Virtual School Meanderings

March 5, 2015

SITE 2015 – Teacher Perceptions of Parental Engagement at a Cyber School

The eighteenth session at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

Teacher Perceptions of Parental Engagement at a Cyber School

  1. Jered Borup, George Mason University, United States

Thursday, March 5 10:45-11:15 AM in Conga A View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44671>
Conga A Thursday, Mar 05 2015 10:15AM-11:15AM
Yu-Li Chen: Conga A, 2015-03-05 10:15:00-2015-03-05 11:15:00

A growing number of adolescent students are taking all or most of their courses online and choosing to learn from home rather than in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. This places a greater responsibility on the student’s parents to support and facilitate their student’s learning. This research used teacher surveys and interviews to better understand how teachers perceived and supported parents’ attempts to support their online students. Results showed that parents supported their students by (1) organizing and managing students’ schedules, (2) facilitating interactions, and (3) instructing students when necessary. However, teachers perceived parental efforts in organizing and facilitating activities as more valuable than parents’ instructing activities.

Jered set the stage by discussing some of the literature that has found that cyber charter schools (i.e., full-time K-12 online learning programs) perform quite poorly compared to brick-and-mortar schools.  He then transitioned to the role of the parent – and specifically parental engagement in their child’s education – in the full-time online environment.  When we consider what the school can control, in terms of parental engagement, school policies are the only ones – and most K-12 online learning program policies focus on quantity of interactions or engagement, not the quality.

The study Jered was reporting focused on teacher perceptions of parent engagement.  The particular cyber school that Jered was working with had a parent organization, they required them to register in person and conducted an in-person orientation with parents at that time, basically the school valued and tried to provide a specific structure to ensure parent engagement.

Jered surveyed 15 of the 21 teachers, and then conducted a follow-up interview with 11 of those teachers.  The data teacher surveys included:

  1. Top response – organizing and managing student schedule (13/15)
  2. Bottom responses – nurturing and mentoring students / instructing students (5/15)

According to the online teachers, those parents that had previously homeschooled their children really needed to take a step back from their child’s education (as they were no longer the teacher), whereas those parents that did not homeschool needed to take a step forward and get more involved.  Apparently the homeschooled parents’ role did cause some friction for the teachers.

There was a great deal of teacher-parent communication.  Often, if the parent recognized the student was struggling first they would contact the teacher, and if the teacher recognized it first they would contact the parent.  Although Jered did note that in some instances, the parents served as a buffer between the teacher and the student (i.e., protecting a struggling student) or being unresponsive (i.e., student not doing well and has gone missing, and the parent is roughly the same – but this was a minority of instances).

Teachers also felt that one of the main roles for the parents were as a cheerleader for the student, but also providing a carrot/stick approach to motivating the students.  This latter item required a great deal of collaboration between the teacher and parent.  Teachers also indicated that parental volunteering in academically valuable activities or modeling those activities was a strong source of motivation.

Finally, teachers did not expect parents to be instructors – and students often complained that parental teaching could make matters worse.  This was moreso in science and mathematics, as social studies and English teachers generally appreciated things like proof reading and foreign language teachers appreciated the extra practice that parents could provide the students.

Cyber schooling allows parents more opportunities to facilitate and frustrate student learning.  The key is teacher-parent communications and ensuring that specific expectations and guidelines are established.

Jered finished by describing his ACE framework and suggested that this could be a model that could be used in future research into parental involvement.

SITE 2015 – The Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in An Virtual School World Language Courses: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

The seventeenth session, which begins day three of blogging, at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

The Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in An Virtual School World Language Courses: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

  1. Yining Zhang, Michigan State University, United States
  2. Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University, United States
  3. Ruhui Ni, Michigan State University, United States

Thursday, March 5 10:15-10:45 AM in Conga A View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44442>
Conga A Thursday, Mar 05 2015 10:15AM-11:15AM
Yu-Li Chen: Conga A, 2015-03-05 10:15:00-2015-03-05 11:15:00

Among all the potential factors that affect the success of K-12 online learning, self-regulation learning is an essential one. This study compares the unique contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to online learning strategies and online learning success. The subjects consisted of 469 middle- and high-school students enrolled in online world language courses in a Midwestern virtual school. Structural equation modeling was employed to explore the relations between motivation, learning strategies, and learning success (i.e., satisfaction and perceived progress). Intrinsic motivation was found to predict satisfaction and perceived progress both directly and indirectly through online learning strategies, whereas extrinsic motivation only predicted the outcome variables indirectly.

Yining began his session with the usual statistics about the growth of K-12 online learning and then described the various ways in which students could engage in K-12 online learning.

The basis of this study came from Cavanaugh (2001) and Oliver, Kellogg & Patel (2012), both of which found negative effects for K-12 students learning a foreign language online.  And Yining spent some time providing an overview or review of self-regulated learning and the two main components (i.e., motivation and learning strategies).

The actual study looked at how motivation and online learning strategies impact student outcomes in foreign language online learning (defined as student satisfaction and perceived progress)  , with a specific focus on the distinctions between intrinsic and extrinsic.  The study included almost 1600 students enrolled in a variety of foreign language courses at a supplemental online program in the Mid-West.  The instrument was a 67-item survey, which 466 students responded to (about a third of the possible population).  About two third of the respondents were female – 60% of the respondents were taking the course as an elective, almost 40% were doing a required course, and only 3% were taking their foreign language course due to credit recovery.

After Yining took us through the study design, in some detail, he eventually got to the results.

  • intrinsic motivation was predictive of learning strategy, learning strategy was predictive of online learning success, and intrinsic motivation was also directly related to online learning success
  • extrinsic motivation was predictive of learning strategy, learning strategy was predictive of online learning success, and extrinsic motivation was not directly related to online learning success
  • instrinic motivation contributed unique and additional power in explaining satisfaction, however, extrinsic motivation failed to do so

The bottom line was that intrinsic motivation was key in student success in foreign language learning.  Extrinsic motivation has an indirect impact, and not a negative impact.

I’ll be honest and say that this shouldn’t surprise anyone – not just when it comes to foreign language learning online, or learning online, or even learning.  Students that have an internal sense of motivation to learn will have success – plain and simple.  I guess we now have data to confirm this, at least within an online foreign language environment.

[CNIE-L] Open Education Week Webcasts

From yesterday’s inbox…

We are happy to announce a series of FREE webcasts celebrating Open Education Week (Mar. 9-13).

These webcasts will explore issues and opportunities related to Open Educational Resources.  Each session will feature an internationally known promoter, developer or researcher in this growing field.

All webinars are from noon-1:00pm MT and will be held at:

The event details are:

Monday March 9 – Sustainability Strategies For Open Educational Resources
Paul Stacey, Associate Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons.


Tuesday March 10 – The Battle for Open
Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology, the Open University.


Wednesday March 11 – The Campus Alberta Open Educational Resources Initiative
Janet Welch, Assistant Dean, Academic Technologies, University of Alberta.


Thursday March 12 – Open Education Initiatives in Australia
Carina Bossu, Lecturer – Learning and Teaching, Univeristy of Tasmania.


Friday March 13 – Preparing for the Digital University
George Siemens, Assistant Professor, Athabasca University.


This event is sponsored by the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER), Dr. Rory McGreal, and Athabasca University Library.

Questions can be directed to Colin Elliott



Colin Elliott
Manager, Web Projects and Services
AU Library
1-800-788-9041 x6824
Athabasca University

School Sleuth: The Case of the Wired Classroom

From Tuesday’s inbox…

School Sleuth: The Case of the Wired Classroom will have its first screening in Washington DC on March 13th.  The film will premiere as part of Digital Learning Day during the Teaching & Learning Conference.  In order to watch the film you must register for the conference.  Details about the cost of the conference are listed below..
Additional screenings are being scheduled for the months leading up to the film’s premiere on PBS in the fall. The date and time of the broadcast will be announced on our website, www.schoolsleuth.org
Date: March 13, 2015
Time: 2:30-3:45 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001
Room 146A
Room Capacity: 250
To register for DLD events you must first register for the entire Teaching and Learning Conference. One day general admission costs $225 or $325 for both days. National Board Certified teachers pay $175 for one day or $250 for two. Once you are registered for the conference you will receive a 5 digit code that can be used to register for Digital Learning Day.Conference Registration:
DLD Registration:

04 March 2015: Google Alert – LRN

The K12, Inc. corporate alert from yesterday…


As-it-happens update ⋅ March 4, 2015
K12 Inc Price Target Update

K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN): The mean short term price target for K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) has been established at $14 per share. The higher price target …
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As-it-happens update ⋅ March 4, 2015
Stock price: LRN (NYSE)
$17.3 +0.02 (+0.12%)
March 4, 2015 at 4:02:02 PM EST | Disclaimer
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