Virtual School Meanderings

March 5, 2015

SITE 2015 – Panel on Research on Supporting K-12 Online and Blended Students

The nineteenth session at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

Panel on Research on Supporting K-12 Online and Blended Students

  1. Lori Werth, Northwest Nazarene University, United States
  2. Kim Huett, University of West Georgia, United States
  3. Jered Borup, George Mason University, United States
  4. Jamie Worrell, Connections Education and Florida Virtual School, United States
  5. Lindsey Wahlbrink, Connections Education and Florida Virtual School, United States

Thursday, March 5 11:30 AM-12:30 PM in Amazon I View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44161>
Amazon I Thursday, Mar 05 2015 11:30AM-12:30PM

This panel will bring together leading experts to explore the research related to supporting K-12 online and blended students. Lori Werth will present her work on a study of using Khan Academy in blended learning in order to address students’ learning of math in Idaho. Kim Huett will explore the promises and challenges of student-centered learning in BYOT-enhanced environments. Jered Borup will focus on understanding learner interactions at an online charter school. Jamie Worrell and Lindsey Wahlbrink will present their work on using Response to Intervention at a virtual school.

Lori began by talking about Sal Khan and the Khan Academy.  The study itself was quite broad – 33 school districts, 52 schools, approximately 12,000 students, and 196 teachers.  Lori actually spent the majority of her time describing the demographics of the schools, teachers, and students that were participating in the study.  The study itself had five research questions, and resulted in a 200+ page report.  Lori had to race through her findings (which accounted for less than a quarter of her time), so I’ll just point you to the project website – http://www.khanidaho.org/ (and see http://www.nnu.edu/news/2014/09/22/khan-academy-large-scale-research-study-led-by-nnu-doceo-center/).

Kim was the next panelist.  This session was focused on Kim’s dissertation study that she completed this past Summer, which focused on the affordances and limitations of BYOT in science learning.  Basically, Kim went into a seventh grade science classroom for a month conducting observations and conducting interviews with the teacher and the teacher’s co-planner partner.  She purposively selected a very affluent school that was known statewide for their BYOT.  Kim found that BYOT could be used to do a lot of interesting, creative, and exciting things; however, direct instruction and other elements of school culture was still a barrier to allowing these things to happen.  Teacher time – both to learn the tools and the resources, as well as to assist students that just didn’t have the skills – was also a barrier or limitation.

Jered was the next one up.  Instead of presenting on a specific study, Jered wanted to discuss a broader research agenda – which was focused on his ACE framework.  I could provide notes of what Jered said, but I figure his own words are probably better – https://sites.google.com/site/jeredborup/research-statement.  And you can read about the framework in this article:

Borup, J., West, R. E., Graham, C. R., & Davies, R. (2014). The adolescent community of engagement framework: A lens for research on K-12 online learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. 22, 107-129.

The final session was from Jamie and Lindsey.  Jamie began their portion by providing some background on the Florida Virtual School, stressing how FLVS is a leader in the field and that other K-12 online learning programs look to FLVS for guidance and leadership.  And then Lindsey provided some background into RTI and what it was and how it should operate.  This portion was also much like those practice sessions SITE used to do a year or two or three ago, where the presenters simply described what they did and the process that they used.

SITE 2015 – Teacher Perceptions of Parental Engagement at a Cyber School

The eighteenth session at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

Teacher Perceptions of Parental Engagement at a Cyber School

  1. Jered Borup, George Mason University, United States

Thursday, March 5 10:45-11:15 AM in Conga A View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44671>
Conga A Thursday, Mar 05 2015 10:15AM-11:15AM
Yu-Li Chen: Conga A, 2015-03-05 10:15:00-2015-03-05 11:15:00

A growing number of adolescent students are taking all or most of their courses online and choosing to learn from home rather than in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. This places a greater responsibility on the student’s parents to support and facilitate their student’s learning. This research used teacher surveys and interviews to better understand how teachers perceived and supported parents’ attempts to support their online students. Results showed that parents supported their students by (1) organizing and managing students’ schedules, (2) facilitating interactions, and (3) instructing students when necessary. However, teachers perceived parental efforts in organizing and facilitating activities as more valuable than parents’ instructing activities.

Jered set the stage by discussing some of the literature that has found that cyber charter schools (i.e., full-time K-12 online learning programs) perform quite poorly compared to brick-and-mortar schools.  He then transitioned to the role of the parent – and specifically parental engagement in their child’s education – in the full-time online environment.  When we consider what the school can control, in terms of parental engagement, school policies are the only ones – and most K-12 online learning program policies focus on quantity of interactions or engagement, not the quality.

The study Jered was reporting focused on teacher perceptions of parent engagement.  The particular cyber school that Jered was working with had a parent organization, they required them to register in person and conducted an in-person orientation with parents at that time, basically the school valued and tried to provide a specific structure to ensure parent engagement.

Jered surveyed 15 of the 21 teachers, and then conducted a follow-up interview with 11 of those teachers.  The data teacher surveys included:

  1. Top response – organizing and managing student schedule (13/15)
  2. Bottom responses – nurturing and mentoring students / instructing students (5/15)

According to the online teachers, those parents that had previously homeschooled their children really needed to take a step back from their child’s education (as they were no longer the teacher), whereas those parents that did not homeschool needed to take a step forward and get more involved.  Apparently the homeschooled parents’ role did cause some friction for the teachers.

There was a great deal of teacher-parent communication.  Often, if the parent recognized the student was struggling first they would contact the teacher, and if the teacher recognized it first they would contact the parent.  Although Jered did note that in some instances, the parents served as a buffer between the teacher and the student (i.e., protecting a struggling student) or being unresponsive (i.e., student not doing well and has gone missing, and the parent is roughly the same – but this was a minority of instances).

Teachers also felt that one of the main roles for the parents were as a cheerleader for the student, but also providing a carrot/stick approach to motivating the students.  This latter item required a great deal of collaboration between the teacher and parent.  Teachers also indicated that parental volunteering in academically valuable activities or modeling those activities was a strong source of motivation.

Finally, teachers did not expect parents to be instructors – and students often complained that parental teaching could make matters worse.  This was moreso in science and mathematics, as social studies and English teachers generally appreciated things like proof reading and foreign language teachers appreciated the extra practice that parents could provide the students.

Cyber schooling allows parents more opportunities to facilitate and frustrate student learning.  The key is teacher-parent communications and ensuring that specific expectations and guidelines are established.

Jered finished by describing his ACE framework and suggested that this could be a model that could be used in future research into parental involvement.

SITE 2015 – The Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in An Virtual School World Language Courses: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

The seventeenth session, which begins day three of blogging, at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

The Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in An Virtual School World Language Courses: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

  1. Yining Zhang, Michigan State University, United States
  2. Chin-Hsi Lin, Michigan State University, United States
  3. Ruhui Ni, Michigan State University, United States

Thursday, March 5 10:15-10:45 AM in Conga A View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44442>
Conga A Thursday, Mar 05 2015 10:15AM-11:15AM
Yu-Li Chen: Conga A, 2015-03-05 10:15:00-2015-03-05 11:15:00

Among all the potential factors that affect the success of K-12 online learning, self-regulation learning is an essential one. This study compares the unique contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to online learning strategies and online learning success. The subjects consisted of 469 middle- and high-school students enrolled in online world language courses in a Midwestern virtual school. Structural equation modeling was employed to explore the relations between motivation, learning strategies, and learning success (i.e., satisfaction and perceived progress). Intrinsic motivation was found to predict satisfaction and perceived progress both directly and indirectly through online learning strategies, whereas extrinsic motivation only predicted the outcome variables indirectly.

Yining began his session with the usual statistics about the growth of K-12 online learning and then described the various ways in which students could engage in K-12 online learning.

The basis of this study came from Cavanaugh (2001) and Oliver, Kellogg & Patel (2012), both of which found negative effects for K-12 students learning a foreign language online.  And Yining spent some time providing an overview or review of self-regulated learning and the two main components (i.e., motivation and learning strategies).

The actual study looked at how motivation and online learning strategies impact student outcomes in foreign language online learning (defined as student satisfaction and perceived progress)  , with a specific focus on the distinctions between intrinsic and extrinsic.  The study included almost 1600 students enrolled in a variety of foreign language courses at a supplemental online program in the Mid-West.  The instrument was a 67-item survey, which 466 students responded to (about a third of the possible population).  About two third of the respondents were female – 60% of the respondents were taking the course as an elective, almost 40% were doing a required course, and only 3% were taking their foreign language course due to credit recovery.

After Yining took us through the study design, in some detail, he eventually got to the results.

  • intrinsic motivation was predictive of learning strategy, learning strategy was predictive of online learning success, and intrinsic motivation was also directly related to online learning success
  • extrinsic motivation was predictive of learning strategy, learning strategy was predictive of online learning success, and extrinsic motivation was not directly related to online learning success
  • instrinic motivation contributed unique and additional power in explaining satisfaction, however, extrinsic motivation failed to do so

The bottom line was that intrinsic motivation was key in student success in foreign language learning.  Extrinsic motivation has an indirect impact, and not a negative impact.

I’ll be honest and say that this shouldn’t surprise anyone – not just when it comes to foreign language learning online, or learning online, or even learning.  Students that have an internal sense of motivation to learn will have success – plain and simple.  I guess we now have data to confirm this, at least within an online foreign language environment.

March 4, 2015

SITE 2015 – Bridge to Blended

The sixteenth session (and another one that wasn’t tagged as a Virtual Schooling SIG session, so it went under the radar), which will bring an end to my day two blogging, at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

Bridge to Blended

  1. Blaine Helmick, Florida Virtual School, United States

Wednesday, March 4 4:55-5:15 PM in Amazon Q View on map

<Presentation: Paper #45420>
Amazon Q Wednesday, Mar 04 2015 04:15PM-05:15PM
Lucy Green: Amazon Q, 2015-03-04 16:15:00-2015-03-04 17:15:00

Traditional brick-and-mortar schools are increasingly considering “blended” models for their classrooms. With that come many challenges such as finding the right learning platform, whether to buy or build content, and if existing content can be leveraged. Using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard it is possible to take content and literally put it anywhere. By leveraging LTI, content is created, combined, or consumed in virtually any learning system or potentially no system at all; furthermore, LTI is agnostic to both content vendor and platforms, and is entirely open source.

Blaine’s session was not a research session.  It reminded me of one of those practitioner-focused sessions that SITE experimented with a few years ago.

Anyway, Blaine’s main thesis was that education has always been blended – we just didn’t call it that back then.  He began by using the example of how we used to use calculators (and I guess in some instances still do) in the classroom and this was an example of blended learning – using a technology-enhanced tool in a face-to-face environment.  The challenge today is how we can use virtual learning content in the face-to-face classroom.  In Blaine’s opinion, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) was the answer.

Blaine then provided an example of how LTI in embedded into most content management system (or learning platform), and then demonstrated an example of a lesson that used FLVS and Khan Academy content housed in Canvas.  And then show how that same lesson was replicated using LTI in Blackboard, Desire2Learn, and three or four other platforms.

Blaine indicated on his title slide that you could download his presentation at:

https://flvs.app.box.com/BridgeToBlendedPDF

Blaine tweets from @blainehelmick.

SITE 2015 – The At-Risk Student’s Journey with Online Course Credit; Looking at Perceptions of Care and Their Lived Experience

The fifteenth session at the 2015 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education related to K-12 online learning that I am blogging is:

The At-Risk Student’s Journey with Online Course Credit; Looking at Perceptions of Care and Their Lived Experience

  1. Karis Barnett, The University of Central Oklahoma, United States

Wednesday, March 4 4:15-4:45 PM in Amazon T View on map

<Presentation: Paper #44619>
Amazon T Wednesday, Mar 04 2015 04:15PM-05:15PM
Miri Shonfeld: Amazon T, 2015-03-04 16:15:00-2015-03-04 17:15:00

Studies addressing at-risk students’ perceptions of valuable caring relationships within their unique online environment are rare. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study is to explore at-risk high school students’ insights regarding their experience with online education, which they undertook in order to meet high school graduation requirements. More specifically, it is the intent of this study to examine the presence of care through the voices of those who journey into the virtual high school classroom.

This session was based on Karis’ dissertation study.  Her research questions focused on:

  1. How do at-risk learners understand the term “care” in their online environment?

Karis began by describing the various factors that are associated with being “at-risk” within the K-12 environment.  Karis did underscore the fact that the label “at-risk” is often used in negative ways, and can often de-value those learners.  One of the common features of “at-risk” students, at least through Karis’ lens, was that they are disengaged from the learning – regardless of environment.

Karis then transitioned to the K-12 online and blended environments, and also looked at what the literature indicates successful students need in the K-12 online and blended learning setting – which stand in contradiction to the characteristics of at-risk students.  However, the growth of online credit recovery is undeniable – so are we creating programs that students can really have success in?

Karis then took us through some quotes from her seven participants – all of whom were at-risk students that had completed their online credit recovery courses successfully.  The quotes were numerous and the font was a bit small, so I was unable to copy any of them word-for-word.

It was interesting that all of the participants had a specific life crisis that generally caused them to disengage from their learning and be labelled at-risk.  Within their lived spaces, they were in one of two extremes – a sense of belonging or a sense of isolation.  Within the online environment, the participants viewed care as help and unconditional regard (this was also true of the face-to-face environment as well).  Unfortunately, they felt a sense of non-care more often than not.  They felt a sense of isolation, being judged, and a real lack of help.

Even more interesting was the fact that they had what Karis described as lifelines outside of the formal schooling and online credit recovery environment.  These included motivation (primarily self-motivation), specific attributes that would have normally led to success (e.g., almost all were “gifted” students in elementary school, independent learners, introvert personalities), and possessed self-regulation and tenacity.

« Previous PageNext Page »

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,823 other followers