Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barbara M. Hunter


With the increase in virtual education and online learning enrollments, there is a need to examine the quality of writing instructional approaches adapted for virtual classrooms. The problem was in two online charter high schools where students' English Language Arts standardized test writing scores remained low. The purpose of the project study was to research secondary teachers’ instructional strategies for writing instruction and their classroom experiences as they implemented an online writing program and a supplementary 6+1 Traits of Writing program. This project study was framed by the constructivist approach to learning and the seminal research of Applebee and Langer on writing instruction in secondary schools. Using a basic qualitative research design, a purposive sampling of eight teacher participants from two online high schools were interviewed in a virtual setting. Data collected from the responses were coded, categorized, and then grouped into six themes that addressed the research questions. The six themes were the teachers' strategies such as templates, substantive feedback, and choices for writing, and their changing assumptions about writing proficiency, interactive lessons, and viewing students' writing more holistically. These six themes provided the foundation for a 3-day professional development plan to help teachers of all disciplines to incorporate writing instruction into their curriculum to help students to increase their writing proficiency. The findings of this study on teachers' strategies and experiences may provide information on improving the instructional designs of online writing programs in high schools and create positive social change by increasing the writing proficiency of students enrolled in these programs so they may be better prepared for success in vocational training, college, employment, and a career.

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