Methodology - Participants
Twenty-two participants (N=22) completed the surveys online or by telephone or mail; nine were male, thirteen were female. Three participants were under 20 years of age, eleven were ages 21-30 years, three adults were ages 31-40 years, three participants were ages 41-50 years, and one adult was between 51-60 years of age. We were interested in soliciting their age since technology has changed considerably in the past few decades. However, we did not believe their ethnicity was a major factor and our sample size was too small to aggregate data this way, so we did not collect ethnic demographics. All but one of the participants were native English speakers.
From the total 22 students who completed surveys, nine participants (four male, five female) completed telephone interviews conducted by the first author. Only one participant had taken her GED test prior to enrolling in the online program. She had passed all five content areas of her test, but she had not obtained a total overall score of 2250 in order to officially receive her GED. Therefore she elected to study the online program to increase her overall score.
Three online instructors and one program director completed the teacher survey. All four were female. One taught in an Adult Basic Education/GED setting for 3-5 years, two instructors taught adult education more than ten years, and the director had served the adult education field more than ten years. The director and one instructor had worked with the online program more than three years, and two teachers had worked with the online GED program for 1-2 years. All instructors and the director assisted students in all five subject areas.
In sum, 22 adult students completed surveys and of these, 9 adult students completed interviews. Further, 4 instructors completed surveys.
From the approximately 75 students who enrolled in the online GED program at the specified site, the adult education coordinator provided the first author with 35 names of students who enrolled in one or more subject areas of the online GED program during the previous year. Of the total 35 students, 22 students completed surveys for a return rate of 63%. The response rate for our study was above the usual estimated response rate from previous research: 26% response rate (Hamilton, 2009) or 37% response rate (Sheehan, 2001).