This case study explores what differences exist between two online course models by investigating the results of a student end-of-course evaluation survey and teacher communication logs in two online high school courses. The two course models were designed with different types and levels of interaction, one with high levels of student content interaction, the second with high levels of student-content and student-teacher interaction. The majority of research on interaction in online learning has been conducted with adult learners at the university level. There is far less literature focusing on K-12 online learning while investigating interaction, student satisfaction, and teacher time investment. This case study addresses this gap by exploring the results of 764 student surveys and investigating the teacher time investments of four teachers. In this study the students' perception of their learning experience in both models met the online program's acceptable levels. In some dimensions of the course evaluation, the interactive course had a higher rating that was statistically significant. The teacher communication logs showed a higher teacher time investment in the more interactive courses, with the highest time investment coming from reaching out to inactive students. Due to the shortage of available literature in K-12 online settings regarding interaction, student satisfaction, and teacher time investment, the author recommends additional research in these areas. By continuing to research and understand better about K-12 online learners, this understanding could influence the development of course interaction standards, assist designers in building better courses, and ultimately lead to higher satisfaction for students.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





online learning, K-12, interaction, student satisfaction, teacher time investment