumrill, 2004). The strength of this study is that the design fits the population. The weakness is that it will be limited in its ability to identify a cause-effect relationship. It may only determine that administrators in the two different groups differ or not (Schenker & Rumrill, 2004).   A listing of online and hybrid programs provided by the provincial education ministry, Alberta Education, will identify the survey population, all of whom will be invited to participate. A comparative sampling of traditional public school programs will be created to align with the geographic and demographic of the online and hybrid schools that elect to participate. School administrators in these sample populations will then be surveyed using the Multi Factor Leadership Questionnaire (Sarros & Santora, 2001) to identify their preferred leadership behavior.
  • Little research exists on the topic of effective leadership behavior in online and hybrid learning environments (Picciano & Seaman, 2007). It is reasonable to assume that administrators in online and hybrid programs are in those positions as a result of a combination of knowledge, skills, and interest. Studying their leadership behaviors may help inform future leadership practice and leadership development efforts in schools and school districts.   Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) have identified 21 leadership behaviors that directly influence learning in traditional public school settings. The 21 behaviors identified by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty represent a variety of different leadership behaviors and align with behaviors described by the Multi Factor Leadership Theory (Sarros & Santora, 2001).   This study will use the Multi Factor Leadership questionnaire to survey public school administrators regarding their preferred leadership styles in the areas of transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership.   As the number of online and hybrid learning opportunities continues to grow rapidly (Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008), given what is known about the influence of leadership behavior on student achievement, it is important to understand how leaders behave in online and hybrid learning environments in order to continue to adapt and improve educational programming.
  • The research questions driving this study are:   Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments? Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among Alberta public school administrators in online or hybrid school environments? Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among the two groups of Alberta public school administrators surveyed?
  • The three null hypotheses designed to answer the research questions are:   No significant differences exist among Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. No significant differences exist among Alberta public school administrators in online or hybrid school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. No significant differences exist between Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments and in online or hybrid school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. The rationale for the null hypotheses presented above is that online and hybrid school environments are so significantly different from traditional public school environments it is reasonable to assume that administrators will possess different knowledge, skills, and/or abilities.
  • This causal comparative ex post facto quantitative study of school administrators in the province of Alberta, Canada will identify the preferred leadership behavior of school administrators using the Multi Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). MLQ survey results from administrators in traditional public school settings will be compared to data collected from administrators in online and hybrid public school settings. Using the MLQ will be helpful in identifying differences and similarities in leadership behavior, as well as in identifying the extent to which Alberta school administrators exhibit transformational, transactive, laissez faire, or no leadership behavior.
  • Day 1 prospectus presentation acmcdonald

    1. 1. A Comparative Study of Preferred Leadership Behavior of School Administrators in Traditional Public Schools and Online/Hybrid Public Schools in Alberta, Canada Alexander McDonald April 23, 2010
    2. 2. Introduction and Background of the Study <ul><li>EXISTING KNOWLEDGE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>School leadership influences student achievement (Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A variety of leadership styles can be effective (Sarros & Santora, 2001). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FUTURE TRENDS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online and hybrid programs are growing rapidly in public schools (Christensen, Horn, & Johnson, 2008). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It will be important to understand how leadership behavior differs in online and hybrid environments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>THE GOAL OF THIS RESEARCH: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning more about leadership behavior in these new environments is important knowledge given their importance in future educational systems. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Problem Statement <ul><li>This study examines the problem of understanding if, and how, preferred transformational leadership behaviors differ between administrators in traditional public education settings compared to administrators in online or hybrid public education settings. Data will be collected by administering the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire to a sample of school administrators in the province of Alberta, Canada. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Purpose of the Study <ul><li>The purpose of this causal-comparative quantitative study is to examine the similarities and differences in preferred leadership behaviors among formal school leaders in traditional Alberta public schools and formal school leaders in online or hybrid school settings in the province of Alberta, Canada. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Significance of the Study <ul><ul><li>Relatively little research exists on leadership behaviors in online and hybrid learning environments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This research is intended to identify new knowledge regarding leadership behavior in non-traditional educational settings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online and hybrid learning opportunities are predicted to become approximately 50% of all HS classes by 2019. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As online and hybrid programs become more popular, student achievement may be influenced by using this new knowledge in school and district planning and leadership development. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Research Questions <ul><li>Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among Alberta public school administrators in online or hybrid school environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there differences in preferred leadership behavior, as measured by the MLQ, among the two groups of Alberta public school administrators surveyed? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Research Hypotheses <ul><li>Null Hypothesis 1 : No significant differences exist among Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. </li></ul><ul><li>Null Hypothesis 2: No significant differences exist among Alberta public school administrators in online or hybrid school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. </li></ul><ul><li>Null Hypothesis 3: No significant differences exist between Alberta public school administrators in traditional school environments and in online or hybrid school environments on the leadership factors identified by the MLQ. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Nature of the Study <ul><li>This causal comparative ex post facto quantitative study of school administrators in the province of Alberta, Canada will identify the preferred leadership behavior of school administrators using the Multi Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). </li></ul><ul><li>MLQ survey results from administrators in traditional public school settings will be compared to data collected from administrators in online and hybrid public school settings. </li></ul><ul><li>Using the MLQ will be helpful in identifying differences and similarities in leadership behavior, as well as in identifying the extent to which Alberta school administrators exhibit transformational, transactional, laissez-faire, or no leadership behavior. </li></ul>
    9. 9. References <ul><li>Christensen, C. M., Horn, M. B., & Johnson, C. W. (2008). Disrupting class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Marsh, R. M., Carr-Chellman, A. A., & Sockman, B. R. (2009). Selecting silicon: Why parents choose cybercharter schools. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 53 (4), 32-36. </li></ul><ul><li>Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. </li></ul><ul><li>Picciano, A. G., & Seaman, J. (2007). K-12 online learning: A survey of U.S. school district administrators. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11 (3), 11-37. </li></ul><ul><li>Sarros, J. C., & Santora, J. C. (2001). The transformational-transactional leadership model in practice. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22 (8), 383-393. </li></ul><ul><li>Schenker, J. D., & Rumrill, J. P. D. (2004). Causal-comparative research designs. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 21 (3), 117-121. </li></ul>

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