Virtual School Meanderings

May 3, 2009

31 Days To Build A Better Blog – Day 18 [Part 2]

For Day 18 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, by ProBlogger Blog Tips, Darren asked us to Create a Sneeze Page for Your Blog [Day 18 – 31DBBB].  So, back in 31 Days To Build A Better Blog – Day 18 I indicated that I would try to create one from the suggestions I got from the Day 16 activity (both part 1 and part 2).

Well, that didn’t work out so well – as in I got good suggestions for some future entries, but I didn’t get anything I could create a sneeze page out of.  As a reminder, a sneeze page is a post “that propels people in different directions deep within your blog by highlighting a variety of posts that you’ve previously written.”

Given that today’s activity is actually Day 28 – putting me almost ten days behind – I figured that I should start getting some of these items out of the way.  So, the sneeze page I created focuses on the podcasts and vodcasts that I started creating this past year.  The page itself, which is in the top right-hand navigation bar, is:

VHSM Podcasts

I figured it would be useful to keep these all in the same location (beyond the iTunes location, where they disappear after a certain period of time), and I also have some ideas that I want to work on over the summer and the coming academic year to increase the number and frequency that I post these.

So, that is Day 18 – on to Day 21 next.

February 25, 2009

VHSM Vodcast: Designing Effective Asynchronous Course Content

VHSM Vodcast: Designing Effective Asynchronous Course Content Introduction

As I mentioned yesterday in VHSM Vodcast: Virtual Schooling In Canada Introduction, this is the second video I created for the Virtual School Clearinghouse. This one is officially titled Effective Web-based Design for Secondary School Students (and you can view this and all of the other videos – mine and other people’s – here).

Anyway, this video was based upon three research projects that I conducted a few years back.  One with course developers with the Illinois Virtual High School.  One with teachers and course developers with the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI).  And one with students with the CDLI.  While I have yet to publish from each of these studies, here are citations from what I do have in the public domain:

Barbour, M. K. (2007). Teacher and developer perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary school students. Journal of Distance Education, 21(3), 93-114. Retrieved on June 8, 2007 from

Barbour, M. K. (2005). Perceptions of effective web-based design for secondary school students: A narrative analysis of previously collected data. The Morning Watch, 32(3-4). Retrieved November 04, 2005 from

Barbour, M. K. (2005). The design of web-based courses for secondary students. Journal of Distance Learning, 9(1). 27-36.

Barbour, M. K. (2005). Evaluation of the Illinois Virtual High School course development process. Aurora, IL: Illinois Virtual High School. Retrieved on January 21, 2009 from

Along with several conference presentations and proceedings (see the Presentations tab, under Research, of my homepage for more).

Anyway, like the one yesterday I hope that this also appears in the iTunes area for the VHSM Podcasts.  We shall see…

February 24, 2009

VHSM Vodcast: Virtual Schooling In Canada

VHSM Vodcast: Virtual Schooling In Canada Introduction

Well, I haven’t really kept up on the podcasting plans I had intended in the Fall (see VHSM And Podcasting).  In fact, I managed to get them up as a Teaser (read Intro) and in October (read Intro).

Anyway, these aren’t really podcasts (or vodcasts as the title implies).  I was contracted by the Virtual School Clearinghouse to create two videos: one on models of K-12 online learning in Canada and a second on effective web-based design for adolescent learners.  You can access these, and other videos here.

This first one, entitled Models of K-12 Online Learning: The Canadian Experience, focused upon a variety of organizational and delivery models utilized by K-12 online learning programs in Canada.  While some are consistent with the models that you would find in the United States (probably best described in John Watson’s Keeping Pace with Online Learning reports), some are kind of unique to the Canadian context.

In the following message, I have attempted to embed the video link in the hopes that it will act as an RSS feed of the video itself so that it will appear in my iTunes area for the VHSM Podcasts.  I guess I’ll find out in a few days whether or not it worked.  In the meantime, enjoy…

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