Virtual School Meanderings

May 18, 2017

Validated Online Course Design Standards

A few weeks ago I saw this news item scroll across my electronic desk – Edmentum Plato Courses Receive iNACOL Standards Approval. When you go to the news item, you get access to this summary:

Edmentum’s Plato Courseware’s iNACOL Standard Review –

A former doctoral student of mine actually completed his dissertation research focused on whether the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses could be validated based on research. Here are the results.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Building better courses: Examining the content validity of the iNACOL national standards for quality online courses. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(1), 41-73. Retrieved from

  • The first round focused on whether there was literature and, more importantly, the research literature support for the standards.  David was able to find something for just about every standard, but there was actually little in the way of K-12 distance, online, and blended learning research literature to support most standards as they were written.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2017). Improving the K-12 online course design review process: Experts weigh in on iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 18(3). Retrieved from

  • The second round had two teams of experts review the standards to determine whether, based on their expert opinions, the standards were appropriate measures of the quality of online course design.  While there was some general support for most standards, many of them were revised or dropped based on this expert feedback.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Redesigning design: Field testing a revised design rubric based of iNACOL quality course standards. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 31(2). Retrieved from

  • The third round had several teams of two reviewers that were responsible for applying the rubric associated with the standards to a variety of online courses to determine if inter-rater reliability could be achieved.  The results of this application were that the rubric could not be reliably applied.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Redesigning design: Streamlining K-12 online course creation. MACUL Journal, 37(1), 20-21. Retrieved from

  • This final article was targeted to practitioners.  It was basically an attempt for David to translate what he learned from the three rounds of research that would be of interest and of use to a practitioner audience.

May 16, 2017

Article Notice – Improving the K-12 Online Course Design Review Process: Experts Weigh in on iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses

This was one of the items from yesterday’s IRRODL Announcement 18.3.

David Adelstein, Michael K. Barbour


Within the K-12 online learning environment there are a variety of standards that designers can utilize when creating online courses. To date, the only research-based standards available are proprietary in manner. As such, many jurisdictions have begun adopting online course design standards from the leading advocacy organization, which that have yet to be validated from a research perspective. This article reports on the second phase of a three-stage study designed to examine the validity and reliability of the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses. Phase two utilizes two groups of expert reviewers to examine and provide feedback with goal of further refining these standards (after the standards had been scrutinized through the lens of the available K-12 online learning literature).


K-12 online learning, K-12 distance education, virtual school, cyber school, online course design

Full Text:




May 15, 2017

IRRODL Announcement 18.3

A notice I received late last week.

IRRODL Issue 18(3)
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Hello Readers,The May issue of IRRODL is now available. You can find it at


Vol 18, No 3 (2017)

Table of Contents


Editorial – Volume 18, Issue 3
Rory McGreal

Research Articles

Michelle Jean Eady, Stuart Woodcock, Ashley Sisco
Tekeisha Denise Zimmerman, Kim Nimon
David Adelstein, Michael K. Barbour
Barney Erasmus, Lynette Naidoo, Pierre Joubert
Qiyun Wang, Choon Lang Quek, Xiaoyong Hu
Carlos Alario-Hoyos, Iria Estévez-Ayres, Mar Pérez-Sanagustín, Carlos Delgado Kloos, Carmen Fernández-Panadero
Subeom Kwak

Book Notes

Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs, and Transformation
Yoram M Kalman
Designing Teaching and Learning for a Digital Age
Serpil Kocdar
Conducting Qualitative Research of Learning in Online Spaces
Yu-Chang Hsu

Notes from Leadership in Open and Distance Learning

Editorial: Leadership Notes
Martha Cleveland-Innes
Olof Balter
Natalie Khan
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April 8, 2017

ETS TOC Alert: Journal of Educational Technology & Society 2017, Vol. 20, No. 2

No K-12 distance, online or blended learning items articles in this issue (at least based on a quick review of the table of contents).

Journal of Educational Technology & Society TOC Alert

Dear Michael Barbour,

The latest issue of “Journal of Educational Technology & Society” is now available on the ETS Journal Web Site.

2017, Vol. 20, Issue 2

Special Issue on “Learning Analytics in Technology Enhanced Language Learning”

Guest Editor(s): Yu-Ju Lan, Nian-Shing Chen and Yao-Ting Sung

Full Length Articles

Activities with Parents on the Computer: An Ecological Framework

João C. Paiva, Carla Morais, Luciano Moreira

Experiences of Advanced High School Students in Synchronous Online Recitations

Greg Mayer, Jeremy Lingle, Marion Usselman

Exploring Long-term Behavior Patterns in a Book Recommendation System for Reading

Tzu-Chao Chien, Zhi-Hong Chen, Tak-Wai Chan

Learning through Blogging: Students’ Perspectives in Collaborative Blog-Enhanced Learning Communities

Yu-Chun Kuo, Brian R. Belland, Yu-Tung Kuo

Using Visualization to Motivate Student Participation in Collaborative Online Learning Environments

Sung-Hee Jin

Test Anxiety Analysis of Chinese College Students in Computer-based Spoken English Test

Yang Yanxia

Integrating Dynamic Mathematics Software into Cooperative Learning Environments in Mathematics

Yılmaz Zengin, Enver Tatar

Investigating the Use of the Khan Academy and Mathematics Software with a Flipped Classroom Approach in Mathematics Teaching

Yılmaz Zengin

How Does Mozart’s Music Affect Children’s Reading? The Evidence from Learning Anxiety and Reading Rates with e-Books

Yen-Ning Su, Chih-Chien Kao, Chia-Cheng Hsu, Lu-Chun Pan, Shu-Chen Cheng, Yueh-Min Huang

Review of Mobile Learning Trends 2010-2015: A Meta-Analysis

Ken Nee Chee, Noraffandy Yahaya, Nor Hasniza Ibrahim, Mohamed Noor Hasan

The Effectiveness of Using Cloud-Based Cross-Device IRS to Support Classical Chinese Learning

Yi-Hsuan Wang

Creating an Online Learning Community in a Flipped Classroom to Enhance EFL Learners’ Oral Proficiency

Wen-Chi Vivian Wu, Jun Scott Chen Hsieh, Jie Chi Yang


Learning Analytics in Technology Enhanced Language Learning

Special Issue Articles

Visualization Analytics for Second Language Vocabulary Learning in Virtual Worlds

Indy Y. T. Hsiao, Yu-Ju Lan, Chia-Ling Kao, Ping Li

To Activate English Learning: Listen and Speak in Real Life Context with an AR Featured U-Learning System

Shu-Chun Ho, Sheng-Wen Hsieh, Pei-Chen Sun, Cheng-Ming Chen

The Effects of Using the Kinect Motion-sensing Interactive System to Enhance English Learning for Elementary Students

Wen Fu Pan

Using Novel Word Context Measures to Predict Human Ratings of Lexical Proficiency

Cynthia M. Berger, Scott A. Crossley, Kristopher Kyle

EssayCritic: Writing to Learn with a Knowledge-Based Design Critiquing System

Anders I. Mørch, Irina Engeness, Victor C. Cheng, William K. Cheung, Kelvin C. Wong

Assessing the Language of Chat for Teamwork Dialogue

Antonette Shibani, Elizabeth Koh, Vivian Lai, Kyong Jin Shim

A Multivocal Approach in the Analysis of Online Dialogue in the Language-focused Classroom in Higher Education

Giulia Messina Dahlberg

The Effects of Cognitive Styles on the Use of Hints in Academic English: A Learning Analytics Approach

Sherry Y. Chen, Chia-Chi Yeh

A Mobile Game-Based English Vocabulary Practice System Based on Portfolio Analysis

Ting-Ting Wu, Yueh-Min Huang

Response to Articles

Retraction of – Volume 19, Issue 4, pp. 190-202

You will automatically be emailed the Table of Contents whenever a new journal issue is placed in the ETS Journal Web Site.

April 7, 2017

IRRODL Announcement 18.2

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

IRRODL Issue 18(2)
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Dear Readers,

We welcome Spring (at least in Canada) with IRRODL’s Issue 18(2), bursting with a bouquet of new research and good reading! Enjoy!


Vol 18, No 2 (2017)

Table of Contents


Editorial – Volume 18, Issue 2
Dianne Conrad

Research Articles

Olaf Zawacki-Richter, Uthman Alturki, Ahmed Aldraiweesh
Jamie Costley, Christopher Henry Lange
Nati Cabrera, Maite Fernández Ferrer
Sunnie Lee Watson, William R. Watson, Shamila Janakiraman, Jennifer Richardson
Colin Milligan, Allison Littlejohn
Robert Bodily, Rob Nyland, David Wiley
Stefania Manca, Maria Ranieri
Patricia Fidalgo, Joan Thormann
Xiaoying Feng, Jingjing Xie, Yue Liu
Shuang Li, Jingjing Zhang, Chen Yu, Li Chen
Sanghoon Park
Pilar Gómez-Rey, Elena Barbera, Francisco Fernández-Navarro

Research Notes

Aeen Mohammadi, Shadi Asadzandi, Shiva Malgard

Technical Notes

Wolfram Laaser, Eduardo Adrian Toloza
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