Virtual School Meanderings

December 3, 2015

JOLR Special Issue – Supporting Students in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments

Posting this on behalf of a colleague…

Supporting Students in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments

K-12 online learning has grown dramatically the last decade. However, despite its popularity among diverse parents and students (Beck, Maranto, & Egalite, 2014; Beck, Maranto, & Lo, 2014), it is becoming increasingly clear that this growth has occurred despite course completion rates and standardized test scores that are sometimes much lower than those found in face-to-face classrooms (Freidhoff, 2015; Miron, Gulosino, & Horvitz, 2015; Woodworth, Raymond, Chirbas, Gonzalez, Negassi, Snow, & Van Donge, 2015). Online learning can be especially challenging for new students because they “not only need to learn a subject online but need to learn how to learn online” (Lowes & Lin, 2015, p. 18). As a result, many students require a high level of support and interaction from online teachers, on-site facilitators/mentors, parents, and peers (Borup, West, Graham, & Davies, 2014; Harms, Niederhauser, Davis, Roblyer, & Gilbert, 2006). However, there is a large variance in the level of student support that programs provide. Some online schools provide little more than a correspondence environment while other programs blend high levels of face-to-face and online support (Borup & Drysdale, 2014; Harms et al., 2006). Other programs provide only online support and rely on parents to facilitate students’ learning (Hasler Waters, Menchaca, & Borup, 2014). However, more research is needed regarding student support systems and interactions in online and blended learning environments. For this special issue, the co-editors are seeking submissions that address this need.


Suggested topics related to K-12 online and blended student support systems and interactions include—but are not limited to:

  • Program-provided and student-generated support systems
  • Teachers’ tutoring and formative feedback practices
  • Teacher online presence
  • Teacher-student communication
  • Parent-teacher communication and collaboration
  • Student-student communication, collaboration, and tutoring
  • Student-system communication and collaboration
  • On-site facilitator/mentor practices and support models
  • Teacher-facilitator/mentor communication and collaboration
  • Parental engagement and involvement activities
  • Learning communities and social presence
  • Student needs and motivation
  • Parent outreach and support programs
  • On-site facilitator/mentor professional development
  • Support systems for vulnerable student populations (e.g. special education, at-risk, English language learners, racial minorities)
  • Blended learning models that emphasize student support

Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research articles are welcome. Research should be grounded in the existing literature and/or theoretical frameworks. Conceptual or theoretical articles will also be considered. 

Submission Guidelines

Please submit manuscripts directly through the AACE Publications submission link below:

Do not send manuscripts to the Guest Editors. The manuscripts must go through a double blind review process. Please note that contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project. Authors are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors to propose an idea for submission to ensure the appropriateness of the proposed study for this venue.


Deadline for Submissions: April 20, 2016

Authors informed of decisions: June 20, 2016

Anticipated special issue publication: November 2016

Guest Editors

Dr. Jered Borup

Dr. Lisa Hasler Waters

Dr. Dennis Beck


Beck, D., Jacobs, A. & Maranto, R. (2014). Why they choose and how it goes: Comparing special education and general education cyber student perceptions. Computers & Education, 76, 70-79.

Beck, D. E., Maranto, R., & Lo, W. J. (2014). Determinants of student and parent satisfaction at a cyber charter school. The Journal of Educational Research107(3), 209-216.

Borup, J., & Drysdale, J. S. (2014). On-site and online facilitators: Current and future direction for research. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 325–346). ETC Press. Retrieved from

Borup, J., West, R. E., Graham, C. R., & Davies, R. S. (2014). The Adolescent Community of Engagement: A framework for research on adolescent online learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 22(1), 107–129.

Freidhoff, J. R. (2015). Michigan’s K-12 virtual learning effectiveness report 2013-2014. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Retrieved from

Harms, C. M., Niederhauser, D. S., Davis, N. E., Roblyer, M. D., & Gilbert, S. B. (2006). Educating educators for virtual schooling: Communicating roles and responsibilities. The Electronic Journal of Communication, 16(1 & 2). Retrieved from

Hasler Waters, L., Menchaca, M. P., & Borup, J. (2014). Parental involvement in K-12 online and blended learning. In R. E. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 325–346). ETC Press. Retrieved from

Lowes, S., & Lin, P. (2015). Learning to learn online: Using locus of control to help students become successful online learners. Journal of Online Learning Research, 1(1), 17–48.

Miron, G., Gulosino, C., & Horvitz, B. (2014). Section III: Full time virtual schools. In A. Molnar (Ed.), Virtual schools in the U.S. 2014 (pp. 55–73). Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from

Woodworth, J. L., Raymond, M. E., Chirbas, K., Gonzalez, M., Negassi, Y., Snow, W., & Van Donge, C. (2015). Online charter school study. Stanford, CA. Retrieved from

October 1, 2015

Call for Special Issue: Journal of Online Learning Research

From Monday’s inbox…

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Call for Special Issue Proposals on:
Professional Development in
K-12 Online and Blended Learning
   As the popularity of online and blended learning escalates in primary and secondary education, the need for quality professional development for these learning environments also grows.

   For this special issue, submissions are invited that:
share research and ideas for professional development programs that prepare future and current teachers for these new learning environments.
Specifically, the editors are seeking submissions on professional development surrounding online/blended learning communities focusing on:development, implementation,  assessment, or other related topics.
Guest editors: Dr. Wendy Oliver & Dr. Rebecca Parks
For the full Call for Papers including a list of topics, click here.
JOLR is a Publication of AACE.

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September 12, 2015

Call For Articles – Special Issue On Teacher PD In K-12 Online And Blended Learning

From yesterday’s inbox…

Hi Michael!

We hope this email finds you well.

We wanted to know if you could share the following opportunity out to anyone you think might be interested. Please see the attached call for articles for the upcoming special issue of the Journal of Online Learning and Research (JOLR) focused on professional development for online and blended learning in K-12 education. This special issue is being guest edited by Wendy Oliver and Becky Parks. The goal is to collect and publish current research and begin the much needed conversations surrounding professional development in blended and online education.


Kathryn Kennedy & Leanna Archambault

Co-Editors-in-Chief, Journal of Online Learning Research

Kathryn Kennedy, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
Facebook: /mvlrinstitute
Twitter: @MVLRI_MVU
Webinar Series:

Attachment: jolr_pd_specialissuecall.pdf

August 26, 2015

SITE 2016 – K-12 Online Learning SIG – Call for Panels And Panel Organizers – Due Sept 4th

From Monday’s inbox…

Hello everyone!
Hope you had a wonderful summer! It’s hard to believe, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about SITE 2016 conference in Savannah, Georgia which will take place March 21-25, 2016.
As co-chairs of the K-12 Online Learning Special Interest Group (SIG), we would like to invite you to organize and submit a panel on a special topic. We’re looking for two to four special topic panels that will feature three to four panelists presenting on a focused topic of research in K-12 online and blended learning.
If you’re interested and have a topic for a panel in mind, please send us a title and abstract (150 words) of the proposed panel that you would like to propose and organize. Also include your name, affiliation(s), address, phone number, and email address. Please send us this information no later than Friday, September 4.

Please keep in mind that you will need 3-4 panelists for your panel. An organizer can serve as one of the panelists as well. As organizer of the panel, you will also need to attain titles and abstracts of each of the panelists and submit them to the SITE proposal portal by October 21st deadline. Also keep in mind that you and your panelists must be planning on attending the conference in person to be included on the panels.

We look forward to your response, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks so much!
Leanna Archambault & Kathryn Kennedy

SITE Virtual Schooling SIG Chairs

Editors, Journal of Online Learning Research

August 20, 2015

SITE 2016 (Savannah) Call for Participation: Due Oct. 21

From Tuesday’s inbox…

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Savannah, Georgia, March 21-25 2016
October 21, 2015
March 21-25, 2016
Hyatt Regency Savannah, Georgia
SITE 2016 is the 27th annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Join with 1,300+ colleagues from over 60 countries in beautiful & historic Savannah, Georgia!
This Society represents individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education & faculty/staff development.
NEW: SITE 2016 offers Full Papers a peer-refereed publication opportunity in the SITE Research Highlights Book.
Registration & Hotel Information
Special discounted hotel rates have been 
           February 25 2016 (5PM EST US)
and you must identify yourself as an attendee of SITE 2016.  Make Your Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel Reservation Here!







Sponsored by:
Presented papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings and internationally
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