Virtual School Meanderings

May 18, 2017

Validated Online Course Design Standards

A few weeks ago I saw this news item scroll across my electronic desk – Edmentum Plato Courses Receive iNACOL Standards Approval. When you go to the news item, you get access to this summary:

Edmentum’s Plato Courseware’s iNACOL Standard Review –

A former doctoral student of mine actually completed his dissertation research focused on whether the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses could be validated based on research. Here are the results.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Building better courses: Examining the content validity of the iNACOL national standards for quality online courses. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(1), 41-73. Retrieved from

  • The first round focused on whether there was literature and, more importantly, the research literature support for the standards.  David was able to find something for just about every standard, but there was actually little in the way of K-12 distance, online, and blended learning research literature to support most standards as they were written.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2017). Improving the K-12 online course design review process: Experts weigh in on iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 18(3). Retrieved from

  • The second round had two teams of experts review the standards to determine whether, based on their expert opinions, the standards were appropriate measures of the quality of online course design.  While there was some general support for most standards, many of them were revised or dropped based on this expert feedback.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Redesigning design: Field testing a revised design rubric based of iNACOL quality course standards. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 31(2). Retrieved from

  • The third round had several teams of two reviewers that were responsible for applying the rubric associated with the standards to a variety of online courses to determine if inter-rater reliability could be achieved.  The results of this application were that the rubric could not be reliably applied.

Adelstein, D., & Barbour, M. K. (2016). Redesigning design: Streamlining K-12 online course creation. MACUL Journal, 37(1), 20-21. Retrieved from

  • This final article was targeted to practitioners.  It was basically an attempt for David to translate what he learned from the three rounds of research that would be of interest and of use to a practitioner audience.

March 31, 2017

SITE 2017 Proceedings Now Available Online!

From Wednesday’s inbox…

Free Abstract Access for All!

Unlimited Full-text Access for
LearnTechLib Subscribers
SITE 2017 Attendees!

SITE 2017–Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education Conference peer-reviewed/accepted papers are published exclusively in the Proceedings available in the LearnTechLib–The Learning and Technology Library. This series serves as a major source of information on the research, development, and application of instructional technology in Teacher Education.

Free Abstract Access!  Just try it!

LearnTechLib Subscribers & SITE 2017 Attendees Can:

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March 30, 2017

JOLR Special Issues

Note these two special issues coming up.  I do hope that the one on diverse learners turns out more diverse than the special issue that similar folks who edited a special issue of Journal of Special Education Technology did.

Michael Barbour,

We hope this email finds you well. The Journal of Online Learning Research (JOLR) has two upcoming special issues:

o   Guest Co-Editors: Mary Rice (, Mark Deschaine, Daryl Mellard

o   Manuscripts Due: October 20, 2017

o   Guest Co-Editors: Christopher P. Rozitis (, Khendum Gyabak, Krista Tomaselli

o   Manuscripts Due: April 20, 2018

Could you please share these opportunities with anyone you think might be interested? The guest editors are also happy to answer any questions regarding their special issue.

Thank you for your help!

Jered Borup & Leanna Archambault
Co-Editors-in-Chief, Journal of Online Learning Research

March 25, 2017

SITE 2017 Keynote Talks Now Available!

From Friday’s inbox…

Keynote Talks Now Available!
View the live recordings of keynotes speakers exclusively on LearnTechLib.
Recordings are open access, no subscription required.

Sponsored by:
Accepted and presented papers are published by SITE/AACE in the
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March 9, 2017

SITE 2017 – Make It Real: Designing Authentic Online GIS Learning For A K12 Audience

The thirty-eighth session – and final for the conference – that I am blogging here at SITE 2017 related to K-12 Online and Blended Learning is:

Make it real: Designing authentic online GIS learning for a K12 audience

  1. Aaron Doering

    Aaron Doering

    Univ of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN

    Aaron H. Doering, PhD; Associate Professor, Learning Technologies; Co-Director, LT …

    , University of Minnesota, United States

  2. Jeni Henrickson, University of Minnesota, United States

Thursday, March 9 2:15-2:45 PM

No presider for this session.

Geographic knowledge and spatial thinking skills are key in today’s globally interdependent world. New tools and models are needed, however, to guide teachers and learners alike through the process of geographic inquiry using new technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS). EarthXplorers is a new online learning environment that integrates a GIS platform and takes an inquiry- and project-based approach to learning GIS. This environment uses U.S. historical sites of significance tied to contemporary issues to advance spatial thinking and geographic inquiry skills. Our study explores teacher and student engagement with EarthXplorers as it examines how geographic inquiry, spatial thinking, and creative problem-solving skills are impacted by engagement with an online learning environment centered on GIS learning using real-world examples.

Full Paper
K-12 Online Learning New Possibilities with Information Technologies Geospatial Education

I really wish I could be in this session, but I’m on the shuttle on my way back to the airport.  So if you are in the room, please post your notes below.

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