Virtual School Meanderings

July 24, 2018

CANeLearn – Étude de parité de services en FAD (Alberta)

Note that this item went under my radar screen when it was released earlier this year.  I was aware of the reports, and even contributed to them.  I just didn’t know that they had been made public yet.

Étude de parité de services en FAD (Alberta)

Le Centre francophone d’éducation à distance (CFED) de l’Alberta via le Conseil scolaire Centre-Est a demandé une étude de parité ou d’équité entre les services d’éducation à distance offerts par le CFÉD et les services d’éducation à distance offerts par Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ALDC), ainsi que par deux (2) fournisseurs d’éducation à distance en milieu minoritaire hors province et ce, en considération des programmes, des ressources humaines, des modèles de financement et des services offerts et de l’appui gouvernemental fourni à chacune de ces entités.

The Francophone Distance Education Centre (CFED) of Alberta via the Central East School Board requested a study of parity or equity between distance education services offered by the CFED and distance education services offered by Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ALDC), as well as two (2) distance education providers in minority communities outside the province and, in consideration of programs, human resources, funding models and the services and government support provided to each of these entities.


July 7, 2018

Connections Academy Efficacy Report

One of the items in the Virtual Schooling In The News item earlier today.  It is important to note that every independent examination of the performance of students in this particular program have found that they did not fare well compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts (e.g., CREDO, NEPC, etc.).  But of course the report produced on behalf of the company themselves finds the exact opposite, using a methodology that it has complained about in the past.

But to be fair, I wanted to pass it along for others to review for themselves.

Connections Academy Efficacy Report

June 30, 2018

[STLHE-L:] Primary Research Group Inc. has published the: Survey of American College Students: Use of Distance, Blended, Self-Paced & Flipped-Classroom Education, ISBN 978-157440-533-0

While this is focused on the higher education environment, there are some lessons in here for the K-12 environment as well.

Primary Research Group Inc. has published the: Survey of American College Students: Use of Distance, Blended, Self-Paced & Flipped-Classroom Education, ISBN 978-157440-533-0

This comprehensive 140-page report gives highly detailed data on the use of distance, blended, self-paced, independent study and flipped-classroom education by 1,065 full time students at 4-year colleges in the United States.  The study answers questions such as:  how many college students have taken distance learning classes and how open are they to taking them in the future? How many of their total classroom credits are accounted for by distance education?  The report also provides data for the number of credits accumulated through blended learning classes, self-paced independent study, and courses using flipped-classroom techniques. Moreover, in open ended questions, students give their opinion of what they think of these technologies and approaches.

Data in the report is presented in the aggregate and broken out for 16 variables such as age, gender, sexual orientation, family of origin income level, academic major or intended major, ACT/SAT scores, college grades, regional origin, public/private school status, institutional Carnegie class, race and ethnicity and other variables.

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:

52.49% of students sampled said their institutions allowed them to take distance learning courses to satisfy course credit requirements.

In terms of student age groups, students over the age of 30 were by far the most likely to have taken a distance learning course at their present institution; 66.27% had done so.

Students who consider their religion a very important part of their life are more likely than their secular counterparts to have ever taken a blended learning course at their present institution.

17.28% of those sampled had ever taken an instructor-led independent study course.

About 8.5% of students who have a full time job have taken one or more self-paced independent study courses that are web or video-based and which do not emphasize a live instructor.

Students who grew up in the US South were more likely than those who grew up in other regions or abroad to say that they would likely take a distance learning course in the future.

Students who grew up abroad had accumulated far more flipped classroom credits than had students who grew up in the USA.

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June 26, 2018

iNACOL Publishes Issue Brief on State Funding Strategies to Support Education Innovation

And more propaganda advocacy from the neo-liberals to end the day.

To view this email as a web page, go here.
iNACOL Publishes Policy Issue Brief on State Funding Strategies to Support Education Innovation

Today, iNACOL published a new issue brief titled, State Funding Strategies to Support Education Innovation.

The issue brief highlights case studies and action steps for policymakers to deepen their understanding of funding strategies to support innovation in K-12 education.

In order for public schools and districts to effectively plan, launch and scale high-quality, innovative learning models, a focused approach to funding statewide initiatives and for building educator capacity is of growing interest.

iNACOL is frequently asked how states are funding innovation in K-12 education and what the most common funding needs are. In general, innovation funding is important for capacity-building activities such as:

  • Professional development,
  • Technical assistance,
  • Professional learning communities, and
  • Statewide information dissemination.
To effectively plan, launch and scale high-quality learning models, most educators and school leaders need ongoing supports, training and professional development. Therefore, states are identifying sustainable funding strategies to ensure schools have the supports and build the capacity necessary for student-centered learning. Funding can be used for: networks of competency-based schools, professional learning communities, and pilot programs.

Susan Patrick, iNACOL President and CEO, said, “Building capacity for leaders and teachers to design modern learning environments with personalized, competency-based pathways is essential to ensure every student can succeed. States are funding pilots and creating professional learning opportunities to help drive transformation.”

Download a full copy of this issue briefState Funding Strategies to Support Education Innovationand access other recent iNACOL issue briefs:

About iNACOL
The mission of iNACOL is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Visit our websitelike us on Facebookconnect with us on Linkedin and follow us on Twitter.

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June 6, 2018

CIDER Session June 6, 2018 And Open Call

Note this webinar later this morning.

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Dear CIDER Member,

We invite you to our final session for the 2017-18 CIDER Sessions series on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. This free, online session will feature Michael Barbour and Randy LaBonte with this year’s installment of the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report.

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

The 2017 issue of the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report marks its 10th year, and the fifth year of the Canadian eLearning Network’s (CANeLearn) support of this research. The report continues to be Canada’s own benchmark for the expanding use of technology-supported blended and online learning in Canada.

The anniversary report continues the traditional incisive analysis of the state of K-12 e-learning in Canada as well as an expanded collection of research briefs and a description of several vignettes providing considerable insight about innovation and new approaches emerging in online and blended practices in K-12 programs across Canada. Full results of the research and work undertaken in this study, including all annual reports and associated papers, are published on the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada project website ( This session will provide a synopsis and overview of the latest version of this annual report.

When: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – 11am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. CIDER Sessions are recorded and archived for later viewing through the CIDER website. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit us at:

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.


Open Call! Do you have research you would like to share with the CIDER audience? Contact us at to propose a session for our 2018-19 season. Spaces are available for both established researchers and emerging voices.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education. The Sessions and their recordings are open and available to all, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research

EdmontonAB T5J 3S8

Add us to your address book

Athabasca University · Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research · 1200, 10011 – 109 Street · Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8 · Canada
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