Virtual School Meanderings

February 6, 2017

Due Monday: SITE 2017 Early Registration/Confirmation

Note this deadline today.

Early Registration & Author Confirmation:
February 6, 2017
Austin, Texas March 5 – 9, 2017
Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

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February 1, 2017

Article Notice – Inquiring into Presence as Support for Student Learning in a Blended Learning Classroom

As I mentioned in the New Issue: Journal of Online Learning Research – 2016 – Volume 2, Number 4 entry last week, I am posting notices of each of the individual articles throughout the week.

Inquiring into Presence as Support for Student Learning in a Blended Learning Classroom

Mark Stevens, George Mason University, United States ; Mary Rice, University of Kansas, United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 2, Number 4, 2016 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

Abstract

In blended learning models, students do part of their coursework online and part in small groups with teachers in classrooms. The presence (teaching, cognitive, social) that teachers need to assert in blended environments has been the subject of much scholarly interest. The purpose of this paper is to share findings from a narrative inquiry that explored various aspects of presence in a middle level classroom. Findings are reported using a series of narrative episodes that have undergone narrative inquiry processes of burrowing, broadening, and retelling. What is described is a process wherein diligent dialogue and social presence were used collaboratively between participants in an effort to cross the boundaries between virtual and actual worlds so that problems could be solved, and off-task behavior could be redirected. These findings have implications for the preparation and support of blended teachers and for the evolving theorization of presence in K-12 blended settings.

Citation

Stevens, M. & Rice, M. (2016). Inquiring into Presence as Support for Student Learning in a Blended Learning Classroom. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(4), 447-473. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Article Notice – Electronic Learning Communities as a Support for Building Relationships with Students in a Statewide Virtual High School

As I mentioned in the New Issue: Journal of Online Learning Research – 2016 – Volume 2, Number 4 entry last week, I am posting notices of each of the individual articles throughout the week.

Electronic Learning Communities as a Support for Building Relationships with Students in a Statewide Virtual High School

Jayme Linton, Lenoir-Rhyne University, United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 2, Number 4, 2016 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

Abstract

This qualitative case study used Wenger’s (1998) communities of practice (CoP) framework to analyze how the ongoing electronic learning community (eLC) process at an established state virtual high school (SVHS) supported online teachers in building relationships with online students. Lave and Wenger’s (1991) concept of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP), which describes the participation of new CoP members as they move toward full membership, was used to examine the participation and perspective of new eLC members at SVHS. Elements of LPP were evident in case study data, particularly in the way the eLC process granted new members access to resources and to the practice of other members. Other elements of LPP were less visible in the eLC process, such as becoming and conferring legitimacy.

Citation

Linton, J. (2016). Electronic Learning Communities as a Support for Building Relationships with Students in a Statewide Virtual High School. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(4), 419-445. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

January 31, 2017

Article Notice – Training for Online Teachers to Support Student Success: Themes from a Survey Administered to Teachers in Four Online Learning Programs

As I mentioned in the New Issue: Journal of Online Learning Research – 2016 – Volume 2, Number 4 entry last week, I am posting notices of each of the individual articles throughout the week.

Training for Online Teachers to Support Student Success: Themes from a Survey Administered to Teachers in Four Online Learning Programs

Jacqueline Zweig, Erin Stafford, Education Development Center, Inc., United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 2, Number 4, 2016 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

Abstract

In addition to teaching the subject matter, online teachers are tasked with supporting students’ understanding of the online environment as well as students’ progress, engagement, and interactions within the course. Yet only four states and the District of Columbia require teachers to receive training in online instruction prior to teaching a K–12 online course (Watson et al., 2014). Directors of three supplemental online learning programs and one consortium in the Midwest administered a survey to their teachers to gather information about teachers’ preservice education and professional development, the challenges they encountered while teaching and supporting students online, and their perceived needs for additional professional development. Online teachers reported that they primarily received training while teaching online rather than during preservice education. The most commonly reported challenges were related to supporting student engagement and perseverance. The results from this survey suggest that online teachers may need additional training in multiple areas in order to best support their students. Further, the results highlight that more rigorous research is needed to determine the online instructional practices that improve student engagement, perseverance, and performance.

Citation

Zweig, J. & Stafford, E. (2016). Training for Online Teachers to Support Student Success: Themes from a Survey Administered to Teachers in Four Online Learning Programs. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(4), 399-418. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Article Notice – The At-Risk Student’s Journey with Online Course Credit: Looking at Perceptions of Care

As I mentioned in the New Issue: Journal of Online Learning Research – 2016 – Volume 2, Number 4 entry last week, I am posting notices of each of the individual articles throughout the week.

The At-Risk Student’s Journey with Online Course Credit: Looking at Perceptions of Care

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

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 2, Number 4, 2016 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

Abstract

To date, primary research studies have focused on examining the characteristics of successful online credit recovery programs and virtual high schools in the United States. Other research interests have investigated data regarding K-12 virtual schooling and explored effective instructional design curriculum. One manner of recognizing students in education is for “his or her story to be told” (Bingham, 2001, p. 36). However, 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

Citation

Barnett, K.K. (2016). The At-Risk Student’s Journey with Online Course Credit: Looking at Perceptions of Care. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(4), 367-398. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

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