Virtual School Meanderings

January 22, 2020

April DL Symposium Program Launched!

A newsletter from a pan-Canadian e-learning organization.

Canadian eLearning Network

No images? Click here

2020 Digital Learning Symposium

April 19 – 21, 2020 — Vancouver, British Columbia

Trevor MacKenzie #InquiryMindset – Both Sunday & Monday!

Mandatory eLearning ~ How? Why? Lessons from abroad

BC’s New Education Funding Model ~ Implications for DL Schools

  • Senior leaders from government, post-sec, and K-12

  • Structured dialogue, networking, and discussion

  • Hands-on learning and cutting edge tech tool demos

  • Emergent practices – high energy closing Demo Slam


Register now! ~ Groups/Members $445


  • 2020 DL Symposium registration includes Sunday afternoon and evening Pre-Symposium keynote & social!

  • In-depth workshops on skills, one-on-one with Trevor

Check out the program at


Can’t come Monday/Tuesday?  Register at $95 for Sunday only!

  • Join over 400 educators, technology coordinators, developers and administrators, K-12 & post-sec!

Register today!  More information at

Featured PD Events


Digital Learning Collaborative Annual Conference

February 24-26, 2020 – Austin TX

Delivering on the real promise of online, blended, and digital learning


2020 BOLTT (Bringing Online Teachers Together)

April 2-3, 2020 in Toronto

Evening keynote address // Full day skill building event

More info at

Archived keynote from BOLTT Ottawa 2019 available here


2020 Digital Learning Symposium

April 19-21 in Vancouver (see above)



Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) Symposium 2020

  • Check out the shift in the organization and its new focus keynotes posted here

Joe Sisco’s Keynote from blendED Alberta


See all CANeLearn archives here (members only)

CANeLearn Leadership Summit

Archives of DLsymp19

Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
  • Follow @CANeLearn, “like” us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Check out our Members’ Site
  • Join CANeLearn – only $50 for associate membership!

The Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) is a Canadian registered not-for-profit society with a vision to be the leading voice in Canada for learner success in K-12 online and blended learning.  CANeLearn provides members with networking, collaboration, and research opportunities..

CANeLearn promotes effective practice in online and blended learning; fosters community and facilitates interaction among online and blended learning educators; and connects educators to online and blended learning organizations.


January 21, 2020

2020 Annual Conference Call Deadline

Note this up-coming deadline for conference proposals.

EDEN 2020 Annual Conference: #eden20

21-24 June, 2020 | Timisoara, Romania

Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future

Call for Contributions Open – Deadline 10 February



EDEN is pleased to announce its 29th Annual Conference, hosted by the Politehnica University of Timisoara on 21-24 June 2020.
Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future
Inspiring digital education for the next STE(A)M student generation

In the end, all innovation is social innovation and technologies become real when they change social practices.

– Ilkka Tuomi, Bruges, EDEN 2019 Annual Conference keynote

“Education is back where it belongs – at the top of the European policy agenda” stated the European Commission. We intend that Europe will be considered a strong and allied partner to future generations and that the EU education system must make our societies future proof.

The Conference will benefit from the cultural and digital environment of the city of Timisoara, as it celebrates creativity and innovation as the 2021 European Capital of Culture. The Politehnica University of Timisoara will commemorate in 2020 its first century of academic excellence.

Call for Contributions

Contributions are invited which resulted from own research, project achievements, case studies, theoretic and conceptual work in paper, poster, synergy, training, workshop / panel discussion session and demonstration / technical presentation formats.

Join the Conference in Timisoara to tell
about your research, projects and experience!

EDEN 2020 PhD Symposium Timisoara

The EDEN 2020 PhD Symposium Timisoara will be organized on 21 June. The Symposium, held in previous years in BarcelonaBruges and Dublin, led by a panel of international experts, has been designed to foster the exchange of experiences and knowledge among doctoral students in the area of technology-enhanced online, digital, open and distance learning.

Micro-credentialing in European Higher Education

Aligned to the themes of the conference, the final symposium of the Erasmus+ MicroHE initiative will focus on Micro-credentialing, in order to make them a pillar of university service, including the first European survey on micro-credentials in HE, proposing a meta-data standard and launching an online clearinghouse for recognition and portability of micro-credentials in Europe.


digital culture project logo
To highlight the digital culture aspect of the conference a special section will be dedicated to digital education for the creative industries, as part of the Erasmus+ DigiCulture project for improving the digital competences and social inclusion of adults in creative industries.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Submission deadline for contributions (except PhD): 10 February 2020
Notification of Authors: 6 April 2020
Submission deadline for PhD Symposium: 30 March 2020
Registration opens: February 2020
Conference dates: 21-24 June 2020

Conference Venue: Timisoara Romania

Timisoara is situated in the western corner of Romania, where several cultures, nationalities, languages and customs converge.  At the heart of the Banat region and is also part of Transylvania. Nearby is the famous Recas Winery, with a growing worldwide recognition for the quality of its wines.

Nowadays Timisoara is considered the Silicon Valley of Central and East Europe due to several world-class high-tech companies which have opened development and production units in the area (Siemens, Alcatel, IBM, Solectron, Kathrein, Delphi-Packard, Zoppas, Continental, Lisa Draxhelmaier, etc).

Read More…

The conference is hosted by Politehnica University of Timisoara, Romania


Conference website:

Inquiries in relation to the conference should be sent to

The 29th EDEN Annual Conference is the initiative of EDEN supported by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union.
EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat
Tel: +36 1 463 1628, 463 2537 Fax: +36 1 463 1858
EDEN website
EDEN website
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Conference Website
Conference Website
Copyright © 2020 EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat

Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Egry J. u. 1.

Budapest, Budapest H-1111


January 20, 2020

AERA 2020 And K-12 Distance, Online, And/Or Blended Learning

As I mentioned earlier this morning in the 2020 AERA Annual Meeting Program Schedule: Now Available entry, the program for the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is now available.  I have scanned through for K-12 distance, online, and blended learning sessions and here is what I have found.

If I missed any, please let me know.

Friday, 17 April


Conversations about K-12 Online Learning

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 8

Fri, April 17, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8Session Type: Roundtable Session


Millions of K-12 students log on to online courses every day. Critical conversations are necessary about how and what these young people learn in these settings.

Sub Unit

  • SIG-Online Teaching and Learning


  • Alicia Kelley, Clemson University


A. Misbehaving toddler or moody teenager: Examining the maturity of the field of K-12 online learning

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 8
    In Roundtable Session: Conversations about K-12 Online Learning

Fri, April 17, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8


Depending on the reference, the practice of K-12 distance and online learning (K12OL) began sometime between 1991 and 1996. Yet two and a half to three decades later, there is still little research to describe the K12OL student experience, which has resulted in a lack of understanding of the actual instructional model, nature of the curriculum, and type and amount of support employed by K12OL programs. Further, much of the available research is atheoretical, methodologically questionable, contextually limited, and overgeneralized. All these factors make the K12OL research that does exist of little value in guiding practice. This manuscript examines the maturity of research in the field of K12OL, with the goal of providing researchers with meaningful impact on future practice.


  • Michael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University – California

B. Online Professional Development Design: Examining Early Childhood Teachers’ Experiences

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 8
    In Roundtable Session: Conversations about K-12 Online Learning

Fri, April 17, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8


This paper evaluates participant engagement in an online early mathematics professional development program for early childhood teachers. The eight-course online curriculum introduces early childhood teachers to mathematical concepts such as math literacy, number sense, patterns, geometry, measurement, data collection and math processes. The mixed-methods analyses showed that participants responses for variables relating to online module design elements were positively correlated to course engagement, satisfaction, and helpfulness. Qualitative data revealed positive responses to the online professional learning experience with a majority of participants reporting positive experiences after participating in this online professional development program.


  • Kathleen Sheridan, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • David Banzer, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Xiaoli Wen, National-Louis University

C. Students’ Perceptions of Writing Feedback in Virtual School: A Critical Discourse Analysis

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 8
    In Roundtable Session: Conversations about K-12 Online Learning

Fri, April 17, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8


This study explores how student agency is present in virtual writing feedback from their teachers through a theoretical lens of Design and academic discourse. 162 high school students enrolled in English Language Arts classes at a southeastern virtual school received a 19 question survey. Survey questions were mostly open-ended and sought to gather the students’ perspective on the agency they perceive in the feedback process. 43 students responded. Critical Discourse Analysis guided data analysis methods and interpretation of results. Results included student identity formation within academic discourse both as academic writers who acknowledge the teacher’s power over their academic writing and as agentive writers who feel they have agency in their school writing.


  • Alicia Kelley, Clemson University


Saturday, 18 April


Implementation, Outcomes and Equity Implications of Online Instruction for Credit Recovery in High Schools

Sat, April 18, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Level Three, Room 305Session Type: Symposium


Digital learning has expanded rapidly at the secondary education level, primarily utilizing an online delivery system to provide “anytime, anywhere” access to course content. Although more than three-fourths of school districts are using online learning (primarily for credit recovery), we lack evidence on its implications for equity in access to quality educational opportunities and student outcomes. With many school districts targeting students who are struggling academically for online course-taking, the potential for differential access to quality learning experiences between online and traditional learning environments could have profound implications for equality. This symposium examines the implementation, quality of educational content delivered, and outcomes of online course-taking in high schools, with attention to equity issues for students and school districts.

Sub Unit

  • Division C – Learning and Instruction / Division C – Section 3b: Technology-Based Environments


  • Patricia Burch, University of Southern California


A. An Evaluation of Credit Recovery as an Intervention for Students Who Fail Courses

  • In Event: Implementation, Outcomes and Equity Implications of Online Instruction for Credit Recovery in High Schools

Sat, April 18, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Level Three, Room 305


The high school graduation rate has increased each year since 2002, reaching a record high of 80 percent in the 2010-11 school year. However, test scores trends have not kept pace. Many have suggested that online credit recovery (OCR) courses are helping more students to graduate from high school without corresponding increases in academic skills. We empirically test if OCR courses lead to a higher likelihood of high school graduation or lower test scores.
Under a rational investment framework, high school students who have failed courses required for high school graduation might conclude that the cost of the extra time needed to complete high school does not exceed the returns to completing high school. One way to address this conception is to reduce the cost of failing courses. OCR potentially reduces the perceived cost of earning course credit for failed courses by providing a more flexible, potentially faster, option to earn course credit than repeating courses in full. However, making it easier to earn course credit for failed courses could also lead to smaller gains in student learning.

This study utilizes administrative data from the state of North Carolina. The sample in this study is restricted to students who failed a core, required academic course anytime in high school. Within this sample, some students are identified as OCR students (i.e., the treatment group), while other students will attempt to earn credit traditionally, termed “repeating a course for credit” (henceforth referred to as RCFC; the comparison group).

We assess whether OCR students have lower test scores than RCFC students using a student-by-school fixed effect model with course and grade fixed effects and time-varying student and school covariates. Our empirical strategy for the outcomes of graduating from high school or dropping out of high school is within-school matching OCR and RCFC students using coarsened exact matching and Mahalanobis distance with a robust set of variables from when the students were in 8th grade (pre-treatment). We also implement a variety of robustness checks to assess whether our results remain under multiple specifications.

Findings indicate that students who fail courses and enroll in OCR have lower test scores, are more likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to drop out than RCFC students. The results on test scores are robust to all specifications with results on dropping out of high school robust to all student-level specifications. OCR students are no longer predicted to be more likely to graduate from high school once data on student behavior is included in the matching models.

This study validates the utility of OCR in decreasing the dropout rate at the student level but possibly at the expense of student learning. As schools wrestle with the question of enacting policies that might increase their graduation rates to the detriment of scores on high-stakes assessments, this study provides more information on which to base these decisions.


  • Samantha L Viano, George Mason University
  • Gary Henry, University of Delaware

B. Does Online Course-taking Increase High School Completion and Open Pathways to Postsecondary Education Opportunities?

  • In Event: Implementation, Outcomes and Equity Implications of Online Instruction for Credit Recovery in High Schools

Sat, April 18, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Level Three, Room 305


Objectives: Recent substantial increases in high school graduation rates have been linked anecdotally to online course-taking for credit recovery. Online course-taking that supports high school completion could open opportunities for postsecondary education pursuits.

Alternatively, poorer quality online instruction could diminish student engagement and learning and discourage persistence toward graduation and further education. In a longitudinal study of online course-taking, we examine whether online course-taking (primarily for credit recovery) increases high school graduation rates and 2-year and 4-year college enrollments, as well as postsecondary institutional quality.

Theoretical framework: We draw on “new institutionalism” in education to understand school district motivations for implementing online course-taking in high schools. New institutionalism suggests that institutional reform of the technical core of public education is motivated by the identification of a performance problem, such as concerns around low high school graduation rates. Through the lens of new institutionalism, credit recovery is essentially a technical fix for the problem of high school students lagging in their accumulation of credits needed for graduation. If the alternative to credit recovery programs is pushing students out of high school, then credit recovery programs that “fix” the performance problem—move students to graduation and reduce disparities in graduation rates—may be the most cost-effective option available to these school districts.

Methods and data sources: We link records of high school students in a large, urban district to data from an online credit recovery program vendor for the 2010-11 through 2017-18 school years. With these longitudinal data, we employ fixed effects models to estimate the average effects of online course-taking on high school outcomes (such as credits earned), including school fixed effects, student fixed effects and grade-by-year fixed effects. In estimating high school graduation and college enrollment outcomes, which we only observe at one time point, our models only include grade and year fixed effects. We additionally estimate inverse probability weighting models with regression adjustment to examine effects of intensity of online course-taking on student outcomes and also use partial identification methods to estimate the effects of online course-taking under less stringent assumptions. Lastly, we draw on observations of credit recovery classrooms to inform our analysis and interpretation of findings.

Results: We find that students taking courses online in this school district earn significantly more credits and are significantly more likely to graduate from high school than similar students who did not take courses online. Their 2- or 4-year college enrollment rates are also about 6 percentage points higher, although the institutional quality of the colleges where they enroll is weaker. Our results also reveal mostly negative but statistically insignificant associations between online course-taking and student performance on standardized tests.

Significance: While the “technical fix” is likely working to help students replace failed courses with credits earned online more quickly, our results question whether the quality of learning in credit recovery programs is sacrificed for efficiency and performance accountability (higher graduation rates).


  • Carolyn Heinrich, Vanderbilt University
  • Jennifer Suzanne Darling-Aduana, Vanderbilt University

C. When Students Fail English: Implementation and Initial Outcomes for an Online Credit Recovery Course

  • In Event: Implementation, Outcomes and Equity Implications of Online Instruction for Credit Recovery in High Schools

Sat, April 18, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Level Three, Room 305


Use of online credit recovery is a growing trend across the country, with the hope that online courses will help students get back on track toward graduation. But expanded use of online credit recovery has outpaced the research. As concerns mount over how much students learn in online courses and questions arise about how to best implement online credit recovery, there is a critical need for rigorous evidence about the effective use of online credit recovery. This presentation addresses this need by presenting findings from an experimental study that examined the implementation and effectiveness of an online English credit recovery course.

Online courses are delivered in varying formats. Some are fully online and completely self-paced; others are hybrid or blended models that combine online learning with direct teacher support (Staker & Horn, 2012; Watson & Ryan, 2006). The promise of online courses for credit recovery lies in features afforded by the technology that, when utilized, can result in courses designed to meet the specific needs of academically at-risk students. These features include diagnostic assessments to “personalize” content; interactive tools to promote engagement; lessons that consistently employ evidence-based models for structuring concepts; and flexibility that allows students to progress through course material at their own pace (Archambault et al., 2010; Bakia et al., 2013; Blackboard K–12, 2009; Dynarski et al, 2008; Mayer, 2011; Mayer & Moreno, 2003; U.S. Department of Education, 2009).

We conducted a multisite randomized study in a large urban school district to test an online curriculum for credit recovery, where an online provider supplied the main course content and curriculum, and the school provided the in-class teacher who could supplement the digital instruction. The study focused on students in 15 schools who failed their ninth grade English course and retook the course during the summer before their second year of high school or during their second year. Students were randomly assigned within schools to take the credit recovery course in an online class (treatment) or a business-as-usual teacher-directed class (control).

Data Sources
We collected the following data for the study: (1) teacher survey to measure instructional features; (2) student survey to measure student experiences in the course; (3) end-of-course student test to measure English content knowledge; and (4) course final grades. The data sources and measures are described in Table 1.

Preliminary results indicate that treatment classes had more individualized pacing but less instructional support than the control classes. Treatment teachers also reported feeling less prepared/supported to teach the class and relied more on test scores to determine final grades than control teachers. Students assigned to the treatment and control classes had similar experiences in the class (see Figure 1) and similar test scores (see Figure 2). But treatment students were less likely to pass the class (see Figure 3).

These findings raise broader questions about how to effectively incorporate online curricula into credit recovery courses and the use of digital learning for students at risk of dropping out of high school.


  • Jordan Rickles, American Institutes for Research
  • Jessica Heppen, American Institutes for Research
  • Rui Yang, American Institutes for Research
  • Peggy Clements, American Institutes for Research
  • Iliana Brodziak de los Reyes, American Institutes for Research

D. The Culture of Power Online: Cultural Responsiveness and Relevance in Vendor-Developed Online Courses

  • In Event: Implementation, Outcomes and Equity Implications of Online Instruction for Credit Recovery in High Schools

Sat, April 18, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Level Three, Room 305


Objectives: Despite the rapid expansion of online learning in K12 schools, the quality of online curriculum remains a “black box” for teachers, administrators, parents, and policymakers. This is especially true regarding the cultural relevance and responsiveness of online course curricula, which has implications for the learning experiences and outcomes of students. This paper describes a systematic examination of how social messages related to the “culture of power” are either perpetuated, acknowledged, or disrupted in a fully online instructional environment through an in-depth analysis of curriculum in online learning spaces (Delpit, 1995).

Theoretical framework: Critical multiculturalism (Delgado & Stefancic, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 2004; McLaren, 1995) and critical curriculum studies (Apple, 2004; Au, 2012). Critical studies (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990; Bernstein, 1996; Ladson-Billings, 1995) provide a guide to understanding how elements of courses create or disrupt spaces of inequity. These frameworks help us make sense of the ways in which the official knowledge contained in school curriculum is a subjective collection of truths from the perspective of dominant social groups designed to support and provide legitimacy to the status quo (Apple, 1993; Ladson-Billings, 1995).

Methods and data sources: Data for this paper were collected in a large, urban Midwestern district that contracted with one of the largest online course vendors in the country. Qualitative and quantitative coding of course videos, activities, and assessments were supplemented with findings from classroom observations and teacher interviews. We sampled across disciplines and “took” the four most common secondary courses in the district (Algebra I, Citizenship, English Language Arts 9, and Physical Science), using an observation protocol developed by our team. The protocol is based on previous rubrics developed to evaluate culturally responsive pedagogies and online learning. We then coded observations in Dedoose using a code tree informed by our theoretical framework and research questions.

Findings: Course content perpetuated the culture of power by presenting dominant cultural narratives as fact, centering the experiences and accomplishments of White men, teaching decontextualize information, endorsing neoliberal ideologies, and failing to provide consistent opportunities for critical reflection. The Citizenship course also perpetuated explicitly racist, sexist, and xenophobic narratives. The most prevalent theme that emerged through qualitative analysis included failing to challenge dominant cultural narratives in course content, including ignoring the experiences of individuals other than White men. This was reflected through microaggressions in the instructional delivery of content and reinforced the narrative of American exceptionalism and the White male experience as both normative and the only one of importance.

Significance: Online courses represent a growing, understudied trend in the education sector that provide predominately for-profit corporations with an often unrecognized influence on students’ educational experiences (Boninger, Molnar, & Murray, 2017; Molnar, 2013). This study extends prior research on online learning and other neoliberal incursions into by examining the curricular content and structure integrated in online high school courses with a focus on cultural responsiveness and relevance. Our findings also provide nuance to larger policy-level arguments on the disparate quality and relevance of students’ K-12 educational experiences in the United States.


  • Jennifer Suzanne Darling-Aduana, Vanderbilt University
  • Annalee G. Good, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Elisabeth Geraghty, University of Wisconsin

Community of Inquiry, Course Satisfaction, and Persistence in Virtual High School Science Classrooms

  • In Event: AERA Poster Session 4
    In Poster Session: Emerging Avenues for Research in Online Learning

Sat, April 18, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Exhibition Level, Moscone Hall A


With increasing enrollment in virtual K-12 schools, high attrition rates and the quality of these educational environments have become a concern. This study examines how elements of a Community of Inquiry (CoI) are associated with both course satisfaction and intentions to persist in virtual high school Biology classrooms. Data were collected from 128 students in a virtual high school in the Midwest using a validated CoI survey. Results indicated that all CoI elements including cognitive, social, and teaching presence significantly predicted both course satisfaction and intentions to persist. These findings suggest that the CoI framework may be useful to educators when designing educational environments to maximize satisfaction and persistence in virtual high school settings.


  • Matthew James Schell, MI
  • Jennifer A. Schmidt, Michigan State University

Time Regimes and Transformations of Teachers’ Work

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 23
    In Roundtable Session: Temporality, Materialism, and Race: Marxian Analyses of Teaching and Learning

Sat, April 18, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8


Full-time virtual schools are testing grounds for new ways of controlling teachers by controlling time. Drawing on interviews with teachers in cyberschools across Ohio, we examine “the domination of people by time” as “the historically specific form of social domination intrinsic to capitalism’s most basic forms of social mediation” (Postone, 2008, p. 133). Specifically, we examine how cyberschooling a) blurs boundaries between the teacher’s worklife and homelife (Marx, 1967[1887], p. 265; Brennen, 2003); b) coerces more labor in a given duration through by — “condensing” labor or “filling up the pores of the working day” (Marx, 1967[1887], p. 410); and c) accumulates and monetizes teacher and pupil time (Marx, 1972, p. 178).


  • Jan K. Nespor, The Ohio State University
  • Julie Fitz, The Ohio State University


Sunday, 19 April


Effects of Community of Inquiry, Self-efficacy, Self-regulation, and Mentor Presence on K-12 Online Learning Outcomes

  • In Event: Fostering Persistence and Self-Regulatory Processes In Online Courses

Sun, April 19, 8:15 to 9:45am, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3004


This study examined the structural relationships among Community of Inquiry (CoI), self-efficacy, self-regulation, and learning outcomes in K-12 online learning. Students’ perceived mentor presence was also included to capture the unique feature of K-12 online learning. The results of SEM analyses of 696 survey responses from high-school students showed that both self-efficacy and self-regulation served important functions in connecting CoI and learning outcomes. Additionally, mentor presence significantly and positively predicted self-regulation. This study has refined the CoI model by considering individual difference of self-regulation, which enables us to identify important components of K-12 online learning while striking a fine balance between extensiveness and parsimony.


  • Yining Zhang, Tsinghua University
  • Chin-Hsi Lin, The University of Hong Kong
  • Zhong Sun, Capital Normal University

Testing Whether Long Commutes to Testing Sites Explain Deficient Cyber Charter School Academic Performance

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 29
    In Roundtable Session: Geography and Local Context in Schools of Choice

Sun, April 19, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 8


Cyber charter schools underperform face to face schools on measured academic performance, as demonstrated in a range of studies with distinct samples and methods (Ahn & McEachin, 2017; Woodworth et. al. 2015). Artificial testing conditions offer a possible explanation. For cyber charter students standardized testing occurs in unfamiliar locations, often hours from the location of instruction (home), possibly leading to fatigue. Geocoding home locations and testing sites for 2015-18 mathematics, ELA, and science test scores from 5,493 cyber school students in a northern state of the U.S., we test whether drive times affect performance, controlling for student characteristics. Save for marginal statistical impacts on mathematics tests, we find little evidence that drive times affect measured academic performance.


  • Robert A. Maranto, University of Arkansas
  • Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
  • Ian Kingsbury, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville

The Impact of IXL on Student Achievement in a Virtual Charter School

  • In Event: AERA Poster Session 7
    In Poster Session: Testing Technology-Based Enhancements and Interventions

Sun, April 19, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: South Building, Exhibition Level, Moscone Hall A


This study evaluated the usage and impact of IXL, an online learning platform, across more than 3,000 students in a virtual charter school. Results showed that the usage levels of varied significantly across students. The comparison between IXL students and non-IXL students suggested that IXL had a positive impact on students’ academic performance in math and reading, as measured by the NWEA MAP tests. This effect is also associated with IXL usage. The more a student uses IXL, the larger the expected effect on student performance. The study’s implications on technology integration in K-12 classrooms were discussed.


  • Liyang Mao, IXL Learning
  • Ying-Fang Chen, University of California – Berkeley
  • Xiaozhu An, IXL Learning

A Feminist Poststructuralist and Psychoanalytic Study of High School Students’ Engagement in Online Learning Contexts

  • In Event: Marriott Roundtable Session 31
    In Roundtable Session: Identities at the Intersections of Praxis and Politics

Sun, April 19, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco, Floor: Fourth Level, Yerba Buena Salon 7


This narrative study explored high school students’ discursive and subjective negotiations of engagement within online learning contexts. Feminist poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theories help articulate engagement as an emotional experience of subjective reconstruction. A narrative case study methodology was employed to elicit meanings given to experiences of engagement. Participants’ overall engagement while learning online demonstrated (a) experiences of difference, (b) experiences of enjoyment, and (c) experiences of difficulty. Experiences of difference elicited narratives of engagement, experiences of enjoyment facilitated compliance to disciplinary practices within the online learning environment, and difficult experiences were framed within narratives of struggle and failure to comply with disciplinary demands. Students did demonstrate agency, surfacing both unconscious and conscious modes of resistance, within the disciplinary online space.


  • Marilyn Hillarious, The George Washington University


Monday, 20 April


iPRINCIPAL: A Multiple Case Study on the Challenges and Leadership Practices of Virtual School Principals

  • In Event: The Principals’ Everyday Practice Examined

Mon, April 20, 8:15 to 9:45am, InterContinental San Francisco, Floor: Fifth Floor, Howard


Virtual schools are one of the fastest growing educational options for students in the United States. In spite of the increase in virtual program options, and enrollment, limited research has been conducted on how virtual school principals lead their organizations. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study was to explore the challenges facing virtual school principals and how these leaders navigate these challenges. Data were collected through semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with 12 public, private, and charter virtual school principals from across California. The findings from this study identified the essential skills and ways in which virtual principals overcome leadership challenges. These factors included: Openness to new ideas, taking positive risks, staying flexible, empowering staff, communicating effectively, serving stakeholders.


  • David C Gustafson, Desert Sands Unified School District
  • MD Haque, Univeristy of La Verne

Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005Session Type: Paper Session


K-12 Online Teacher Preparation is growing, perhaps as a way to compete with non-traditional preparation outside of universities, or as a means of dealing with national teacher shortages due to attrition. Nevertheless, it is important to prepare teachers who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to remain in the profession and who will embrace online teaching practices.

Sub Unit

  • SIG-Online Teaching and Learning


  • Chakita Jackson, Open Education – Academic Specialist


A. A Discursive Investigation of Using Synchronous Video-Conferencing to Support Literacy Teachers’ Reflection

  • In Event: Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


Synchronous web-conferencing offers participants in online courses opportunities to reflect on their practice and consider future pedagogical decisions in collaboration with colleagues, in ways that asynchronous forum discussions may not afford. This study takes up a discourse analytic perspective influenced by conversation analysis to examine the small-group synchronous discussions of 13 literacy teachers to understand how web-conferencing might support teacher learning through reflection-on-practice. Analysis of 24 discussions recorded over six weeks revealed that teachers’ reflection in synchronous web-conferencing was characterized by complaints and the sharing of troubles, and that solutions only occasionally were offered in response to identified issues. Pedagogical implications for using synchronous web-conferencing to support teacher reflection are discussed.


  • Amber N. Warren, University of Nevada – Reno
  • Sara Kersten Parrish, University of Nevada – Reno

B. Elementary Teachers’ Cognitive Processes and Metacognitive Strategies During Self-Directed Online Learning

  • In Event: Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


This study involves an in-depth investigation into elementary teachers’ cognitive processes and metacognitive strategies during a self-directed online learning experience. The virtual revisit think aloud, a methodology combining a retrospective procedure with screen recording technology, was used to capture verbalizations from 13 elementary teachers as they used an online database. Resulting think aloud protocols and post-task interviews were analyzed using qualitative methods. An inductive approach to analysis led to six themes related to the cognitive processes and types of metacognitive strategies teachers use during self-directed online learning. Implications for online learning and web-based design are discussed.


  • Pamela Beach, Queen’s University
  • Jen McConnel, Queen’s University – Kingston
  • Gail Henderson, Queen’s University – Kingston

C. Facilitate K-12 Educators’ Adoption of Open Educational Resources: Implementing Renewable Assignments

  • In Event: Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


Existing literature provides limited evidence on efficient ways of implementing renewable assignments in fostering K-12 teachers’ awareness and intentions of using OERs. Teachers seem more likely to accept technology only if they have experience of adapting, creating, and publishing OERs. This research thus intended to fill this gap by piloting renewable assignment in a graduate-level instructional technology course opened to in-service educators. Referring to the works on TAM, this mixed methods research hoped to investigate whether working on renewable assignments significantly influenced each factor that mattered for K-12 educators’ intention of accepting OERs in K-12 curriculum and understand teachers’ perceptions might be influenced by factors beyond TAM dimensions.


  • Hengtao Tang, University of South Carolina
  • Yu-Ju Lin, Purdue University

D. Measuring the effectiveness of online instruction in preparing culturally responsive early childhood educators

  • In Event: Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


Positive beliefs, values, and perceived efficacy regarding culturally responsive pedagogy are crucial for the success of early childhood educators. The current study is a one-group pretest-posttest that surveyed 31 students in the fall and spring of their first year in an online bachelors degree completion program to determine if such a program could help prepare students to be culturally responsive educators. Results suggest that participation in the program had positive effects. Of the four survey scales (Praxis, Community, Social Justice, and Perceived Efficacy) there were significant changes for Social Justice and Perceived Efficacy from pre to posttest. Analysis of a qualitative question suggest that students gained a deeper understanding of the concept of equity. Limitations and future research are discussed.


  • Carolyn Brennan, Western Washington University
  • Miriam Packard, University of Washington – Seattle
  • Jodi Burrus Newman, University of Washington – Seattle
  • Kathleen Kuhl, University of Washington – Seattle
  • Dawn M Cameron Williams, University of Washington
  • Terri Wardrop

E. Preservice Teachers’ Motivation Levels, Self-Regulation, and Affective Learning Outcomes in Online Learning

  • In Event: Preparing K-12 Teachers WITH and FOR Online Learning

Mon, April 20, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


The purpose of the study was to examine (a) how multifaceted motivation levels relate to online students’ self-regulation (SR) and (b) how SR predicts students’ affective learning outcomes. A total of 556 online students at a Southwestern U.S. university participated in this study. Cluster analyses uncovered three levels of motivation: high, average, and low. Then, ANOVAs revealed that different motivation levels predicted SR between student and content as well as SR between student and instructor. Finally, multiple regressions showed that SR predicted affective learning outcomes in different ways, depending on students’ level of motivation. Detailed results and significance of the study are provided.


  • Moon-Heum Cho, Syracuse University
  • Jongpil Cheon, Texas Tech University
  • Seongmi Lim, Ball State University


  • Dazhi Yang, Boise State University

Effects of Class Size on K-12 Online Student Mathematics Achievement

  • In Event: Ensuring Supportive, Educative Environments for All Online Learners

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


The effects of class size on student achievement have been discussed repeatedly in education research and policy. However, findings about the effects of class size for online courses have been very limited. This study examines class size effects on mathematics achievement for online high school courses using data from a statewide virtual learning initiative in Alabama. We employ quasi-experimental methodology (i.e., instrumental variables) to facilitate causal inferences of class size effects. Overall there no statistically significant class size effects found. The results indicate that class size reduction may not improve mathematics achievement for online high school courses.


  • Wei Li, University of Alabama
  • Bryan Mann, University of Alabama

Impact of an Orientation on Online Course Completion

  • In Event: Ensuring Supportive, Educative Environments for All Online Learners

Mon, April 20, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Moscone Center, Floor: West Building, Level Three, Room 3005


The number of secondary students enrolled in online courses across the country has grown rapidly. At the same time, a major concern with online courses is the low completion rates. Orientation courses are often cited as a best practice and a means to increase course completion rates. In this session, we will describe a partnership between a Midwestern state education agency, an online course provider, and researchers to understand whether an orientation course increases course completion rates. We will also present the results from a randomized controlled trial to estimate the impact of an online orientation on the likelihood that students complete their online high school courses.


  • Jacqueline Zweig, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Erin Stafford, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Noman Khanani, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Makoto Hanita, Education Development Center, Inc.


Tuesday, 21 April


Size Only Matters If You Have Vision: An Exploration of an Urban e-Learning Cluster

  • In Event: Moscone Center North Roundtable Session 15
    In Roundtable Session: Educational Leadership across the boarder

Tue, April 21, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Moscone Center, Floor: North Building, Exhibition Level, Room 24


Historically, primary and secondary distance education in New Zealand was focused on providing opportunities for rural students. With the advent of Tomorrow’s Schools, the need for rural schools to compete with urban schools in terms of their curricular offerings were one of the reasons for the creation of e-learning clusters that would eventually become the Virtual Learning Network (VLN). After 25 years of practice, there is a growing body of research into these rural e-learning clusters. However, in 2011 the HarbourNet cluster bucked that trend, and became the first active urban-based VLN program. This study begins to address this research gap by exploring the challenges HarbourNet was able to overcome in order to become a successful member of the VLN.


  • Michael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University – California
  • Jason Paul Siko, Madonna University

Again, if I missed any, please let me know.

2020 AERA Annual Meeting Program Schedule: Now Available

Late last week, I received the following message.  Giving credit where credit is due, this message was sent just over 13 weeks prior to the conference start.  As this window is something that I – and many other scholars – have complained about for years, I have to tip my hat to AERA this year!

American Educational Research Association

Annual Meeting Online Program Open


Online Program Now Available

We are pleased to announce the online searchable program for the 2020 Annual Meeting is now open. Log in to view the online program schedule. If you need help to login, contact or (202) 238-3200.


Under the leadership of AERA President Vanessa Siddle Walker, 2020 Annual Meeting General Program Chairs Sheryl J. Croft and Michelle A. Purdy, and the program and section chairs of Divisions, SIGs, and Committees, the 2020 program is comprised of over 2,800 sessions featuring high quality and timely work in education research.


The program can be browsed by day and time and has a universal search function to search by presenter/participant’s name or affiliation, session title/topic, and paper title/topic. Select the session that is of interest to you, and place it in your personal schedule.



Deadline to Make Program Changes


Deadline: March 5, 2020

The deadline to make any program changes including changes to paper titles, session titles, and authors, as well as Session Chairs and Discussants is March 5, 2020. Please email changes to When making author changes, please send the full name, email address and institution of all authors.



Early Bird Registration


Deadline: February 28, 2020

AERA members receive a sizable discount on meeting registration. To get the special member registration rate; please make sure you have renewed your 2020 AERA membership BEFORE you complete your registration. The early bird deadline for registration payments to be received is February 28.


Take advantage of the early bird registration rates and access your hotel of choice at the special conference rate. Rooms at the major headquarters hotels are quickly filling up so reserve your hotel room today.



Register now for early bird rates and preferred hotel reservations.


How to Register:

  1. Login (If problems with login, contact or (202) 238-3200)
  2. Click ‘My AERA’ at the top of the page
  3. On the ‘My AERA’ page, scroll down to the 2020 AERA Annual Meeting
  4. Click ‘Register and Make Your Hotel Reservation Now’. (If problems with registering, contact, (800) 893-7950, or (484) 751-5136)
  5. Once you complete your registration, you can make your online hotel reservation by clicking the Hotel Reservation button in the upper left side of the registration confirmation summary screen. (If problems with booking hotel, contact, (800) 262-9974, or (404) 842-0000)

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!



American Educational Research Association1430 K Street, NW

Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 238-3200

January 16, 2020

Digital Learning PD With A Side Of BBQ And Music 🎶!

An item from a conference next month.

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Work and play at #DLAC2020

Put on that Stetson, saddle up and join us in Austin for BBQ, music, and oh yeah, some of the best online and blended learning PD you’ll find for growing your digital learning program. The Digital Learning Annual Conference will again be at the Hyatt Regency Austin, on February 24-26. Check out our speakers and sessions for DLAC 2020 and check back next week for the detailed program.

The DLAC program and session format is unlike the typical education conference and fills a gap in professional learning opportunities for online and blended learning educators. DLAC session types and times vary considerably, with an emphasis on shorter, more interactive discussions instead of longer, sit-and-get presentations. Learn from each other, sharing best (and worst!) practices in this new and innovative conference focused on online and blended learning.

Register now!

Did you know?

  • DLAC 2020 is introducing the DLAC Superintendent’s Program, a curated conference experience for invited superintendents who are interested in networking with their peers as they start or grow online, blended, and digital learning in their districts.
  • The Research Community Meeting is an annual event preceding DLAC that brings those in the K-12 digital, online, and blended research field together to collaborate and work to figure out what’s working and not working in today’s learning landscape. The Research Community Meeting is open to non-researchers and researchers alike, and will be held on Sunday, February 23, from 1pm to 6pm. Registration for the Research Community Meeting is required, and the event is filling quickly! Click here to reserve your spot!
  • The DLAC Group Rate is only $599 per registration for districts or schools registering a minimum of five attendees through February 10th.

Follow us on Twitter @theDLAC and feel free to email us at with any questions!
Copyright © 2020 Evergreen Education Group, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at the DLAC website.

Our mailing address is:

Evergreen Education Group

700 Main Ave Ste E

Durango, CO 81301-5437

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