A day or two ago, a doctoral student left the following comment on an earlier blog entry I posted (see VSS 2010 – At-Risk Elementary Students In A Hybrid Mathematics After School Program: A Service Learning Opportunity For College Students Using Free Online Resources). The comment read:
How can I get more data on this topic. I am presently writting my dissertation on the Impact of Virtual Schools for At Risk students. Thanks for your help.
My initial response was:
Let me suggest Examining Issues of Working with At-Risk Learners in Online Environments presentation I was a part of at the 2010 Virtual School Symposium as a starting point. I’ll also try and post your query as a unique blog entry to see if we can get a greater response (beyond simply my own).
Expanding on that brief response for a minute… In looking at at-risk students in the K-12 online learning environment, I would also recommend the following literature:
Archambault, L., Diamond, D., Brown, R., Cavanaugh, C., Coffey, M., Floures, D., Richardson, J., & Zygouris-Coe, V. (2009). Research committee issues brief – An exploration of at-risk learners and online education. D. Scribner & M. K. Barbour (Eds.). Vienna, VA: International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/research/docs/iNACOL_CreditRecovery.pdf
Chen, X., & Kaufman, P. (1997, March). Risk and resilience: The effects of dropping out of school. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Educational Research, Chicago, IL.
Hurley, R. (2002). Fine-Tuning an Online High School to Benefit At-Risk Students. T.H.E. Journal, 30(4), 33-34, 36, 38, 40.
Klein, C. (2006). Virtual charter schools and home schooling. Youngston, NY: Cambria Press.
Rapp, K. E., Eckes, S. E., & Plurker, J. A. (2006). Cyber charter schools in Indiana: Policy implications of the current statutory language. Education Policy Brief, 4(3). Retrieved from http://ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/PB_V4N3_Winter_2006_CyberCharter.pdf
Slavin, R. E. & Madden, N. E. (1989). What works for students at risk: A research synthesis. Educational Leadership, 46(5), 4-13.
Watson, J., & Gemin, B. (2008) Promising practices in online learning: Using online learning for at-risk students and credit recovery. Vienna, VA: International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/research/promisingpractices/NACOL_CreditRecovery_PromisingPractices.pdf
I’d also recommend looking at the reference lists in each of these documents to gain further literature guidance. Like many aspects of virtual schooling and K-12 online learning, there isn’t a lot of empirical research available in this area.