Virtual School Meanderings

July 13, 2017

iNACOL Releases New Report: Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning

And from the neo-liberals.

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iNACOL Publishes New Report on Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners


Today, iNACOL published a new report: Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning, which highlights promising practices and trends in new designs to advance learning for English language learner (ELL) students.

This paper shares case studies and examples from schools and programs creating personalized, competency-based learning environments for ELL students, and promising practices and considerations on designing ideal learning environments for ELL success. It is intended for practitioners, including educators and education leaders, who want to advance next generation learning models to reach every student.
Susan Patrick, iNACOL President and CEO, said, “To provide English language learners with an equitable, high-quality, and holistic education, there needs to be a shift away from one-size-fits-all approaches to empowering educators with modern instructional strategies, tools and research-based practices for personalizing learning for student success. ELL students are the fastest growing and largest student subgroup in our public schools today. We are in early stages of examining how educators designing next generation learning models can transform teaching and learning for ELL students. We have the opportunity to help all ELL students succeed, reverse the trend and close the achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students.”

Download a full copy of Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learninghere.
Share this Report on Twitter:

  • JUST RELEASED: New @nacol Report on Next Generation #Learning Models for English Language #Learners #ELL #NextGenEd
  • New @nacol #ELL Report highlights promising practices in #NextGenEd to advance learning for ELL students

About iNACOL

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our websitelike us on Facebookconnect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on twitter.



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June 28, 2017

News from the NEPC: Virtual Schools in Five Key States Show Growth but Poor Performance

From yesterday’s inbox…

Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth.
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Virtual Schools in Five Key States Show Growth but Poor Performance

Key Takeaway: Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth.


NEPC: William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058,
MVLRI Report – Research: Michael K. Barbour: (203) 997-6330,
MVLRI Report – Performance: Gary Miron: (269) 599-7965,
MVLRI Report – Policy: Luis Huerta: (212) 678-4199,

BOULDER, CO (June 27, 2017) – Over the past five years, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) has produced an annual report called Virtual Schools in the U.S.: Politics, Performance, Policy, and Research Evidence. These reports provide an impartial analysis of the evolution of full-time, publicly funded K-12 virtual and blended schools by examining the policy issues raised by available evidence. They also assess the research evidence that bears on K-12 virtual teaching and learning, and they analyze the growth and performance of such virtual and blended schools.

Building on the April release of the Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2017 report, the lead researchers have engaged with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) to use the data set to undertake a more in-depth analysis of five states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan. The MVLRI published that work today.

These case studies describe the enrollment, characteristics, and performance of virtual and blended schools in each state over the previous year. They also examine the research related to the virtual and blended school characteristics and outcomes, as well as the legislative activities. And they consider the legislation and policies that have been introduced (and enacted) over the past two years.

Based on a national data set, the April NEPC Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2017 report included two key findings: (1) that the growth of full-time virtual schools was fueled, in part, by policies expanding school choice, and (2) that this growth is seen most among the for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) that dominate this sector. All five states follow these national trends. Also, and again consistent with national trends, students that attend the virtual schools in these five states tended to perform quite poorly compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

At the same time, these case studies revealed that the enrollment demographics in each of these states did vary from the national trends. For example, Ohio and Michigan brick-and-mortar schools and virtual schools enrolled similar proportions of White students and students of color (bucking the national trend which found that the majority of students attending virtual charter schools were White), while Idaho and Michigan enrolled higher proportions of free and reduced lunch students (which was the opposite to the national average). Another distinction highlighted by the case studies is that one of the states – Michigan – has seen considerable research into the actual practice of K-12 online learning, and this evidence-based approach appears to be paying off for the Michigan Virtual School.

Find Virtual Schools in the U.S.: Case Studies of Policy, Performance, and Research Evidence, by Michael K. Barbour, Luis Huerta, and Gary Miron, at:

This report was published and funded by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute:

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

Copyright © 2017 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

Note that I am one of the authors of this report.

May 24, 2017

What’s Trending in Online Education?

From the inbox yesterday or the day before…

The first CHLOE Survey Report is now available for download!
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Find Out in the First CHLOE Survey Report!

CHLOE Survey Report coverIt’s been 20 years since online learning was first introduced. So where does it stand today? We teamed up with Eduventures, a leading research and advisory firm focused on higher education, to fill the gap in researching this important topic.

We started with a survey of Chief Online Officers to gauge, among other things, how their institutions are funding, developing programs, conducting quality assurance, making technology investments and managing innovation as online learning becomes mainstream. Results of the survey — The Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) — are now publicly available in The 2017 CHLOE Report.

So what trends in the management of online learning did CHLOE find? You’ll want to download and share the full report to see how institutions similar to yours compare. Here are a few highlights from the 51-page study:

  • Course development. Nearly 40% of private nonprofit colleges require faculty to use instructional design support in building their online courses. In contrast, only about 11% of two- and four-year public institutions do so.
  • Pricing. Among public two-year and four-year schools, over 90% of respondents indicated that the price of their online programs is either in line with or higher than conventional programming. Such data suggests that most schools have not made it a priority to use online learning to lower costs.
  • Program Objectives. CHLOE found that the predominant impetus for investment in online learning today is enrollment growth, with other objectives, such as student completion gains and cost reduction, trailing far behind.
Download Report
The second iteration of CHLOE is scheduled for June and focuses on the motives behind choices made by leaders of online programs. If your institution would like to participate in that survey, please email QM’s Manager of Research & Development, Barbra Burch, or Eduventures Research Analyst, Mughees Khan.
Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is an international non-profit organization that provides tools and professional development for quality assurance in online and blended learning. When you see the QM Certification Mark, it means that courses have successfully met QM Rubric Standards for Course Design in an official course review.
Copyright © 2017 QM Quality Matters, Inc., All rights reserved.
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Annapolis, MD 21401

April 7, 2017

Report Notice – Panorama des pratiques en formation à distance au Canada francophone

Please note this press release from Réseau d’enseignement francophone à distance du Canada (REFAD) announcing the publication of their “Panorama des pratiques en formation à distance au Canada francophone” – a study of practices and issues in distance education in Canada from the francophone perspective.

Panorama des pratiques en formation à distance au Canada francophone

** Ce document est disponible à partir de

Entreprise à l’automne 2016, l’étude Panorama des pratiques en formation à distance au Canada francophone s’est déroulée durant une période de trois mois et culmine sur ce vaste portrait de la réalité courante dans trois ordres d’enseignement pour la formation initiale (aussi dite « créditée ») et continue. À notre connaissance, il s’agit là de la première étude en son genre, décrivant ce qu’est devenue la formation à distance (FAD) en 2017, dans les mots de ses principaux acteurs.

Plus de 40 intervenant(e)s représentant neuf provinces ont été interviewés pour une durée moyenne de 75 minutes chacun, suivant un modèle d’entrevue qualitative semi-structurée. Ces intervenants appartiennent pour la plupart à des institutions membres du Réseau d’enseignement francophone à distance du Canada (REFAD, répondant ainsi à un appel à contribution émis par l’organisation. Quelques participants supplémentaires ont été sollicités afin que la FAD soit représentée au secondaire, au collégial et à l’université pour l’ensemble de la francophonie éducative canadienne.

Bien plus qu’un collage d’entrevues, l’étude assemble des perspectives diverses et complémentaires suivant un fil narratif d’une cohérence qui interpellera les acteurs de la FAD qui s’interrogent sur son devenir. Évoquant pour commencer les raisons de son adoption, l’étude entreprend de faire le point sur les modalités et le vocabulaire de la FAD afin d’établir un langage commun et d’en explorer les différents modèles à travers quelques-uns de ses principaux acteurs canadiens.

Il en ressort déjà un tableau d’ensemble dans lequel émerge l’abandon apparent de l’asynchrone autoportant à entrée continue en faveur de la bimodalité en distance synchrone et asynchrone suivant un calendrier campus. On y distingue également la prédominance de l’enseignement hybride à l’ordre secondaire, une volonté pancanadienne de partenariat à l’ordre collégial et une reconnaissance tardive mais résolue de l’importance stratégique de la FAD pour la vitalité des institutions d’enseignement universitaires.

L’auteur fait valoir, à travers les témoignages reçus, que l’absence de politiques gouvernementales claires en matière de FAD se traduit par le retard et l’inégalité de son adoption, nuisant probablement ainsi au développement économique et à l’innovation, partout au pays ou presque. L’auteur en profite également pour prendre le pouls des réalisateurs de formation en ligne et examiner plusieurs des défis auxquels ils sont confrontés en matière de développement de contenus répondant aux demandes toujours plus exigeantes du marché.

La seconde moitié de l’étude décrit la formation des maîtres et des apprenants aux méthodes de la FAD, ainsi que l’intégration des médias sociaux et de la ludification dans les activités d’apprentissage à distance, avant de se tourner vers une question d’actualité particulièrement interpellante, à savoir comment les technologies influencent la pédagogie. Quatre histoires de cas sont offertes en guise de conclusion, non sans toutefois effectuer un détour préalable sur les principales ressources en ligne, logiciels et plateformes de production qu’utilisent les institutions répondantes.

Dans son ensemble, l’étude trace un portrait d’actualité de la FAD au Canada francophone, de la perspective de ses acteurs, et le lecteur intéressé ne manquera pas d’y trouver des idées, des comparaisons, des pistes de solution ainsi que des partenaires potentiels avec qui collaborer pour faire progresser chez lui la FAD.

L’équipe du REFAD tient à remercier M. Robert Grégoire pour la mise en oeuvre du projet. Ce projet a été rendu possible grâce à un financement du Ministère du Patrimoine canadien ( 


***** Veuillez contacter directement le REFAD si vous désirez être retiré de notre liste courriel:  
C.P. 47542
Comptoir postal Plateau Mont-Royal
Montréal (Québec) H2H 2S8
Téléphone : (514) 284-9109
Télécopieur : (514) 284-9363
Courriel :
Site Web :
– Colloque REFAD Moncton (N.-B.) 25 et 26 mai 2017
– Guide CLOM – MOOC au Canada Francophone
– Webographie de la FAD
– Étude sur l’avenir du livre numérique au Canada francophone

March 21, 2017

Moodle Hub Members Area: CIDER Session: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

A reminder of this event tomorrow.

Moodle Hub Members Area » Forums » Announcements » CIDER Session: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

CIDER Session: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

by Daylene Lauman – Tuesday, 21 March 2017, 6:47 AM

Join Michael Barbour and Randy LaBonte as they share updates from the latest State of the Nation Report. Alberta’s profile on the online and blended learning front in Canada is on an upward trend; input into the annual State of the Nation Report is critical in this regard.

This session will take place tomorrow, March 22nd at 11 am MST.

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

View the State of the Nation Report here:

CIDER: The Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research




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Dear CIDER Member,

We invite you to the March CIDER session. This free, online session will feature Michael Barbour of Touro University Mare Island and Randy LaBonte of CANeLearn, presenting the annual State of the Nation for K-12 e-learning.

Title: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

The State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report continues to be Canada’s unique benchmark for the expanding use of technology-supported blended and online learning in Canada. This ninth edition of the annual report continues the strong tradition of incisive analysis of the state of K-12 online and blended education in Canada.

Canada continues to have one of the highest per capita student enrolment in online courses and programs of any jurisdiction in the world and was one of the first countries to use the Internet to deliver distance learning courses to students. In many ways Canada provides an interesting exemplar for the rest of the world, due in part to its division into 13 provinces and territories of widely varying population and geography, leading to a wealth of relevant comparisons with other countries/regions of similar population. Canada is also a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, leading naturally to comparisons with other English-speaking countries, but also with Quebec being linked to la Francophonie, leading to relevant role models for two major linguistic regions. And finally, Canada, through its offerings to indigenous communities, provides a role model for other countries for the provision of education to indigenes and minority populations..

When: Wednesday, March 22, 201711am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit our website:

Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research

1200, 10011 – 109 Street

Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8

Add us to your address book
Copyright (C) 2009 Athabasca University All rights reserved.


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