Virtual School Meanderings

August 13, 2019

EDTECH537 – Guest Blog Entry: Working To Measure and Improve Blended Teacher Readiness

As I mentioned in the Week 7 entry for my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course yesterday, today I wanted to post a sample of a guest blog entry.

Jered Borup is the professor-in-charge of George Mason University’s Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master’s and Certificate programs that are devoted to improving teacher practices in online and blended learning environments.  In this guest blog entry, Jered has taken the lead – along with his co-authors Charles R. Graham (Brigham Young University), Cecil Short (Brigham Young University), and Leanna Archambault (Arizona State University) – in discussing their book “K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.”

Like many familiar to you, school districts near us are adopting one-laptop-per-child initiatives. What’s less clear is how those laptops are to be used. Placing laptops in front of students will not magically improve student learning—or even change much of anything in a meaningful way. However, if leveraged correctly, the technology does provide excellent opportunities when paired with blended teaching professional development. Even when a school district is eager to provide professional development, administrators are left wondering where to focus their limited resources. Similarly, the few teacher-preparation programs that provide meaningful coursework designed to prepare students for blended teaching lack clear standards to guide their course work.

To address this need, our team worked to develop open resources that school districts and professors can freely use to guide and focus efforts to prepare teachers for the blended classroom. It was important that the resources be grounded in research. The research began with Pulham and Graham’s (2018) extensive review of existing online and blended teaching competencies. Using insights from this research, Graham, Borup, Pulham, and Larsen (2019) developed and statistically validated a survey instrument that measured teachers’ confidence completing specific blended teaching skills that were grouped into several categories. We began calling it the process model because the categories largely followed the steps teachers would take to plan, facilitate, and evaluate blended learning activities for their students. While the process model instrument made an important contribution, we found it to be too long to be used repeatedly. We came to believe that an instrument focused on pedagogy—rather than process—would be more useful. As a result, we developed a new instrument that focused on the following four sets of competencies in addition to foundational technology skills and dispositions (see Figure 1):

  • Online Integration – the ability to effectively combine online instruction with in-person instruction.
  • Data Practices – the ability to use digital tools to monitor student activity and performance in order to guide student growth.
  • Personalization – the ability to implement a learning environment that allows student customization of goals, pace, and/or learning path.
  • Online Interaction – the ability to facilitate online interactions with and between students.

You can access the survey online at: 

Figure 1. Four core competencies for effective blended teaching built on a foundation of technology skills and dispositions.

We used the pedagogical model to create an online, open textbook rich with examples, resources, and media. The book, K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration, is now free to anyone to use at We believe the survey and the book combine to create an especially valuable resource. We encourage you to explore both the survey and the book and share them with anyone who would benefit from them. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please send your comments to


Graham, C. R., Borup, J., Pulham, E. B., & Larsen, R. (2019). K-12 blended teaching readiness: Model and instrument development. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 51(3), 239-258. DOI: 10.1080/15391523.2019.1586601

Pulham, E. B., & Graham, C. R. (2018). Comparing k-12 online and blended teaching competencies: A literature review. Distance Education, 39(3), 411-432.

Jered Borup is the professor-in-charge of George Mason University’s Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master’s and Certificate programs. A full list of his publications can be found at  As is the pattern here at Virtual School Meanderings, this will be the only entry posted today.


March 5, 2019

Publication Notice: Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K-12 Online and Blended Learning

This came across my electronic desk last week.

Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K-12 Online and Blended Learning

Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K-12 Online and Blended Learning

Tina Lane Heafner (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA), Richard Hartshorne (University of Central Florida, USA) and Richard Thripp (University of Central Florida, USA)
Release Date: January, 2019|Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 608
ISBN13: 9781522580096|ISBN10: 1522580093|EISBN13: 9781522580102|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8009-6


National efforts have been made to encourage technology integration in teacher preparation with expectations for frequent and successful applications with K-12 learners. While online learning has become pervasive in many fields in education, it has been somewhat slow to catch on in K-12 settings.

The Handbook of Research on Emerging Practices and Methods for K-12 Online and Blended Learning is a collection of innovative research on the applications of technology in online and blended learning environments in order to develop quality courses, explore how content is delivered across disciplines and settings, and support the formation of relationships and enrichment opportunities. While highlighting topics including learning initiatives, institutional policies, and program structures, this book is ideally designed for teachers, principals, early childhood development centers, university faculty, administrators, policymakers, researchers, and practitioners.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborative Learning
  • Cultural Aspects
  • Evaluation
  • Institutional Policies
  • Instructional Models
  • K-12 Education
  • Learning Initiatives
  • Learning Theory
  • Online Learning
  • Program Structures
  • Student Achievement
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Teacher Roles
  • Technology Applications

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Detailed Table of Contents
Kathryn Kennedy
Tina L. Heafner, Richard Hartshorne
Chapter 1
Marius Boboc
This chapter provides updated background information related to K-12 online education, ranging from definitions to benefits and challenges, based on… Sample PDF
Chapter 2
Vassiliki I. Zygouris-Coe
Demand for online learning is increasing in US colleges and universities. Learning does not occur in a vacuum; students learn independently and… Sample PDF
Chapter 3
Jean S. Larson, Leanna Archambault
This chapter, updated for the second edition of this volume, reviews the current research specific to the characteristics and preparation of those… Sample PDF
Chapter 4
Dixie D. Massey
The subject of students’ reading abilities and achievement are the focus national and international comparisons. Such a broad audience makes… Sample PDF
Chapter 5
Amy Valentine, Butch Gemin, Lauren Vashaw, John Watson, Christopher Harrington, Elizabeth LeBlanc
Discussions of rural America often summon images of pastoral farmland, country roads, and close-knit communities; this vision offers a sharp… Sample PDF
Chapter 6
Tina Lane Heafner
Using a widely accepted measure of teacher candidates’ performance, edTPA, this chapter examines the role of formative supports in supporting… Sample PDF
Chapter 7
Elizabeth A. Anderson
Student engagement has been shown to be essential to improving academic achievement, increasing high school graduation rates, lower dropout rates… Sample PDF
Chapter 8
Kristin Kipp, Kerry L. Rice
Engagement refers to a learner’s interest in their own learning. Engaged students care about what they are learning and spend the time necessary… Sample PDF
Chapter 9
Jean Kiekel, Serena Flores, Nicole McZeal Walters
Online learning for K-12 is the fastest growing segment of education. Advantages include access to courses for college and career readiness; world… Sample PDF
Chapter 10
Steve Joordens, Aakriti Kapoor, Bob Hofman
Online learning allows one to escape traditional constraints and to create learning experiences that allow interactions, and support learning, that… Sample PDF
Chapter 11
Elizabeth A. Anderson
The measurement of online latent constructs, such as student engagement, have mimicked the measurement of these constructs in traditional… Sample PDF
Chapter 12
Aimee L. Whiteside, Amy Garrett Dikkers, Fredrick W. Baker III
Through 15 years of research on social presence examining the level of connectedness among students and instructors, the authors uncovered a… Sample PDF
Chapter 13
Drew Polly, Amanda R. Casto
The term blended learning continues to gain momentum in K-12 classrooms around the United States. While the idea of implementing blended learning… Sample PDF
Chapter 14
Jayme Nixon Linton, Wayne Journell
Although K–12 online education is becoming more common in the United States, there is still much we do not know about how K–12 online teachers are… Sample PDF
Chapter 15
Christina M. Tschida, Jennifer L. Gallagher, Kimberly L. Anderson, Caitlin L. Ryan, Joy N. Stapleton, Karen D. Jones
In this chapter, the authors share the history of a video capture and annotation technology (VCAT) implementation and provide summaries of research… Sample PDF
Chapter 16
Elizabeth Bellows, Aftynne E. Cheek, Morgan Blanton
Three teacher educators partnered with a local high school to pilot an e-coaching model with secondary social studies pre-service teachers. Findings… Sample PDF
Chapter 17
Laura Corbin Frazier, Barbara Martin Palmer
This chapter provides a description of five models for professional development (PD) for online instruction and analyzes each model according to… Sample PDF
Chapter 18
Amani Abdullah Bin Jwair
This chapter explores the quality of learning found when using the flipped learning (FL) approach in K-12 education to promote academic achievement… Sample PDF
Chapter 19
Christina M. Nash
This chapter examines the best practices for creating inclusive online courses, focused at the K–12 level. It presents a theoretical framework that… Sample PDF
Chapter 20
Mary V. Mawn, Kathleen S. Davis
Online professional development courses and programs provide science teachers with ongoing and relevant professional development opportunities that… Sample PDF
Chapter 21
Scott M. Waring
It is undeniable that students today are fundamentally different than those of previous generations and that many students of this generation do not… Sample PDF
Chapter 22
Lauren Lunsford, Bonnie Smith-Whitehouse, Jason F. Lovvorn
The purpose of this chapter is to provide pre-service and practicing teachers a constructivist lens for viewing how they use technology… Sample PDF
Chapter 23
Wayne Journell, David Schouweiler
Online learning is part of the future of K-12 education. However, few online K-12 instructors have been formally trained in online pedagogy. This… Sample PDF
Chapter 24
Gina Tovine, April Fleetwood, Andrew Shepherd, Colton J. Tapoler, Richard Hartshorne, Raquel Pesce
While the growth of blended learning environments in higher education and non-educational settings has continued to increase in recent years, this… Sample PDF
About the Contributors

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Tina L. Heafner earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.Tina is the 2018-2019 President-Elect of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Tina’s teaching and research focus on effective practices in social studies education with particular emphasis in online learning, technological integration, and disciplinary literacy. Her research also examines curriculum and policy issues in social studies education. Tina’s publications include seven co-authored books and five edited books including titles such as Beginning inquiry: Short texts for inexperienced readers in U.S. History, Seeds of inquiry: Using short texts to enhance students’ understanding of world history, and Exploring the Effectiveness of Online Education in K-12 Environments. She has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals such as Teacher’s College RecordEducational Researcher, Kappa Delta Phi, Journal of Technology and Teacher EducationTeacher Education and Practice, and Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education. Her scholarship has appeared in all of the prominent social studies journals including: Theory and Research in Social EducationJournal of Social Studies ResearchInternational Journal of Social Studies EducationSocial Studies Research and PracticeThe Social StudiesSocial EducationSocial Studies and the Young LearnerMiddle Level Learner, and Social Studies Journal.

Richard Hartshorne is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Central Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida. At the University of Central Florida, his teaching focuses on the integration of technology into the educational landscape, as well as instructional design and development. His research interests primarily involve the production and effective integration of instructional technology into the teaching and learning environment. The major areas of his research interest are rooted in online teaching and learning, technology and teacher education, and the integration of emerging technology into the K-Post-secondary curriculum. His articles have appeared in such publications as Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, The Internet and Higher Education, The Journal of Educational Computing Research, and others. He has also authored numerous book chapters and serves in editorial capacities for a number of journals in the field of educational technology.

January 9, 2019

Just Released – Handbook of Distance Education: Second Edition, 4th Edition

I received a notice yesterday that the latest edition (i.e., the fourth edition) of the Handbook of Distance Education.  You can access information about it at:

November 5, 2018

AECT D&D Outstanding Book Award

I received this late last week from a colleague in Australia.

I emailed you last year to let you know that I cited your work “Helping to make online learning less isolating” in my book Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning – Integrating Research and Practice. Well, this is just a follow-up to let you know that the book recently won the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Design and Development Outstanding Book Award.

In their awarding statement the five reviewers concluded:

This volume does the best job of pulling together knowledge in the field toward textured but practical guidance. Bower does not overstate what is known or veer into theoretical determinism. The content is excellently grounded in theory and provides excellent examples from practice. It is very well-structured and well-written. Impactful! Faulty could use this as a foundational text in a course for technology for teachers and even for college faculty.

So thanks once again for the excellent contribution that your high quality research made to this volume.

As a result of the award my publisher has decided to reinstate the 30% discount, which is available to you, your library and your students by going to and typing in the promo code EMERALD30 at checkout. As well, if you are one of the growing number of academics who are deciding that they would like to use the book as the required reading in their undergraduate or postgraduate courses, please let me know so I can provide you with access to the ancillary teaching resources.

So check out this volume that you can now order at a discount.

September 12, 2018

[STLHE-L:] New Distance Education Books from AU Press

While not K-12 focused, there is some relevant information in these volumes for readers of this blog.

I am writing on behalf of Athabasca University Press about two recently published books that may be of interest to the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. These new releases are part of our Issues in Distance Education series<> which seeks to present informative and accessible overviews of research results, and discussions and explorations of current issues related to technologies, and services used in distance education.

Please note that both titles are open access and are available to download in PDF format from our website<>. Feel free to circulate this information among the members of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education.

An Online Doctorate for Researching Professionals: Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation<> by Swapna Kumar and Kara Dawson considers the interest and demand for online terminal degrees across disciplines by professionals wishing to conduct research and fulfill doctoral degree requirements at a distance. Kumar and Dawson draw on their experience of implementing such a program at the University of Florida to share data collected from students and faculty members and to reflect on lessons learned developing the program in diverse educational contexts.

Assessment Strategies for Online Learning: Engagement and Authenticity<> by Dianne Conrad and Jason Openo argues that online and distance learning environments present an opportunity to realize the potential of engaged learning in the digital age. In this volume, practitioners will find not only an indispensable introduction to new forms of assessment but also a number of best practices as described by experienced educators.
Thank you for your time.
All the best,

Karyn Wisselink
Marketing and Editorial Assistant
Athabasca University Press

Twitter<> | Facebook<> | Instagram<><>

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