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Montana Digital Academy and MTDA Connect

Montana Digital Academy and MTDA Connect



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  • Montana Digital Academy
    You can learn anywhere in Big Sky Country!
  • Created by the Montana Legislature in 2009
  • Serve K12 Students in Montana through Public Schools
    Governing Board
    Director (CEO) Curriculum Director (Vice CEO)
    Montana licensed teachers
    Core subjects, dual credit enrichment
    Created by the Montana Legislature in 2009
  • K-12/Higher Ed. Partnership
  • Unique Educational Partnership
  • MTDA Governing Board
  • 45 core high school courses, including electives and AP offerings
    9 dual credit college courses
    New MTDA Connect - Launched February 2011
    Courses available at 9-12 levels;
    2010-2011 courses available at no cost to Montana students/parents and schools
    MTDA Program Overview
  • MTDA Enrollment Data 2010-11
  • MTDA Courses
  • Licensed in Montana
    Employed by Montana school districts
    Trained by MTDA on course development and online pedagogy
    Monitored and mentored by MTDA staff
    MTDA Teachers
  • MTDA Teachers
  • Red = Teachers Purple = Students
    MTDA Teachers and Students
  • What Students See
  • Mathematics – AP Calculus simulation
  • Resources – Video Science Labs
  • Moodle Discussions, Audio, Video and Text Chat
  • MTDA Online Delivery Tools
  • Usually defined as an in-school opportunity for students to earn academic credits that they have lost, or are about to lose, by failing a regular course.
    – 10/20/2008
    Credit Recovery or Credit Retrieval
  • MTDA Can Help Your Students Make-Up Credits!
    MTDA Connect
    Credit Retrieval Program
    Connecting MTDA Coach-Student-Local Site Facilitator
    Credit Retrieval
  • Examples of MTDA Connect Courses
  • Charged by Montana to do so
    Requests before and after original credit rolled out
    High cost of solutions, especially for small schools
    Why credit retrieval to keep pace?
  • Focused Learning Efforts
    After school programs
    Saturday or summer School
    Block scheduling
    Early ID of at-risk population
    Fast-track/focused programs
    Adult Basic Ed
    Veteran’s Upward Bound
    Types of Credit Retrieval
  • Commercial Products
    Florida Virtual
    Khan Academy (
    Commercial Computer-Based Solutions
  • Time-based model
    Based on Caroll (1963)
    “Quality instruction is defined by a structure based on knowing what objectives are, access to content and carefully planned and specified wide range of instructional events”
    Mastery Learning Model
    Based on Bloom (1987)
    Bloom preferred self-paced learning or adjusting the time to the student’s aptitude
    ---Loupa (2010)
    PLATO Learning Environment (PLE)
  • Notify of objectives
    Organize into small units
    Materials and strategies should be identified and used consistently
    Each unit has pre-test
    Allow for/provide supplementary instruction
    Bloom’s 5 Steps For Mastery Learning
  • Combine intrusive, focused, supported mastery learning
    With individualized/computer based solution
    MTDA Connect- home-grown attempt to:
  • Assess individual learner gaps
    Individualized instructional path
    Self paced
    Internet Resources
    Offline activities
    Regain lost academic ground
    MTDA Connect
  • Accessible/secure/comprehensive solution
    Purchased centrally, shared widely
    Technical support
    Enrollment management
    Curricular oversight
    Integrated solution? Coming Soon
    MTDA Connect Charge
  • District Rep contacts us
    Fills out enrollment form(s)
    Go through short orientation
    Figure out how to support students locally
    How Schools Get Involved
  • MTDA + local facilitator + academic coach
    Online access 24/7 to curriculum
    Modular, individualized, self-paced
    Module tests open for 2 tries
    Post-tests unlocked manually and monitored locally
    How MTDA Connect Works
  • PLATO Vocabulary
    Tracking and communication
    Pre-test, module exemption or module mastery, post-test
    Grade reports
    How MTDA Connect Works
  • Wide variety of programs at local level
    Balance with local needs to provide support
    Grading or teaching needs
    Changes equation for students
    Subject matter certified – Math, Science, Social Studies, English, Computers, Health
    Can make modifications to curriculum
    Why use coaches?
  • Monthly meeting with MTDA and Coaches
    PLE messaging
    Email to facilitators and students
    Google docs and for shared files
    Toll free fax to email service for written work
    Phone calls
  • Analysis of curriculum/prioritize offline activities
    Support Site
    Teacher Materials
    Curriculum maps
    Suggestions for improvements
    Modifications and Planning
    Monthly Update Meetings
    Taking Content Retrieval to the Next Level
  • Class management
    Local eyes and ears for MTDA Connect
    Tracking and Management
    Help logging in then making students do it
    Working on curriculum
    Formative assistance
    Conduit for communication
    Tracking work
    Grades and final assessment
  • Great conversations happening now!
    Wide variety out there
    Sometimes none
    Poor past experiences/mixed results
    Resource hurdles - technology, staffing, time
    Potential for us to share/create a model
    Creating A Solution for Montana
  • Do get “intrusive” in Credit Retrieval
    Don’t expect different results without changing the variables
    Do’s and Don’ts
  • Rolling for first time from Spring to Summer
    Modifying curriculum
    Research adding alternate systems or courses
    Full integration with SIS for enrollment and enhanced data tracking/reporting
    Training and presentations to propagate best practices with facilitators/coaches, etc
  • Roles State
  • The Status of Online Learning (Fall 2009)
    Keeping Pace with Online Learning
  • SIZE- Range from a few thousand to about 16,000 course enrollments 2009-10.
    Funding - Funded primarily by legislative appropriation, sometimes supplemented by charging course fees.
    Grade level - Primarily high school, although half offer middle school courses.
    Full -time students Most provide supplemental courses to students who are enrolled in another school full time.
    Attributes of State Virtual Schools
  • Organization type - Run by or within the state education agency.
    Accountability for student achievement - Most state virtual schools work in partnership with local school districts, which grant the credit for the online course. The state virtual school provides the grade for the course.
    Attributes of State Virtual Schools
  • Questions and Comments
  • Contact Ryan Schrenk
    Skype: ryan.schrenk
    Twitter: ryanschrenk
    This presentation is available at slideshare:
    Questions? Interested in discussing or partnering?