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Sevenstar 2015 Webinar - Best Practices in Online Learning

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Barbour, M. K. (2015, April). Best practice in online learning. A Sevenstar Academy School Leadership Technology Series webinar, Cincinnati, OH.

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Sevenstar 2015 Webinar - Best Practices in Online Learning

  1. 1. Best Practices in Online Learning 1 Presenter: Dr. Michael Barbour
  2. 2. Best Practices • A strategy that shows promise • A systematic study is designed to investigate that strategy • Aspects of the strategy are refined • Large scale studies are designed to test the strategy • Strategy is found to be highly effective in a variety of contexts over multiple studies 2
  3. 3. Best Practices • A strategy that shows promise • A systematic study is designed to investigate that strategy • Aspects of the strategy are refined • Large scale studies are designed to test the strategy • Strategy is found to be highly effective in a variety of contexts over multiple studies 3
  4. 4. Promising Practices in Online Learning 4 Presenter: Dr. Michael Barbour
  5. 5. 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) 5
  6. 6. What About The 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) 6
  7. 7. Is This A Problem? • “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) 7
  8. 8. Is This A Problem? • the practice of K-12 online learning began around 1991 and has been growing exponentially since 2001 • how long must we wait for the research to catch up? Barbour (2013) 8
  9. 9. What Does The Research Say? • Comparisons of student performance based upon delivery model (i.e., classroom vs. online) • 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) • Effectiveness of virtual schooling • Student readiness and retention issues (Cavanaugh et al., 2009) 9
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  11. 11. Virtual School Teacher Roles • Virtual School Designer: Course Development – design instructional materials – works in team with teachers and a virtual school to construct the online course, etc. • Virtual School Teacher: Pedagogy & Class Management – presents activities, manages pacing, rigor, etc. – interacts with students and their facilitators – undertakes assessment, grading, etc. • Virtual School Site Facilitator: Mentoring & Advocating – local mentor and advocate for student(s) – proctors & records grades, etc. Davis (2007) 11
  12. 12. Virtual School Teacher Research • Lack of reliable and valid empirical research – most research is based on teacher perceptions 12
  13. 13. 13 Study Results Online Teaching DiPietro et al. (2008) 37 Best practice for effective asynchronous online instruction Online Course Design Barbour (2005, 2007) 7 Principles of effective asynchronous course design for adolescent learners
  14. 14. DiPietro et al. (2008) • general characteristics – 12 practices • classroom management strategies – 2 practices • pedagogical strategies: assessment – 3 practices • pedagogical strategies: engaging students with content – 7 practices • pedagogical strategies: making course meaningful for students – 4 practices • pedagogical strategies: providing support– 1 practice • pedagogical strategies: communication & community – 5 practices • technology – 3 practices 14
  15. 15. DiPietro et al. (2008) 15
  16. 16. Barbour (2005, 2007) Course developers should: 1. prior to beginning development of any of the web-based material, plan out the course with ideas for the individual lessons and specific items that they would like to include; 2. keep the navigation simple and to a minimum, but don’t present the material the same way in every lesson; 3. provide a summary of the content from the required readings or the synchronous lesson and include examples that are personalized to the students’ own context; 4. ensure students are given clear instructions and model expectations of the style and level that will be required for student work; 5. refrain from using too much text and consider the use of visuals to replace or supplement text when applicable; 6. only use multimedia that will enhances the content and not simply because it is available; and 7. develop their content for the average or below average student. 16
  17. 17. 17 Study Results Methodological Limitation Online Teaching DiPietro et al. (2008) 37 Best practice for effective asynchronous online instruction Interviews with teachers at a single, statewide virtual school that were selected by virtual school administrators. Online teacher beliefs were not validated through observation or student performance. Online Course Design Barbour (2005, 2007) 7 Principles of effective asynchronous course design for adolescent learners Interviews with teachers and course developers at a single province-wide virtual school that had a strong synchronous delivery model. Beliefs were not validated through observation or student performance
  18. 18. Virtual School Teacher Research • design-based research approach to first five years of VHS – SRI International were external evaluators • identified seven goals and focused all of their research and evaluation • resulted in: – three annual evaluations – one five-year evaluation – two subject specific evaluations 18
  19. 19. Virtual School Teacher Research • based on University of Florida’s Virtual School Clearinghouse initiative – AT&T Foundation-funded project from 2006-2009 • designed to provide K-12 online learning programs, particularly statewide supplemental programs, with data analysis tools and metrics for school improvement • 13 of those K-12 online programs were outlined in a publication entitled Lessons Learned for Virtual Schools: Experiences and Recommendations from the Field Black, Ferdig, DiPietro (2008) 19
  20. 20. Virtual School Teacher Research Online teaching is more work • asynchronous instruction in particular • CDLI class size limit (official & unofficial) What is known about teacher training • learn online in order to teach online • works in team with teachers and a virtual school to construct the online course, etc. 20
  21. 21. Virtual School Teacher Research Role of the parent • full-time environment – parent is responsible for significant instruction – Programs need to consider how to measure (Liu, Black, Algina, Cavanaugh, & Dawson, 2010) and foster it (Borup, Graham, & Davies, 2013; Halser Waters, 2012; Klein, 2006) • overall findings – parental involvement tends to decrease as student performance increases (Borup, Graham, & Davies, 2013) 21
  22. 22. Virtual School Teacher Research Lack of professional development • less than 40% of online teachers reported to receiving any professional development before they began teaching online (Rice & Dawley, 2007) Lack of teacher preparation programs • less than 2% of universities in the United States provided any systematic training in their pre-service or in-service teacher education programs (Kennedy & Archambault, 2012) Teaching Online Open Learning • https://www.openteachertraining.org/ 22
  23. 23. Virtual School Facilitator Research • Presence of an active, engaged local level support person (Roblyer, Freeman, Stabler, & Schneidmiller, 2007) • Facilitator that focuses on soft learning skills, not necessarily content (Barbour & Mulcahy, 2004, 2009) 23
  24. 24. Virtual School Facilitator Research National Research Center on Rural Education Support, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • training program that was provided as a part of this research initiative included topics such as issues for the first day of school, how to talk about and support online assignments, potential student fears, helping to develop time management skills, assisting with the problem of too much work, what to do when students become disengaged, and how to ease students who are worried about their grades (Irvin, Hannum, Farmer, de la Varre, & Keane,2009) 24
  25. 25. Virtual School Facilitator Research National Research Center on Rural Education Support, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • Those who undertook the training were retained at a higher rate than students attending schools where the Virtual School Facilitator did not participate in the training (Hannum, Irvin, Lei, &Farmer, 2008) • Effective facilitators were described as having being individuals who had “a good, working relationship, who were consistently responsive in their interactions with the teacher, and engaged with and interested in their students”(de la Varre, Keane, & Irvin,2010, pp. 202– 203) • Facilitator was important in sharing the teacher presence with the Virtual School Teacher in the online learning environment, increasing the students sense of community and decreasing the sense of isolation felt by students (de la Varre, Keane, & Irvin, 2011) 25
  26. 26. Virtual School Student Preparation • Educational Success Prediction Instrument – technology use and technology self-efficacy (10 items) – achievement beliefs (6 items) – risk-taking (6 items) – organization strategies (3 items) Roblyer, Davis, Mills, Marshall, & Pape (2008) 26
  27. 27. Virtual School Student Preparation • Student orientation for readiness skills in online learning – Jason Siko (sikojp@gmail.com) • Online Learning Orientation Tool – http://olot.mivu.org. 27
  28. 28. Director of Doctoral Studies Sacred Heart University, USA mkbarbour@gmail.com http://www.michaelbarbour.com http://virtualschooling.wordpress.com 28

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