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Humanities Center - Opposing the Dominant K-12 Online Learning Narrative of Educational Reformers

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Barbour, M. K. (2012, October). Opposing the dominant K-12 online learning narrative of educational reformers. A brown bag presentation to the Humanities Center at Wayne State University, Detroit, …

Barbour, M. K. (2012, October). Opposing the dominant K-12 online learning narrative of educational reformers. A brown bag presentation to the Humanities Center at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

View the actual presentation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZQMe_djyys

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  • Benefits = Expanding educational access; Providing high-quality learning opportunities; and Allowing for educational choice Challenges = Student readiness issues and retention issues
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • The research is based upon the best and the brightest.
  • However, we know from practice that this does not reflect all or even the majority of K-12 online learners. So the population of students the research focuses on is one of the main limitations of the usefulness (and even the believability) of much of that research.
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
  • Another problem is what we measure... 1. Correlation does not equal causality 2. Single studies measure if there is a difference between two groups beyond chance Need for meta-analysis...
  • Cavanaugh (2001) - developmental effects Cavanaugh et al. (2004) - reverse effects Means et al. (2009) - online = teacher effects & blended = developmental effects + teacher effects
  • But does this tell really tell the full story???
  • Transcript

    • 1. Opposing the Dominant K-12Online Learning Narrative of Educational Reformers Michael K. Barbour Assistant Professor Wayne State University
    • 2. 2
    • 3. Dominant Narrative1. All students are digital learners.2. Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.3. Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.4. All students should have access to high quality digital content and online courses.
    • 4. Digital Learning Now1. All students are digital learners.2. All students have access to high quality digital content and online courses.3. All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved provider.4. Students progress based on demonstrated competency.5. Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.6. Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.7. All students have access to high quality providers.8. Student learning is the metric for evaluating the quality of content and instruction.9. Funding creates incentives for performance, options and innovation.10. Infrastructure supports digital learning.
    • 5. Digital Learning Now1. All students are digital learners.2. All students have access to high quality digital content and online courses.3. All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved provider.4. Students progress based on demonstrated competency.5. Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.6. Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.7. All students have access to high quality providers.8. Student learning is the metric for evaluating the quality of content and instruction.9. Funding creates incentives for performance, options and innovation.10. Infrastructure supports digital learning.
    • 6. Students ARE Digital Learners
    • 7. Generational differences: thetheory that people born withinan approximately 20 year timeperiod share a common set ofcharacteristics based upon thehistorical experiences, economicand social conditions,technological advances andother societal changes they havein common
    • 8. Generational Boundaries• GI Generation “Greatest Generation” – Born between 1901 and 1924• Silent Generation – Born between 1925 and 1945• Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 and 1964• Generation X – Born between 1965 and 1980• Today’s Student – Born between 1981 and 2000
    • 9. Net Generation• Digital technology has had a profound impact on their personalities, including their attitudes and approach to learning• Perception is that there has been a shift from a generation gap to a generation lap - kids "lapping" adults on the technology track
    • 10. Millennials• Based upon survey research• Sample from Fairfax, VAHowe, N., & Strauss, W. (2000). Millennials rising: The next great generation New York: Vintage Books.
    • 11. Digital Natives• Common in the media• No systematic research• Makes unfounded assumptions about access to digital technologyPrensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants – Part II: Do They Really Think Differently? On the Horizon, 9(6).
    • 12. Another Common Myth: The Master Multitasker• Memory encoding and memory retrieval weaker in teens when attention is dividedNaveh-Benjamin, M., Kilb, A., & Fisher, T. (2006). Concurrent task effects on memory encodingand retrieval: Further support for an asymmetry. Memory & Cognition, 34(1), 90-101.
    • 13. “Todays young people havebeen raised to aim for thestars at a time when it ismore difficult than ever toget into college, find a goodjob, and afford a house.Their expectations are veryhigh just as the world isbecoming more competitive,so theres a huge clashbetween their expectationsand reality.”
    • 14. • In 2002, 74% of high school students admitted to cheating whereas in 1969 only 34% admitted such a failing. (p. 27)• In 1967, 86% of incoming college students said that “developing a meaningful philosophy of life” was an essential life goal whereas in 2004 only 42% of GenMe freshmen agreed. (p. 48)• In 2004, 48% of American college freshmen reported earning an A average in high school whereas in 1968 only 18% of freshmen reported being an A student in high school. (p. 63)• In the 1950s, only 12% of young teens agreed with the statement “I am an important person” whereas by the late 1980s, 80% claimed they were important. (p. 69) Jean M. Twenge
    • 15. High Quality Content2. All students have access to high quality digital content and online courses.4. Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.5. Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.6. All students have access to high quality providers.
    • 16. Student Performance• performance of virtual and classroom students in Alberta were similar in English and Social Studies courses, but that classroom students performed better overall in all other subject areas (Ballas & Belyk, 2000)• over half of the students who completed FLVS courses scored an A in their course and only 7% received a failing grade (Bigbie & McCarroll, 2000)
    • 17. Student Performance• students in the six virtual schools in three different provinces performed no worse than the students from the three conventional schools (Barker & Wendel, 2001)• IVHS had a completion rate of 53% its first year of operation and 80% the following (Clark et al., 2002)
    • 18. Student Performance• FLVS students performed better on a non-mandatory assessment tool than students from the traditional classroom (Cavanaugh et al., 2005)• FLVS students performed better on an assessment of algebraic understanding than their classroom counterpart (McLeod et al., 2005)
    • 19. Student Performance• the completion rate for the ALDC was 47% for their asynchronous courses and 89% for their combination asynchronous & synchronous courses (Elluminate, 2006)• CDLI students performed as well as classroom-based students on final course scores & exam marks (Barbour & Mulcahy, 2007; 2008)
    • 20. Digital Learning is High QualityCavanaugh et FLVS students performed speculated that the virtualal., 2005 better on a non- school students who did mandatory assessment take the assessment may tool than students from have been more the traditional classroom academically motivated and naturally higher achieving studentsMcLeod et FLVS students performed results of the studental., 2005 better on an assessment performance were due to of algebraic understanding the high dropout rate in than their classroom virtual school courses counterparts
    • 21. The Students• the vast majority of VHS Global Consortium students in their courses were planning to attend a four-year college (Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998)• “VHS courses are predominantly designated as ‘honors,’ and students enrolled are mostly college bound” (Espinoza et al., 1999)
    • 22. The Students• the preferred characteristics include the highly motivated, self-directed, self-disciplined, independent learner who could read and write well, and who also had a strong interest in or ability with technology (Haughey & Muirhead, 1999)• “only students with a high need to control and structure their own learning may choose distance formats freely” (Roblyer & Elbaum, 2000)
    • 23. The Students• IVHS students were “highly motivated, high achieving, self-directed and/or who liked to work independently” (Clark et al., 2002)• the typical online student was an A or B student (Mills, 2003)
    • 24. The Students• 45% of the students who participated in e- learning opportunities in Michigan were “either advanced placement or academically advanced” students (Watkins, 2005)
    • 25. Literatureindicates K-12online learningstudents are...
    • 26. Reality of most ora large segmentK-12 onlinelearningstudents?
    • 27. Digital Learning is High Quality• “…it is evident that the poor test results for students in nonclassroom-based charter schools pull down the average performance of students in charter schools…” (California, 2003)• “Online student scores in math, reading, & writing have been lower than scores for students statewide over the last 3 years.” (Colorado, 2006)• “The estimates for the virtual charter schools are negative, substantial, and (in three of four estimates) statistically significant.” (Ohio, 2009)
    • 28. Digital Learning is High Quality• “Virtual charter school pupils’ median scores on the mathematics section of the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination were almost always lower than statewide medians during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.” (Wisconsin, 2010)• “The AYP ratings for virtual schools managed by EMOs were substantially weaker than the ratings for the brick-and-mortar schools. While only 27.4% of the virtual schools operated by for- profit EMOs met AYP, 51.8% of the brick-and-mortar schools met AYP.” (Nationally, 2011)• “The largest online schools in K-12 lag the state averages among all Arizona public schools in most standardized test scores and in graduation rates.”
    • 29. Digital Learning is High Quality• “Online student scores on statewide achievement tests are consistently 14 to 26 percentage points below state averages for reading, writing and math over the past four years.” (Colorado, 2011)• “Of the 23 E-schools rated by the Ohio Department of Education for the 2009-2010 school year, only three rated “effective” or better on the state report card.” (Ohio, 2011)• “Compared with all students statewide, full-time online students had significantly lower proficiency rates on the math.” (Minnesota, 2011)
    • 30. Digital Learning is High Quality• “During both years [2008-09 & 2009-10], full-time online students enrolled in grades 4-8 made about half as much progress in math, on average, as other students in the same grade. (Minnesota, 2011)• “While the performance of K12 schools on the AYP measure is poor, it is important to note that other EMOs that operate virtual schools have similarly weak performance levels…”• “…there are now more AYP ratings available for K12 schools and we have adjusted the AYP rate for K12 schools downwards to 27.7% which is almost identical to the average for all EMO-operated virtual schools (27.4%).”
    • 31. Digital Learning is High QualityUniversity of Arkansas Internal Evaluation of the Arkansas Virtual Academy School (ARVA)There were methodological limitations in the sample (all of which favored the online students):• the online sample had several of its lowest performing students removed before they had repeated a grade or had dropped out over the two-year period.• the online sample was a more affluent group.• the online sample had significant fewer minority students.
    • 32. Digital Learning is High QualityUniversity of Arkansas Internal Evaluation of the Arkansas Virtual Academy School (ARVA)When comparing student performance in mathematics, the researchers found:• students in the face-to-face group increased their performance by 1% more than the online group from grades 3 to 5 (not statistically significant)• students in the online group increased their performance by 5% more than the face-to-face group from grades 4 to 6 (not statistically significant)• students in the online group increased their performance by 2% more than the face-to-face group from grades 5 to 7 (not statistically significant)• students in the online group increased their performance by 16% more than the face-to-face group from grades 6 to 8 (statistically significant at the p=0.10 level)
    • 33. Digital Learning is High QualityUniversity of Arkansas Internal Evaluation of the Arkansas Virtual Academy School (ARVA)When comparing student performance in literacy, the researchers found:• students in the face-to-face group increased their performance by 3% more than the online group from grades 3 to 5 (not statistically significant)• students in the online group increased their performance by 11% more than the face-to-face group from grades 4 to 6 (statistically significant at the p=0.10 level)• students in the online group increased their performance by 2% more than the face-to-face group from grades 5 to 7 (not statistically significant)• students in the online group increased their performance by 7% more than the face-to-face group from grades 6 to 8 (not statistically significant)
    • 34. Customization
    • 35. Analyzing Meta-Analyses Teacher Effects Zone of Desired EffectsDevelopmentalEffectsReverseEffects
    • 36. K-12 Distance Education Meta-Analysis• Cavanaugh (2001) - 16 studies – +0.147 in favor of K-12 distance education• Cavanaugh et al. (2004) - 14 studies – -0.028 for K-12 distance education• Means et al. (2009) - 46 studies (5 on K-12) – +0.24 favoring online over face-to-face – +0.35 favoring blended over face-to-face*
    • 37. Results of Interest• Programmed instruction (d=0.24)• Individualized instruction (d=0.23)• Student control over learning (d=0.04)• Second and third chance programs (d=0.50)• Computer assisted instruction (d=0.37)• Decreasing disruptive behavior (d=0.34)• Class size (d=0.21)• Charter schools (d=0.20)• Web-based learning (d=0.18)• Home-school programs (d=0.16)• Teacher training (d=0.11)• Teacher subject matter knowledge (d=0.09)• Distance education (d=0.09) 40
    • 38. Are students really learning?
    • 39. Does online learning = high quality?
    • 40. What We Know From The Research?1. Today’s students are not as digitally savvy as they are made out to be.2. Supplemental online learning works for higher ability students.3. Full-time online learning works for very few students.
    • 41. What’s This Really About???
    • 42. What Else Do We Know?1. Local support is critical to student success.2. Smaller, targeted programs have shown best results.3. Managed growth has prevented academic missteps.
    • 43. Potential Useful Models1. Requirement to target at-risk or dropped out students. (Michigan)2. Tying funding to completion and performance. (Arizona)3. Focus on quality assurance. (British Columbia/Texas)4. Limiting growth. (Multiple states)5. Funding full-time K-12 online learning at lower rates. (Multiple states)
    • 44. YourQuestions andComments
    • 45. Assistant Professor Wayne State University, USA mkbarbour@gmail.com http://www.michaelbarbour.comhttp://virtualschooling.wordpress.com