Virtual School Meanderings

June 3, 2020

Article Notice – Student Perceptions Of Their Interactions With Peers At A Cyber Charter High School

After receiving notice of my own article, I scanned the table of contents and also found this article.

Jered Borup, Shea Walters, Megan Call-Cummings


K-12 online students are increasingly communicating and collaborating with their peers; however, research on the topic is limited—especially research examining students’ perceptions and experiences. Guided by the Adolescent Community of Engagement framework’s concept of peer engagement, this case study examined learner-learner interactions at a cyber charter high school. Ten students were selected by teachers based on their ability to independently engage in learning activities—five students were more independent and five required more support from others. Each student took part in two, hour-long interviews for a total of 20 interviews. The interviewers covered students’ perceptions an experiences regarding teachers, parents, and peers. This report only focuses on peers. Students found that their interactions with peers allowed them to develop friendships, improve their motivation, receive peer instruction, and collaborate effectively with others. Challenges are also covered.  The article concludes with recommendations for research and practice.


K-12 online learning, learner-learner interactions, peer engagement

Article Notice – Irrelevant, Overlooked, Or Lost? Trends In 20 Years Of Uncited And Low Cited K-12 Online Learning Articless

I received notice that an article I contributed to was published.

Karen Arnesen, Shea Walters, Michael K. Barbour, Jered Borup


In this study, we analyzed a subset of uncited or low cited articles from the data reported in Arnesen, Hveem, Short, West, and Barbour  (2019), who examined the trends in K-12 online learning articles from 1994 to 2016. We identified 62 articles that had 5 or fewer citations, and analyzed them for trends in authorship, publication outlets, dates of publication, and topics that could help explain their low citation numbers. We also analyzed topics to see what contribution they might have made and can still make to the field of K-12 online learning. We found that the majority of these articles had been published in many different, less well-known journals.  We also found that these articles may have attracted fewer readers because they addressed topics that seemed to have a narrow focus, often outside of the United States. The articles were also authored by  both well-known researchers in the field as well as a number of one-time authors. What we did not find were articles that were uninteresting, poorly researched, or irrelevant. Many of the articles described and discussed programs that grappled with and overcame some of the same challenges online learning still faces today: issues of interaction, community, technology, management, etc. Some of the early articles gave interesting insights into the history of K-12 online learning, especially as it involved rural learners and programs. Others addressed less mainstream but still interesting topics such as librarians in online learning, cross-border AP history classes, policies that helped or hindered the growth of online learning, and practical considerations of cost and access.


K-12, K-12 online learning, virtual school, cyber school, journal analysis

March 20, 2019

New Issue Of The Online Learning Journal Available

No K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning articles in this issue.

New Issue of the Online Learning Journal available. Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
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New Issue of the Online LearningJournal available

This first issue of 2019 contains 15 articles reflecting a broad range of topics, research questions, and methods. This collection of studies advances our understanding of cultural, theoretical, pedagogical, methodological, faculty, and professional development concerns in online settings.

We invite you to read and share this issue with colleagues and to consider submitting your original work to Online Learning.

The journal is open access, does not charge author fees, and is published on the Open Journal System

Read now.

If you are interested in submitting content to the Online Learning Journal, please review our author guidelines.

Submission topics must relate to online and/or blended learning. There are no article submission fees or access charges for publication in this open journal prior to or after acceptance of the article.

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March 6, 2019

[OLJ] New Online Learning Journal Issue Published

No K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning items in this issue.

Dear Readers:

We recently published Issue 23:1 of Online Learning (OLJ). You can view this
issue here:

This first issue of 2019 contains 15 articles reflecting a broad range of
topics, research questions, and methods. This collection of studies advances
our understanding of cultural, theoretical, pedagogical, methodological,
faculty, and professional development concerns in online settings.

Thanks for your continuing interest in Online Learning.

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

Online Learning
Vol 23, No 1 (2019)
Table of Contents

Introduction to Online Learning Volume 23, Issue 1
Peter Shea

Cultural and International Perspectives
Interculturality in Online Learning:   Instructor and Student Accommodations
Gulnara Sadykova,       Carla Meskill

Empirical Studies
African American Males Learning Online: Promoting Academic Achievement in
Higher Education
Susan G Salvo,  Brett Welch,    Kaye Shelton
What if online students take on the responsibility: Students’ cognitive
presence and peer facilitation techniques
Ye Chen,        Jing Lei,       Jiaming Cheng
Re-examining the Construct Validity and Causal Relationships of Teaching,
Cognitive and Social Presence in Community of Inquiry Framework
Patrick Dempsey,        Jie Zhang
Exploring the relationship of background, technology and motivation
variables to business school transfer intent for two mixed course format
business undergraduate samples
Gary Blau,      Mary Anne Gaffney,      Michael Schirmer,       Bora Ozkan,     YJ Kim
Reflection in Learning
Bo Chang
Self-Determination: Motivational Profiles of Bachelor’s Degree Seeking
Students at an Online, For-Profit University
Carol Pugh

Faculty, Professional Development, and Online Teaching
Professional Development- Differences in teachers’ attitudes between online
and traditional training courses
Egoza Wasserman,        Ruth Migdal
Benefits of Online Teaching for Onground Teaching at a Historically Black
Colleges and Universities
D”Nita Andrews Graham
Teaching to Connect: Community-Building Strategies for the Virtual Classroom
Sharla Berry
Award-Winning Faculty Online Teaching Practices: Roles and Competencies
Florence Martin
Integrating UDL Strategies into the Online Course Development Process:
Instructional Designers’ Perspectives
Korey Jerome Singleton, Anna Evmenova,  Marci Kinas Jerome,     Kevin Clark

Review of Literature
Doctoral E-mentoring: Current Practices and Effective Strategies
David James Byrnes Jr., Lida J. Uribe-Flórez,   Jesús Trespalacios,     Jodi
Social Network Analysis and Online Learning Communities in Higher Education:
A Systematic Literature Review
Shazia K. Jan,  Panos Vlachopoulos,     Mitch Parsell

Online Learning (OLJ)

January 14, 2019

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

This was the third of the K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning articles I references in Friday’s New Issue of Online Learning Journal Published entry.

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:



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