Virtual School Meanderings

April 17, 2018

AERA 2018 – Enrollment, Performance, and Course Engagement of Credit Recovery Students in Virtual Courses

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the 2018 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association has been happening over the last few days. The eleventh blog entry related to K-12 online learning session from AERA 2018 that I am posting is:

Enrollment, Performance, and Course Engagement of Credit Recovery Students in Virtual Courses

In Continuous Improvement of Students’ Online Learning Experiences
Tue, April 17, 10:35am to 12:05pm, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 4

Abstract – The author examined enrollment, performance, and course engagement patterns of students who took courses for credit recovery in a state virtual school. For the first part of the study, descriptive analysis was used to investigate the virtual school’s enrollment characteristics, and cross-classified multilevel modeling was used to test statistical differences in final grades between credit recovery and other enrollment reason groups, revealing the low-performance of credit recovery students. The second part of the study delved into students’ engagement patterns in one of the courses most frequently taken by credit recovery students. Hierarchical clustering of time series suggested several meaningful learner profiles. Practical implications to be gleaned from findings include early alert system and metacognitive components.

Author
Jemma Bae Kwon, Michigan Virtual

Jemma began with some background to the Michigan Virtual University and its different departments (i.e., MVS, MVLRI, and the PD unit).  Jemma then transitioned to describing the MVLRI.  This particular study was based on MVS data, in particular students who were engaged in credit recovery through MVS.

The literature that was reviewed were the four REL studies:

Hughes, J., Zhou, C., & Petscher, Y. (2015). Comparing success rates for general and credit recovery courses online and face to face: Results for Florida high school courses. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southeast/pdf/REL_2015095.pdf

Heppen, J., Allensworth, E., Sorensen, N., Rickles, J., Walters, K., Taylor, S., Michelman, V., & Clements, P. (2016). Getting back on track: Comparing the effects of online and face-to-face credit recovery in algebra I. Chicago, IL: American Institute for Research. Retrieved from http://www.air.org/sites/default/files/downloads/report/Online-vs-F2F-Credit-Recovery.pdf

Stevens, D., & Frazelle, S. (2016). Online credit recovery: Enrollment and passing patterns in Montana Digital Academy courses. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northwest/pdf/REL_2016139.pdf

Stallings, D.T., Weiss, S.P., Maser, R.H., Stanhope, D., Starcke, M., and Li, D. (2016). Academic outcomes for North Carolina Virtual Public School credit recovery students. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast. Retrieved from https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southeast/pdf/REL_2017177.pdf

Jemma spent a fair amount of time describing the nature of MVS credit recovery students and their demographics.  There was little difference in the completion rate between the online students and the online credit recovery students; however, the passing rate was quite different – with the online credit recovery students passing at a much lower rate than the average for all online students.

To study the course engagement, Jemma chose the highest enrolled online credit recovery course.  The cluster analysis showed that in the Fall, the majority of students completed activities week by week, and generally had success.  In the Spring, the majority of students appeared to be relatively lax during the semester, with a lot of work late in the semester; which generated mixed results.  Finally, in the Summer, there was a wider range of students in each of the cluster profiles, but the majority were still in that persistent clusters.

This session was based upon the report found at https://mvlri.org/research/publications/examining-credit-recovery-learning-profile-time-series-clustering-analysis/

There was a hand-out that I will try to scan in once I get back to California.

Jemma Bae Kwonn – AERA 2018 Hand-out (PDF)

April 16, 2018

AERA 2018 – Current Policies to the Provision of Special Education Services in Fully Online Statewide Virtual Schools

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the 2018 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is happening over the next few days. The tenth blog entry related to K-12 online learning session from AERA 2018 that I am posting is:

Current Policies to the Provision of Special Education Services in Fully Online Statewide Virtual Schools

In Online Teaching and Learning Poster Session
Mon, April 16, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall

Abstract – Online education encompasses a variety of settings, including digital learning, fully online, blended, and supplemental learning opportunities. Within this variety of configurations, educators and those persons responsible for supporting and evaluating educators at all levels (building, district, and state) continue to respond to the shifting educational landscape brought about by changes in school configurations, technological advancements, policy shifts, and innovation. As they consider their responses, they continue to grapple with how to ensure that all students can both access these environments and succeed.

Authors
Mary F. Rice, The University of New Mexico
Sean Lancaster, Grand Valley State University
Daryl F. Mellard, The University of Kansas
Mark Edward Deschaine, Central Michigan University

As this was a poster session, I just took pictures of the poster and present them below.


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AERA 2018 – Perceptions of In-Service Teachers in a Virtual Field Experience for Online Teaching

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the 2018 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is happening over the next few days. The ninth blog entry related to K-12 online learning session from AERA 2018 that I am posting is:

Perceptions of In-Service Teachers in a Virtual Field Experience for Online Teaching

In Online Teaching and Learning Poster Session
Mon, April 16, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Americas Hall 1-2 – Exhibit Hall

Abstract – This case study examined the perspectives of four teachers enrolled in a post-baccalaureate online certificate program designed to educate inservice teachers in online and blended learning pedagogy. At the conclusion of the program, teachers participated in a virtual field experience (VFE) in which they designed and facilitated online learning experiences for K-12 students. Qualitative data was collected through individual interviews with teachers and analysis of reflective blog posts. Findings suggest that teachers valued the authentic experience afforded them by the VFE. Teachers also found the community of their peers to be a beneficial aspect of the program. Participants agreed that participation in the VFE led to a change in their perceptions of online teaching and learning.

Authors
Brianne Leia Jackson, Virginia Commonwealth University
Monty Jones, Virginia Commonwealth University

As this was a poster session, I just took pictures of the poster and present them below.


Click on any image to see a larger version.

April 15, 2018

AERA 2018 – Virtual Schools in the United States: Case Studies of Policy, Performance, and Research Evidence

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the 2018 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is happening over the next few days. The eighth blog entry related to K-12 online learning session from AERA 2018 that I am posting is:

Virtual Schools in the United States: Case Studies of Policy, Performance, and Research Evidence

In Charter Schools: Possibilities and Limitations
Sun, April 15, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Crown Plaza Times Square, Lobby Level, Act III-IV Room

Abstract – The researchers produced case studies for Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan. The goal of these case studies was to describe the enrollment, characteristics, and performance of virtual and blended schools over the previous year; discuss the research related to the virtual and blended schooling; and examine the legislation and policies over the past two years. These case studies reveal a great degree of consistency. For example, most virtual schools were independent, but most students attended an EMO virtual school, which had a much higher student-teacher ratio. Virtual students also underperformed. Additionally, there was a general lack of empirical research related to virtual and blended schools. Finally, there was also a general lack of legislative activity over the two years.

Authors
Michael Kristopher Barbour, Touro University California
Luis Alberto Huerta, Teachers College, Columbia University
Gary J. Miron, Western Michigan University

As this is my own session, and a roundtable at that, I just basically talked through some of the main points from the two reports that this session was based on:

April 14, 2018

AERA 2018 – Considering How Educational Psychologists Use Learning as a Theoretical Core in Online Classrooms

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the 2018 annual meeting of the American Education Research Association is happening over the next few days. The seventh blog entry related to K-12 online learning session from AERA 2018 that I am posting is:

Considering How Educational Psychologists Use Learning as a Theoretical Core in Online Classrooms

In A 360 View of Learning: Educational Psychologists Grapple With the Contemporary Higher Education Landscape
Sat, April 14, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Westin New York at Times Square, Fourth Floor, Gramercy Room

Abstract – Enrollment in online courses has increased incredibly in the last decade; many K-12 students experience this type of format to personalize learning, accelerate learning or even remediate learning. In addition, school districts often utilize online offerings to supplement face-to-face offerings giving students more choice. A recent report by Allen et al., (2016) found that 5.8 million students in higher education were enrolled in online courses with 2.85 million taking all courses online while 2.97 million took some courses in this format. Within K-12 education, approximately 5 million out of 54 million students have taken at least one online course; more than 300,000 students received their education entirely online in the 2013-14 school year. Despite increasing numbers, little is known about students’ experiences in online classrooms at either the collegiate or K-12 level (Pazzaglia et al., 2016). In order to learn more about students’ educational experiences in online classrooms, educational psychologists and educators must partner together to understand this unique context of teaching and learning.

At the midsize comprehensive university where I teach, we have responded to this need by creating an Online Teaching Endorsement program focused on preparing current teachers to effectively teach in online classrooms. One of the courses within this program Responding to Individual Learners was designed by a collaborative team of educational psychologists and K-12 partners. Recognizing challenges inherent with the legacy psychologizing of education described by Alexander (2017), we sought to break down barriers between practitioners and educational psychologists by recognizing our school partners’ valuable insight about students opting into online offerings. For example, one partner, a school counselor who works closely with at-risk students in online courses, offered expertise in a podcast featured in the course during lessons about at-risk students. Reciprocally, educational psychology had much to offer in outlining the varied factors, including context, that impact student learning. In lessons on why families choose online learning and how to engage them in meaningful ways, Bronfenbrenner’s (1977) ecological systems theory is used to analyze influential factors related to student success. There is no doubt that the outcome of our collaborative discussions led to a final syllabus for the course that utilized learning as a theoretical and empirical core (Alexander, 2017).

As we face the progenies outlined by Alexander (2017), we need to consider how to negotiate the balance between information management and knowledge building. This is of specific concern in online classrooms where task performance is somewhat distanced from the reality of a traditional classroom where students interact with peers and teachers in a physical space. Of course, quality online classrooms have interaction at their core, but this interaction is different in virtual classrooms and is only beginning to be understood. In this presentation, I will also discuss how we negotiate information management and knowledge building to motivate students to be “…thoughtful in the data they extract from the informational universe, and …critically examine that information and formulate some representation that can be retained in memory” (Alexander, 2017, p. 9).

Author
Sandra A. Deemer, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

This session was part of a panel that was described as:

A 360 View of Learning: Educational Psychologists Grapple With the Contemporary Higher Education Landscape

Abstract

To recognize the 125th anniversary of the American Psychological Association and educational psychology as an academic discipline, the Journal of Educational Psychology recently featured an article, Past as Prologue: Educational Psychology’s Legacy and Progeny. This symposium features a panel of educational psychologists who offer extensions and intersections of ideas proposed within this article. The panel includes educational psychology instructors from a variety of contexts (i.e., Schools of Education, Psychology Departments, Comprehensive and Research Universities) who offer perspectives shaped by their experiences. In such, a “360 view of learning”—the idea that all aspects of our surroundings and experiences impact our learning —is embraced as the panel grapples with contemporary educational landscapes, offering perspectives from higher education and K-12 classrooms.

The basic premise of the panel was that it focused on this article:

Alexander, P. A. (2018). Past as prologue: Educational psychology’s legacy and progeny. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(2), 147-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000200

Abstract

On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, the legacies and progenies of the discipline of educational psychology are explored. To capture those legacies, transformational and influential contributions by educational psychologists to schools and society are described as key themes. Those themes entail: the “psychologizing” of education, engagement in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary inquiry, a focus on learning as a core construct, an investment in measurement and an appreciation of human variability, and a search for evidence-based approaches and practices that work. To project forward, those same thematic areas are revisited 25 years from now as the means of speculating on educational psychology’s future contributions to schools and society. In both the case of the legacies and progenies, potential difficulties or particular challenges are also considered.

The easiest way to highlight this session was to simply post copies of the slides below.


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The video that was showed from the above slide is available at https://youtu.be/qSadZcpU9d4

Back to the slides…


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larger version.

The link embedded in the above slide was https://www.millersville.edu/graduate/programs/certificatescertifications/online-instruction-endorsement-program.php


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Then I missed a slide about the “importance of the iNACOL standards” – and I put that in quotations because of the humor in the statement.


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Overall, the online teaching endorsement is quite standard compared to other endorsements and graduate certificates that we have seen in the field (despite claims about its unique focus on educational psychology). The fact that it is heavily influenced by the work of Jukes and the iNACOL standards does lead me to question how much actual research influences the program. But this session included the faculty member from yesterday’s session where they repeatedly lamented the lack of research in the field.

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