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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Virtual Schooling at AERA

Well, the annual meeting for the American Educational Research Association is next week and I thought that I should post all of the sessions that I am aware of that are dealing with virtual schooling - and give others a chance to post any that I may have missed.

Online Teaching and Learning: Findings From Applied Educational Research

Sponsor: Division H-School Evaluation and Program Development
Section 2: Program Evaluation in School Settings
Scheduled Time: Tue, Apr 10 - 12:25pm - 1:55pm
Building/Room: Marriott / Chicago Ballroom, Section C - Fifth Floor

Session Participants:

Toward a Deeper Understanding of Student Performance in Virtual High School Courses: Using Quantitative Analyses and Data Visualization to Inform Decisionmaking
*Patrick Dickson (Michigan State University)

Online Teaching and Classroom Change: The Impact of Virtual High School on Its Teachers and Their Schools
*Susan Lowes (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Evaluating the Development of Scientific Knowledge and New Forms of Reading Comprehension During Online Learning
*Donald J. Leu (University of Connecticut)

Teaching and Learning in Collaborative Virtual High Schools
*Richard Ferdig (University of Florida)

Staff Development and Student Perception of the Learning Environment in Virtual and Traditional Secondary Schools
*Joan E. Hughes (University of Minnesota)

Succeeding at the Gateway: Secondary Algebra Learning in the Virtual School
*Cathy Cavanaugh (University of North Florida)

A Study of Student Interaction and Collaboration in the Virtual High School
*Andrew A. Zucker (Concord Consortium)

Chair: Thomas A. Clark (TA Consulting)
Discussant: Robert L. Blomeyer (Blomeyer & Clemente Consulting Services)

Abstract: Many of K-12 teachers in today’s online classrooms lack a theoretical and practical understanding of online teaching and learning and are in reality “learning on the job.” These online teachers may receive limited incentives and professional development opportunities, and little in the way of positive public acknowledgment to motivate their effort. New applied research presented through this symposium offers important insights into the promise of effective online K-12 teaching and learning and also barriers to success. However, these findings should be viewed as preliminary. Additional research is required to assure that K-12 online learning opportunities lead to effective student learning and are taught by educators appropriately prepared as “highly qualified” online teachers.

Paving the Way for Learners With Special Needs in Online Education

Scheduled Time: Tue, Apr 10 - 4:05pm - 6:05pm
Building/Room: Sheraton / Sheraton Ballroom, Section I, Level 4
In Session: Research Poster Reception: A Collegial Conversation on Research in Instructional Technology

*Christy Geldbach Keeler (University of Nevada - Las Vegas)
Mark A. Horney (University of Oregon)

Abstract: This paper addresses the intersections between online education and special education in terms of instructional design. It begins by identifying elements of online instructional design that require particular attention when teaching students with special needs. The prevalence of these design elements is examined with the overall finding that contemporary courses generally include design elements necessary to meet the basic needs of students with disabilities. The authors recommend design methods focusing on either universal design principles or a specified target population. The piece concludes with design suggestions and research recommendations.

The Effect of Virtual High School Program Polices on Attrition Rate: A Case Study of a Georgia Public High School

Scheduled Time: Tue, Apr 10 - 4:05pm - 6:05pm
Building/Room: Sheraton / Sheraton Ballroom, Section I, Level 4
In Session: Research Poster Reception: A Collegial Conversation on Research in Instructional Technology

*Soonhee Kwon (University of South Carolina)

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Virtual High School (VHS) program policies on dropout rate and provide educators, policy makers and administrators with the information in reducing the dropout rate of online courses for K-12 schools. The twenty-two cite coordinators from Georgia public high schools responded given the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for background information. Correlation coefficient was calculated to test differences among the background information and the program policies perceived by site coordinators (p < .05). The findings of this study suggest that high school online courses with formal or informal policies reduced students’ dropout rate lower or remained the same as regular class.

Development and Pilot Study of a K-12 School Online Arts Education Assessment Tool (AEAT)
Scheduled Time: Wed, Apr 11 - 12:25pm - 1:05pm
Building/Room: Hyatt / Grand Ballroom, Sections C-D North, East Tower - Gold Level
In Session: Assessment Issues for Schools (Part 1)

*Cathleen D. Galas (California Arts Project)
*Kristine A. Alexander (California Arts Project)
*Lane D. Rankin (Web Media Solutions, Inc.)

Abstract: This work focuses on the development, construction, and first year pilot testing of an online arts assessment tool for California K-12 schools and districts. The AEAT is designed to easily facilitate assessment of arts education programs in K-12 public schools to inform efforts to improve outcomes for all students, especially those students in traditionally underserved schools and. Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development will be assessed within the guidelines of the current California Visual and Performing Arts Framework and California Visual and Performing Arts Standards. The results of the ongoing process will be used to inform arts education decisions in California schools and districts.

When Are Students “Virtually Successful?” Testing a Model to Identify At-Risk Virtual High School Students

Scheduled Time: Wed, Apr 11 - 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Building/Room: Inter-Continental / Adler, Second Floor
In Session: Online Instructional Strategies and Techniques

*Margaret D. Roblyer (University of Tennessee - Chattanooga)
*Jon C. Marshall (Marshall Consulting)
*Steven C. Mills (University Center of Southern Oklahoma)
*Lloyd Davis (University of Tennessee - Chattanooga)

Abstract: Despite high hopes for the benefits of virtual schooling (VS), student dropout and failure rates are usually considerably higher in virtual high school courses than in traditional ones. As is usual with any kind of school performance, many reasons contribute to retention and failure problems associated with virtual schools. It was hypothesized that at least some of the contributors are essential student skills and attitudes that could be shaped with pre-course intervention. A model was developed and field-tested to help identify which high school students would be likely to fail in VS courses unless they received additional assistance and support. A survey based on past findings of contributors to online success was administered to students of a large virtual school (N=4100) who were taking courses in the Spring, 2006 semester. Findings indicated that developing a helpful predictive model is feasible, although methods should be specified that would yield optimal results in the future.

Virtual Learning and the Shaping of Educative Experiences in High School History

Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 12 - 9:05am - 9:45am
Building/Room: Hyatt / Grand Ballroom, Sections C-D North, East Tower - Gold Level
In Session: Teaching History - SIG Roundtables II

*Rosa Bruno-Jofre (Queens University)
Karin G Steiner (Steiner International)

Abstract: This paper on history education argues for situating integration of information and communication technologies in an ethically defensible vision of education. We place historical mindedness at the core of educational aims related to history education and to the educative experience. Here, educative experience is defined in line with Dewey’s understanding, and in the context of a vision of education that includes cultural-psychological dimensions. In history education, this means teaching the cultural practices of historians and the functions of history. The mediating role of the teacher is examined in this context, and we discuss the possible risks of not attending to educational aims or to the educative experience in computer-supported classrooms; namely, the danger that history education is reduced to “edutainment”.

How Are They Doing? Examining Student Achievement in Virtual Schooling

Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 12 - 10:35am - 12:05pm
Building/Room: Marriott / Halsted, Fourth FloorIn Session: Rural Schools, Student Achievement, and Standards-Based Assessment

*Michael Kristopher Barbour (University of Georgia)
*Dennis M. Mulcahy (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Abstract: Five years ago the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation began a virtual high school within the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Designed primarily to provide courses in specialized areas to students in rural areas, where schools have difficulty in attracting second language, mathematics and science teachers. However, there has been some concern that the opportunities provided by this virtual high school are “second rate” or only able to cater to independent, self-motivated students. The purpose of the study is to examine the student achievement in standardized public exams and final course scores in the province between different delivery models to determine whether or not students are succeeding in the virtual high school environment at the same rate as their classroom counterparts.

Training K-12 Virtual Teachers: A Multidimensional Analysis of Their Unique Needs, Best Practices, and Methodologies

Scheduled Time: Thu, Apr 12 - 4:05pm - 6:05pm
Building/Room: Sheraton / Executive Center, Parlor F, Level 3
In Session: Achieving Educational Quality and Equality: A Confluent Perspective

*Lisa Dawley (Boise State University)
Kerry Rice (Boise State University)

Abstract: Very little is known about best practices and methods for effectively training K-12 virtual teachers. Online teachers have unique needs in this regard due to the technology and context of their teaching environment. Approximately 160 virtual teachers will receive online professional development over a four month period in fall 2006. Mixed methods will be employed in the collection of data. This study uses a multi-dimensional analytic framework as proposed by confluent educators to investigate the unique professional development needs of these teachers in the social-contextual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal domains.

If anyone knows of other presentations that deal with virtual schooling, cyber schooling, web-based learning at the K-12 level, online learning at the K-12 level, etc. please post them as a comment to this entry.

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