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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2016127 Stated Briefly: Professional experiences of online teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a survey about training and challenges
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. REL Midwest, in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance, analyzed the results of a survey administered to Wisconsin Virtual School teachers about the training in which they participated related to online instruction, the challenges they encounter while teaching online, and the type of training they thought would help them address those challenges. REL Midwest researchers and Virtual Education Research Alliance members collaborated to develop the survey based on items from the Going Virtual! survey (Dawley et al., 2010; Rice & Dawley, 2007; Rice et al., 2008). Wisconsin Virtual School administered the survey to its 54 teachers, and 49 (91 percent) responded to the survey. The responses of the 48 teachers who indicated that they taught an online course during the 2013/14 or 2014/15 school year were analyzed for the report. Results indicate that all Wisconsin Virtual School teachers reported participating in training or professional development related to online instruction and that more teachers reported participating in training that occurred while teaching online than prior to teaching online or during preservice education. The teachers most frequently reported challenges related to students' perseverance and engagement and indicated that they preferred unstructured professional development to structured professional development to help them address those challenges. Further research is needed to determine what types of professional development and training are most effective in improving teaching practice, especially related to student engagement and perseverance.
2/17/2016
REL 2016110 Professional Experiences of Online Teachers in Wisconsin: Results from a Survey About Training and Challenges
REL Midwest, in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance, analyzed the results of a survey administered to Wisconsin Virtual School teachers about the training in which they participated related to online instruction, the challenges they encounter while teaching online, and the type of training they thought would help them address those challenges. REL Midwest researchers and Virtual Education Research Alliance members collaborated to develop the survey based on items from the Going Virtual! survey (Dawley et al., 2010; Rice & Dawley, 2007; Rice et al., 2008). Wisconsin Virtual School administered the survey to its 54 teachers, and 49 (91 percent) responded to the survey. The responses of the 48 teachers who indicated that they taught an online course during the 2013/14 or 2014/15 school year were analyzed for the report. Results indicate that all Wisconsin Virtual School teachers reported participating in training or professional development related to online instruction and that more teachers reported participating in training that occurred while teaching online than prior to teaching online or during preservice education. The teachers most frequently reported challenges related to students’ perseverance and engagement and indicated that they preferred unstructured professional development to structured professional development to help them address those challenges. Further research is needed to determine what types of professional development and training are most effective in improving teaching practice, especially related to student engagement and perseverance.
11/24/2015
REL 2015095 Comparing Success Rates for General and Credit Recovery Courses Online and Face to Face: Results for Florida High School Courses
This report describes the results of a REL Southeast study comparing student success in online credit recovery and general courses taken online compared to traditional face-to-face courses. Credit recovery occurs when a student fails a course and then retakes the same course to earn high school credit. This research question was motivated by the high use of online learning in the Southeast, particularly as a method to help students engage in credit recovery. The data for this study covered all high school courses taken between 2007/08 and 2010/11 in Florida (excluding Driver’s and Physical Education). The study compares the likelihood of a student earning a C or better in an online course as compared to a face-to-face course. Comparisons for both general and online courses include those courses taken for the first time and credit recovery courses. The results show that the likelihood of a student earning a grade of C or better was higher when a course was taken online than when taken face-to-face, both for general courses and credit recovery courses. Most subgroups of students also had higher likelihood of success in online courses compared to face-to-face courses, except that English language learners showed no difference in outcomes when taking credit recovery courses online. However, it is not possible to determine whether these consistent differences in course outcomes are attributable to greater student learning, other factors such as differences in student characteristics, or differences in grading standards.
9/15/2015
REL 2015090 Stated Briefly: Online course use in Iowa and Wisconsin public schools: The results of two statewide surveys
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance was to develop and administer a survey to describe online course use in Iowa and Wisconsin brick-and-mortar public high schools during the 2012-13 school year. The Iowa Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administered the survey to representative random samples of 168 public high schools in each state at the start of the 2013-14 school year. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 117 schools in Iowa and 96 schools in Wisconsin to produce statewide estimates of online course use. Results indicate that the primary uses of online courses in both states were to provide students with opportunities for credit recovery and opportunities to complete core requirements for courses covering the primary academic subjects. Schools cited concerns about the educational experiences of students taking online courses, including the lack of teacher training in Iowa and online course quality in Wisconsin. Further research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term academic outcomes for students enrolled in online courses.
5/12/2015
REL 2015074 Stated Briefly: Online course use in New York high schools: Results from a survey in the Greater Capital Region
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The goal of the study conducted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands’ Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA) was to provide information about how and why high schools in the Greater Capital Region of the state used online courses for their students in 2012/13. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 59 responding schools to produce estimates of online course use. Results indicate that 59 percent of respondent high schools in the New York Greater Capital Region enrolled students in online courses in the 2012/13 school year. Schools offered online courses primarily to provide students with opportunities for credit recovery. School officials expressed concern about course quality and academic integrity.
3/31/2015
REL 2015075 Online course use in New York high schools: Results from a survey in the Greater Capital Region
As in most states, New York does not currently have a state-level protocol for collecting data about schools' objectives or methods for offering online courses. The goals of the study conducted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands' Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA) were (1) to create a survey tool capable of collecting information about how and why schools in New York are using online learning, as well as the factors that hinder the use of online courses; and (2) to provide information about how and why high schools in the Greater Capital Region of the state used online courses for their students in 2012/13. NRDRA members from the Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) administered the survey to their 99 member public high schools at the start of the 2013/14 school year. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 59 responding schools to produce estimates of online course use in CASDA schools. Results indicate that 59 percent of the responding schools used at least one online course for their students during the 2012/13 school year, with an average of six percent of the student population across these schools enrolling in an online course. The primary uses of online courses were to provide students with opportunities to recover credit and complete core courses required for a high school diploma. Respondent high schools identified three concerns related to their students' educational experiences in online courses: course quality, the academic integrity of online learning, and the lack of student and teacher face-to-face interaction. For responding schools that did not use online courses, the most frequently cited reasons for not using online courses were concerns about students' educational experiences in online courses and limited school resources, including funding and access to technology. Further research is needed to examine the academic outcomes of students enrolled in online courses.
3/31/2015
REL 2015065 Online Course Use in Iowa and Wisconsin Public High Schools: The Results of Two Statewide Surveys
The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance was to develop and administer a survey to describe online course use in Iowa and Wisconsin brick-and-mortar public high schools during the 2012–13 school year. The Iowa Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administered the survey to representative random samples of 168 public high schools in each state at the start of the 2013–14 school year. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 117 schools in Iowa and 96 schools in Wisconsin to produce statewide estimates of online course use. Results indicate that the primary uses of online courses in both states were to provide students with opportunities for credit recovery and opportunities to complete core requirements for courses covering the primary academic subjects. Schools cited concerns about the educational experiences of students taking online courses, including the lack of teacher training in Iowa and online course quality in Wisconsin. Further research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term academic outcomes for students enrolled in online courses.
1/20/2015
WWC IRL631 Academy of READING
Academy of READING is an online program that aims to improve students' reading skills using a structured and sequential approach to learning in five core areas--phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The WWC identified 38 studies of Academy of READING for adolescent readers that were published or released between 1989 and 2013. Only one of the studies met the WWC criteria for an eligible sample and research design, as described in the Adolescent Literacy review protocol. This study does not meet WWC group design standards. Therefore, more research is needed to determine the impacts of Academy of READING on adolescent readers.
12/16/2014
REL 2015045 Online and Distance Learning in Southwest Tennessee: Implementation and Challenges
The purpose of this study was to increase the understanding among members of the Southwest Tennessee Rural Education Cooperative (SWTREC), a coalition of superintendents from 12 districts (half of which are rural) surrounding Memphis, about the online and distance-learning courses offered by schools that compose the Cooperative. Data for this report were collected through an online questionnaire administered by districts in the SWTREC in April 2013 and completed by one person from each participating school. Seventeen of the twenty-one high schools within the SWTREC districts responded to the survey. More than 80 percent of responding schools reported offering online or distance-learning courses in school year 2012/13. On average, schools provided more online than distance-learning courses, and they had higher enrollments in online courses. Both online and distance-learning courses were used to provide students with access to dual enrollment courses. Schools that offered online courses most often identified the opportunity for students to accelerate credit accumulation as a "very important" reason for offering the courses. Technological limitations – both the availability of technology and restricted periods when technology was available – were barriers schools perceived in offering online and distance-learning courses.
11/12/2014
WWC QR20121 Interactive Online Learning on Campus: Testing MOOCs and Other Platforms in Hybrid Formats in the University System of Maryland
This study measured the impact of using hybrid forms of interactive online learning in seven undergraduate courses across universities in the University System of Maryland. In college courses, interactive online learning typically involves video lectures, extensive opportunities for discussion and interaction with instructors and peers, and online assignments and exams. Hybrid forms of such courses combine online learning components with traditional face-to-face instruction. In this study, college students enrolled in hybrid sections of biology, statistics, pre-calculus, computer science, or communications or in sections that used the traditional face-to-face format. The authors measured the impact of these hybrid courses on course pass rates, student grades, and on exam questions that were common across the hybrid and face-to-face courses. Due to the significant cost savings possible with interactive online learning platforms, the study authors examined whether students participating in online learning courses performed as well as or better than students in traditional courses.
8/11/2014
WWC IRM62714 DreamBox Learning
DreamBox Learning is a supplemental online mathematics program that provides adaptive instruction for students in grades K-5 and focuses on number and operations, place value, and number sense. The WWC identified 11 studies that investigated the effects of DreamBox Learning on the math performance of elementary school students, one of which meets WWC evidence standards. This one study meets standards without reservations and included 557 elementary school students in kindergarten and first grade in three charter schools in San Jose, California. Based on this study, the WWC found that DreamBox Learning has potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for elementary school students.
3/4/2014
REL 2013003 Can Online Learning Communities Achieve the Goals of Traditional Professional Learning Communities? What the Literature Says
Professional learning communities (PLCs)—teams of educators who meet regularly to exchange ideas, monitor student progress, and identify professional learning needs—reflect a growing interest in promoting professional development that engages teachers and administrators. Increasingly, teachers are able to participate in online and hybrid PLCs in addition to PLCs that meet face-to-face. This report examines: characteristics of PLCs, as reported in the literature; advantages and challenges of online and hybrid PLCs, compared to face-to-face PLCs; and considerations for the design and setup of online and hybrid PLCs.
9/18/2013
NCES 2013001 Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010-11
This report provides national estimates about dual credit courses at public high schools. The estimates presented in this report are based on a school survey about dual credit courses offered by high schools during the 2010-11 school year.
2/19/2013
NCEE 20124035 Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students
For report NCEE 2012-4021 Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/rct_231.asp?section=region

This data file contains data from a cluster randomized control trial designed to inform the decisions of policymakers who are considering using online courses to provide access to Algebra I in grade 8. The study indicates that offering Algebra I as an online course significantly affected students’ algebra achievement at the end of grade 8 and increased their likelihood of participating in an advanced coursetaking sequence in high school. The first analytic sample included 440 algebra ready students who attended the participating schools in Maine and Vermont as grade 8 students in 2008/09 (218 in treatment schools, 222 in control schools). Of the 218 algebra ready students who attended treatment schools, 211 (97%) enrolled in the online Algebra I course. The second analytic sample included 1,445 non-algebra ready students (744 in treatment schools, 701 in control schools) who were in grade 8 in 2008/09.
11/26/2012
REL 20124020 Effects of the Kentucky Virtual Schools' Hybrid Program for Algebra I on Grade 9 Student Math Achievement
The 2006-11 Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia at CNA conducted a rigorous evaluation of the Kentucky Virtual Schools hybrid algebra I curriculum. The curriculum combines traditional face-to-face instruction with an online program. This study used a two-cohort sample with 25 high schools in year 1 (SY 07/08: 13 treatment and 12 control) and 22 in year 2 (SY 08/09: 11 and 11), the randomized sample included 6,908 students, 61.4 percent of whom were in rural schools.

As reported in the study, Effects of the Kentucky Virtual Schools hybrid program for algebra I on grade 9 student math achievement, researchers found that the hybrid class format was no more effective at increasing student achievement and future coursetaking in math than algebra offered in the traditional face-to-face format.
4/4/2012
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