Virtual School Meanderings

January 24, 2021

MACUL January Newsletter

A newsletter from a Michigan-based educational technology organization.

2021 January Newsletter
Are you planning for the 2021 conference yet? Here are some tools to help you: The Preliminary Schedule has been announced and so have the official Expo Hall Hours!
Not registered for the conference? Register today and visit for workshop opportunities and schedule information!
MACUL Awards
DEADLINE EXTENDED – We know you are busier than ever and we don’t miss a chance to recognize any of you. Nominate an outstanding teacher, district or leader today to showcase their amazing work and inspire others. Submit your nominations by Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST.
MACUL 2021 Conference
Save the Date: March 17-20, 2021
Open your laptop, turn on your tablet, and join the VIRTUAL 2021 MACUL Conference from anywhere to learn from some of the best minds in education technology. The four-day conference includes inspiring keynotes, detailed speaker, in-depth breakout sessions and more! Learn more:
Teaser Book Study
Join MACUL’s Tech in Education Leaning Area for a teaser book study on Chapter 5 of “Learning First, Technology Second: New Strategies, Research, and Tools for Student Success” by Liz Kolb.
Register now for our virtual coffee chat, receive the chapter to read, and participate in the discussion on January 30, 9:00 am.
Opportunities from Our Professional Learning Partners
Learning with Google is our first virtual event dedicated to sharing how we’re building on the momentum of last year to bring the best of Google to education, including new products, features and services to supercharge schools and universities and the people who run them.
Join us for this global live stream where you’ll hear from our leaders, get the latest news and launches across our education products — including G Suite, Classroom, Meet, and Chromebooks — and be inspired by stories from educators around the world who are using Google products to reimagine teaching and learning.
Registrations are now open, and we are looking forward to seeing you there. February 17-18, 2021
Teaching and learning in a pandemic have proven to be a challenge for everyone involved. One thing is certain: the landscape of education is changing.
During this FREE half-day professional development event, you will start your day with words of wisdom and encouragement from award-winning author and radio host, Mitch Albom. Afterward, choose from breakout sessions on SEL & mental health, designing for online learning environments, engaging students in online environments, and leadership.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join a supportive community of educators as we explore what learning looks like in a changing world. Register for free →
2021 February REMC Virtual Courses
“Making the Most of Your Google Classroom” is Back! Register for February Virtual Courses Now
The REMC Association continues to provide support to Michigan educators for Remote Learning and Educational Technology through free Virtual Courses. Register Now.
On Demand Resources
  • View the latest resources provided to you by Big Deal Media in partnership with MACUL
Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning | 520 S. Creyts RoadLansing, MI 48917

January 22, 2021

3 designs that could revolutionize student supports

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
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Christensen Institute · 92 Hayden Avenue · Lexington, MA 02421 · USA

January 21, 2021

Winter ’21 📊 Quarterly Research Clearinghouse Newsletter

A newsletter from a US-based K-12 online learning research center.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute logo
Quarterly Research Clearinghouse Newsletter

Winter ’21 — Quarterly Research
Clearinghouse Newsletter

Four times a year, we send out a digest of published scholarship in the area of K-12 online and blended learning. Below you will find abstracts to several recently published articles — hand-picked by our Institute’s researchers — with links to the full-text if you are interested in reading more.


Once they’ve experienced it, will pre-service teachers be willing to apply online collaborative learning?

Adva Margaliot and Dvora Gorev

Teachers’ motivation to collaborate depends on their beliefs about its contribution to learning and teaching. This mixed method study applied cognitive orientation (CO) theory to measure 266 pre-service teachers’ willingness to engage in online collaborative learning (OCL) after experiencing it. Willingness to engage in OCL was examined via a digital CO questionnaire regarding four types of beliefs: one’s own functionality, one’s experience with OCL, the ideal collaborative functioning of the group, and OCL goals.


Next, the correlation between these beliefs was determined. A correlation between at least three beliefs indicated a tendency, which we termed a theme. The themes possibly predicting posterior inclusion of OCL were confidence in functioning, perceived value of the collaborative writing process, and relevance of the task sequence to professional development. This research suggests a method for extracting themes indicating willingness to engage in OCL in order to demonstrate ways to enhance that willingness

The self-efficacy questionnaire for online learning (SeQoL)

Chia-Lin Tsai, Moon-Heum Cho, Rose Marra, and Demei Shen


The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Online Learning (SeQoL; Shen et al., 2013). Using two samples of college students, this study examined evidence of construct validity, concurrent validity, convergent validity, and reliability for the SeQoL. Confirmatory factor analysis and latent profiles analysis were conducted to provide different aspects of construct validity evidence. Our results suggest the SeQoL consistently measures the five dimensions of online learning self-efficacy found in Shen et al.’s original study. We flagged five items from the original scale for further examination. In the current study, strong construct validity and reliability evidence were observed across two different samples, analytical approaches, and related measures. Online learners with higher online learning self-efficacy were found to have higher learning satisfaction and expect better grades. Interpretations and implications of the findings are discussed.


Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) Research in Review

Kristen DeBruler and Christa Green


Since its creation in 2013 through 2020, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) at Michigan Virtual published approximately 20 research blogs and 75 research reports. This total does not represent everything published by MVLRI but rather only those publications including original research on K-12 blended and online learning. The nearly 100 resources represent research conducted internally by MVLRI staff, research conducted by partners at universities, colleges, and educational organizations, and covers a vast range of topics including, but not limited to, K-12 online best practices, online student motivation, K-12 blended teaching and professional development, and K-12 special populations.


This body of work is extensive, and while there is tremendous value in each individual publication, there is also value in how that work fits with other similar research and the narrative that emerges from the collective understanding. Toward this end, MVLRI sought to identify, review, and synthesize the original research published in the past 6 years. Again, not every blog or report published via the website was included, only those containing original research.


Out of the synthesis of resources, 10 main themes emerged. Each theme is presented individually in the interest of brevity. A full reference list is provided at the end of this document noting the resources that contributed to this report.


Responding to a crisis and planning for what is ahead

Jered Borup and Leanna Archambault


It is impossible to take inventory of all the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted our field, let alone predict what the future might hold. What is clear is that scholars in our field responded quickly to provide leadership to their universities and institutions as well as to K-12 schools and teachers throughout the world. While learning online was new for most students and teachers, we were able to draw upon decades of research and scholarship on K-12 online and blended learning to provide practical actionable guidance. The 2018 Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning (2nd Edition) edited by Kathryn Kennedy and Richard E. Ferdig, has been an especially helpful introduction to the field. Scholars have also made their voices heard in newspaper and magazine articles, online periodicals, blog posts, podcasts, and on social media.


Successful online learning: What does learner interaction with peers, instructors and parents look like?

Whitney Keaton and Andrew Gilbert


The student perspective in research done in online and STEM education is largely absent but is important for understanding how both of these areas can come together to best serve students. This study uses teacher ratings, school data and student interviews to investigate the perceptions students in online STEM courses have of their past and current educational experiences. Also, using an adaptation of Moore’s Framework of Interactions (Moore, 1989), the academic and extracurricular behaviors of these students are examined in relation to their interactions with others, specifically instructors, parents and peers. It was found that the interactions that students have with these stakeholders are different in this setting as compared to a traditional learning environment. Teachers in online schools serve the role of a facilitator that students felt was important to their success, but was not their only source of instruction. Parents took on many roles in this setting, including monitoring, motivating, instructing and organizing. Learner-learner interaction looked the most different compared to traditional schools because these participants generally had little interaction with peers due to time and distance constraints. Implications of these findings for students, schools, education and research are given.

The Digital Backpack | Powered by Michigan Virtual

Subscribe to the Digital Backpack for more regular updates!

Want more regular updates? Every month, our research team publishes several blog articles on online and blended learning, including four separate series on monthly research round upsstudent-centered learningmentoring online students, and success in online learning. By subscribing to the Digital Backpack blog, you’ll receive a weekly digest of Michigan Virtual‘s latest articles sent to your inbox every Thursday.

Explore over 1,000 publications in our Research Clearinghouse

Though we only feature four or five resources per newsletter, we encourage you to visit our Research Clearinghouse to search for citations that may be of use to you. The Clearinghouse currently houses over 1,000 citations in the field of online and blended learning, and over 100 new citations are added each year.


If you have any questions about how to navigate this resource, please check out our “Getting Started Guide.”

What else do you want to see?  Please feel free to offer any feedback on the Clearinghouse or any other MVLRI initiatives by emailing us at Thank you!


Michigan Virtual, 920 Municipal Way, Lansing, Michigan 48917

Is the pandemic boosting charter school enrollment? | 8 #EdJustice wins | and more

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 9:08 am
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Always an interesting read…



Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, an email newsletter for people fed up with the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.

Not a subscriber? Sign up. And make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.



Is the pandemic boosting charter school enrollment? Journalist Sarah Lahm explores whether the pandemic’s impact on public school enrollment will play into the hands of the charter school industry.

“Even if their intentions are personal rather than political, by keeping their children out of public school this year, parents with the means to do so are also fulfilling a longstanding dream of politicians on both the right and the left, where families are able to pick from a full menu of school choice options rather than simply attend their local public school.” LA Progressive

And now the rest of the news…

Kentucky moves closer to more privatization. After years of attempts to push private school tuition tax breaks, Kentucky Republican state legislators—whose supermajority grew in November—have introduced a proposal for Education Opportunity Accounts, an expanded version of scholarship tax credits. WTVQ

“Neoliberals determined to commodify more students.” Professor of education Shawgi Tell documents the state of the online charter school industry, including a list of the “top players.” Dissident Voice

Looking back at #EdJustice wins in 2020. As Trump leaves office, it’s a good time to reflect on education policy wins from 2020 that give us hope (and a way forward) in the years to come. The Schott Foundation has pulled together eight policy victories to carry with us as inspiration for the struggles ahead. Schott Foundation

Finally, an opportunity to connect…

Teacher unions and social justice. On Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 7pm ET, join Teacher Unions and Social Justice co-editors Jesse Hagopian, Michael Charney, and Bob Peterson along with contributors Michelle Gunderson and Arlene Inouye for the launch of a new Rethinking Schools book on the promise of social justice teacher unionism. Rethinking Schools




In the Public Interest
1305 Franklin St., Suite 501
Oakland, CA 94612
United States

In Today’s Online Learning News – Micro-Credentials and the Skills Agenda – Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 7:02 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

A newsletter from a Canadian-based online learning organization.

January 20, 2021  | View Online | Archive | Subscribe | Contact Us La version française suit

Twelve Fundamental Questions

In an era of uncertainty punctuated by massive job losses and unprecedented economic fallout from the COVID-19 global pandemic, micro-credentials represent a real opportunity to make lifelong learning accessible to all.

Contact Nord | Contact Nord addresses 12 fundamental questions about micro-credentials, including:

  • What are micro-credentials, who they’re designed for, who develops them and the standards that define their value.
  • How micro-credentials help people acquire the skills they need — quickly — for the kinds of jobs that are in demand.
  • Why micro-credentials matter and how they differ from long-form learning.
  • The supports necessary for this type of learning, what people are looking for, what’s on offer, and the implications for the future of higher education.
  • The challenges and issues associated with the growth and development of micro-credentials.

Read Micro-credentials and the Skills Agenda – Twelve Fundamental Questions


A Free Webinar for New and Experienced
Online Learners!

How to Be a Successful Online Learner

Thursday, January 28, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (ET)

Register Here

In this webinar, first-time and experienced online learners get practical advice on how to be a successful online learner from an experienced online professor and gain insight and perspective from a seasoned online learner.

Based on relevant psychological theory, you learn:

  • Theoretical understanding of learning;
  • The importance of your study space;
  • How to manage distractions and procrastination;
  • How to get the most out of your learning;
  • The best use of downtime; and
  • Tips and tricks on how to best prepare for learning on online.

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Join Dr. Steve Joordens, a professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, for an interactive one-hour conversation designed to prepare students to succeed in their online courses.


A Free Contact North | Contact Nord Webinar

Developing Video Simulations to Engage First Year Nursing Students

A Cambrian College Innovation

Tuesday, January 26, 2021
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (ET)

Register Here

Learn how Cambrian College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program is using video simulations and how Queen’s University is using clinical simulation in their School of Nursing program.


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Laura Killam

Professor, School of Health
Sciences, Nursing, and Emergency Services, Cambrian College

Dr. Marian Luctkar-Flude

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Queen’s University

View Contact North | Contact Nord’s full list of Upcoming Pockets of Innovation Showcase Webinars


Contact North I Contact Nord’s
Searchable Directory of Selected Journals
in Online and Distance Learning

Journals play essential roles in online and distance learning, for sharing the latest in research, innovation, theory, practices, and events. Educators find ideas and connections, building a collective knowledge base that advances teaching, learning, management – and student success.

Search the Directory


Still Time to Register!

Learning to Learn Online

Monday, January 18 to Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ideal for:

  • Students learning online for the first time
  • Students who want to improve their approach to online learning
  • Teachers or education professionals who want to support their students in learning online

1,541 students and educators from 79 countries ‬participated in the September 2020 offering.

Start any time after January 18, 2021. You must complete the course no later than February 21, 2021.

More Information and Registration


Read Dr. Tony Bates’ Blog Post

This blog post is the first in a series of posts on online learning in the (K-12) school sector. In this post, Dr. Bates addresses the state of online learning for K-12 in Canada.

Read Contact North I Contact Nord Research Associate Dr. Tony Bates’ blog post: 

What needs to be done about online learning in the school sector?


Register Now!

How to Use Zoom to Teach Online 
Free Training Sessions and Resources

College and university faculty and instructors, literacy and basic skills and training providers are increasingly using Zoom to teach and train. Zoom is fast becoming a learning platform of choice.

Register in one of Contact North | Contact Nord’s free, 60-minute live training sessions for faculty and instructors on How to Use Zoom to Teach Online.

Get more information on the sessions and the upcoming schedule.


Take a look at the Top Ten Books on Online Learning for 2020 compiled by Contact North | Contact Nord

Contact North | Contact Nord compiled a list of the top ten books on online learning for 2020 in three categories:

  • Books About the Future;
  • Books About Teaching, Learning and Learning Design; and
  • Books About the Technologies of Learning  

Read the 2020 Top Ten Books on Online Learning compiled by Contact North | Contact Nord.


Most Popular Resources on

  1. A New Pedagogy Is Emerging… and Online Learning Is a Key Contributing Factor
  2. Ten Facts You Need to Know About Micro-Credentials
  3. Contact North | Contact Nord Webinars
  4. Training and Resources
  5. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences From Around the World
Visit today and see why more than 250,000 faculty and instructors, administrators, technology providers, and policymakers from across Ontario and around the world use the resources available from the portal.

Do you have colleagues who might be interested in receiving the Online Learning News? Join our mailing list.

Contact North | Contact Nord
1139 Alloy Drive, Suite 104
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6M8

Le 20 janvier 2021 | Voir en ligne | Archiver | Souscrire | Contactez nous Les hyperliens dans ce bulletin donnent accès à des documents disponibles en anglais seulement.

Douze questions fondamentales

Dans une ère d’incertitude ponctuée par des pertes d’emploi massives et des retombées économiques sans précédent en raison de la pandémie mondiale de la COVID-19, les microaccréditations constituent une réelle occasion de rendre l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie accessible à toutes et tous.

Contact North | Contact Nord répond à 12 questions fondamentales sur les microaccréditations, y compris :

  • Que sont les microaccréditations, pour qui sont-elles conçues, qui les développe et quelles sont leurs normes de valeur?
  • De quelle façon puissent les microaccréditations aider les personnes à acquérir les compétences dont elles ont besoin — rapidement — pour les emplois recherchés?
  • Pourquoi les microaccréditations sont-elles importantes et en quoi diffèrent-elles de l’apprentissage traditionnel?
  • Quels sont les systèmes d’appui nécessaires à ce mode d’apprentissage, que cherchent les gens, quelles options sont proposées et quelles sont les retombées pour l’avenir de l’enseignement supérieur?
  • Quels sont les défis et les problèmes liés à la croissance et au développement des microaccréditations?

Veuillez consulter Micro-Credentials and the Skills Agenda – Twelve Fundamental Questions (Les microaccréditations et la stratégie en matière de compétences — douze questions fondamentales)


Un webinaire gratuit pour les apprenantes et apprenants en ligne nouveaux et expérimentés!

How to Be a Successful Online Learner
(Comment réussir son apprentissage en ligne)

Jeudi 28 janvier 2021
11 h – 12 h (HE)

Inscrivez-vous ici

Dans ce webinaire, les apprenantes et apprenants en ligne nouveaux et expérimentés reçoivent des conseils pratiques sur la manière de réussir leur apprentissage en ligne d’un professeur en ligne expérimenté. Obtenez aussi l’aperçu et la perspective d’un apprenant en ligne chevronné.

En se basant sur une théorie psychologique pertinente, on apprend :

  • La compréhension théorique de l’apprentissage;
  • L’importance de votre espace d’étude;
  • Comment gérer les perturbations;
  • Comment tirer le meilleur parti de votre apprentissage;
  • La meilleure utilisation des temps morts;
  • Des conseils et des astuces sur la meilleure façon de se préparer à l’apprentissage en ligne.

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Joignez-vous à M. Steve Joordens, Ph. D., professeur à l’Université de Toronto Scarborough, pour une conversation interactive d’une heure conçue pour préparer les étudiantes et étudiants à réussir leurs cours en ligne. 


Un webinaire gratuit de Contact North | Contact Nord

Developing Video Simulations to Engage First Year Nursing Students (Développer des simulations vidéo pour susciter la participation des étudiantes et étudiants de première année en soins infirmiers)

Une innovation du Cambrian College

Mardi 26 janvier 2021
10 h 30 – 11 h 30 (HE)

Inscrivez-vous ici

Découvrez comment le programme de baccalauréat en sciences infirmières du Cambrian College utilise des simulations vidéo et comment la Queen’s University utilise la simulation clinique dans son programme d’école d’infirmières.

Animatrices :

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Laura Killam

Professeure, École des sciences
de la santé, des soins infirmiers et des services d’urgence, Cambrian College

Marian Luctkar-Flude, Ph. D.

Professeure agrégée, École de soins infirmiers, Queen’s University

Consultez la liste complète des webinaires par excellence sur les Grappes d’innovation de Contact North | Contact Nord



Un répertoire de recherche de revues sélectionnées dans l’apprentissage en ligne et à distance publié par Contact North | Contact Nord

Les revues jouent un rôle essentiel dans l’apprentissage en ligne et à distance. Ce sont des outils cruciaux pour partager les plus récents développements dans la recherche, l’innovation, la théorie, les pratiques et les évènements. Les éducatrices et les éducateurs trouvent des idées et des connexions, créant ainsi une base collective de connaissances universitaires qui fait progresser l’enseignement, l’apprentissage, la gestion ainsi que la réussite des étudiantes et étudiants.

Faire une recherche dans le répertoire


Il est encore temps de s’inscrire!

Learning to Learn Online
(Apprenez à apprendre en ligne)

De lundi 18 janvier au dimanche 21 février 2021

Idéal pour :

  • Les étudiantes et étudiants qui apprennent en ligne pour la première fois.
  • Les étudiantes et étudiants qui souhaitent améliorer leur approche de l’apprentissage en ligne.
  • Les enseignantes, les enseignants et les individus spécialisés en éducation qui veulent aider leurs étudiantes et étudiants à apprendre en ligne.

1 541 étudiantes, étudiants, éducatrices et éducateurs de 79 pays ont participé à l’offre de septembre 2020.

Commencez à tout moment après le 18 janvier 2021. Vous devez terminer le cours au plus tard le 21 février 2021.

Pour plus d’information et pour vous inscrire


Lire les billets du blogue de
monsieur Tony Bates, Ph. D.

Ce billet de blogue est le premier d’une série de billets sur l’apprentissage en ligne dans le secteur scolaire (de la maternelle à la 12e année). Dans cet article, Tony Bates parle de l’état de l’apprentissage en ligne de la maternelle à la 12e année au Canada.

Veuillez lire le billet du blogue de monsieur Tony Bates, Ph. D., associé de recherche à Contact North I Contact Nord :

What needs to be done about online learning in the school sector? (Que faut-il faire au sujet de l’apprentissage en ligne dans le secteur scolaire?


Inscrivez-vous dès maintenant!

How to Use Zoom to Teach Online
Free Training Sessions and Resources
(Comment utiliser Zoom pour enseigner en ligne Séances de formation et ressources gratuites)

Les cadres professoraux et les membres du personnel enseignant des collèges, des universités et des fournisseurs d’alphabétisation et de formation de base utilisent de plus en plus Zoom pour enseigner et offrir de la formation. Zoom devient une plateforme d’apprentissage de choix.

Les cadres professoraux et enseignants sont invités à s’inscrire à l’une des séances de formation gratuites de 60 minutes, offertes en direct par Contact North | Contact Nord, sur le thème « Comment utiliser Zoom pour enseigner en ligne ».

Cliquez ici pour obtenir plus d’informations sur les séances et la programmation à venir.


Jetez un coup d’œil aux dix meilleurs livres sur l’apprentissage en ligne de 2020 selon Contact North | Contact Nord

Contact North | Contact Nord a dressé une liste des dix meilleurs livres sur l’apprentissage en ligne de 2020 dans trois catégories :

  • Livres sur l’avenir;
  • Livres sur l’enseignement, l’apprentissage et la conception de l’apprentissage; et
  • Livres sur les technologies de l’apprentissage

Consultez la liste des dix meilleurs livres sur l’apprentissage en ligne de 2020 selon
Contact North | Contact Nord.

Les ressources les plus populaires du portail
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor (Une nouvelle pédagogie émerge… et l’apprentissage en ligne en est un facteur d’influence)
  2. Ten Facts You Need to Know About Micro-Credentials (Dix faits à connaître sur les microaccréditations)
  3. Contact North | Contact Nord Webinars (Les webinaires de Contact North | Contact Nord)
  4. Training and Resources (Les occasions de formation et les ressources)
  5. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences From Around the World (Un répertoire actualisé des conférences à l’échelle international qui portent sur la technologie éducative et les secteurs apparentés)
Visitez dès aujourd’hui afin de constater vous-même pourquoi il attire chaque mois plus de 200 000 visites du personnel enseignant et de formation, des administrateurs, des fournisseurs de technologie et des décideurs de partout en Ontario et dans le monde pour se servir des ressources disponibles sur le portail.

Vos collègues aimeraient-ils recevoir le Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne? Joignez-vous à notre liste de diffusion.

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