Virtual School Meanderings

June 23, 2022

Changing Schools | June newsletter

Several items related to remote and distance learning in this newsletter.

June 11, 2022

Don’t miss out! Save 25% on capacity building resources

These resources may be of interest to some readers.

June 2, 2022

REL Southeast Director’s Email—June, 2022

There are a number of online and distance learning items in this REL newsletter.

View this email in your browser

Dr. Nicole Patton TerryREL Southeast

Director’s Email

June 2022

Greetings from the REL Southeast,

As technology, connectivity, and user familiarity improves, the viability of virtual learning continues to grow as well. While it has proved itself a valuable educational tool, it also presents its own set of unique challenges. Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of virtual learning is critical to making important instructional decisions. This month we would like to offer several resources developed by the REL Southeast and curated by the Florida Virtual School Partnership manager Dr. Diana Sharp, to help educators understand the opportunities and challenges virtual learning presents. We hope you find these products informative and insightful. As always, thank you for helping to improve educational outcomes for every student in our region.

With gratitude,

Dr. Nicole Patton Terry
Director, REL Southeast

Infographics on Social Presence

When Teachers and Students are Separated: Strategies from research on social presence for teaching at a distance

Research on increasing student engagement has largely been conducted in traditional classroom contexts, but over the past fifteen years, researchers have been working to build and test a framework for increasing student engagement and connection with strategies that can be applied in face-to-face classrooms or when teachers and students are physically separated in the context of online courses. This interactive infographic gives an overview of this “social presence” framework and how experts in virtual learning are applying it to their work and digging deeper.

Click here to explore the infographic.


Beyond the Virtual Classroom: Extending the Social Presence Model to Extracurricular Activities in Online Schools

In recent years, online schools have expanded beyond the virtual classroom to offer students extracurricular activities, such as virtual clubs. This infographic provides an initial look at how the Social Presence Model could help strengthen these extracurricular opportunities for K-12 students, along with examples of student clubs at Florida Virtual School, the nation’s largest state virtual school.

Click here to explore the infographic.

Exploring Teachers’ Influence on Student Success in an Online Biology Course

Instruction plays a critical role in student success. However, most studies of teachers’ effects on student learning focus on face-to-face settings. Some aspects of online courses, such as the choice of synchronous or asynchronous instruction and the course structure, might reduce teachers’ influence on their students. This study of an online high school biology course offered by Florida Virtual School examined the variation in students’ course segment (similar to semester) completion rates, end-of-segment exam scores, and time to segment completion that is attributable to the influence of teachers. Students’ scores on the end-of-segment exam varied only slightly across teachers, while completion rates and time to completion varied more.

Click here to explore the study snapshot.


How Can We Discover Effective Strategies Invented by Online Teachers?

This infographic reflects on the REL Southeast report, Exploring Teacher Influences on Student Success in an Online Biology Course and provides a summary of the study, main findings, and links to an audio file that details the origins of the study.

Click here to explore the infographic.

Student Shepherding and Online Attrition

Student Shepherding and Online Attrition
This six-minute “whiteboard-style” video was developed by the REL Southeast Blended and Online Learning Research Alliance to provide an overview of several studies by researchers at Brigham-Young University around online student attrition.Click here to watch the video.
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May 25, 2022

It’s Not Just Academic—Social and Emotional Stress from the Pandemic is Taking Its Toll on Students, Families, Teachers, and Leaders

This may be of interest to some folks – and likely has some overlap to our readers due to the pandemic and the remote learning aspects.

May 24, 2022

What Makes an Effective School Leader?

Some of these REL suggested resources may be of interest to some readers.

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