Virtual School Meanderings

December 21, 2016

Looking Back On The 2012-16 Contract

From yesterday’s inbox…

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REL Midwest Research Update
Mission
To use data and research to improve academic outcomes for students and provide support for a more evidence-reliant education system.
Julie KochanekMessage from the Director
As we come to the end of our five years of work under the 2012-2016 Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest contract, it is a great time to reflect on what we accomplished together and to acknowledge all those involved. During this time, we developed seven research alliances and one community of practice of stakeholders who negotiated research agendas to guide our work. One hundred forty-nine alliance members convened quarterly to monthly to discuss the challenges and strategies involved in their work, relevant research and resources, and findings from REL Midwest projects. Through these alliances, members built bridges across the seven states in the region and across levels of the education system including schools, districts, regional agencies, state education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and postsecondary institutions. We thank you for this significant investment of time and energy to participate in the core guidance of our work.Read more  Read more


REL Midwest by the numbers
It has been a busy and productive five years! Check out our video and infographic to see an overview of our work and accomplishments throughout the contract.

Watch Video  Watch Video         Infographic  Infographic


Message from the Research Alliance Manager
Our work would not have been possible without strong alliance members committed to improving practice, alliance leads committed to facilitating a collaborative relationship between researchers and practitioners, and researchers with technical expertise who strive to co-develop and conduct projects that will answer alliance members’ questions.

Read more  Read more


College and career success research bridges alliances
REL Midwest’s work on college and career success has intersected with three research alliances—the College and Career Success Research Alliance, the Dropout Prevention Research Alliance, and the Rural Research Alliance. Here are some of the activities and projects you should know about for each of these alliances.

Read more  Read more


Strong foundation supports success of the Virtual Education Research Alliance
The researchers and practitioners who make up the Virtual Education Research Alliance sought to answer questions that would shed light on how to best support students taking online courses. Learn about the alliance’s work and the factors that drove its successful collaborative research efforts.

Read more  Read more


Highlights from the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance
The work of the Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance spans teacher mobility across states, teacher and principal evaluation, and teacher leadership. Read blog posts, watch videos, and access archived webinars covering highlights of the alliance’s work.

Read more  Read more


Researchers investigate quality in early childhood education
Early childhood education has been one of REL Midwest’s regional priorities since 2012. Learn about the progression of REL Midwest’s work on quality rating and improvement systems to improve early childhood education.

Read more  Read more


Collaboration for success: Michigan networked improvement community
REL Midwest partnered with the Michigan Department of Education, intermediate school districts, local school districts, and schools to form a networked improvement community (NIC). Find out more about the process and the experiences of the NIC members.

Read more  Read more


Popular REL Midwest resources
As we wrap up the contract, we rounded up our most popular and useful resources. Check out the list!

Read more  Read more

Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.       
 

REL Midwest at American Institutes for Research
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
866-730-6735
www.relmidwest.org

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

 

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007-3835 USA

September 30, 2016

Join Us for a Webinar on Teacher Leadership

While not K-12 distance, online and blended learning related, this might be of interest to readers.

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Join Us for a Free Webinar on Encouraging and Practicing Teacher Leadership.

October 25, 2016
12–1 p.m. Central Time
1–2 p.m. Eastern Time

Register Button

On October 25, 2016, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance will host a webinar to discuss strategies for engaging in and encouraging teacher leadership.

The event will feature a presentation by REL Midwest researcher Elizabeth Barkowski, Ph.D., who will review current research on teacher leadership. Dr. Barkowski will highlight potential gaps in the research and will discuss opportunities for further investigation. In addition, American Institutes for Research researcher Catherine Jacques will provide recommendations on how schools and districts can encourage teacher leadership activities and will share state examples. Finally, Caitlin Beatson, Indiana Department of Education, will describe teacher leadership programs in Indiana—how they work, who participates, and what advances in programming the state envisions going forward.

Throughout the webinar, participants will be able to engage with one another and to participate in an interactive question-and-answer conversation with the panelists.

Topical Objectives

  • Participants will build their understanding of the teacher leadership research landscape, including potential research gaps and the limitations of available research on teacher leadership.
  • Participants will learn about policy levers that can increase and improve teacher leadership opportunities in their schools, districts, and states.
  • Participants will gain insight into Indiana Department of Education’s proactive approach to teacher leadership programming and development.

For questions or additional information, please contact Megan Norris by telephone (312-690-7373) or e-mail (mnorris@air.org).

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

August 27, 2016

Research Update: MPS Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process

Also from Thursday’s inbox…

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REL Midwest Research Update
Alliance Goal:
To identify and develop tools to improve the feedback that school- and district-level personnel receive about teacher practices
and student outcomes.
Deb GurkeMessage From the Alliance Lead
Welcome to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) MidwestUrban District Community of Practice (CoP) newsletter. I have been part of the CoP since October 2015. It has been a privilege to engage in conversations with research directors from several large urban districts.Over the past several months, we have focused on understanding continuous improvement. Although at its most basic level continuous improvement is about acknowledging what works and identifying and addressing what could be better, there are important concepts to understand if you want to get the most out of your continuous improvement efforts. To strengthen their knowledge, the Urban District CoP members read a white paper on continuous improvement in education and discussed their role in the process as well as the need for others in the district to be committed to the work, too. We also talked about practical measurement and how it differs from measurement for accountability and theory building.

In addition, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), as part of the CoP, partnered with REL Midwest to develop a continuous improvement process with its vendors. MPS has shared learnings from the district’s early efforts with this work with the CoP. You can learn more about the project in this month’s newsletter.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the members for their time and attention to the CoP. We know their time is precious, and it has not always been easy to break away from the day-to-day pressing needs of large urban school districts. We look forward to continued engagement with members of this group.—Deb Gurke, Ph.D.

 


Webinar Series Strategic Communications and Early Warning SystemsWebinar Series: Strategic Communications and Early Warning Systems
What’s the best way to communicate with parents about early warning systems and dropout prevention? Find out in a two-part REL Midwest webinar series for states and districts, part of the REL Learning Series on Early Warning Systems.Read more  

 


District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning ProcessSchool District Brings Partners Into Evaluation Planning Process
MPS offers hundreds of programs from external partners but lacked a system to evaluate the success of these partnerships—until now.Read more  

 


CoP Member Marc SandersMeet the CoP Member: Marc Sanders
Meet Marc Sanders, member of the REL Midwest Urban District CoP. Sanders is the manager of research and evaluation for MPS. Learn how his team supports schools using research and evaluation results.Read more  

 


Researcher Steve PlankMeet the Researcher: Steve Plank
What has managing researcher Steve Plank learned from his work with REL Midwest? “Listen more than talk.” Read our profile to learn why.Read more  

 


Resources and EventsUrban Education Resources and Events
What’s happening in the world of urban education? Check out our roundup of recent events and resources!Read more  

 

Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.       
AIR, American Institutes for Research, cyber school, education, high school, Learning Point Associates, NCREL, North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, at American Institutes for Research
Urban District Community of Practice
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
866-730-6735
www.relmidwest.org

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

 

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

July 30, 2016

New Report, TV Program, And More From REL Midwest

From Thursday’s inbox…

To view this email as a web page, go here.
Dropout Prevention Research Alliance: Research Update
Alliance Goal
To increase graduation rates and reduce persistent disparities in graduation and dropout rates among student subgroups.
Emily LoneyMessage From the Alliance Lead
Welcome to the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest July newsletter featuring the Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. Our research alliance includes individuals working in a variety of roles to reduce disparities in high school graduation rates and encourage more students to successfully complete a high school diploma.One of our current collaborative research projects involves alliance members from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have statewide early warning systems (EWS), tools that use existing data on students to identify students who are at risk of dropping out. REL Midwest researchers worked in partnership with these alliance members and their colleagues to develop and administer surveys with the goal of better understanding how these EWS are being used by schools and school districts. Read this newsletter to learn more about the project, and hear from researchers and alliance members as part of REL Midwest’s podcast.We appreciate how active our alliance members have been in sharing their expertise and partnering with REL Midwest. Read on to learn more about our work.—Emily Loney

 


Identifying Early Warning Indicators in Three Ohio School DistrictsNew Report! Identifying Early Warning Indicators in Three Ohio School Districts
Check out the latest report and infographic from REL Midwest’s Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. These resources share findings from a study that sought to develop a set of locally tailored early warning indicators for students at different grade levels in each school district and to examine the accuracy of the indicators for predicting failure to graduate on time.Read more   

Lets Talk About DataLet’s Talk About Data: Collaborative Interpretation
A project that examines early warning systems in Minnesota and Wisconsin is nearing its end, but it is not merely concluding with a big report on all the study findings. Instead, the project team held a collaborative interpretation session with stakeholders to dive into the data and explore the findings. Learn more about what this process is like.Read more   

Spotlight on Grand Rapids Public SchoolsSpotlight on Grand Rapids Public Schools: A Conversation With Walter DeBoer and Katherine Pitsch
Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is implementing new programs to increase attendance, prevent students from dropping out, and improve the district’s data sharing practices. REL Midwest caught up with two GRPS staff members who are leading the charge.Read more   

Journeys to a High School DegreeSet Your DVR! Back on Track: Journeys to a High School Degree
Over the past 5 years, REL Midwest has partnered with public television stations across the Midwest to produce programs on pressing issues in education. Learn about their upcoming program with Twin Cities Public Television on re-engaging high school dropouts and at-risk students.Read more   

Meet the Researcher Ann-Marie FariaMeet the Researcher: Ann-Marie Faria
Ann-Marie Faria, Ph.D., is a principal researcher at American Institutes for Research who has been involved with  in a number of roles. She is working on a major study being conducted under the Dropout Prevention Research Alliance. Learn more about Dr. Faria and her work.Read more   

Resources and EventsDropout Prevention Resources and Events
Want more information about dropout prevention? We rounded up recent resources and upcoming events on the topic, including the Institute of Education Science’s Early Warning Systems Learning Series.Read more   
Contact Us
Please contact us for more information
about any of the items in this newsletter
or to speak to a member of our staff.
We look forward to hearing from you.
REL Midwest at American Institutes for Research
Dropout Prevention Research Alliance
1120 East Diehl Road, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486
866-730-6735
www.relmidwest.org

This material was prepared under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0004 by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, administered by American Institutes for Research. The content of the publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

 

This e-mail was sent to: mkbarbour@gmail.com

This e-mail was sent by: American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC, 20007-3835 USA

We respect your right to privacy – view our policy

July 8, 2016

Report: An Analysis Of Student Engagement Patterns And Online Course Outcomes In Wisconsin

I mentioned this yesterday in the entry on REL Reports on Teacher Prep, Online Engagement, and Early Warning Indicators, I wanted to highlight this K-12 online learning focused report.

An analysis of student engagement patterns and online course outcomes in Wisconsin

Region:
Midwest
Description:
Student enrollment in online courses has increased over the past 15 years and continues to grow. However, there is much that is not known about students’ educational experiences and outcomes in online courses. The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Virtual Education Research Alliance was to identify distinct patterns—or trajectories—of students’ engagement within their online courses over time and examine whether these patterns were associated with their academic outcomes in the online course. The study used data collected by Wisconsin Virtual School’s learning management system and student information system, including 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online elective, core, and Advanced Placement high school courses. Group-based trajectory modeling was employed to estimate the number and shapes of engagement patterns evident in the sample, and hierarchical linear modeling assessed the associations between engagement group membership and course outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses revealed six distinct patterns of student engagement in online courses: Initial 1.5 Hours with Decrease, Steady 1.5 Hours, Initial 2 Hours with Spike, Steady 2.5 Hours, 4+ Hours, and 6+ Hours. Students with relatively low but steady engagement had better outcomes than students with similar initial engagement that diminished throughout the course. Overall, students engaging two or more hours per week had better online course outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week. Wisconsin Virtual School directors and directors of other online learning programs can use information from this study to consider the supports they implement to help students successfully complete their courses, especially students who display engagement patterns that are associated with poorer course outcomes. Other online learning programs across the country can use the results of this project as a framework for investigating the data they have available in their learning management systems and student information systems.

This “Stated Briefly” report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of the study was to identify distinct patterns—or trajectories—of students’ engagement within their online courses over time and examine whether these patterns were associated with their academic outcomes in the online course. The study used data collected by Wisconsin Virtual School’s learning management system and student information system, including 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online elective, core, and Advanced Placement high school courses. Group-based trajectory modeling was employed to estimate the number and shapes of engagement patterns evident in the sample, and hierarchical linear modeling assessed the associations between engagement group membership and course outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses revealed six distinct patterns of student engagement in online courses. Students with relatively low but steady engagement had better outcomes than students with similar initial engagement that diminished throughout the course. Overall, students engaging two or more hours per week had better online course outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week.

Publication Type:
Making Connections
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
July 2016
Contact:
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