Virtual School Meanderings

October 28, 2022

AECT 2022 – Communities of Support: Development of a Comprehensive Framework of Student Engagement in K-12 Virtual Learning

As I mentioned in AECT 2022 and K-12 Online & Blended Learning I’m here at AECT and I want to blog some of the K-12 online and blended learning sessions.  The eighth and final is:

Communities of Support: Development of a Comprehensive Framework of Student Engagement in K-12 Virtual Learning

  • In Event: DDL- Communities of Support: Development of a Comprehensive Framework of Student Engagement in K-12 Virtual Learning

Fri, Oct 28, 9:10 to 9:25am PDT (9:10 to 9:25am PDT), Conf Center, Sunset 1

Short Description

The members of a virtual learning community are often critical to students’ overall academic success. While there is evidence of the importance of these relationships on academic achievement, less synthesized are how these members act together to impact student engagement, a critical function of online learning success. In this presentation, we describe our comprehensive framework and how students’ support system, both in school and at home, help impact their student engagement.

Authors

  • Presenter: Nathan Hawk, Texas A&M University
  • Contributor: Jingwen He, The Ohio State University
  • Presenter: Kui Xie, The Ohio State University

This session was focused on a book chapter that the authors recently had accepted to some volume.  The presenters began with discussing how the research has suggested that there is a general lack of social support in the K-12 online learning environment, and then transitioned to how the presenters defined engagement – which included four types of engagement.

The goal for this research was to conduct a literature review with the aim to “propose a holistic approach and consider how family and school, as an eco-system, can support students’ academic engagement. Building upon [the] theory of student engagement and ACE Framework.”

They viewed these four types of engagement through the original ACE framework – i.e., the Adolescent Community of Engagement from 2016 – or the student, peer, parent, and teacher as actors of that engagement.  In the refinement of the old ACE framework, they viewed these actors in the following way:

Which lead to the development of this framework.

The roles for each of these four groups of actors were described as:

The remainder of the session was spend focused on a single slide for each of these four rows, with additional descriptions for the two or three points under the roles’ column that were elaborated on from their literature review.

The presenters ran out of time when they got to their future implications.

While there was no time for Q&A, it appears that the presenters were unaware that Jered and his colleagues had updated the ACE framework two years ago (see https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09744-x ).

AECT 2022 – Examining the Role of the Online Facilitator in Supporting Learner Engagement in a Full-Time Cyber School

As I mentioned in AECT 2022 and K-12 Online & Blended Learning I’m here at AECT and I want to blog some of the K-12 online and blended learning sessions.  The seventh is:

Examining the Role of the Online Facilitator in Supporting Learner Engagement in a Full-Time Cyber School

  • In Event: LED- Examining the Role of the Online Facilitator in Supporting Learner Engagement in a Full-Time Cyber School

Fri, Oct 28, 8:20 to 8:35am PDT (8:20 to 8:35am PDT), Conf Center, Sunset 6

Short Description

Research on facilitators in K-12 schools has focused on supplemental programs where on-site personnel support learner engagement. The purpose of this study was to determine whether and how facilitators in a full-time cyber school could help to address students’ cognitive, behavioral, and affective engagement needs. We conducted mixed methods surveys with 30 parents, 25 students, and 23 teachers. Findings confirmed the need for a facilitator role to support online student engagement.

Authors

  • Presenter: Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas
  • Presenter: Jered Borup
  • Contributor: Camie Wood, University of Arkansas
  • Contributor: Shaikha Rashid A A Al-Naimi, University of Arkansas

Dennis began by describing the role of the facilitator, and then mentioned that the majority of research into the role of the facilitator has been done in the supplemental environment – which I think was true at one point in time, but I’m not sure if that is the case anymore.

The theoretical framework that the researchers used to guide the study was the Academic Communities of Engagement (ACE) framework.  The data collection and analysis model was somewhat robust.

The data was collected at a private, full-time online high school.  The facilitator was known as an advocate, and acted kind of like a homeroom teacher.  They met with students daily as a check in, focusing a lot of social-emotional learning.  They also had synchronous small group sessions that were optional, but often reasonably attended.  This is a good example of the kind of course community support that an online learning program can provide.

The results indicated…

As the chart indicates, the role of the advocate was primarily focused on affective engagement and behavioral engagement – note the dotted line within the triangle.

In terms of future research, Dennis did mention that he has approached one of the two major full-time K-12 online learning vendors about doing a pilot project around the creation and role of the advocate.  When he mentioned this, he made an offhand comment about the fact that the dominant model for full-time K-12 online learning is to use a learning coach (who is often a parent or guardian), and he said that he felt that this model was largely a failure.

During the Q&A it came out that the advocates had to have some education training, but weren’t necessarily teachers.  But they weren’t parents/guardians like you see with the two corporate models.

October 27, 2022

AECT 2022 – An Open Resource to Guide K-12 Blended Learning, K-12 Blended Teaching (vol. 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines

As I mentioned in AECT 2022 and K-12 Online & Blended Learning I’m here at AECT and I want to blog some of the K-12 online and blended learning sessions.  The sixth is:

An Open Resource to Guide K-12 Blended Learning, K-12 Blended Teaching (vol. 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines

  • In Event: TED- An Open Resource to Guide K-12 Blended Learning, K-12 Blended Teaching (vol. 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines

Thu, Oct 27, 1:30 to 2:25pm PDT (1:30 to 2:25pm PDT), Conf Center, Sunset 4

Short Description

This impact practice session will share examples of K-12 blended teaching practices in various elementary education contexts and secondary science, math, social studies, and English language arts, as collected in K-12 Blended Teaching (Vol. 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines. Presenters include both editors and authors of the book. They will provide an overview of the book, its findings, and its production.

Authors

  • Presenter: Cecil R Short, Emporia State University
  • Contributor: Charles R. Graham, Brigham Young University
  • Presenter: Jered Borup
  • Contributor: Karen T Arnesen, Brigham Young University
  • Contributor: Michelle Jensen, Brigham Young University

Cecil began by handing out this card to promote the Guide K-12 Blended Learning, K-12 Blended Teaching (vol. 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines e-book.

If you have been to one of Cecil’s session on this project in the past, you’ll be familiar with the content.  The project began with a generalized guide around K-12 blended teaching – https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended – which was largely based on compiling and synthesizing the independent research that each of the authors had been doing.  Following its publication, the authors worked on an instrument to accompany the blended learning competencies contained in the book.  Some of the initial studies designed to begin the process of validating the instrument included:

Subsequently, a shorter version of the instrument was also created and that instrument is described at:

However, as they wanted more examples of what blended teaching looked like, specifically in different disciplines (e.g., high school social studies or fourth grade science or whatever).

This request led to a second volume – https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended2 – that actually expanded into separate content-specific editions for each of the subject areas, as you can see at:

https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended_series

At present, they have editions on elementary, English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies completed.  In the next few months they also hope to have editions completed for: family and consumer sciences, music, physical education and health, and world languages.

In addition to, or as part of his discussion of the broader realm of blended learning and the various components of the blended learning book series, Cecil did spend some time discussing the content of a chapter entitled Personalized Learning Design Framework: A Theoretical Framework for Defining, Implementing, and Evaluating Personalized Learning from the book Theories to Influence the Future of Learning Design and Technology: 2021 AECT RTD Theory Spotlight Competition – in particular, “Figure 4: The Taxonomy of Learner Agency” was something that caught the attention of the audience.

AECT 2022 – Pandemic Pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the First 18 Months

As I mentioned in AECT 2022 and K-12 Online & Blended Learning I’m here at AECT and I want to blog some of the K-12 online and blended learning sessions.  The fifth is:

Pandemic Pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the First 18 Months

  • In Event: DDL- Pandemic Pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the First 18 Months

Thu, Oct 27, 9:10 to 9:25pm PDT (9:10 to 9:25pm PDT), Conf Center, Celebrity 2

Short Description

Following the shutdowns and emergency remote teaching in Spring 2020, the 2020-21 school year launched across Canada focused on in person learning (with limited attention to remote learning). As the year progressed, it was evident lessons that should have been learned in Spring 2020 had not been heeded. Most jurisdictions did not prepare for the 2020-21 school year to proceed in the expected ‘toggle term’ fashion – challenges that have persisted into the 2021-22 school year.

Authors

  • Presenter: Michael Barbour, Touro University, California
  • Contributor: Randy LaBonte, Canadian eLearning Network

As this was my session, no notes – but I have added our slides below.

AECT 2022 – Understanding the performance of the cyber charter COVID cohort

As I mentioned in AECT 2022 and K-12 Online & Blended Learning I’m here at AECT and I want to blog some of the K-12 online and blended learning sessions.  The fourth is:

Understanding the performance of the cyber charter COVID cohort

  • In Event: TIL- Understanding the performance of the cyber charter COVID cohort

Thu, Oct 27, 9:10 to 9:25am PDT (9:10 to 9:25am PDT), Conf Center, Melrose 2

Short Description

Previous research concluded that the cyber charter school COVID cohort resembled prior groups demographically but reported greater success at their prior in-person schools and in cyber schools. As a corollary to those findings, we use data from a large cyber charter network (“National Cyber”) to assess whether students who enrolled in cyber charters due to COVID-related concerns performed better on entry STAR/NWEA assessments, and whether those assessments indicate stronger growth once enrolled.

Authors

  • Contributor: Ian E Kingsbury, University of Arkansas
  • Presenter: Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas
  • Contributor: Robert Maranto, University of Arkansas
  • Contributor: Tom Clark, Clark Consulting

Note that unfortunately – even though there are only eight K-12 online and blended learning sessions at AECT – this one is schedule directly against my own session in a different room.  So I’m not able to take any notes on this one.  If anyone was able to attend, please share any notes in the comments below.

I’m just going to guess that this session may have been based on What Kind of Students Attend Cyber Schools? Pandemic Enrollment as Evidence of Negative Selection or Choosing Cyber During COVID.

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