American Journal of Distance Education (United States) - 8 US Journal of Distance Education (Canada) - 4 Cdn / 1 Aus Distance Education (Australia) - 2 Aus / 4 US Journal of Distance Learning (New Zealand) - 1 NZ / 1 Cdn / 1 US-Cdn Last five years - 24 articles out of a total of 262 related to K-12 distance education
Cavanaugh and her colleagues speculated that the online students were simply better students McLeod and his colleagues speculated their results were due to the fact that weaker students had dropped out of the online course
Sabbatical (Te Kura/The Corrrespondence School) - Examining Research into Primary and Secondary E-Learning
Examining Research into Primary andSecondary E-LearningSecondary E-LearningSecondary E-Learning Michael K. Barbour Assistant Professor Wayne State University
Agenda1. What does the literature say?2. What do we know based on the research?3. What should we do next?
Literature Reviews1. Rice (2006) – Journal of Research on Technology in Education1. Barbour & Reeves (2009) – Computers and Education1. Cavanaugh, Barbour, & Clark (2009) – International Review of Research in Open
What does the literature say?• “based upon the personal experiences of those involved in the practice of virtual schooling” (Cavanaugh et al., 2009)• described the literature as generally falling into one of two general categories: the potential benefits of and challenges facing K- 12 online learning (Barbour & Reeves, 2009)
What about research?• “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)
Is this a problem?“indicative of the foundational descriptive workthat often precedes experimentation in anyscientific field. In other words, it is important toknow how students in virtual school engage intheir learning in this environment prior toconducting any rigorous examination of virtualschooling.” (Cavanaugh et al., 2009)
What does the research say?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 schooling2. Student readiness and retention issues (Cavanaugh et al., 2009)
So, what does the studentperformance research say?
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)
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)
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)
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
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
Student Performance and StudentsSo are we reallycomparing apples toapples?
The Students• the vast majority of VHS Global Consortium students in their courses were planning to attend a four-year college (Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998)• “VHS courses are predominantly designated as ‘honors,’ and students enrolled are mostly college bound” (Espinoza et al., 1999)
The StudentsThe preferred characteristicsinclude the highlymotivated, self-directed,self-disciplined,independent learner whocould read and write well,and who also had a stronginterest in or ability withtechnology (Haughey &Muirhead, 1999)
The Students• “only students with a high need to control and structure their own learning may choose distance formats freely” (Roblyer & Elbaum, 2000)• IVHS students were “highly motivated, high achieving, self-directed and/or who liked to work independently” (Clark et al., 2002)
The Students• the typical online student was an A or B student (Mills, 2003)• 45% of the students who participated in e-learning opportunities in Michigan were “either advanced placement or academically advanced” students (Watkins, 2005)
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.
Virtual High School Global Consortium • first annual evaluation – Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998 • focused specifically on the seven goals set by VHS • identified five areas to focus on for future practice
Virtual High School Global Consortium • second annual evaluation – Espinoza, Dove, Zucker & Kozma, 1999 • again focused specifically on the seven goals set by VHS • identified three areas to focus on for future practice
Virtual High School Global Consortium • third annual evaluation – Kozma, Zucker, Espinoza, McGhee, Yarnall & Zalles, 2000 • re-examined status of last year’s evaluation finding • focused upon only one of the seven goals set by VHS
Virtual High School Global Consortium • content-specific investigations – Yamashiro & Zucker, 1999 • examined quality of netcourses offered by VHS • developed standards for future course development
Virtual High School Global Consortium • content-specific investigations – Elbaum, McIntyre & Smith, 2002 • seventeen essential elements for online teaching • written by VHS staff
Virtual High School Global Consortium • final evaluation – Zucker & Kozma, 2003 • examined students, teachers, administrators perceptions of the program • outlined successes and areas to focus on for future years
The ChallengeWhether online learning can be suitable for all K-12 students? (Mulcahy, 2002)