Virtual School Meanderings

August 22, 2019

Pre-OLC Accelerate 2019 Presenter Services and OLC Live Webinars Announced

An item from the Online Learning Consortium.

Share your #WeAreOLC story, learn to create a winning proposal for OLC Innovate 2020, and/or join us at an upcoming regional event! Email not displaying correctly?
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OLC Accelerate 2019
Celebrating 25 Years

Accepted to Present? Join an Upcoming Webinar on Best Presentation Practices

Our Presenter Services team is dedicated to enhancing the conference experience for all attendees by offering specialized coaching to presenters. These virtual sessions will provide you with detailed guidance on strategies and techniques that can help you craft a successful presentation. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and share any insights or lessons learned from your own experiences.

Our goal is to offer guidance on best practices in audience engagement strategies, slide design, and delivery skills necessary to ensure a successful conference session. Learn more.

November 19-22, 2019
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin | Orlando, FL

Join an OLC Live Pre-Conference Webinar

Are you looking for tips and tricks for successfully getting the most out of your OLC Accelerate experience?

Join the first of this series of OLC Live gatherings on Thursday, August 29th, 3:00-4:00pm ET, “Reflecting on 25 Years with the OLC Board and Past Conference Chairs.” Learn more and be sure to sign up so you don’t miss any OLC Live updates!

#WeAreOLC: Talk-abouts and Storytelling

“The OLC Accelerate Conference in November provides unique experiences to flex creative muscles and exercise our right to physical activity,” Torie Wynn, OLC Accelerate 2019 Field Guide Chair, states in a recent blog post. “The OLC Field Guide program is a great opportunity to explore your mind-body connection at the conference and share your story alongside new friends.” Read more.

Share your #WeAreOLC story  through pictures, videos, blog or social posts! Learn more.

OLC Collaborate Regional Events

Explore the Power of Virtual Networks

Join Angela Gunder as she explores how networks can be developed, implemented and managed to create sustainable digital communities in her presentation,”From Islands to Archipelagos: The Power of Virtual Networks in Establishing Communities of Culture and Practice.”

This is just one of four main topics that will be covered at the 2-day event, hosted by the University of Hawai’i Maui College. Learn more about the rest of the program and register today!

Angela Gunder,
Director of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development
The University of Arizona

Creating a Culture of Innovation through Learning Design

Dr. Benjamin Deaton, Vice President of Technology, Online Learning, and Innovation at Anderson University recently shared his career journey and what he has learned about innovation and learning design in a recent blog post. Join us at the upcoming OLC Collaborate South Carolinaevent where Dr. Deaton will expand on the topic of digital strategy and innovation.

This is just one of three main topics that will be covered at the event, hosted by Anderson University on October 10th. Learn more about the rest of the program and register today!

Dr. Ben Deaton
VP of Technology, Online Learning, and Innovation
Anderson University
Upcoming OLC Collaborate Events:

University of Hawai’i – Maui College
September 19-20, 2019
Register now.

Anderson University – Anderson, SC
October 10, 2019
Register now.

Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR
February 7, 2020
Sign up for email updates.

OLC Innovate 2020

Call for Proposals: Which Track Are You On?

Both research and evidence-based proposals are encouraged for submission. We encourage you to review the conference tracks and program categories prior to submitting your proposal:

  • Effective Tools, Toys and Technologies
  • Leadership and Advocacy
  • Lifelong Learning and Workforce Partnerships
  • Open Learning
  • Process, Problems, and Practices
  • Research: Designs, Methods, and Findings
  • Teaching and Learning Practice

Remember to align your submission to the session type and prepare your proposal before the submission deadline of September 11, 2019. Learn more.

March 31 – April 3, 2020 | Sheraton Grand Chicago, IL

Join us for an inside look at the process used by the conference committee to select proposals for OLC Innovate!

Register now for our upcoming webinar, “Creating a Winning Proposal” on August 28th at 3:00pm ET.

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QM K-12 News: The New Rubric, Resources for the New School Year, New Opportunities, and More!

An item from Quality Matters.  Pay particular attention to the new course design standards.

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K-12 Online & Blended Learning Newsletter

August 2019

Putting Quality Assurance Into Practice
K-12 Rubric Workbook Cover with magnifying glass
After months of hard work and intense review, the Quality Matters K-12 Rubric, Fifth Edition, will be released on September 9. Thanks to the passion and extensive knowledge of the Rubric Committee, the Fifth Edition promises to advance your work to create online learning environments that support student success. Rubric Committee member Candice McPherson explains, “One of the most valuable guideposts of the Rubric is the Annotations, which give detailed examples and scenarios that allow reviewers and course designers to envision what a Standard looks like in action. The revised Rubric will have an even greater impact because of the extensive work the Rubric Committee applied in clarifying and updating the Annotations.”

Discover what else is new and how to best use the Rubric with these resources:

  1. Rubric Update — From now through January 31, 2020, a free, self-paced Rubric Update session is available to all K-12 QM members. While we encourage all members to participate, the Rubric Update is required for the following QM roles — Course Reviewers, Master Reviewers, Online Facilitators, Face-to-Face Facilitators, and Course Review Managers. It is also highly recommended for QM Coordinators. Register for the Rubric Update today. After January 31, there will be a $50.00 fee to take the session.
  2. Workbook Pre-orders — Be one of the first to receive the new K-12 Rubric Workbook, Fifth Edition. It contains BOTH the K-12 and the K-12 Publisher Standards and Annotations. Use the QM website to pre-order Workbooks for delivery after September 9.
  3. NSQ Webinar — Get a sneak peek at the National Standards for Quality Online Courses during a free webinar — August 28 at 3 p.m. Find out how the revision was carried out, and what it means for you and your work with the Quality Matters K-12 Rubric. Register today!
Resources for the New School Year
red circle with stars and the words information society
With the new school year just getting underway — or about to — many of you are looking for ideas, tools and resources to help you deliver on your online promise and create quality learning experiences for your students. Here are some stories from the K-12 community that can help:

These are just a few examples of the many outstanding resources that the QM community shared this year. See more in the Quality Matters Resource Center and the K-12 Newsletter Archives.

Find Your ‘Aha’ Moment
QM Connect ConferenceOctober 27 – 30, 2019 Grapevine, Texas
Register Now
From the pre-conference workshops to the keynote presentation to the town hall meeting, you’ll find countless sources of inspiration at this year’s QM Connect Conference. But it is often in the breakout sessions where the ‘eureka’ moments happen. That was certainly the case for Dr. Meghan Roe and Linda Ayres from Launch, who changed their course of action after attending a presentation by Michigan Virtual. So, which session at this year’s conference will resonate with you? Options include:

Dozens of energizing sessions and countless sources of motivation are waiting for you at QM Connect. All you have to do is register. But don’t wait. Register for the conferencebefore the registration fee increases on September 13.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know
woman with hand on her chin and an inquisitive look in her eyes and
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average K-12 brick-and-mortar class has 16 students. The number for online K-12 classes is not so cut and dry. Online class size can vary greatly, with some schools reportedly enrolling as many as 275 students per class. But does that create an ideal learning environment for online students? That’s one of the questions researchers are looking to answer as they explore ideal online class size.


Opportunities to Present in 2020
woman standing at podium with microphone
Presenting at a QM conference offers many benefits. It provides a platform to showcase the important work you are doing. It can help inform your own quality assurance efforts. And it can open the door to additional opportunities. Just ask Jon Oestreich, Kirsten Wilson, Annette Walaszek, and Jennifer Kolar-Burden. This foursome, who represent virtual programs from Wisconsin, Arkansas and Illinois, was asked to present a QM Success Stories webinar following their presentation.

Now it’s your turn. Share your ideas, experiences or research at one of two 2020 QM Regional Conferences:

  1. April 2-3, 2020: QM West Regional Conference at California State University, Fullerton, CA — Call for proposals opens August 28. The theme is Reaching for Student Success
  2. April 23-24, 2020: QM East Regional Conference at Berkeley College, New York City, NY — Call for proposals opens September 16. The theme is Reimagining Quality Pathways.
gold trophy with red ribbon
Please join us in congratulating the following K-12 Secondary and Publisher members for having one or more courses recently QM-Certified:

Michigan Virtual
North Carolina Virtual Public School

View More QM-Certified Courses >>

Welcome New Members
three people inside a circle that says welcome to the community
One Schoolhouse partners in innovation

Learn more about QM membership >>

Help the K-12 community fight evil course design. Vote up our K-12 Team’s SXSW EDU 2020 Panel Picker Session — Reviewers to the Rescue: QA in Online Learning.

Vote Now

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Online Learning News – August 21, 2019 / Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne – Le 21 août 2019

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

August 21, 2019 | View Online | Archive | Subscribe | Contact Us La version française suit

15 Key Technology and Tools for Online Learning

Use these 15 Contact North I Contact Nord resources for key information, practical advice and new insights on emerging technologies and practices. 


Developing Open Educational Resources in French and English for Students of Organic Chemistry at the University of Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Alison Flynn at the University of Ottawa collaborated with the Centre for Innovative Pedagogies and Digital Learning of the Teaching and Learning Support Service to create open and online tools in both English and French. Students use the tools to learn at their own pace, receive accurate feedback in real-time and improve their metacognitive skills. They can also identify and address their strengths and weaknesses in understanding organic.


Read Dr. Tony Bates’ Latest Blog Post

Read Contact North I Contact Nord Research Associate Dr. Tony Bates’ latest blog post on:

How to remove the barriers to innovation in higher education and online learning


Discover 21 Resources to Deliver Successful Learning Experiences for Students

Teaching online requires rethinking course design, incorporating strategies on pedagogy, student support, engagement and retention to deliver successful learning experiences for students.

Discover 21 different resources, under two categories, available on

How to Teach Online for Student Success

Facilitating Student Engagement and Retention


Blended Learning in Adult Education

AlphaPlus supports literacy workers through the use of blended learning approaches via technology coaching services, face-to-face and online training, and tech support. AlphaPlus’ position paper, Blended Learning in Adult Education, describes blended learning, its benefits and how adult basic education programs can be (re)conceptualized using a blended learning approach to best support learner success.

Read the English version here.

Read the French version here.


Must-Read Books on Online Learning

Assessment Edition

Books to inspire and guide those committed to the development, expansion and improvement of online learning using innovations in assessment.

For Faculty and Instructors

Innovative Assessment in Higher Education: A Handbook for Academic Practitioners [2nd Edition] 

For Instructional Designers

Improving Student Engagement and Development through Assessment: Theory and practice in higher education

For Policy-Makers and Administrators

Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education

Explore All Must-Read Selections

Most Popular Resources
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor
  2. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences from Around the World
  3. Adobe Connect Meeting Training Schedule
  4. Searchable Directory of 110+ EdTech Start-Ups
  5. Training Opportunities
Visit today and see why more than 250,000 faculty and instructors, administrators, technology providers, and policy makers from across Ontario and around the world use the resources available from the portal.

Do you have colleagues who might be interested in receiving the Online Learning News? Join our mailing list.

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Le 7 août 2019 | Voir en ligne | Archiver | Souscrire | Contactez nous Les hyperliens dans ce bulletin donnent accès à des documents disponibles en anglais seulement.

15 technologies et outils essentiels pour l’apprentissage en ligne

Contact Nord I Contact Nord offre 15 ressources pour l’obtention d’informations essentielles, de conseils pratiques et de nouvelles perspectives sur les technologies et pratiques innovatrices.


La création de ressources éducatives libres en français et en anglais pour les étudiantes et les étudiants du programme de chimie organique à l’Université d’Ottawa, Canada

Professeure Alison Flynn de l’Université d’Ottawa a collaboré avec l’équipe du Centre d’innovation pédagogique et d’apprentissage numérique du Service d’appui à l’enseignement et à l’apprentissage dans le but de créer des outils numériques libres en français et en anglais. Les étudiantes et les étudiants utilisent ces outils dans le but d’apprendre à leur propre rythme, afin de recevoir une rétroaction précise en temps réel et pour améliorer leurs compétences métacognitives. Ils et elles sont à même de comprendre leur degré d’aisance avec les multiples concepts de chimie organique et, au besoin, de palier à leurs lacunes. 


Lire les derniers billets du blogue de monsieur Tony Bates

Veuillez lire la série de billets du blogue de monsieur Tony Bates, associé de recherche à Contact North I Contact Nord, intitulée :

How to remove the barriers to innovation in higher education and online learning
(Comment supprimer les obstacles à l’innovation dans l’enseignement supérieur et l’apprentissage en ligne)


21 ressources à découvrir pour fournir des expériences d’apprentissage enrichissantes à la clientèle étudiante

L’enseignement en ligne exige que l’on repense la conception des cours de manière à intégrer des stratégies pédagogiques, à soutenir les étudiantes et étudiants, à améliorer leur engagement et leur rétention, ce qui permet de leur procurer des expériences d’apprentissage réussies.

Venez découvrir sur 21 ressources réparties en deux catégories.

Stratégies d’enseignement en ligne qui favorisent la réussite

Faciliter l’engagement et la rétention chez les étudiantes et étudiants


L’apprentissage mixte en éducation des adultes

AlphaPlus aide les intervenantes et intervenants en alphabétisation à utiliser des approches d’apprentissage mixte grâce à ses services d’accompagnement technologique, à ses formations en personne et en ligne, et à son soutien technique. Cet exposé de position décrit notre interprétation de l’apprentissage mixte de ses avantages et de la façon de (re)conceptualiser les programmes d’éducation de base des adultes à l’aide d’une approche d’apprentissage mixte pour mieux soutenir la réussite des apprenantes et apprenants.

Lisez la version angaise ici.

Lisez la version française ici.


Les lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne

Édition de l’évaluation

Des ouvrages qui inspirent et qui guident les personnes engagées dans le développement de l’apprentissage en ligne, qui oeuvrent pour en étendre sa portée et pour l’améliorer à l’aide d’un apprentissage personnalisé.

À l’intention du personnel enseignant

Innovative Assessment in Higher Education: A Handbook for Academic Practitioners [2nd Edition] (l’innovation en évaluation au niveau de l’enseignement supérieur : un manuel à l’usage des universitaires [2e édition])

À l’intention des concepteurs pédagogiques

Improving Student Engagement and Development through Assessment: Theory and practice in higher education (l’évaluation comme moyen pour améliorer l’engagement et le développement des étudiantes et étudiants : théories et pratiques au niveau des études supérieures)

À l’intention des cadres et des responsables des politiques

Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education (l’évaluation des résultats d’apprentissage chez les étudiantes et étudiants aux études supérieures)

Consulter l’inventaire de lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne

Les ressources les plus populaires du portail
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor (Une nouvelle pédagogie émerge… et l’apprentissage en ligne en est un facteur d’influence)
  2. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences from Around the World(Un répertoire de recherche sur plus de 1 700 conférences à venir sur l’éducation et la technologie dans le monde)
  3. Adobe Connect Meeting Training Schedule (Le calendrier de la formation de la plateforme Adobe Connect)
  4. Searchable Directory of 110+ EdTech Start-Ups (Un répertoire de recherche incluant plus de 110 entreprises EdTech émergentes)
  5. Training Opportunities (Les ressources et les occasions de formation)
Visitez dès aujourd’hui afin de constater vous-même pourquoi il attire chaque mois plus de 200 000 visites du personnel enseignant et de formation, des administrateurs, des fournisseurs de technologie et des décideurs de partout en Ontario et dans le monde pour se servir des ressources disponibles sur le portail.

Vos collègues aimeraient-ils recevoir le Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne? Joignez-vous à notre liste de diffusion.

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Thunder Bay (Ontario) P7B 6M8
807 344-1616

Six Ways Trump “Public Benefits” Policies Could Harm Children

An item from the National Education Policy Center.

Six Ways Trump “Public Benefits” Policies Could Harm Children

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Six Ways Trump “Public Benefits” Policies Could Harm Children


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On August 12th, the Trump administration proposed a new rule to change the criteria considered when the U.S. government decides whether to extend visas or grant permanent residency (“green cards”). These criteria—which are inextricably tied to a history of bias in the immigration process—have long included evidence about the likelihood of the immigrant becoming dependent on public benefits. But the approach that is now used focuses on cash benefits, such as Supplemental Social Security (“disability”) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“welfare”). The proposed rule will expand that to the main non-cash benefits used by immigrants: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps; Medicaid; and housing vouchers and other housing subsidies. The rule, if unchanged, will go into effect in 60 days barring judicial action (17 states plus DC have brought two lawsuits against the administration, alleging that the rule redefines the term “public charge” inconsistently with Congress’ intent in the Immigration and Nationality Act; that it violates constitutional equal protection guarantees by effectively targeting immigrants from poorer areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa; that it infringes on states’ rights to protect their own residents; and that it punitively, arbitrarily and capriciously targets immigrants for using public benefits programs that are used by about half the country’s residents).

School breakfast and lunch programs are not included for consideration in the proposal rule. But current policy automatically enrolls students in the federal free and reduced-price school meal program if their families receive food stamps—without having to fill out a separate application. Accordingly, if immigrant families avoid SNAP, they are less likely to receive the meals. Moreover, earlier this summer the administration proposed eliminating this automatic enrollment process.

How might these changes impact children from immigrant families who need food stamps and other assistance? Research from the National Education Policy Center suggests that the consequences could be dire.

  1. Immigrant children from low-income families could lose services they need because their parents are afraid that the benefits could damage their chances to remain in the country: Even before these most recent policy changes were announced, immigrants, documented and undocumented alike, were on high alert as immigration enforcement was shifted from people with criminal records to anyone and everyone who was undocumented—with even U.S. citizens caught up in the raids. In a 2018 reportco-authored by Jongyeon Ee, NEPC Fellow Patricia Gándara of UCLA describes a teacher survey about the impact of such policies on schools. Educators reported that immigrant parents, fearing deportation, were afraid to sign any forms, including those that qualified their children for core services such as free or reduced-price meals. Such fears, even when technically inaccurate (as in the case of a family living in the U.S. on unexpired visas), are reasonable in the current context, and the new policies will almost certainly add fuel to the fire. For example, although school meal programs are not included for consideration in the proposal rule, we can expect that fearful families will nonetheless decline this public benefit. In short, immigrant parents must make tough choices between getting their children the nutrition, healthcare, and housing they need, and fears that they are reducing the odds that their families will be permitted to remain in the country.
  2. Schools that serve low-income students could lose funding: The percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals is a critical—if flawed—means of assessing the poverty rate of each school. If children are no longer automatically enrolled in the program, 275,000 students could lose eligibility for the program. Not only might this impact the children themselves, it could affect the funding their schools receive. That’s because everything from state funding formulas to federal programs use free and reduced-price meal eligibility to distribute funds earmarked for students from low-income families. Even if the schools lose that funding, they will likely continue to serve the same low-income students—they will just have less funding available to serve them.
  3. The loss of nutrition and health benefits can literally kill a child—or at least reduce her odds of living a healthy life: When legal immigrants lost access to food stamps in the years after 1990s “welfare reform,” babies’ birth weights declined, parents reported that they were less healthy as children and adolescents, school absence rates increased, and kids experienced more doctor visits and hospitalizations, NEPC Fellow Diana Whitmore Schanzenbach of Northwestern writes in a 2018 paper. In a 2016 study,Schanzenbach and her co-authors found that childhood access to food stamps is associated with a reduced likelihood of “metabolic syndrome,” which combines measures of obesity, body mass index, and the presence of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Schanzenbach also describes research that finds that access to Medicaid reduces infant and childhood mortality and even extends into the next generation—with childhood Medicaid recipients themselves giving birth to healthier babies.
  4. The loss of nutrition and health benefits leads to poorer educational outcomes: Schanzenbach also summarizes research that finds that children who spend more time on Medicaid are more likely to graduate from high school, complete college, and score higher on exams in grades eight and four. Similarly, food stamp recipients are more likely to graduate from high school.
  5. If parents hesitate to sign up for health and nutrition benefits offered through schools, their children may miss out on the benefits of the very educational model with the best chance of helping them succeed in life: Community schools are a research-based model that offers enriched academic opportunities such as extended learning time and active family and community engagement. A core component of this model is that the school provides so-called “wraparound services” such as health, meals, and housing assistance. Well-implemented community schools demonstrate great promise at improving student outcomes, especially for historically lower-achieving student groups such as English learners and children from low-income families. If parents are coerced to prevent their children from participating fully in this model, their offspring may be missing out on key educational opportunities.
  6. Housing and health care are foundational to learning: Children facing housing insecurity and unmet medical needs come to class having to overcome daunting challenges. As NEPC Fellow David Berliner has explained, when we deny children these and other basic necessities we deny them opportunities to learn—a reality also examined throughout the book Closing the Opportunity Gap, edited by NEPC Fellows Prudence Carter and Kevin Welner.

This newsletter is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice:

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

Copyright 2018 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

The Art Of Blending: Benefits And Challenges Of A Blended Course For Preservice…

Another open scholarship item.

Dear Michael,

You read the paper “Current Research in Blended Learning“. A related paper was uploaded to Academia.

 Susan Glassett Farrelly
Paper Thumbnail

15 Pages
In this study, we explore the design and delivery of a blended social studies teaching methods course according to principles and core attributes of blended course design. In a survey at the end of the course, pre-service teachers were asked to reflect on their experience in the course, and identify the benefits and…
View Paper ▸

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