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ACSDE 2019 - The Landscape of K-12 Online Learning: Exploring What is Known


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Barbour, M. K. (2019, May). The landscape of K-12 online learning: Exploring what is known. An invited webinar by American Center For The Study Of Distance Education.

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ACSDE 2019 - The Landscape of K-12 Online Learning: Exploring What is Known

  1. 1. Michael K. Barbour Touro University California
  2. 2. Gemin, B., Pape, L., Vashaw, L., & Watson, J. (2015). Keeping pace with K-12 online & blended learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Evergreen, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  3. 3. Gemin, B., & Pape, L. (2016). Keeping pace with K-12 online learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Evergreen, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  4. 4. Watson, J., Murin, A., Vashaw, L., Gemin, B., & Rapp, C. (2012). Keeping pace with K-12 online & blended learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Durango, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  5. 5.  K-12 online learning: a general term to describe the field  Virtual school: supplemental form of K-12 online learning  Cyber school: a full-time form of K-12 online learning K-12 blended learning: ???
  6. 6. Digital Learning Collaborative. (2019). Snapshot 2019: A review of K-12 online, blended, and digital learning. Durango, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  7. 7. Digital Learning Collaborative. (2019). Snapshot 2019: A review of K-12 online, blended, and digital learning. Durango, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  8. 8. Digital Learning Collaborative. (2019). Snapshot 2019: A review of K-12 online, blended, and digital learning. Durango, CO: Evergreen Education Group.
  9. 9. • “based upon the personal experiences of those involved in the practice of virtual schooling” (Cavanaugh et al., 2009) • “a paucity of research exists when examining high school students enrolled in virtual schools, and the research base is smaller still when the population of students is further narrowed to the elementary grades” (Rice, 2006)
  10. 10. 1 3 3 4 3 7 6 6 9 11 5 14 12 16 22 33 25 20 23 31 40 27 35 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 NumberofArticles Year Articles per Year
  11. 11.  Top journal published 7% of the total articles.  132 journals published four or fewer articles.  102 journals published one article. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Journal of Online Learning Research American Journal of Distance Education International Journal of E-Learning & Distance… Journal of Open Flexible and Distance Learning* Journal of Technology and Teacher Education TechTrends The Morning Watch Distance Learning International Review of Research in Open and… Quarterly Review of Distance Education NUMBER OF ARTICLES JOURNALS Top 10 Journals
  12. 12. • Author Analysis—384 distinct authors; ranked by number of articles and position of authorship. • Top 11 authors: Michael Barbour (57), Cathy Cavanaugh (19), Ken Stevens (18) Elizabeth Murphy (16), Charles Graham (15), Margaret Roblyer (14), Jered Borup (14), Leanna Archambault (12), Diana Greer (11), Dennis Beck (10), Niki Davis (10) • Of note: 276 authors (just under 75% of the authors) published only one article; more than half of these articles were published from 2011 though 2016, perhaps indicating a growth in interest in K-12 online learning and newer scholars.
  13. 13. • “indicative of the foundational descriptive work that often precedes experimentation in any scientific field. In other words, it is important to know how students in virtual school engage in their learning in this environment prior to conducting any rigorous examination of virtual schooling.” (Cavanaugh et al., 2009)
  14. 14. 1. Comparisons of student performance based upon delivery model (i.e., classroom vs. online) 2. Studies examining the qualities and characteristics of the teaching/learning experience  characteristics of  supports provided to  issues related to isolation of online learners (Rice, 2006) 1 Effectiveness of virtual schooling 2 Student readiness and retention issues (Cavanaugh et al., 2009)
  15. 15. Bigbie & McCarroll (2000) over half of students who completed FLVS courses scored an A in their course & only 7% received a failing grade Barker & Wendel (2001) students in the six virtual schools in three different provinces performed no worse than the students from the three conventional schools Cavanaugh et al. (2005) FLVS students performed better on a non-mandatory assessment tool than students from the traditional classroom McLeod et al. (2005) FLVS students performed better on an algebraic assessment than their classroom counterparts Barbour & Mulcahy (2008, 2009) little difference in the overall performance of students based upon delivery model
  16. 16. Ballas & Belyk (2000) participation rate in the assessment among virtual students ranged from 65% to 75% compared to 90% to 96% for the classroom- based students Bigbie & McCarroll (2000) between 25% and 50% of students had dropped out of their FLVS courses over the previous two- year period Cavanaugh et al. (2005) speculated that the virtual school students who did take the assessment may have been more academically motivated and naturally higher achieving students McLeod et al. (2005) results of the student performance were due to the high dropout rate in virtual school courses
  17. 17. Haughey & Muirhead (1999) 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 Roblyer & Elbaum (2000) only students with a high need to control and structure their own learning may choose distance formats freely Clark et al. (2002) IVHS students were highly motivated, high achieving, self-directed and/or who liked to work independently Mills (2003) typical online student was an A or B student Watkins (2005) 45% of the students who participated in e-learning opportunities in Michigan were either advanced placement or academically advanced students
  18. 18. • “K12 Inc. virtual schools enroll approximately the same percentages of black students but substantially more white students and fewer Hispanic students relative to public schools in the states in which the company operates” • “39.9% of K12 students qualify for free or reduced lunch, compared with 47.2% for the same-state comparison group.” • “K12 virtual schools enroll a slightly smaller proportion of students with disabilities than schools in their states and in the nation as a whole (9.4% for K12 schools, 11.5% for same-state comparisons, and 13.1% in the nation).” • “Students classified as English language learners are significantly under-represented in K12 schools; on average the K12 schools enroll 0.3% ELL students compared with 13.8% in the same-state comparison group and 9.6% in the nation.” Miron, G. & Urschel, J. (2012). Understanding and improving full-time virtual schools. Denver, CO: National Education Policy Center.
  19. 19. “AYP is not a reliable measure of school performance…. There is an emerging consensus to scrap AYP and replace it with a better system that measures academic progress and growth. K12 has been measuring student academic growth on behalf of its partner schools, and the results are strong with academic gains above the national average.” Jeff Kwitowski - K12, Inc. Vice President of Public Affairs
  20. 20. Davis (2007)
  21. 21. Jered Borup, George Mason University
  22. 22. Borup (2015)
  23. 23. Davis (2007) Ferdig, Cavanaugh, DiPietro, Black and Dawson (2009) Davis’ roles Davis’ responsibilities Ferdig et al.’s roles Ferdig et al.’ responsibilities Designer Design instructional materials. Works in team with teachers and a virtual school to construct the online course, etc. Instructional Designer The creator of the online course in accordance with content standards using effective strategies for the learners and the content Teacher Presents activities, manages pacing, rigor, etc.. Interacts with students and their facilitators. Undertakes assessment, grading, etc. Teachers The educator with primary responsibility for student instruction within an online course including interaction with students and assigning course grades Facilitator Local mentor and advocate for students(s). Proctors & records grades, etc. Online Facilitator The person who supports students in a virtual school programme. The facilitator may interact with students online or may facilitate at the physical site where students access their online course. Local Key Contact The professional who assists students in registering and otherwise accessing virtual courses Mentor The academic tutor or course assistant for students Technology Coordinator The person who facilitates technical support for educators and students Guidance Counselor The academic advisor for students Administrator The instructional leader of the virtual school
  24. 24. • at this stage of the development of the field, the continued focus of research on media comparison studies does little to further our understanding of K-12 online learning o due to the skewed samples found in most of the online learning samples o because of the inherent difficulties in comparing student performance based solely on method of delivery without controlling for any additional factors • beyond this body of comparative research, much of the research has been qualitative in nature o which can be quite useful for understanding K-12 online learning in a specific setting, but by definition are not generalizable to other jurisdictions
  25. 25. • a significant portion of the body of research suffers from issue of over reaching (e.g., interviewing a group of hand picked teachers or developers and using their opinions to generate “best practices”)  these shortcomings in the current body of research provide scholars in the field with a specific path forward
  26. 26. Associate Professor of Instructional Design Touro University California