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IVHS Summer 2008 PD - What’s Going On At The Other End?


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Barbour, M. K. (2008, June). What’s going on at the other end? Presentation at the Illinois Virtual High School Summer Meeting, Springfield, IL.

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IVHS Summer 2008 PD - What’s Going On At The Other End?

  1. 1. What’s Going On At The Other End? Michael K. Barbour Instructional Technology Wayne State University
  2. 2. Newfoundland and Labrador• area of the island is 43,359 square miles, while Labrador covers 112,826 square miles• population of 508,955 in 2006 (down from 551,795 in 1996)• 81,458 students in 2006 (down from 118,273 in 1996)• 287 schools in 2006 (down from 432 in 1996)• average school size 220 pupils
  3. 3. Pre-Ph.D. Research• Effects of individual student learning style and web-based design on student performance• The use of instant messaging as a tool for community building• The role of school-based or mediating teachers
  4. 4. Centre for Distance Learning and InnovationSynchronous – Online• 30% to 80%, depending on subject area• taught via a virtual classroom (e.g., Elluminate Live)Asynchronous – Offline• remainder of their time• taught via a course management system (e.g., WebCT)• usually consists of independent work from posted homework or assignments or from their textbooks
  5. 5. Dissertation Study1. What are the students’ experiences during their synchronous time online?2. What are the students’ experiences during their asynchronous time online?3. When students require content-based assistance, where do they seek that assistance and why do they choose those sources?
  6. 6. Case Study - Beaches All Grade• K-12 school• student body of 108• teaching staff of 15• 12 students taking 8 different virtual school courses – some taking one, others taking two or three
  7. 7. Data Collected• January to June 2006• 4 monthly interviews• 15 weeks of journal responses• 4 different surveys• 38 in-school classes observed• 27 synchronous classes from 13 different courses observed• 13 asynchronous course management systems observed
  8. 8. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time• students tended to stay on task during this time (although not always)
  9. 9. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time• students tended to rely upon each other more than the online teacher for help
  10. 10. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time • students tended to communicat e using text rather than audio
  11. 11. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• when the students decided to work, they worked well
  12. 12. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• students decided to work less than half of the time
  13. 13. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• students would complete work in a collaborative effort, particularly in the mathematics and sciences
  14. 14. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• asynchronous time was easy to give up for other school related activities
  15. 15. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• students primarily relied upon each other for help
  16. 16. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• local class size played an important role – the smaller the class the more likely the students were to turn to their online teacher as opposed to a school- based teacher
  17. 17. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• student colleagues, teachers (both online and school- based), and general Internet searches were primarily the only sources students used for help, even though they had access to a textbook, supplemental material in WebCT, a live tutor available in the virtual classroom after schools and during the evenings
  18. 18. Initial Implications• Synchronous instruction is both what makes the CDLI different from other virtual schools and is where the majority of “teaching” occurs.
  19. 19. Initial Implications• Teachers don’t “teach” asynchronous, they simply assign independent work, and as such students don’t make good use of asynchronous time.
  20. 20. Initial Implications• Many students don’t know about all of the resources available to assist them and even when they do know about them they tend not to take advantage of them – instead preferring to use human resources.
  21. 21. YourQuestions andComments
  22. 22. Assistant Professor, Instructional Technology Wayne State University