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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Literature Base

I have often argued that the literature base on virtual schooling, and for that matter distance education at the K-12 level is weak. The research based for virtual schooling, and again distance education at the K-12 level, is even weaker.

If you look at the literature on virtual schooling, I argue that the literature for virtual schooling is relative new and is primarily being published in doctoral dissertations or by private research centers. Unfortunately the amount of published research evidence in this body of literature is limited, as the vast majority of it is based upon the personal experiences of those involved in the actual practice of virtual schooling. Outside of these quasi-action research attempts, the next largest group of virtual schooling literature is evaluations of specific virtual schooling contexts - most of which are paid research endeavours (not that there is anything wrong with paid research, but it does raise questions about objectivity).

There are some that disagree with me. I even had one individual suggest that if you search for virtual school in Google Scholar you come up with a wide range of entries - all of them part of the literature on virtual schooling. While this is probably true, let's take a look at what Google Scholar turns up.

The first page of listing for "Virtual School".

The first page of listing for "Virtual High School".

So, how much research do we have here? While this is only one example to test my theory, how do you think my argument holds up?

Are these valid statements? Is the literature base on virtual schooling, and for that matter distance education at the K-12 level is weak? Is the research based for virtual schooling, and again distance education at the K-12 level, is even weaker?

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