Virtual School Meanderings

December 11, 2018

Article Notice – Exploring The Impact Of Small-Group Synchronous Discourse Sessions In Online Math Learning

I also noticed that this K-12 online learning article was in the same issue.

Jinnie Choi, Alyssa Walters


Students in a fully-online learning environment have limited access to opportunities to talk about math problem solving. While discourse is a promising pedagogical model, less is known about how it translates to online math learning. We analyzed online platform data from two fully-online virtual elementary schools in the United States to address the following research questions: (a) Is participating in math discourse about reasoning and problem-solving related to students’ confidence, self-efficacy toward math, and math mindset in an online learning environment? (b) Is participation in math discourse related to math performance? The results showed that (a) repeated participation in the discourse sessions in a course was not directly related with changes in confidence, self-efficacy toward math, and math mindset, and (b) higher numbers of sessions that students participated in was associated with higher performance in final math course score and state assessment results, after controlling for prior performance and confidence, self-efficacy and mindset scores.


math discourse; mathematics instruction; online learning

Full Text:


Article Notice – Accessibility that Supports Literacy: Virtual School Course Design Teams’ Instructional Planning For Students With Disabilities

This article was referenced in one of the open scholarship alerts yesterday.

Mary Frances Rice



As more students with disabilities in K-12 settings enroll in online courses, virtual schools and programs are working make courses accessible through stronger course design. When course designers approach the issue of accessibility, they must comply with legal requirements and mitigate the challenges many students with disabilities face for literacy and learning. These challenges include less well-developed content vocabulary and background knowledge, as well as inefficient skills and strategies for engaging with and comprehending online text. This study describes phenomenological research where course designers worked to meet accessibility standards and promote literacies online for all students, especially students with disabilities. Four strategies for promoting accessibility emerged as findings: (1) composing clear articulations of learning outcomes; (2) promoting personalized and contextualized learning, and; (3) planning for visual and audio representation of concepts. However, course designers may need additional support for addressing the interplay between literacies that promote access and accessibility features that promote literacies.


K12 online course design, collaborative online course design, instructional design for students with disabilities, course design literacies, accessibility in online courses

Full Text:


June 6, 2018

[OLJ] New Online Learning Journal Issue Published

No K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this issue (and generally speaking there are never any in OLJ).

Dear Readers:

We recently published Issue 22:2 of Online Learning (OLJ).  This issue of
OLJ includes four articles from the National Research Center for Distance
Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) reporting on projects funded
under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the
Improvement of Post-secondary Education (FIPSE).

The objective of the DETA Research Center is to advance student access and
success through evidence-based online learning practices and technologies
with an emphasis on assisting underrepresented individuals (e.g. Pell Grant
eligible, first-generation college, minorities, and students with
disabilities), through rigorous research.  This collection of articles
reflects that mission and was guest-edited by Dr. Tanya Joosten of the
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Co-Director of DETA.

This issue also includes 11 articles from our regular submission process.
These articles discuss a broad range of themes, including Massive Open
Online Courses (MOOCs), gamification, new approaches to online course
development, online discussion, and interaction. We also include a book
review in Section II of this issue.

Please read, discuss, and share these new studies and consider contributing
to the scholarly dialogue represented in OLJ.

Peter Shea, PhD
Editor: Online Learning
Associate Provost for Online Education  &
Associate Professor, Educational Theory and Practice
University at Albany, State University of New York
ED 114, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222

Online Learning
Vol 22, No 2 (2018)
Table of Contents

Special Issue: National Research Center for Distance Education and
Technological Advancements (DETA)
Introduction to Special Issue: National Research Center for Distance
Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)
Tanya Joosten
Do Student-Produced Videos Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online
Denise Stanley, Jenny Zhang
Perceptions of the Persistent:  Engagement and Learning Community in
Underrepresented Populations
Wendy Athens
Exploring Best Practices for Online STEM Courses: Active Learning,
Interaction & Assessment Design
Baiyun Chen,    Kathleen Bastedo,       Wendy Howard
An Evaluation of Critical Thinking in Competency-Based and Traditional
Online Learning Environments
Matthew Mayeshiba,      Kay Jansen,     Lisa Mihlbauer

Section II
Introduction to Section II
Peter Shea
Instructional Strategies that Respond to Global Learners’ Needs in
Massive Open Online Courses
Trang Phan
Small Groups in a Social Learning MOOC (slMOOC):  Strategies for Fostering
Learning and Knowledge Creation
Marianne Krasny,        Bryce DuBois,   Mechthild Adameit,      Ronnie Atiogbe, Lukman
Baih,   Tergel Bold-erdene,     Zahra Golshani, Rodrigo
González-González,      Ishmael Kimirei,        Yamme Leung,    Lo Shian-yun,   Yue Yao
Meaningful gamification and students’ motivation: A strategy for
scaffolding reading material
Lynette Tan
Online Course Design and Development among College and University
Instructors:  An Analysis using Grounded Theory
Sally J. Baldwin,       Yu-Hui Ching,   Norm Friesen
Students’ Perceptions of Quality Across Four Course Development Models
Victoria S. Brown,      David Lewis,    Mario Toussaint
Educators’ Preparation to Teach, Perceived Teaching Presence, and Perceived
Teaching Presence  Behaviors in Blended and Online Learning Environments
Lisa E Gurley, PhD, RN, CNE, COI
Out-of-School Reading and Literature Discussion: An Exploration of
Adolescents’ Participation in Digital Book Clubs
Jamie Colwell,  Lindsay Woodward,       Amy Hutchison
A Generalizable Framework for Multi-Scale Auditing of Digital Learning
Provision in Higher Education
Samuel Robert Peter-James Ross, Veronica Elizabeth Volz,        Matthew K
Lancaster,      Aysha Divan
Undergraduate Kinesiology Students’ Experiences in Online Motor
Development Course
Takahiro Sato,  Justin A. Haegele
The Impact of Program-Wide Discussion Board Grading Rubric on Student and
Faculty Satisfaction
Brinda Kay McKinney

Book Review
Book review of Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning
Susan Ko

Online Learning (OLJ)

March 26, 2018

Article Notice – Online Student Use of a Proximate Community of Engagement at an Independent Study Program

Last week I posted a notice of a New Issue Of Online Learning Journal Published.  Below is the information for the sole K-12 distance, online, and blended learning article contained in that issue.

Darin R Oviatt, Charles R. Graham, Jered Borup, Randall S Davies



Research has suggested that independent study students may benefit from engaging with a proximate community of engagement (PCE) while completing an online course and that they perceive that such engagement will help them succeed. Independent Study students were surveyed at the completion of their course to assess the level at which they actually interacted with a PCE. Survey findings were confirmed with follow-up interviews with students and their parents to triangulate survey data. Findings revealed that students in the study interacted with a PCE when completing the course. The percentage of students actually engaging with a PCE was lower than the percentages of students from a previous study who perceived that such engagement would be helpful. The research suggests that students made aware of the benefits of a PCE at the beginning of the course, and who receive coaching to curate that community as an assignment in the course, will be more likely to receive the learning benefits of community engagement. Future research to confirm the value of engaging with a proximate community, identifying most helpful and effective interactions, and helping students curate such a community were proposed.


Independent study, adolescent, online courses, online community, adolescent community of engagement, proximate community of engagement

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March 22, 2018

New Issue Of Online Learning Journal Published

Note the article below entitled “Online Student Use of a Proximate Community of Engagement at an Independent Study Program” by Darin R Oviatt, Charles R. Graham, Jered Borup, and Randall S Davies that is focused on K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning.

Online Learning Consortium - Twitter   Facebook   Instagram   YouTube
New Issue of Online Learning Journal Published
Dear Michael,

Recently Online Learning published a new issue – Volume 22 Issue 1.

We invite you to review the issue here:

If you have a Twitter account, please take a moment to update your OLJ user profile by including your Twitter account in your OLJ bio.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in Online Learning.

Best regards,

pshea-circle.png Peter Shea, PhD
Editor: Online Learning
Associate Provost for Online Education & Associate Professor, Educational Theory and Practice and Informatics
University at Albany, State University of New York

Vol 22, No 1 (2018)
Full Issue
View or download the full issue (PDF)

Table of Contents

Introduction to Online Learning Volume 22 Issue 1

Peter Shea


Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Research

Comparing the Factors That Predict Completion and Grades Among For-Credit and Open/MOOC Students in Online Learning

Ma. Victoria Almeda, Joshua Zuech, Ryan S. Baker, Chris Utz, Greg Higgins, Rob Reynolds

Customizable Modalities for Individualized Learning: Examining Patterns of Engagement in Dual-Layer MOOCs

Matt Crosslin, Justin T. Dellinger, Srecko Joksimovic, Vitomir Kovanovic, Dragan Gasevic

Empirical Studies

No Significant Difference – Unless you are a Jumper

Richard J Fendler, Craig Ruff, Milind Shrikhande

Breaking Barriers Through Edmodo: A Qualitative Approach on the Perceptions of University of Malaya Undergraduates


Impact of a Web-Based Adaptive Supplemental Digital Resource on Student Mathematics Performance

Laurie A. Sharp, Marc Hamil

Computer Science Students’ Attitudes Towards the Use of Structured and Unstructured Discussion Forums in Fully Online Courses

Moanes Hani Tibi

The Relationship between Instructor Servant Leadership Behaviors and Satisfaction With Instructors in an Online Setting

Faris George Sahawneh, Lorraine T Benuto

Comparing Student Performance on Proctored and Non-Proctored Exams in Online Psychology Courses

Lee William Daffin Jr., Ashley Anne Jones

Examining the Reliability and Validity of a Turkish Version of the Community of Inquiry Survey


The (Lack of) Influence of Age and Class Standing on Preferred Teaching Behaviors for Online Students

Shannon Kennan

Learner Engagement

An Online Engagement Framework for Higher Education

Petrea Redmond, Amanda Heffernan, Lindy Abawi, Alice Brown, Robyn Henderson

Engagement Matters: Student Perceptions on the Importance of Engagement Strategies in the Online Learning Environment

Florence Martin, Doris U Bolliger

Online Student Use of a Proximate Community of Engagement at an Independent Study Program

Darin R Oviatt, Charles R. Graham, Jered Borup, Randall S Davies

Online Learning Consortium – Advancing Quality and Leadership in Digital Education

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