Virtual School Meanderings

January 17, 2017

Article Notice: “More Confident Going into College”: Lessons Learned from Multiple Stakeholders in a New Blended Learning Initiative

The third – and final – K-12 distance, online and blended learning article from yesterday’s [OLJ] New Online Learning Issue Published entry.

Aimee L. Whiteside, Amy Garrett Dikkers, Somer Lewis



This article examined a blended learning initiative in a large suburban high school in the Midwestern region of the United States. It employed a single-case exploratory design approach to learn about the experience of administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Using Zimmerman’s Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) Theory as a guiding framework, this study explored surveys, face-to-face observation data, interview transcriptions, and focus group transcriptions to learn about different stakeholders’ experiences and their observations about student readiness for blended learning. As a result, the data suggested three major themes, namely how blended learning initiatives can promote autonomy and self-regulation, encourage inquiry and build relationships, and ultimately help students feel ready for college.


Self-regulated learning, blended learning, K-12 education, case study research

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Garrison, R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering it transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95-105.

Garrett Dikkers, A., Whiteside, A. L., & Lewis, S. (forthcoming). Blending face-to-face and online instruction to disrupt learning, inspire reflection, and create space for innovation. In A. Whiteside,

A. Garrett Dikkers, & K. Swan (Eds.), Social presence in online learning: Multiple perspectives on practice and research. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Garrett Dikkers, A., Whiteside, A. L., & Lewis, S. (2014, December). Do you blend? Huntley High School does. eLearn Magazine, 2014(12). doi:10.1145/2693839.2686759

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Picciano, A. G. & Seaman, J. (2009). K-12 online learning: A 2008 follow-up of the survey of U.S. school district administrators. NY: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved from

Picciano, A.G. & Seaman, J. (2010). Class connections: High school reform and the role of online learning. Boston, MA: Babson College Survey Research Group.

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Pintrich, P., & Zusho, A. (2002). The development of academic self-regulation: The role of cognitive and motivational factors. In A. Wigfield & J. Eccles (Eds.), Development of achievement motivation. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2010). Learning presence: Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and the development of a communities of inquiry in online and blended learning environments. Computers & Education, 55(1), 1721-1731.

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Zimmerman, B. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 64-70.

Article Notice: Online Teacher Work to Support Self-Regulation of Learning in Students with Disabilities at a Fully Online State Virtual School

The second K-12 distance, online and blended learning article from yesterday’s [OLJ] New Online Learning Issue Published entry.

Mary Frances Rice, Richard Allen Carter, Jr.



Students with disabilities represent a growing number of learners receiving education in K-12 fully online learning programs. They are, unfortunately, also a large segment of the online learning population who are not experiencing success in these environments. In response, scholars have recommended increasing instruction in self-regulation skills for these students, but whether teachers are able to promote self-regulation as part of their instruction and how they will do so remains unknown. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how practicing teachers provided self-regulation strategies to students with disabilities in a fully online learning environment. In this context, the teachers intended to offer self-regulation strategies to students, but they were largely unable to do so. This work has the potential to influence professional development programs for online teachers in the hopes that students with disabilities will be able to learn self-regulation strategies and ultimately be more successful.


Self-regulation, practicing online teachers, students with disabilities, teacher thinking about strategies, K12 virtual schools, online learning policy

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Barbour, M. K., & Mulcahy, D. (2004). The role of mediating teachers in Newfoundland’s new model of distance education.

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Boekaerts, M. & Corno, L. (2005) Self-regulation in the classroom: A perspective on assessment and intervention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 54(2), 199-231.

Cavanaugh, C. (2007). Student achievement in elementary and high school. Handbook of distance education, 2, 157-168.

Clandinin, D. J., Murphy, M. S., Huber, J., & Orr, A. M. (2009). Negotiating narrative inquiries: Living in a tension-filled midst. The Journal of Educational Research, 103(2), 81-90.

de la Varre, C., Irvin, M. J., Jordan, A. W., Hannum, W. H., & Farmer, T. W. (2014). Reasons for student dropout in an online course in a rural K—12 setting. Distance Education, 35(3), 324-344.

Fernandez, H., Ferdig, R. E., Thompson, L. A., Schottke, K., & Black, E. W. (2016). Students with Special Health Care Needs in K-12 Virtual Schools. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(1), 67-75.

Friedhoff, J. R. (2015). Michigan’s K—12 virtual learning effectiveness report 2013—2014.

Fritschmann, N. S., Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (2007). The effects of instruction in an inference strategy on the reading comprehension skills of adolescents with disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30(4), 245-262.

Gemin, B., Pape, L., Vashaw, L., & Watson, J. (2015). Keeping pace with K—12 digital learning: An annual review of policy and practice.

Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (1993). Self-regulated strategy development: Helping students with learning problems develop as writers. The Elementary School Journal, 169-181.

Harris, K. R., Graham, S., & Mason, L. H. (2006). Improving the writing, knowledge, and motivation of struggling young writers: Effects of self-regulated strategy development with and without peer support. American educational research journal, 43(2), 295-340.

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Watson, J., & Kalmon, S. (2005). Keeping pace with K—12 online learning: A review of state-level policy and practice. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.

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Zimmerman, B. J. (2008). Investigating self-regulation and motivation: Historical background, methodological developments, and future prospects. American Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 166-183.

Article Notice: Gender Differences in Online High School Courses

Today I wanted to highlight some of the K-12 distance, online and blended learning articles that were referenced in the [OLJ] New Online Learning Issue Published entry from yesterday.

Susan Lowes, Peiyi Lin, Brian R.C. Kinghorn



Prior research has suggested that there may be differences in the ways that male and female students approach their online courses. Using data for 802 high school students enrolled in 14 online courses, this study explored gender differences in the interrelationships among online behaviors and course performance. The findings show that females were more active than males and that a higher degree of online activity and discussion forum viewing and posting was associated with better final grades, but the correlation was stronger for males than it was for females. Further exploration of posting behaviors revealed that females who received lower final grades were more active than males who received lower grades—they viewed more posts, wrote more posts, and wrote longer posts. These gender differences have implications for researchers, course providers, and course designers.


online learning, LMS research, gender differences

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Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(2).

Arbaugh, J. B. (2000). An exploratory study of the effects of gender on student learning and class participation in an Internet-based MBA course. Management Learning, 31(4), 503–519. 10.1177/1350507600314006

Chapman, E. (2003). Alternative approaches to assessing student engagement rates. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(13).

Cho, M. H., & Kim, B. J. (2013). Students’ self-regulation for interaction with others in online learning environments. The Internet and Higher Education, 17, 69–75.

Davies, J., & Graff, M. (2005). Performance in e-learning: Online participation and student grades. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(4), 657–663.

Dawson, S., McWilliam, E., & Tan, J. (2008). Teaching smarter: How mining ICT data can inform and improve learning and teaching practice. Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? Proceedings ASCILITE Melbourne 2008 (pp. 221–230).

Hung, J.-L., & Zhang, K. (2008). Revealing online learning behaviors and activity patterns and making predictions with data mining techniques in online teaching. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 426–437.

Hung, J., Hsu, Y., & Rice, K. (2012). Integrating data mining in program evaluation of K–12 online education. Educational Technology & Society, 15(3), 27–41.

iNACOL (International Association for K–12 Online Learning). (2013). Fast facts about online learning. Vienna, VA: International Association for Online Learning.

Johnson, R. D. (2011). Gender differences in e-learning: Communication, social presence, and learning outcomes. Journal of Organization and End User Computing, 23(1), 79–94.

Jonassen, D. H. (1999). Designing constructivist learning environments. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. II, pp. 215–39). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Liu, F., & Cavanaugh, C. (2011a). High enrollment course success factors in virtual school: Factors influencing student academic achievement. International Journal on E-Learning, 10(4), 393–418.

Liu, F., & Cavanaugh, C. (2011b). Success in online high school Biology: Factors influencing student academic performance. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 12(1), 37–54.

Liu, F., & Cavanaugh, C. (2012). Factors influencing student academic performance in online high school Algebra. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 27(2), 149–167.

Lowes, S. (2014). A brief look at the methodologies used in researching online teaching and learning. In R. E. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K–12 online and blended learning (pp. 83–104). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

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.

Lowes, S., Lin, P., & Kinghorn, B. (2015). Exploring the link between online behaviours and course performance in asynchronous online high school courses. Journal of Learning Analytics, 2(2), 169–194.

Macfadyen, L. P., & Dawson, S. (2010). Mining LMS data to develop an “early warning system” for educators: A proof of concept. Computers & Education, 54(2), 588–599.

McSporran, M., & Young, S. (2001). Does gender matter in online learning? Research in Learning Technology, 9(2), 3–15.

Morris, L. V., Finnegan, C., & Wu, S-S. (2005). Tracking student behavior, persistence, and achievement in online courses. Internet and Higher Education, 8, 221–231.

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Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998-2015). Mplus User’s Guide. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.

Ramos, C., & Yudko, E. (2008). “Hits” (not “Discussion Posts”) predict student success in online courses: A double cross-validation study. Computers & Education, 50(4), 1174–1182.

Rovai, A. P. (2001). Building classroom community at a distance: A case study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(4), 33–48.

Ryabov, I. (2012). The effect of time online on grades in online sociology courses. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(1), 13–23.

Tsai, M.-J., Liang, J.-C., Hou, H.-T., & Tsai, C.-C. (2015). Males are not as active as females in online discussion: Gender differences in face-to-face and online discussion strategies. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 31(3), 263-277.

Wang, A. Y., & Newlin, M. H. (2000). Characteristics of students who enroll and succeed in psychology web-based classes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 137–143.

Watson, J., Pape, L., Gemin, B., & Vashaw, L. (2015). Keeping pace with K–12 digital learning. Durango, CO: Evergreen Educational Group.

Wei, H.-C., Peng, C., & Chou, C. (2015). Can more interactivity improve learning achievement in an online course? Effects of college students’ perception and actual use of a course-management system on their learning achievement. Computers & Education, 83, 10–21.

Yukselturk, E., & Bulut, S. (2009). Gender differences in self-regulated online learning environments. Educational Technology & Society, 12(3), 12–22.

January 16, 2017

[OLJ] New Online Learning Issue Published

Please note several K-12 online and blended learning items from this announcement I received last week…

Dear Readers:

We recently published issue 20:4 of the journal Online Learning. We invite
you to review the new issue here:

Thanks for your continuing interest in Online Learning and feel free to
share this announcement with colleagues and on social media.

best regards,

Peter Shea
Online Learning
University at Albany
State University of New York

Online Learning
Vol 20, No 4 (2016)
Table of Contents

Intro for special issue: AERA Online Teaching and Learning SIG
Jennifer C Richardson,  Karen Swan,     Marquetta Strait

Special Conference Issue: AERA Online Teaching and Learning SIG
Students’ Perceptions of Learner-Learner Interactions that Weaken a Sense of
Community in an Online Learning Environment
Krystle Phirangee
Exploring the Effect of Scripted Roles on Cognitive Presence in Asynchronous
Online Discussions
Larisa Olesova, Margaret Slavin,        Jieun Lim
Culturally Responsive Teaching Knowledge and Practices of Online Faculty
Keri L. Heitner,        Miranda Jennings
Analysis of Discussion Board Interaction in an Online Peer-Mentoring Site
Regina Ruane,   Vera Lee
Gender Differences in Online High School Courses
Susan Lowes,    Peiyi Lin,      Brian R.C. Kinghorn
Online Teacher Work to Support Self-Regulation of Learning in Students with
Disabilities at a Fully Online State Virtual School
Mary Frances Rice,      Richard Allen Carter, Jr.
“More Confident Going into College” : Lessons Learned from Multiple
Stakeholders in a New Blended Learning Initiative
Aimee L. Whiteside,     Amy Garrett Dikkers,    Somer Lewis

Section II
Introduction to Section II
Peter Shea
Relationships Between Minority Students Online Learning Experiences and
Academic Performance
Alex Kumi Yeboah,       Patriann Smith
Using Importance-Performance Analysis to Guide Instructional Design of
Experiential Learning Activities
Sheri Anderson, Yu-Chang Hsu,   Judy Kinney
Evaluation of Online Graduate Epidemiology Instruction and Student Outcomes
Jacqueline Knapke,      Erin Haynes,    Julie Breen,    Pierce Kuhnell, Laura
Smith,  Jareen Meinzen-Derr
Ethos and Practice of a Connected Learning Movement: Interpreting Virtually
Connecting Through Alignment with Theory and Survey Results
Maha Bali,      Autumm Lee Ann Caines,  Helen DeWaard,  Rebecca Hogue

Online Learning (OLJ)

January 29, 2016

Attention Authors: Get More Citations to Your Work

From Monday’s inbox…  Good advice for all scholars!!!

Online Learning Consortium  
Help us Spread the Word about OLJ!
Dear Michael,

The editors of OLJ would like to encourage you to promote your article on other research sites. This is perfectly appropriate given that OLJ is an open access journal.

More citations are good for you, the author, as it builds your credibility and name-recognition in the field and certainly helps when you go up for tenure and/or promotion. OLJ benefits, too, as the more your article is cited, the more the journal is recognized as a source of quality research among researchers and practitioners. So we both benefit when your article is widely cited.

Here are some options for promoting your article for you to consider:

If doing this intrigues you and you’d like to learn more about these systems, here is an article that compares ResearchGate,, and other sites: Academic Networks Contest: ResearchGate v

And here is some research that compares articles in to articles not available online: Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to

A paper uploaded to has 41% more citations after one year, 50% more after three years, and 73% more after five years.

One last tip – please also consider creating an account on Google Scholar. You can use this site to monitor citations to your research.


Dr. Katrina Meyers, Associate Editor, Online Learning
Dr. Peter Shea, Editor, Online Learning

P.S. We will also be scheduling a webinar on this topic in the months ahead – stay tuned for more details!

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