Virtual School Meanderings

March 20, 2014

SITE 2014 – Applying The ESPRI To K-12 Blended Learning

This is the fourteenth session I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014 conference. The program details for this session were:

Applying the ESPRI to K-12 Blended Learning

Jason Siko, Grand Valley State University, United States

Thursday, March 20 10:15-10:45 AM in Orlando

Blended learning in K-12 classrooms is growing at an enormous rate. While the Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) has been used to predict the success of students in online courses, it has yet to be applied to blended courses. This study examined the use of the ESPRI to predict the success of students enrolled in a secondary advanced biology course where the first half of the course was offered in a traditional format and the second half was offered in a blended format. Differences in student performance between the two portions of the course were not statistically significant (p = .35). The ESPRI correctly predicted approximately 88% of the outcomes. Limitations of the study included a small sample size (N = 43) relative to the number of items in the instrument. Additional research should examine the effectiveness of the instrument on students from across the achievement spectrum and not what is considered the ideal online learner.

As I’m presenting during this session, Jason was good enough to upload his slides to Slideshare and I have embedded them below.

Additional, the SIG chair – Leanna Archambault – also took some notes from the session, which I have included below.

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Blended learning in K-12 classrooms is growing at an enormous rate. While the Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) has been used to predict the success of students in online courses, it has yet to be applied to blended courses. This study examined the use of the ESPRI to predict the success of students enrolled in a secondary advanced biology course where the first half of the course was offered in a traditional format and the second half was offered in a blended format. Differences in student performance between the two portions of the course were not statistically significant (p = .35). The ESPRI correctly predicted approximately 88% of the outcomes. Limitations of the study included a small sample size (N = 43) relative to the number of items in the instrument. Additional research should examine the effectiveness of the instrument on students from across the achievement spectrum and not what is considered the ideal online learner.

Jason started off by discussion the attrition problem in online courses (Barbour & Reeves, 2009), along with the characteristics of successful online learners (Kim, Park, Cozart, 2013), including their levels of self-efficacy, their reasons for taking a course, their achievement benefits, and the cycle of failure when isolation, difficulty and low level of perseverance lead to frustration. He then got into  the definition of blended learning  using  Staker (2011)’s definition in which part of the instruction takes place online and part off-site,  where students have control over pace, access, timing. He asserted that this is fastest growing section of online learning and research is lacking.

Jason then described the Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) developed by Roblyer & Marshall (2003). The instrument asks questions pertaining to four areas: self-efficacy, achievement beliefs, academic risk-taking beliefs (i.e.,  willing to be wrong, take a guess) and organization beliefs.

Using this instrument, Jason’s research questions were as follows:

  • Is there any difference in student performance between the traditional vs. blended portions of the course?
  • How well does the ESPRI survey accurately predict the performance of students in a blended course?

The context of his study was a high school serving 1800 students in grades 10-12,  in a  suburban area that was homogeneous with respect to race/ethnicity (93% Caucasian), but diverse in terms of student SES status.

The course was an IB –Biology, Higher level class with 43 students in 11th grade. Jason was the teacher of the class. The 1st half of course face-to-face and the 2nd half blended (consisting of, among other activities, online assignments, blog posts and discussion, flipped model with lectures, simulation, and discussion board activities)

Jason used Paired t-test to compare student outcomes. Not surprisingly, he found no significant difference t(42) =.95; p =.35. This was important for district and parents to see that blended is as valid as the traditional education model.  He acknowledged that different content was covered and it may not be equal in difficulty.

He also used multiple discriminant analysis to examine use of the ESPRI in a blended learning setting. Using 70% as a cut off score, he found that the ESPRI – predicted 38/43 cases (~88%), and it was better at predicting pass rates as opposed to fail rates. However, the low sample size is a limitation to conducting multiple discriminant analysis. Another constraint of the study was the fact that the students in the IB program are likely predisposed to be a good online learner. Jason emphasized that the ESPRI is not a selection tool – if students score low, we should examine in what areas they score low, where can we help, and what does that help look like? Modules in the areas the ESPRI covers could be developed to help students be successful in online/blended settings, and this is an area Jason looks forward to exploring.

SITE 2014 – iPads For Teachers? The Challenges Of Integrating Technology In The Classroom

This is the thirteenth session I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014 conference. The program details for this session were:

iPads for teachers? The challenges of integrating technology in the classroom

Michael Barbour, Sacred Heart University, United States
Tamme Quinn Grzebyk, Wayne State University, United States

Thursday, March 20 10:45-11:15 AM in St. Johns

The iPad is a tool that could change the way in which teachers prepare and deliver instruction in the K-12 environment. But, while proponents tout its capabilities, school administrators run the risk of purchasing yet another tool without understanding its potential impacts on the teacher, students and classroom environment. This study used iPads to implement a four-month professional development program aimed at helping teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. The iPads were deployed to classroom teachers in the science department at a suburban high school. Professional development was tailored to the teachers’ interests, followed by individual interviews by the project leader. Results of the study showed that while teachers are open to new technologies, their focus is more on teaching considerations than on professional development. The study also indicated that teachers have difficulty considering incorporating a single device into a classroom of multiple students.

As this was my session, I’ll just embed my slides below.

March 19, 2014

SITE 2014 – Equitable Evaluation Of Teacher Preparation To Develop Culturally Sensitive Adaptive Expertise In Collaboration With 21st Century Networked Schools In New Zealand

This is the twelfth session, and final session for Wednesday, I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014 conference. The program details for this session were:

Equitable Evaluation of Teacher Preparation to Develop Culturally Sensitive Adaptive Expertise in Collaboration with 21st Century Networked Schools in New Zealand

Niki Davis, University of Canterbury e-Learning Lab, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 19 5:30-7:00 PM in Conference Center A – Posters

Research and evaluation of initial teacher preparation is informing Ministries worldwide and teacher educators worldwide on the importance of quality preparation in collaboration with schools for equitable outcomes. The New Zealand Ministry of Education is funding innovative pilot programs from 2014-2017 that will develop and research new approaches to develop teachers with adaptive expertise in networked learning environments so they respond to the needs of all learners including identified priority groups (indigenous, Pacifika and special needs). This short paper presents the inclusive evaluation methodology that is under development, in which the overarching approach is informed by the indigenous worldwide of Kaupapa Maori and seeks critical feedback. The blended online teaching that incorporates strengths-based problem solving provides both opportunities and challenges of this research.

This was a poster session, so I just took some pictures of the poster and have included them below (sorry the complete picture did not save on my phone, so you just have the pieces).

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Click on any of the images to get a full screen view.

SITE 2014 – Panel On Research In The K-12 Online Learning Environments

This is the eleventh session I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014 conference. The program details for this session were:

Panel on Research in the K-12 Online Learning Environments

Kathryn Kennedy, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, United States
Susan Lowes, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Kristen DeBruler, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, United States
Joseph Freidhoff, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, United States
Peiyi Lin, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States

Wednesday, March 19 4:15-5:15 PM in Orlando View on map
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This panel will delve into the research dealing with K-12 online and blended learning. Kennedy will present a qualitative study on blended teaching as well as a case study of teacher education programs that she coordinated with a team of researchers from around the country. Kristen DeBruler and Joseph Freidhoff will discuss statewide data from Michigan for full-time and supplemental online course enrollments. Susan Lowes will conclude the panel by discussing her work on LMS data and whether or not it can be used to predict outcomes in online courses.

Kathryn began by setting the stage for the panel and then began with her portion, which focused on the recent iNACOL book Lessons Learned in Teacher Mentoring: Supporting Educators in K-12 Online Learning Environments (note the iNACOL direct link won’t work because of the way they have the Java on their website).  Kathryn called upon Leanna and I, since we were in the audience, to discuss our contributions to the book and outline the nature of our programs (you can view my contribution on my Academia.edu site).

Kathryn’s other contribution focused on…

Susan’s portion focused on an early warning system based on LMS data.  This work was informed by Patrick Dickson’s 2005 NCREL study and Liu and Cavanaugh (2011) – both of which found things like the total number of clicks, time in the course, the number of logins, etc., all correlated with student success in the course.  Susan went on to describe the various factors that she examined: number of days that students logged in, number of logins, session duration, and posts read.  Interestingly, one of the side observations was that females were more engaged – based on these measures – than male students.  All four factors were highly significant from a statistic standpoint, but not practically useful.  Using structural equation modeling, Susan and her team created a variable called course behaviour that included number of days, number of logins, and session duration, and that became a strong predictor.  Breaking this down further, the number of days was the best individual predictor for female students and the number of logins was the best predictor for males.  In terms of testing the validation of the model, if the female students had one high value in the model it was predictive 97% of the time and if male students had one high value in the model it was predictive 90% of the time.  However, if female students had one low in the model, it became less prediction (a little better for the males).  Overall, it appeared that an early warning system was of less value overall for female students, but could be quite useful for male students.

Kristen began she section by providing the backgound to the new research center at Michigan Virtual University.  Their study was to focus on the nature and number of students enrolled in a variety of online and blended models within the State of Michigan.  In terms of the actual results, the MVU team asked that I not share them until the actual report is released (I was even pointed out in the room to not share them).  Apparently the report will be available at the end of the week at http://www.mivu.org/ and http://www.mvlri.org/.  Overall, they concluded that there are models of online learning in Michigan that are working and others that aren’t – and they need to figure out why the models that aren’t working aren’t working.

SITE 2014 – Improving Online Student Success through Comics

This is the tenth session I am blogging from the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 2014 conference. The program details for this session were:

Improving Online Student Success through Comics

Kari Richards, Michigan State University, United States
Min Lun Wu, Michigan State University, United States

Wednesday, March 19 3:20-3:40 PM in City Terrace 4

Having more student-centered online classrooms can facilitate learning and provide better classroom environments. This best practices session will describe the process of creating student-centered online classes from the ground up with special emphasis given to the integration of content-based comics. The presenter will discuss sound pedagogical architectures of online classes, with a focus on successfully incorporating interactive communication in the online environment through the use of comics. An experienced online educator will discuss the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of online pedagogy through examples from the field. If you teach face-to-face, in a hybrid setting, or online this best practices session is for you as the technology tools presented can be used to enhance any educational setting.

I wasn’t able to attend this session, because I was in the access and equity panel, but my colleague – Keryn Pratt sent me these notes.

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Having more student-centered online classrooms can facilitate learning and provide better classroom environments. This best practices session will describe the process of creating student-centered online classes from the ground up with special emphasis given to the integration of content-based comics. The presenter will discuss sound pedagogical architectures of online classes, with a focus on successfully incorporating interactive communication in the online environment through the use of comics. An experienced online educator will discuss the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of online pedagogy through examples from the field. If you teach face-to-face, in a hybrid setting, or online this best practices session is for you as the technology tools presented can be used to enhance any educational setting.

Presentation from two PhD students at Michigan State University.  They have been using comics in teaching graduate teacher education courses and highlighted one difficulty with the technology as the field is constantly shifting in terms of what is available and what is free.

They started by providing instructions in both written and comic form to highlight why comics can be a useful instructional technique, and listed 10 key benefits of using comics (Combs, 2003). They then spent the remainder of the time highlighting a number of tools that could be used to create comics:

http://www.plasq.com – can create comic books (some cost)

http://www.toondoo.com – lets you create comic strips (free). Seen as a great introductory tool.

http://www.pixton.com – lets you create comic strips (free). You can do a lot more than Toondoo and it is more user friendly (uses drag and drop) and has more pictures etc. You can also create a teacher account (small fee based on the number of students you want to use it with), and they showed a video from Pixton showing how teachers could use it in their school with students. They highly recommended this if you want a locked down/private session.

http://www.goanimate.com – create short animated videos with ease using your voice (costs)

http://www.sparkol.com/home.php – VideoScribe – create short videos with the ‘hand drawn’ look (free) – you pick a picture and it shows it being drawn by a hand. There is a deluxe version also

Other useful tools:

Articulate story line ($1000 for educational version) – expensive but good

Jing (TechSmith) is free and can be used to take screenshots and make up to 5 minute videos using the screenshots.

Remind101 students sign up for reminders and you then use it to send messages to the students (or their parents) – either instant or pre-set (free)

Animoto – the best way to make a video in 60 seconds – you insert photos/videos, add sound

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