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BC MoE - Research into K-12 Online Learning


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Barbour, M. K. (2012, April). Research into K-12 online learning. An invited presentation to the British Columbia Ministry of Education, Vancouver, BC.

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BC MoE - Research into K-12 Online Learning

  1. 1. Research into K-12 Online LearningWhile the practice of K-12 online learning is approximately twodecades old, the available literature into K-12 online learning ismuch more limited. The amount of research literature that isavailable is even more limiting. This session will examine thecurrent state of research in K-12 online learning, with the goal ofidentifying what is actually known and where there are areasthat the research has been misused or misunderstood. Michael K. Barbour Assistant Professor Wayne State University
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  10. 10. 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)
  11. 11. Student Performance• 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)• students in the six virtual schools in three different provinces performed no worse than the students from the three conventional schools (Barker & Wendel, 2001)
  12. 12. 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 counterparts (McLeod et al., 2005)
  13. 13. Let’s look a little closer...
  14. 14. Students and Student PerformanceBallas & performance of virtual and participation rate in theBelyk, 2000 classroom students similar assessment among virtual in English & Social Studies students ranged from 65% to courses, but classroom 75% compared to 90% to students performed better 96% for the classroom-based in all other subject areas studentsBigbie & over half of the students between 25% and 50% ofMcCarroll, who completed FLVS students had dropped out2000 courses scored an A in of their FLVS courses over their course and only 7% the previous two-year received a failing grade period
  15. 15. Students and Student PerformanceCavanaugh 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
  16. 16. Student Performance and StudentsSo are we reallycomparing apples toapples?
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  22. 22. Student Reality???• two courses with the highest enrollment of online students in the US are Algebra I & Algebra II (Patrick, 2007)• largest proportion of growth in K–12 online learning enrollment is with full-time cyber schools (Watson et al., 2008)• many cyber schools have a higher percentage of students classified as “at-risk” (Klein, 2006)• at-risk students are as those who might otherwise drop out of traditional schools (Rapp, Eckes & Plurker, 2006)
  23. 23. Literatureindicates K-12online learningstudents are...
  24. 24. Reality of most ora large segmentK-12 onlinelearningstudents?
  25. 25. Problem With Student Performance Studies
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  28. 28. Problem of Effect SizesDevelopmentalEffects
  29. 29. Problem of Effect Sizes Teacher Effects
  30. 30. Problem of Effect Sizes Zone of Desired Effects
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  35. 35. Problematic ResearchOnline 7 principles of Interviews with teachers and courseCourse effective online developers at a single virtual school,Design course content with no verification of whether the for adolescent interviewees’ perceptions were actuallyBarbour learners effective or any student input at all for(2005; 2007) that matter.Online 37 best Interviews with teachers at a singleTeaching practices in virtual school selected by the virtual asynchronous school itself. Their teachers’ beliefsDiPietro et online teaching were not validated through observational. (2008) of the teaching or student performance.
  36. 36. Is there a better way?
  37. 37. Design-Based Research Reeves (2006)
  38. 38. Virtual High School Global Consortium • annual evaluations – e.g., Espinoza, Dove, Zucker & Kozma, 1999; Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998; Kozma, Zucker, Espinoza, McGhee, Yarnall & Zalles, 2000 • content-specific investigations – e.g., Elbaum, McIntyre & Smith, 2002; Yamashiro & Zucker, 1999 • final evaluation – e.g., Zucker & Kozma, 2003
  39. 39. The ChallengeWhether online learning can be suitable for all K-12 students? (Mulcahy, 2002)
  40. 40. Muirhead (2000)• focusing interactions between • review of students, parents and colleagues on practices in issues surrounding teaching and Alberta learning supplemental virtual schools International Journal of Educational Management: vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 315-324
  41. 41. Weiner (2003)• key ingredients to online learning lies • 12 teachers at solely within motivational issues Oregon• the importance of being a CyberSchool disciplined, self-motivated student, regardless of whether or not the • 103 potential students considered themselves one students (no data• the majority of students are not on how many independent learners and need participated) structure to guide them • surveys and• social interactions among peers are interviews just as important as pedagogical ones• teacher-student interaction is critical International Journal on E-Learning: vol. 2, no.3, pp. 44-50
  42. 42. DiPietro (2010)• five beliefs of “successful” • Interview data asynchronous pedagogic practices • Single virtual school Journal of Educational Computing Research, 42(3), 327 – 354.
  43. 43. Ferdig & Cavanaugh (2010)• understanding different learning styles, providing timely feedback, encouraging communication, providing alternative opportunities for the creation of artifacts, and the ability to gain both remedial and advanced knowledge acquisition based on the needs of learners • Chapters written• be innovative with technology by individual• use data collected by the SIS and LMS program leaders• communicate with all of the stakeholders involved in the• prepare students and teachers Virtual School• use school facilitators and/or mentors Clearinghouse• provide support for everyone
  44. 44. Murphy et al. (2009-2011)• affordances of synchronous tools • Unsystematic observations• teacher social presence • Observations of• student motivation in the online recorded classes environment• teachers’ ability to be learner- centered • Interviews with• teachers’ perceptions of the 40 online affordances of synchronous and teachers asynchronous learning tools
  45. 45. Virtual High School1. Principles that Support Effective Moderation2. Negotiating Space: Forms of Dialogue and Goals of Moderating3. Key Facilitator Roles4. Healthy Online Communities5. Voice6. Tone7. Critical Thinking Strategies8. Roadblocks and Getting Back on Track
  46. 46. Keeler et al. (2003-2008)• 38 design elements (i.e., • Validated, accessibility, web site design, descriptive technologies used, instructional instrument methodologies, and support systems)• Instrument and students with • Opinion-based disabilities• universal design and differentiated instruction• universal design and students with cognitive impairments
  47. 47. YourQuestions andComments
  48. 48. Assistant Professor Wayne State University, USA http://www.michaelbarbour.com