Virtual School Meanderings

August 27, 2016

Research Update: MPS Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
REL Midwest Research Update
Alliance Goal:
To identify and develop tools to improve the feedback that school- and district-level personnel receive about teacher practices
and student outcomes.
Deb GurkeMessage From the Alliance Lead
Welcome to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) MidwestUrban District Community of Practice (CoP) newsletter. I have been part of the CoP since October 2015. It has been a privilege to engage in conversations with research directors from several large urban districts.Over the past several months, we have focused on understanding continuous improvement. Although at its most basic level continuous improvement is about acknowledging what works and identifying and addressing what could be better, there are important concepts to understand if you want to get the most out of your continuous improvement efforts. To strengthen their knowledge, the Urban District CoP members read a white paper on continuous improvement in education and discussed their role in the process as well as the need for others in the district to be committed to the work, too. We also talked about practical measurement and how it differs from measurement for accountability and theory building.

In addition, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), as part of the CoP, partnered with REL Midwest to develop a continuous improvement process with its vendors. MPS has shared learnings from the district’s early efforts with this work with the CoP. You can learn more about the project in this month’s newsletter.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the members for their time and attention to the CoP. We know their time is precious, and it has not always been easy to break away from the day-to-day pressing needs of large urban school districts. We look forward to continued engagement with members of this group.—Deb Gurke, Ph.D.

 


Webinar Series Strategic Communications and Early Warning SystemsWebinar Series: Strategic Communications and Early Warning Systems
What’s the best way to communicate with parents about early warning systems and dropout prevention? Find out in a two-part REL Midwest webinar series for states and districts, part of the REL Learning Series on Early Warning Systems.Read more  

 


District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning ProcessSchool District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process
MPS offers hundreds of programs from external partners but lacked a system to evaluate the success of these partnerships—until now.Read more  

 


CoP Member Marc SandersMeet the CoP Member: Marc Sanders
Meet Marc Sanders, member of the REL Midwest Urban District CoP. Sanders is the manager of research and evaluation for MPS. Learn how his team supports schools using research and evaluation results.Read more  

 


Researcher Steve PlankMeet the Researcher: Steve Plank
What has managing researcher Steve Plank learned from his work with REL Midwest? “Listen more than talk.” Read our profile to learn why.Read more  

 


Resources and EventsUrban Education Resources and Events
What’s happening in the world of urban education? Check out our roundup of recent events and resources!Read more  

 

Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.       
AIR, American Institutes for Research, cyber school, education, high school, Learning Point Associates, NCREL, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, at American Institutes for Research
Urban District Community of Practice
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
866-730-6735
www.relmidwest.org

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

 

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

July 30, 2016

New Report, TV Program, And More From REL Midwest

From Thursday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
Dropout Prevention Research Alliance: Research Update
Alliance Goal
To increase graduation rates and reduce persistent disparities in graduation and dropout rates among student subgroups.
Emily LoneyMessage From the Alliance Lead
Welcome to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest July newsletter featuring the Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. Our research alliance includes individuals working in a variety of roles to reduce disparities in high school graduation rates and encourage more students to successfully complete a high school diploma.One of our current collaborative research projects involves alliance members from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have statewide early warning systems (EWS), tools that use existing data on students to identify students who are at risk of dropping out. REL Midwest researchers worked in partnership with these alliance members and their colleagues to develop and administer surveys with the goal of better understanding how these EWS are being used by schools and school districts. Read this newsletter to learn more about the project, and hear from researchers and alliance members as part of REL Midwest’s podcast.We appreciate how active our alliance members have been in sharing their expertise and partnering with REL Midwest. Read on to learn more about our work.—Emily Loney

 


Identifying Early Warning Indicators in Three Ohio School DistrictsNew Report! Identifying Early Warning Indicators in Three Ohio School Districts
Check out the latest report and infographic from REL Midwest’s Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. These resources share findings from a study that sought to develop a set of locally tailored early warning indicators for students at different grade levels in each school district and to examine the accuracy of the indicators for predicting failure to graduate on time.Read more   

Lets Talk About DataLet’s Talk About Data: Collaborative Interpretation
A project that examines early warning systems in Minnesota and Wisconsin is nearing its end, but it is not merely concluding with a big report on all the study findings. Instead, the project team held a collaborative interpretation session with stakeholders to dive into the data and explore the findings. Learn more about what this process is like.Read more   

Spotlight on Grand Rapids Public SchoolsSpotlight on Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Conversation With Walter DeBoer and Katherine Pitsch
Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is implementing new programs to increase attendance, prevent students from dropping out, and improve the district’s data sharing practices. REL Midwest caught up with two GRPS staff members who are leading the charge.Read more   

Journeys to a High School DegreeSet Your DVR! Back on Track: Journeys to a High School Degree
Over the past 5 years, REL Midwest has partnered with public television stations across the Midwest to produce programs on pressing issues in education. Learn about their upcoming program with Twin Cities Public Television on re-engaging high school dropouts and at-risk students.Read more   

Meet the Researcher Ann-Marie FariaMeet the Researcher: Ann-Marie Faria
Ann-Marie Faria, Ph.D., is a principal researcher at American Institutes for Research who has been involved with  in a number of roles. She is working on a major study being conducted under the Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. Learn more about Dr. Faria and her work.Read more   

Resources and EventsDropout Prevention Resources and Events
Want more information about dropout prevention? We rounded up recent resources and upcoming events on the topic, including the Institute of Education Science’s Early Warning Systems Learning Series.Read more   
Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.
REL Midwest at American Institutes for Research
Dropout Prevention Research Alliance
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
866-730-6735
www.relmidwest.org

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

 

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

July 8, 2016

Report: An Analysis Of Student Engagement Patterns And Online Course Outcomes In Wisconsin

I mentioned this yesterday in the entry on REL Reports on Teacher Prep, Online Engagement, and Early Warning Indicators, I wanted to highlight this K-12 online learning focused report.

An analysis of student engagement patterns and online course outcomes in Wisconsin

Region:
Midwest
Description:
Student enrollment in online courses has increased over the past 15 years and continues to grow. However, there is much that is not known about students’ educational experiences and outcomes in online courses. The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Virtual Education Research Alliance was to identify distinct patterns—or trajectories—of students’ engagement within their online courses over time and examine whether these patterns were associated with their academic outcomes in the online course. The study used data collected by Wisconsin Virtual School’s learning management system and student information system, including 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online elective, core, and Advanced Placement high school courses. Group-based trajectory modeling was employed to estimate the number and shapes of engagement patterns evident in the sample, and hierarchical linear modeling assessed the associations between engagement group membership and course outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses revealed six distinct patterns of student engagement in online courses: Initial 1.5 Hours with Decrease, Steady 1.5 Hours, Initial 2 Hours with Spike, Steady 2.5 Hours, 4+ Hours, and 6+ Hours. Students with relatively low but steady engagement had better outcomes than students with similar initial engagement that diminished throughout the course. Overall, students engaging two or more hours per week had better online course outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week. Wisconsin Virtual School directors and directors of other online learning programs can use information from this study to consider the supports they implement to help students successfully complete their courses, especially students who display engagement patterns that are associated with poorer course outcomes. Other online learning programs across the country can use the results of this project as a framework for investigating the data they have available in their learning management systems and student information systems.

This “Stated Briefly” report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of the study was to identify distinct patterns—or trajectories—of students’ engagement within their online courses over time and examine whether these patterns were associated with their academic outcomes in the online course. The study used data collected by Wisconsin Virtual School’s learning management system and student information system, including 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online elective, core, and Advanced Placement high school courses. Group-based trajectory modeling was employed to estimate the number and shapes of engagement patterns evident in the sample, and hierarchical linear modeling assessed the associations between engagement group membership and course outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses revealed six distinct patterns of student engagement in online courses. Students with relatively low but steady engagement had better outcomes than students with similar initial engagement that diminished throughout the course. Overall, students engaging two or more hours per week had better online course outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week.

Publication Type:
Making Connections
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
July 2016
Contact:

June 22, 2016

Reminder! Upcoming REL Midwest Webinar: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Educators in Rural Communities

From Monday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

Join us for a free webinar on recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

June 21, 2016
12–1 p.m. Central Time
1–2 p.m. Eastern Time

Register Button

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Rural Research Alliance are hosting an upcoming webinar that will discuss strategies for recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

The event will feature a presentation by Douglas Gagnon, Ph.D., of the Carsey School for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, on the challenges rural communities face in applying policies meant to support quality teacher retention and recruitment. Dr. Gagnon also will discuss four strategies for rural school staffing, including “grow your own,” financial incentives, communities of practice, and capacity building. After Dr. Gagnon presents the research foundation for the discussion, practitioners John Ulferts, Ed.D., and Erin Joycewill discuss how these research-based strategies are used in rural schools and classrooms in Illinois and Ohio. Finally, Ciara Fischer will give her perspective as a rural, “homegrown” educator and will share suggestions for administrators and other educators looking to engage in “grow your own” policies.

Throughout the webinar, participants will be able to engage in discussion with one another and will be able to participate in a question and answer discussion with the panelists.

Topics

  • Participants will learn of some of the research being done on teacher recruitment and retention strategies for rural communities, including specific strategies for successful recruitment and retention.
  • Participants will gain insight into real-life application of a “grow your own” initiative in Illinois, including lessons learned from this strategy and the perspective of a homegrown teacher.
  • Participants will hear a presentation on the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative’s innovations in hiring criteria and retention strategies.

For questions or additional information, please contact Megan Norris by telephone (312-690-7373) or e-mail (mnorris@air.org).

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

 

June 16, 2016

Upcoming REL Midwest Webinar: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Educators in Rural Communities

From the inbox a couple of days ago…

To view this email as a web page, go here.

Join us for a free webinar on recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

June 21, 2016
12–1 p.m. Central Time
1–2 p.m. Eastern Time

Register Button

Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Rural Research Alliance are hosting an upcoming webinar that will discuss strategies for recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

The event will feature a presentation by Douglas Gagnon, Ph.D., of the Carsey School for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, on the challenges rural communities face in applying policies meant to support quality teacher retention and recruitment. Dr. Gagnon also will discuss four strategies for rural school staffing, including “grow your own,” financial incentives, communities of practice, and capacity building. After Dr. Gagnon presents the research foundation for the discussion, practitioners John Ulferts, Ed.D., and Erin Joycewill discuss how these research-based strategies are used in rural schools and classrooms in Illinois and Ohio. Finally, Ciara Fischer will give her perspective as a rural, “homegrown” educator and will share suggestions for administrators and other educators looking to engage in “grow your own” policies.

Throughout the webinar, participants will be able to engage in discussion with one another and will be able to participate in a question and answer discussion with the panelists.

Topics

  • Participants will learn of some of the research being done on teacher recruitment and retention strategies for rural communities, including specific strategies for successful recruitment and retention.
  • Participants will gain insight into real-life application of a “grow your own” initiative in Illinois, including lessons learned from this strategy and the perspective of a homegrown teacher.
  • Participants will hear a presentation on the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative’s innovations in hiring criteria and retention strategies.

For questions or additional information, please contact Megan Norris by telephone (312-690-7373) or e-mail (mnorris@air.org).

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

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