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Impact of Group Work and Extended Essay Writing on Online Advanced Placement Program Student Performance AP

Handwerk, Phil
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Advanced Placement Program (AP), Essay Writing, Online Systems, Group Work


Online high schools are growing significantly in number, popularity, and function. However, little empirical data has been published about the effectiveness of these institutions. This research examined the frequency of group work and extended essay writing among online Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) students, and how these tasks may have impacted their AP exam performance. Hierarchical, set-wise regression models found little to no impact of group work or extended essay writing on multiple choice, free response, or composite scores across 9 AP exams administered from 2003-2005. These models included student sex, race, and year in school as independent variables; covariates were the number of previous AP exams taken by the student and PSAT/NMSQT® scores. Implications for online providers and for future research of online high schools are discussed.

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