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Job Talk (2007): University of Cincinnati

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These are the slides from my research-focused job talk at the University of Cincinnati in February 2007.

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Job Talk (2007): University of Cincinnati

  1. 1. Virtual Schooling in Rural Schools Michael K. BarbourDepartment of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology College of Education University of Georgia
  2. 2. Agenda1. Background as a teacher and researcher2. Program of research3. Context for my research4. Dissertation study
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. Personal Background• Graduated from a large, urban high school• Became a teacher in a regional, rural school• Started a web-based Advanced Placement social studies distance education program• Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation was created• Became interested in how some of the tools were working and affecting student performance and whether there were achievement and retention differences in the online
  5. 5. 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• The differences in achievement and retention of AP students based on delivery model
  6. 6. Developing a Program of Research• Rural schools have challenges offering a varied curriculum.• Distance education and more recently virtual schooling have been used to address this challenge.• Virtual school students tend to be highly motivated, independent, and are comfortable with technology.• Virtual schooling allows rural schools to offer a wider variety of course and access to highly trained teachers.• Most virtual schooling opportunities have been designed for only a select group of students.
  7. 7. Pre-Dissertation Research Web Design (Teacher) Web Design (Student) Jan-04 Aug-04 Feb-05 Sep-05 Mar-06 Oct-06 Performance Comparison Benefits and Challenges• Teacher perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary students• Student perceptions of benefits and challenges of virtual schooling• Student perceptions of effective web-based design• Comparing student performance in traditional and virtual school courses
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. Synchronous Instruction
  10. 10. Synchronous Instruction
  11. 11. Synchronous Instruction
  12. 12. Asynchronous Instruction
  13. 13. Asynchronous Instruction
  14. 14. Asynchronous Instruction
  15. 15. Asynchronous Instruction
  16. 16. Asynchronous Instruction
  17. 17. 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?
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time• students tended to stay on task during this time (although not always) Image from http://www.cdli.ca/index.php?PID=AnnounceFull&NewsID=6352&PHPSESSID=f523be334ba73a54eab5707f738b18be
  21. 21. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time• students tended to stay on task during this time (although not always)• students tended to rely upon each other more than the online teacher for help Image from http://www.cdli.ca/index.php?PID=AnnounceFull&NewsID=6352&PHPSESSID=f523be334ba73a54eab5707f738b18be
  22. 22. Trends – Question 1Synchronous Time• students tended to stay on task during this time (although not always)• students tended to rely upon each other more than the online teacher for help• students tended to communicate using text rather than audio Image from http://www.cdli.ca/index.php?PID=AnnounceFull&NewsID=6352&PHPSESSID=f523be334ba73a54eab5707f738b18be
  23. 23. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• when the students decided to work, they worked well Image from http://www.waet.uga.edu/canada/canada.htm
  24. 24. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• when the students decided to work, they worked well• students decided to work less than half of the time Image from http://www.waet.uga.edu/canada/canada.htm
  25. 25. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• when the students decided to work, they worked well• students decided to work less than half of the time• students would complete work in a collaborative effort, particularly in the mathematics and sciences Image from http://www.waet.uga.edu/canada/canada.htm
  26. 26. Trends – Question 2Asynchronous Time• when the students decided to work, they worked well• students decided to work less than half of the time• students would complete work in a collaborative effort, particularly in the mathematics and sciences• asynchronous time was easy to give up for other school related activities Image from http://www.waet.uga.edu/canada/canada.htm
  27. 27. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• students primarily relied upon each other for help
  28. 28. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• students primarily relied upon each other 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
  29. 29. Trends – Question 3Turning for Help• students primarily relied upon each other 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• 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
  30. 30. Initial Implications• Synchronous instruction is both what makes the CDLI different from other virtual schools and is where the majority of “teaching” occurs.• Teachers don’t “teach” asynchronous, they simply assign independent work, and as such students don’t make good use of asynchronous time.• 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.
  31. 31. Future Research• Asynchronous teaching techniques that teachers have found effective• The development and operation of in and out of school learning communities• Case studies of lower performing students engaged in virtual schooling• Whether pre-course assessments of student skills and study habits can be used to identify weaknesses and provide remedial assistance on how to learn online
  32. 32. Contact InformationMichael K. Barbour Doctoral Candidate Department of Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology University of Georgia mkbarbour@gmail.com http://www.michaelbarbour.com

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