Virtual School Meanderings

September 2, 2019

AECT 2019 And K-12 Online & Blended Learning

On Friday I mentioned that the program was now available for the 2019 annual convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.  Over the weekend I reviewed the program to identify all of the sessions that I felt were focused on K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning.  Here is what I found…

Tuesday, 22 October

** Determining the relationship between socialization and student achievement in virtual schools

  • In Event: TIL: Virtual School Socialization and Student Achievement

Tue, Oct 22, 3:00 to 3:50pm, Convention Center, Conference Rm 14

Short Description

We present a study detailing the optimal amount and type(s) of social interaction and their impact on learning outcomes for different types of online students in virtual schools in the United States. Data includes student status in at-risk groups, synchronous class attendance, field trip attendance, phone assessments, participation in welcome calls from teachers, and extracurricular activities attendance from statewide virtual schools in 40 states. Results and implications will be shared.


  • Contributor: Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas
  • Contributor: Kevin Brady, University of Arkansas

Wednesday, 23 October

** TED: K-12 Blended Teaching

Wed, Oct 23, 3:00 to 3:50pm, Convention Center, Conference Rm 9Full Session: Concurrent Session

Sub Unit

  • Divisions / Teacher Education


  • A case analysis of institutions providing undergraduate coursework for K-12 online and blended teaching – Contributor: Cecil R Short, Brigham Young University; Contributor: Charles R. Graham, Brigham Young University; Contributor: HannahBateman, Brigham Young UniversityA survey was used to determine if institutions have improved preservice teacher exposure to blended and online teaching before entering the K-12 classroom. We received responses from over 240 deans, administrators, or faculty at universities from 35 states in the U.S. After preliminary analysis from the survey results, we compiled anonymous profiles of several universities we feel are exemplars of providing coursework to prepare K-12 online and blended teachers.
  • Findings from the research and development of K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration – Contributor: Cecil R Short, Brigham Young University; Contributor: Douglas Archibald, Brigham Young University; Contributor: Charles R. Graham, Brigham Young UniversityThis session shares findings from the development of an open textbook focused on preparing K-12 teachers for blended teaching. A draft of the book was reviewed by researchers and practitioners (n = 18) to determine if it would meet the needs of different stakeholders. Findings from the evaluations are valuable for leading the development of future educational products, as they reveal what both researchers and practitioners look for in a guide about innovative practices.

** K-12 blended teaching badges: Findings from a thematic analysis of blended teaching artifacts

  • In Event: DDL: Fostering Student Engagement

Wed, Oct 23, 4:00 to 4:50pm, Convention Center, Pavilion 10

Short Description

The rising popularity of blended learning has caused some institutions to seek ways to measure pre-service teachers’ preparation for teaching in blended contexts. This research analyzed artifacts and teacher vignettes to uncover the tools and methods that experienced K-12 blended teachers are using to assist with blended instruction. This artifact analysis was then used to develop and pilot a series of badges related to finding, creating, and using tools that assist with blended teaching.


  • Contributor: Cecil R Short, Brigham Young University
  • Contributor: Charles R. Graham, Brigham Young University

Thursday, 24 October

** Synchronous Online Peer Tutoring Via Video Conferencing Technology: An Exploratory Case Study

  • In Event: DDL: Reaching Students Where They Are

Thu, Oct 24, 9:00 to 9:50am, Convention Center, Pavilion 9

Short Description

This study analyzed the lived experiences of peer tutors who provide synchronous online tutoring services at a public, four-year university. Participants consisted of students who were hired as peer tutors as well as students that utilized the online peer tutoring service. Data collection and analysis included semi-structured individual interviews and observations. Findings from this study can help improve and further expand the use of synchronous online peer tutoring in higher education.


  • Contributor: Chris Smith, North Carolina Virtual Public School
  • Contributor: Patrick Lowenthal, Boise State University
  • Contributor: Chareen Snelson, Boise State University
  • Contributor: Dazhi Yang, Boise State University

** A Newcomer’s Lens: A Look at K-12 Online and Blended Learning in the Journal of Online Learning Research

  • In Event: Roundtables A
    In Roundtable Session: DDL Roundtables A

Thu, Oct 24, 10:00 to 10:50am, Convention Center, Paradise North

Short Description

This study examined trends in article topics, geography, research methods, authorship, and citation frequency in the Journal of Online Learning Research. The results indicated that the journal gave additional attention to K-12 blended learning compared to the field overall, in addition to K-12 online learning. Most of the studies were conducted in the United States, by researchers also located in the US. More than half of the studies employed inferential and interpretive methods.


  • Contributor: Min Hu, Brigham Yong University
  • Contributor: Karen T Arnesen, Brigham Young University
  • Contributor: Michael Barbour, Touro University, California
  • Contributor: Heather Leary, Brigham Young University

** How to Create High-Quality and Accessible Online Content with UDL and ADA Considerations

  • In Event: Roundtables A
    In Roundtable Session: DDL Roundtables A

Thu, Oct 24, 10:00 to 10:50am, Convention Center, Paradise North

Short Description

What is the best way to create online content that is equal parts engaging and accessible to all users? In this Roundtable discussion, you will have the opportunity to hear from two experienced online educators share best practices for designing and delivering online education. Each participant will have an iPad they can use to view lessons and assessments designed to appeal to all learners. Lessons will be the focus for the first 25 minute session, and assessments will be the focus for the second session.


  • Contributor: Kathleen Brim Groff, 21st Century Cyber Charter School
  • Contributor: Emily Shank, 21CCCS

** Understanding the sequential patterns of self- and socially shared regulation of learning in computer-supported collaborative learning

  • In Event: RTD: Collaborative Learning

Thu, Oct 24, 1:00 to 1:50pm, Convention Center, Ballroom B

Short Description

This study identified sequences of self- and socially shared regulatory activities in the online chats and logs of students completing a STEM task in a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environment. 144 high school and college students participated in a virtual learning environment. The results revealed that successful groups were most likely to start with self-executing and end with socially shared monitoring, while the less successful group were to start with executing and end with self-executing.


  • Contributor: Wanli Xing, Texas Tech University
  • Contributor: Yifang Zeng, Texas Tech University
  • Contributor: Juan Zheng, McGill University

** A study of K-12 teachers’ online learning experiences: A literature review of structured and open online professional development

  • In Event: KSET: Online Learning and PLN

Thu, Oct 24, 2:00 to 2:50pm, Convention Center, Conference Rm 10

Short Description

The purpose of this paper is to summarize and synthesize articles that focus on the learning experiences of teachers’ online professional development by types of learning environments (i.e., structured vs. open). According to the literature review, experiences in both online professional developments are about getting and sharing ideas and information. Also, teachers perceived interactions and feedback as important factors. In conclusion, teachers’ purpose of participation and outcomes are required for teachers’ optimal online professional development.


  • Contributor: YUJIN PARK, Florida State University

** Preparation for K-12 blended teaching: A competency-based approach

  • In Event: TED Inspire! Preparation for K-12 Blended Teaching

Thu, Oct 24, 3:00 to 3:50pm, Convention Center, Conference Rm 9

Short Description

This Inspire! session provides a series of activities related to five core areas of blended teaching – online integration, data practices, personalization, online interaction, and going from planning to practice. Attendees will leave with instructional materials and strategies to help K-12 teachers implement blended teaching, and free access to an online copy of the book K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.


  • Contributor: Cecil R Short, Brigham Young University
  • Contributor: Charles R. Graham, Brigham Young University

** The Virtual School Teacher Evaluation Process

  • In Event: DDL: A Process for Teacher Evaluation

Thu, Oct 24, 3:00 to 3:50pm, Convention Center, Pavilion 11

Short Description

At Kent State University I conducted a research study that examined the teacher evaluation process that exists within virtual schools. My study examines current practices in evaluating teachers in virtual school settings to better understand evaluation processes and practices. School leaders have a responsibility to conduct teacher evaluation as a process for accountability and to identify standards
needed for improvement and growth. Much is still being learned in the area of virtual
school instructional best practices; there is a dearth of research in this area and it is
difficult to identify (Ferdig, Cavanaugh, DiPetro, Black, & Dawson, 2009). My research
study identifies the evaluation process that exists within virtual schools; therefore,
connections with teacher evaluation and instructional best practice can be further
understood in the virtual school setting. My research and presnetation will review the answers to the following questions:
1. How do virtual school leaders conduct teacher evaluations within a virtual K-12
school setting?
2. What strengths do virtual school leaders face in the evaluation of teachers within a
virtual K-12 school setting?
3. What challenges do virtual school leaders face in the evaluation of teachers within a
virtual K-12 school setting?


  • Contributor: Paul Kish, Kent State University

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