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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Repost from the AECT BlogTrack - Current Research Literature Base

This week's repost, the fourth in the series and the first entry from May 2006.

Okay, in the last entry I posted a list of links to entries that may or may not discuss the literature on virtual schooling that can be found at my other blog, Virtual High School Meanderings (see Non-Research Virtual School Entries). That entry got me thinking back to another enty that I made at Virtual High School Meanderings entitled Literature Base, where I described the difficulties I was having with a manuscript that I had submitted.

These difficulties were based upon the fact that I was making the claim that there was little “research” on virtual schooling. While I would agree with anyone that this is changing, evidence of this can be found with the funded NCREL studies (see A Synthesis of New Research on K–12 Online Learning) that were completed this past year, the fact of the matter is that at present there exists little more than evaluation studies of single virtual schools (usually isolated to a single year) or reports based upon the perceptions of those involved in the delivery of virtual schooling (primarily by those involved with the Virtual High School consortium). In the Literature Base entry, I used Google Scholar as away to verify this fact.

For a researcher like me, while presenting the great opportunity to be a trailblazer in this area, it also presents many challenges. The primary one is that when writing a literature review, there isn’t a lot of direct references that I can draw upon so I have to use a great deal of indirect citations. In fact, I spend a great deal of time trying to convince readers (and initially journal editors and conference proposal reviewers) that what we have learned about adults engaged in online learning environments isn’t automatically applicable, and in some cases is contradictory to the reality of adoloscent learners.

I’m interested how others, who have decided that their research agenda would not tread on ground that has already been walked on, dealt with this challenge?

So, here we are six months later - is my arguement still valid? Do we have a problem with the lackof research in the literature base for virtual schooling? What do you think?

Tags: , , AERA 2006, , , , ,


Blogger Kate Logan said...

Absoutley, there is a huge lack of literature in regards to online learning in the 9-12 environment. It seems that Catherine Cavanaugh is one of the few who is publishing more than site visit reports or personal "best practices" I have found very little that goes beyond the previous mentioned types that is focued on 9-12 learners.

3:22 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Well, you'd have to throw in Bob Blomeyer, Tom Clark, Margaret Roblyer, Christy Keeler, Elizabeth Murphy, and the Kozma/Zucker team (and of course the things that I have started to publish in this area).

But outside of that it tends to be limited to Master's thesis or Doctoral dissertations, and maybe one off articles that come directly from the person's dissertation (Litke and Wienner are good examples of this).


8:48 AM  
Blogger Kate Logan said...

I feel your pain buddy.

4:18 PM  
Blogger MKB said...


Just out of curiousity, are you working on a Master's or Ph.D. at the moment as well?


4:23 PM  

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