Virtual School Meanderings

April 19, 2015

AERA 2015 – Technology and Increased Self-Efficacy: Online Learning as a Solution for At-Risk Students

The sixth session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is a part of the following session:

65.076 – Research on the Impact of Virtual Learning
Sun, April 19, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Armitage
Session Type: Paper Session

Sub Unit
SIG-Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning

Chair
Cathy C. Leogrande, Le Moyne College

Papers
15Digital Dilemmas in Dilemmatic Space(s): Analysis of a Digitalized Society – Göran Fransson, University of Gävle

Technology and Increased Self-Efficacy: Online Learning as a Solution for At-Risk Students – Somer Lewis, University of North Carolina – Wilmington; Amy E. Garrett Dikkers, University of North Carolina – Wilmington; Aimee Whiteside, University of Tampa

The Impact of Interactive, Video-Based Professional Development on the Use of Chat in Online Courses – Corinne Hyde, University of Southern California; Kimberly A. Ferrario, University of Southern California

To Teach Is to Learn Twice: Embedded Online Peer Mentoring Support in a First-Year Education Course – Norman Davis Vaughan, Mount Royal University

Virtual Learning in New Zealand: Examples of Networked Schools – Michael Kristopher Barbour, Sacred Heart University; Derek Wenmoth, Core Education Ltd; Niki Davis, University of Canterbury

Discussant
Natalie B. Milman, The George Washington University

The specific session is:

Technology and Increased Self-Efficacy: Online Learning as a Solution for At-Risk Students

Abstract
This presentation explores the online learning experiences of at-risk students and their teachers in the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) and the North Carolina Performance Learning Centers (PLCs). The three-year, mixed methods case study examines the benefits and challenges of online learning for at-risk students, including whether the online environment helps or hinders their learning experiences, and suggests support structures that, when implemented, could lead to increased self-efficacy for these students.

This was a part of a four year study, according to Somer, that looked at student and teacher experiences in the K-12 online learning environment, with a focus on at-risk youth.  The data were collected through a variety of surveys, interviews and focus groups.

The study actually found that many of the benefits or strengths of online learning, were often the same things that were also listed as weakness or challenges of the K-12 online learning environment.  One of the other main findings was the support structures that were provided, and the fact that most K-12 students did not have any prior experience with online learning or how to learn in that kind of independent learning environment.

April 18, 2015

AERA 2015 – Leadership Strategies for a Future-Focused Intermediate School: A Case Study

The fifth session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is a part of the following session:

46.086-18 – Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning SIG Roundtable 3: Exploring the Intersection of Technology and Leadership
In Event: 46.086 – Roundtable Session 16

Sat, April 18, 8:15 to 9:45am, Hyatt, East Tower – Purple Level, Riverside West
Session Type: Roundtable Session

Sub Unit
SIG-Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning

Chair
Vanessa Hammler Kenon, The University of Texas – San Antonio

Papers
Leadership Strategies for a Future-Focused Intermediate School: A Case Study – Julie Karen Mackey, University of Canterbury; Niki Davis, University of Canterbury

Learning to Teach With Digital Technologies and Learning to Lead: A Tale of Two Countries – Ping Gao, University of Northern Iowa

Use of Personal Learning Environment Management to Support Lifelong Learning – Cherng-Jyh Yen, Old Dominion University; Chih-Hsiung Tu, Northern Arizona University; Bodi Anderson, Indian RIver State College; Laura Esthela Sujo-Montes, Northern Arizona University; Gayle A. Roberts

The specific session is:

Leadership Strategies for a Future-Focused Intermediate School: A Case Study

Abstract
How does a middle school principal effectively lead equitable learning with digital technology in collaboration with her school and its communities to improve student outcomes? This paper presents the leadership strategies employed in a path-finding intermediate school within New Zealand, a nation that recognises children from indigenous and poor communities as ‘priority learners’. The study answers Levin and Schrum’s (2013) call for other exemplary case studies on distributed leadership and systems thinking in 21st century schools. Their ‘jigsaw’ of eight leadership strategies was present, and it was found thSchrum and Levin (2012), but hat changes to the school culture were required before the vision could emerge. The principles and practices of justice were supported through the inclusion of four diverse principals within the research team.

Niki described that this study included a variety of stakeholders in a middle school over a three year period, which while she described it sounded very much like a design-based research study (although Niki did not use that term and the paper and slides she handed out didn’t have that term) – but the focus of the study was generated based on what the participants were interested in investigating, and appeared to be cyclical over that two year period.

Anyway, the study focused on the issue of how middle school principals were effective leaders in schools where digital technology was present and pervasive in the school environment.  The initial framework for the study was Schrum and Levin (2012):

 IMG_3718

But as the data was analyzed one of the members of the research team came up with a different conceptual framework to explain this new school leadership model.

IMG_3719

Which Niki described as being more like a spinning top – and specifically mentioned that if you spin these pieces or any one of them too slowly the top (i.e., the system) stops; but if you spin them too quickly the top spins out of control.  So ensuring that each of these pieces are “spinning” or being pushed forwarded/attended to at the right pace to ensure that the organization (i.e., school) is moving forward.

April 17, 2015

AERA 2015 – Marginalization of Under-Represented Populations in Online Courses

The fourth session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is a part of the following session:

31.074 – Online Teaching and Learning SIG Paper Session 3
Fri, April 17, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Addison
Session Type: Paper Session

Abstract
This session addresses culturally responsive research.

Sub Unit
SIG-Online Teaching and Learning

Chair
Naiyi Xie Fincham, Michigan State University

Papers
Best Practices for Online Global Cross-Cultural Collaborations – Dawn M. Armfield, Frostburg State University; Shadow William Jon Armfield, Northern Arizona University; Laura Esthela Sujo-Montes, Northern Arizona University; J.Michael Blocher, Northern Arizona University

Hispanic and Latino Students in Online Education – Michael Corry, The George Washington University; William R. Dardick, The George Washington University; Julie Ann Stella, The George Washington University

Interactions and Learning Outcomes in Online Language Courses – Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University; Binbin Zheng, Michigan State University; Yining Zhang, Michigan State University

Overcoming Language Barriers Online: Fostering Community With Nonnative Speakers in a Massive Open Online Course – Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University; Armend Tahirsylaj, The Pennsylvania State University; Huihui Zhang, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Marginalization of Under-Represented Populations in Online Courses – Matthew A. Williams, Kent State University; N.J. Akbar, Kent State University; Scot B Tribuzi, Kent State University; Jesse Wray, Kent State University

The specific session is:

Marginalization of Under-Represented Populations in Online Courses

Abstract
The rapid growth of post-secondary online courses has resulted in the design of many online courses following a normative framework in which curricular goals target the widest possible audience and representative of dominant paradigms. This has resulted in the marginalization of underrepresented populations who choose to or are required to take online courses. This study is in the process of investigating the underlying reasons many online courses have adopted normative frameworks and what the potential effects are upon underrepresented populations. The results of this study will be used to formulate recommendations for improving online educational opportunities for underrepresented populations.

I wasn’t sure if this was a K-12 or post-secondary session based on the description – but it was solely post-secondary focused.  So I stopped blogging…  :)

AERA 2015 – Interactions and Learning Outcomes in Online Language Courses

The third session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is a part of the following session:

31.074 – Online Teaching and Learning SIG Paper Session 3
Fri, April 17, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Addison
Session Type: Paper Session

Abstract
This session addresses culturally responsive research.

Sub Unit
SIG-Online Teaching and Learning

Chair
Naiyi Xie Fincham, Michigan State University

Papers
Best Practices for Online Global Cross-Cultural Collaborations – Dawn M. Armfield, Frostburg State University; Shadow William Jon Armfield, Northern Arizona University; Laura Esthela Sujo-Montes, Northern Arizona University; J.Michael Blocher, Northern Arizona University

Hispanic and Latino Students in Online Education – Michael Corry, The George Washington University; William R. Dardick, The George Washington University; Julie Ann Stella, The George Washington University

Interactions and Learning Outcomes in Online Language Courses – Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University; Binbin Zheng, Michigan State University; Yining Zhang, Michigan State University

Overcoming Language Barriers Online: Fostering Community With Nonnative Speakers in a Massive Open Online Course – Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University; Armend Tahirsylaj, The Pennsylvania State University; Huihui Zhang, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Marginalization of Under-Represented Populations in Online Courses – Matthew A. Williams, Kent State University; N.J. Akbar, Kent State University; Scot B Tribuzi, Kent State University; Jesse Wray, Kent State University

The specific session is:

Interactions and Learning Outcomes in Online Language Courses

Abstract
With an increasing number of K-12 students taking courses online, researchers have emphasized the importance of interaction for language learners in online courses. This study examines the relationship between interactions and learning outcomes among 466 middle- and high-school students taking an online language course in a Midwestern virtual school. Path analysis was employed to look into how three types of interactions, learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-content (Moore, 1989), affected students’ perceived progress and satisfaction. The results of path analysis showed that Learner-instructor interaction was only associated with student satisfaction, and not with perceived progress. Both learner-instructor and learner-content interaction were positively associated with perceived progress. Learner-learner interactions, meanwhile, were not significantly associated with either student satisfaction or perceived progress.

Note that these presenters did not show up.  I believe they gave the SIG (or at least the chair of the session) advanced notice of their absence).

AERA 2015 – Hispanic and Latino Students in Online Education

The second session that I am blogging from the 2015 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is a part of the following session:

31.074 – Online Teaching and Learning SIG Paper Session 3
Fri, April 17, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Marriott, Fourth Level, Addison
Session Type: Paper Session

Abstract
This session addresses culturally responsive research.

Sub Unit
SIG-Online Teaching and Learning

Chair
Naiyi Xie Fincham, Michigan State University

Papers
Best Practices for Online Global Cross-Cultural Collaborations – Dawn M. Armfield, Frostburg State University; Shadow William Jon Armfield, Northern Arizona University; Laura Esthela Sujo-Montes, Northern Arizona University; J.Michael Blocher, Northern Arizona University

Hispanic and Latino Students in Online Education – Michael Corry, The George Washington University; William R. Dardick, The George Washington University; Julie Ann Stella, The George Washington University

Interactions and Learning Outcomes in Online Language Courses – Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University; Binbin Zheng, Michigan State University; Yining Zhang, Michigan State University

Overcoming Language Barriers Online: Fostering Community With Nonnative Speakers in a Massive Open Online Course – Bryan Arthur Mann, Pennsylvania State University; Armend Tahirsylaj, The Pennsylvania State University; Huihui Zhang, The Pennsylvania State University – University Park

Marginalization of Under-Represented Populations in Online Courses – Matthew A. Williams, Kent State University; N.J. Akbar, Kent State University; Scot B Tribuzi, Kent State University; Jesse Wray, Kent State University

The specific session description is:

Hispanic and Latino Students in Online Education

Abstract
Several recent data analyses of the demographics of K-12 online students suggested that Hispanic/Latino students may be underrepresented in full-time online schools, Reasons describing this inequity could be many, and a true description of this difference may be exceedingly complex. Nevertheless, closer examination of Latino student demographic data from online schools and other publicly available data may offer insights into equal access to online education, cultural and language barriers in online education, and the identification of online Latino students for special education and gifted/talented programs. These analyses may offer insight into the productive engagement of Latino students in online education.

This was a follow-up from the study that these presenters did last year at AERA (see my notes from that session here).  This year’s study focused on enrollments in Arizona (and they picked this state purposely), and was divided between online charter and online non-charter.

The presenters began with some information from their literature review, and it was interesting as I would have argued with most of the points that they made about K-12 online learning (although they did do a good job summarizing  the literature on charter schooling and high school graduation issues).

The data set was eventually widdled down to 46 schools, and they were looking at drop-out rate and graduation rate, based on charter vs. non-charter and fully online vs. blended (note at no point did they define blended).  Basically, the multivariate analysis found that there was a significant effect for drop-out rate and graduation rate for both type of school and type of delivery.  At the univariate level, there was no significant difference between charter vs. non-charter in either drop-out or graduations rates.  The model of delivery was significant when it came to drop-out rate (19.6% for fully online vs. 26.9% for blended) based on the univariate analysis, but the graduation rate was not significant.

It is interesting that the significant univariate analysis actually was counter to what has been found in the research to date, and what has also been accepted as conventional wisdom.  Although one of the main problems with the study was that the analysis was not nested – even though the way the results were presented it was very much in this kind of model.

It was also interesting that the presenters in their discussion and implications conversation basically believe that based on their research, most of what we believe about K-12 online learning was incorrect.  For example, two that I did record:

  • full-time online learning is probably best for at-risk students
  • blended learning environments are not as suitable for at-risk learners because of the requirement to be at the school

I suspect that these observations are skewed based on the methodological limitations (particularly when it comes to the data) and the researchers prior assumptions.

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