Virtual School Meanderings

December 4, 2019

REL Southeast Director’s Email—December 2019

Note the “Product Spotlight” in the newsletter below.

December 2019
View this email in your browser

Greetings from REL Southeast!

This month I am excited to share several new products and developments from the REL Southeast and Institute of Education Sciences. More information about these items may be found in the features below. Be sure to explore the links for even more content.

The REL Southeast continues the development of many more evidence-based products and resources to be released in the coming months. Thank you for helping to improve education and happy holidays from all of us at the REL Southeast.


Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

Product spotlight


Locating the latest research on K-12 online and blended learning

Information provided in this infographic can help stakeholders build their capacity to integrate findings from research into their decisions related to policy and practice. This infographic was designed to inform stakeholders about the abundance of available evidence to guide policy and practice, even though the field of blended and online learning is still in early stages and continually evolving.

Download the infographic here.

WWC update


What Works Clearinghouse resources for helping states and districts implement ESSA

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released new filters on its Reviews of Individual Studies database to help users identify studies that meet Tier 1 and Tier 2 ESSA Ratings. For more about how to use the WWC to support ESSA, please see this page.


Additionally, the WWC is hosting a webinar, Using Evidence-Based Practices from the WWC to Support State-Level ESSA Implementation, on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET. The webinar will include an explanation of WWC resources that may be relevant to ESSA work and real-world examples of how states have located and used WWC resources to help schools and districts choose evidence-based practices that align with ESSA requirements. Speakers include Brook Meiller of the Oklahoma Department of Education and Heather Boughton and Eben Dowell from Ohio Department of Education, as well as Bridget Thomas and Matt Linick from the WWC Team.

Project spotlight


Exploring Teacher Influences on Student Success in Online Biology

Significant attention has been paid to the importance of high-quality instruction and the fact that the specific instructional practices used by teachers vary, which in turn affects student outcomes. But much of the research on teacher impacts has focused on face-to-face instruction. There are reasons to believe that online teachers may have less overall influence on student outcomes than those who teach face-to-face. This study focuses on variations in outcomes for students taking Biology online with the Florida Virtual School and seeks to measure the amount of teacher variation in student outcomes and examine the extent to which that variation is correlated with observable teacher characteristics such as experience, education, or credentials. A report of the findings is  scheduled for release in the fall of 2021.

Learn more here.

Ask A REL

Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the 10 regional educational laboratories (REL) that by design, functions much in the same way as a technical reference library. It provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions.

To submit your question to Ask A REL, click here. Explore Ask A REL responses here.

You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or provided your information at a REL Southeast sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:

REL Southeast at Florida State University

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32310

September 9, 2019

REL Southeast Director’s Email—September 2019

Note the VirtualSC item in the newsletter below.

September 2019
View this email in your browser

Greetings from REL Southeast!

This month I am excited to share several new products and events in our region. More information about these items may be found in the features below. Be sure to explore the links for even more content.

The REL Southeast is also excited to announce two new website features: a new quarterly blog article and a new page housing our audio files and videos. We invite you to explore both of these new features, and encourage you to check back often as the site grows.

The REL Southeast continues the development of many more evidence-based products and resources to be released in the coming months. Thank you for helping to improve education in the Southeast.


Dr. Barbara Foorman
Director, REL Southeast

Product Spotlight


Math course sequences in grades 6–11 and math achievement in Mississippi

The purpose of this study was to examine how students in Mississippi met their mathematics requirements and the extent to which their mathematics sequence is related to student performance and demographic characteristics such as race and ethnicity.

Download the report here.

Upcoming Events


Mississippi Literacy Summit: Training on REL Southeast Literacy Tools

September 13, 2019
1:15–2:30 p.m. CST
Jackson Convention Complex
105 E Pascagoula St, Jackson, MS 39201

In this session, the REL Southeast will share a series of literacy self-study guides that are based on rigorous research. These REL Southeast developed tools can be used by state-, district-, and school-level practitioners as well as university faculty to support implementation of K-12 literacy interventions.

Click here for more information.


Mississippi Department of Education Literacy Summit

September 14, 2019
Session 1: 10:15–11:30 a.m. CST
Session 2: 1:00–2:15 p.m. CST
Jackson Convention Center
105 E Pascagoula St, Jackson, MS 39201

The goals for this presentation are to (a) enhance participant knowledge of evidence-based literacy practices that support school readiness, (b) share infographics containing evidence-based resources that support school readiness, and (c) discuss potential obstacles impacting school readiness and identify potential solutions for these obstacles.

Click here for more information.

Product spotlight


The REL Southeast has recently released two infographics designed to help practitioners effectively review the research base and determine the credibility of a research study. Explore the infographics below.

Access the Sources of educational research infographic here.

Evidence-based teaching practices

Access the Key components of a research paper infographic here.

Blog Spotlight


Assessment for Personalized Learning: A Race? An Art? Insights from VirtualSC’s Deep Dive into Strategic Change

This blog post describes how VirtualSC’s explorations into personalized assessment have the potential to bring new answers – and new questions – into the dialogue on how virtual schools can transform traditional assessment practices and achieve increased learning engagement and success.

Read the full blog post here.

Ask A REL

Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the 10 regional educational laboratories (REL) that by design, functions much in the same way as a technical reference library. It provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions.

To submit your question to Ask A REL, click here. Explore Ask A REL responses here.

You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or provided your information at a REL Southeast sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:

REL Southeast at Florida State University

2010 Levy Avenue
Suite 100

TallahasseeFL 32310

June 20, 2019

Ask A REL: What Does The Research Say About Practices To Authorize, Monitor, And Oversee Virtual Schools?

This scrolled through my Twitter stream last week sometime.

You can view the response at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/midwest/askarel/2019/authorizing-virtual-schools.aspx

The response isn’t bad.  They did miss the following (although the bottom one wasn’t published at the time of the response):

Barbour, M. K., Clark, T., DeBruler, K., & Bruno, J. A. (2014). Evaluation and approval constructs for online and blended courses and providers. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute at MVU. Retrieved from http://media.mivu.org/institute/pdf/eval_constructs.pdf

Barbour, M. K., Clark, T., DeBruler, K., & Bruno, J. A. (2016). Evaluation and approval constructs for online and blended courses and providers: A national overview. Journal of Applied Educational and Policy Research, 2(1), 32-47. Retrieved from https://journals.uncc.edu/jaepr/article/view/469

Barbour, M. K., Clark, T., Siko, J. P., DeBruler, K., & Bruno, J. A. (2019). Evaluation and approval constructs for online and blended courses and providers: Examining individual cases. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 22(1). Retrieved from https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring221/barbour_clark_siko_debruler_bruno221.html

But beyond these three, a pretty good list of resources.

June 11, 2019

REL Southeast: VirtualSC Partnership on Student Success in Online Learning

This was an item that came out of the REL Southeast Director’s Email—June 2019 from last week.

VirtualSC Partnership on Student Success in Online Learning

The VirtualSC Partnership on Student Success in Online Learning studies issues specific to improving student outcomes in VirtualSC’s online courses for grades 7-12.

The goal of the partnership is to form a professional learning community around research that informs the improvement of student outcomes in online learning.

Members

  • Bradley Mitchell
    Director
    Office of Virtual Education, South Carolina Dept. of Education
  • Beverly Myers
    Research and Planning Administrator
    Office of Virtual Education, South Carolina Dept. of Education

Contact

Diana Sharp
Diana Sharp

June 8, 2019

Podcast: REL Southeast – Tracking Evidence

This scrolled through my Twitter stream late last week.

In this audio interview, Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, co-editor of the freely-available Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning, answers questions about connections between research, policy, and practice in the area of virtual education. This video was prepared by REL Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0011, administered by Florida State University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of 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.

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