Virtual School Meanderings

March 22, 2016

SITE 2016 – Symposia On Teacher Preparation And Professional Development In K-12 Online And Blended Teaching

As I mentioned in the entry entitled SITE 2016 And K-12 Online Learning, the the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) 2016 annual conference is occurring in Savannah, Georgia this week, and SITE is home to the K-12 Online Learning SIG.  That means that I will be blogging many of the sessions throughout the week.  The twelfth session I am blogging is:

Symposia on teacher preparation and professional development in K-12 online and blended teaching

  1. Kathryn Kennedy, Michigan Virtual University, United States
  2. Leanna Archambault, Arizona State University, United States
  3. Keryn Pratt, University of Otago, United States
  4. Sandra Williamson-Leadley, University of Otago, United States
  5. Krista Tomaselli, Michigan Virtual University, United States
  6. Kristen DeBruler, Michigan Virtual University, United States
  7. Jayme Linton, Lenoir-Rhyne University, United States
  8. Erin Stafford, Education Development Center, Inc./REL Midwest, United States
  9. Jacqueline Zweig, Education Development Center, Inc./REL Midwest, United States
  10. Jamie DeWitt, Michigan Virtual University, United States
  11. Kristin Flynn, Michigan Virtual University, United States

Tuesday, March 22 3:00 PM-4:00 PM in Scarbrough 1 View on map

Discuss  Download Paper

K-12 online learning continues to grow, and so does the need for teachers to be prepared and provided professional development for this burgeoning area. This symposia panel will present their work in the area of teacher preparation and professional development in K-12 online and blended teaching.

ID
49192
Type
Symposium
Topic
K-12 Online Learning

This was actually a continuation from the Symposia On Teacher Preparation And Professional Development In K-12 Online And Blended Teaching in the previous slot.  This part of the session began with Keryn and Sandra, who began with a bit of background on virtual learning in New Zealand (and the role of the Virtual Learning Network-Community, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, and the Virtual Learning Network-Primary.  Last year, Keryn presented on the first version of this study – which only had two responses.  This year they have 21 responses (as the survey was sent this time to a purposeful sample).  Interestingly, 45% of the responses from individuals involved in initial teacher education (ITE) has no personal online learning experience.  In the responses, there was great confusion between online learning and e-learning (i.e., technology integration/blended learning).  Few of those involved in ITE knew of online learning in the schools sector or had knowledge of online learning in the schools, although most thought it could be effective but that it was quite different than face-to-face learning.  Most felt that online learning should be a required component of ITE programs, but almost none of them were doing anything in their own ITE classes related to online learning.

The second group was the REL MidWest folks (i.e., Jacquieline and Erin).  They began with a background on what the RELs are and what their purposes were – which include the Virtual Learning Research Alliance (see http://www.relmidwest.org/research-alliances/virtual-education-research-alliance ).  This presentation was basically focused on their Professional Experiences of Online Teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a Survey About Training and Challenges project (and be sure to check out Ray Rose’s commentary on a recent webinar the REL presented on this study – Professional experiences of online teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a survey about training and challenges).  Interestingly, almost 90% of the respondents indicated that they received training to teach online while they were teaching online, whereas less than a third received any training to teach online from their teacher education programs.  In terms of topic, much of the professional development was focused on the tools and using the tools, very little focused on the actual pedagogy of online teaching (and very few reported receiving any training related to students with special needs in the online environment).  The most frequently indicated challenges focused on student engagement and student perseverance.

The final portion of the symposium was a replication study of their earlier replication study related to K-12 online learning and field experiences (see their earlier Journal of Teacher Education article here).  Leanna and Kathryn began with a brief background on the status of K-12 online learning (i.e., Keeping Pace report information).  They then shifted to reviewing the 2010 study (again, see above link).  As a reminder, the 2010 survey had a 31.8% response rate (i.e., 522 responses) from 49 of the states (i.e., none from Maine).  Only 31 programs offered models of field experiences in K-12 online learning (i.e., 1.3% of the sample).  In the 2016 survey, based on the data to date, there have been 336 responses representing 47 states (missing NV, VT, and WY) – note that this is from a population of ~2500 (so about a response rate of about 10%-15%).  To date 11% of the respondents (i.e., about 20 programs) have indicated that their offer field experiences in K-12 online learning.  Although this number may be inflated, as in the 2010 survey they found that when they asked programs to describe their online learning experiences it was not actually field experiences in K-12 online learning.  Interestingly, a higher percentage of programs indicated that they didn’t need to include K-12 online learning as a part of their field experience in 2016, as opposed to 2010 (i.e., more teacher education programs felt this was important for future teachers in 2010 compared to 2016).

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