• A Batch of One: A Conceptual Framework for the Personalized Learning Movement

      Lokey-Vega, Anissa; Stephens, Stephanee (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-02)
      Variation in definitions and models of personalized learning has created confusion and disagreement among practitioners and scholars. However, personalized learning continues to be broadly promoted and funded within schools. This paper offers an inclusive definition of what is happening within the personalized learning movement and aims to be inclusive of diverse epistemologies and cultures. To do this, we revisit the seminal metaphor of the factory model of schooling and follow contemporary changes seen in manufacturing to highlight similar trajectories seen in both fields and justify this new definition, which states that personalized learning is the mass customization of learning through a unique combination of automated and student-centered pedagogies. We then propose the Personalized Learning Continuum Framework (PLCF) as a conceptual framework for this movement to help practitioners and researchers describe the relationships between various models as a function of Academic Learning Time, pedagogical methods founded on contrasting philosophical traditions, and the distribution of power in learning.
    • A Call to Action for Research in Digital Learning:Learning without Limits of Time, Place, Path, Pace…or Evidence

      Cavanaugh, Cathy; Sessums, Christopher; Drexler, Wendy (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2015-02)
      This essay is a call for rethinking our approach to research in digital learning. It plots a path founded in social trends and advances in education. A brief review of these trends and advances is followed by discussion of what flattened research might look like at scale. Scaling research in digital learning is crucial to advancing understanding as digital learning quickly becomes mainstream (Watson, Pape, Murin, Gemin, & Vashaw, 2014) and as learning environments and pedagogies shift rapidly. Educators and leaders need more current and detailed insights into effective practice as education becomes more personalized (Kennedy, Freidhoff, & DeBruler, 2014).
    • A Case Study of a Foster Parent Working to Support a Child with Multiple Disabilities in a Full-Time Virtual School

      Rice, Mary; Oritz, Kelsey; Curry, Toni; Petropoulos, Ryan (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-09)
      With increases in the number of students enrolling in virtual schools, increases in students with disabilities can also be expected at virtual schools. Further, not all of these students enrolling in virtual schools will live with their biological parents. As students with disabilities move online, they continue to be protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, these students spend much of the day with their parents or caregivers, if they are supervised at all, which raises questions about the depth and breadth of services that students with disabilities are receiving through their virtual schools. The purpose of this case study was to learn how a foster parent of a student with a disability in a fully online virtual middle school program perceived the school’s response to her child’s needs, as well as how she imagined that the school perceived her. This foster mother determined that virtual school educators could not educate her son in accordance with IDEA. The study offers implications for improving students’ and parents’ virtual school experiences.
    • A Lesson Structure and an Instructional Design Model for Project-Based Online Learning

      Lokey-Vega, Anissa; Williamson, Jo; Bondeson, Kimberly (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2018-02)
      Research-based best practices that employ learning theories such as Project-Based Learning (PBL) have not been thoroughly developed for the constraints of the K-12 online setting, nor have they been tested in this unique context. K-12 online teacher-developers face many constraints during the process of instructional design and require additional supports to translate these learning theories into their lessons. The researchers of this study employed a design and development research method to co-develop two instructional design models for creating project-based online learning (PBOL): the PBOL Lesson Structure, which maps an order of content presentation to offer to learners, and the PBOL Instructional Design Model, which maps a step-by-step process for teacher-developers to follow in designing project-based online lessons for K-12 learners.
    • A Newcomer’s Lens: A Look at K-12 Online and Blended Learning in the Journal of Online Learning Research

      Hu, Min; Arnesen, Karen; Barbour, Michael K.; Leary, Heather (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-09)
      In this study, the authors analyzed 51 articles published between 2015 and 2018 inclusive in the Journal of Online Learning Research (JOLR). The purpose of this study was to examine the trends regarding article topics, geography, research methods and article types, authorship, and citation frequency. The results indicated that JOLR gave additional attention to K-12 blended learning; compared to the field overall. Another common topic was professional development, with one special issue and the majority of top-cited articles related to this topic. Most of the studies were conducted in the United States, by researchers also located in the US. Finally, more than half of the studies employed inferential and interpretive methods. Future research is needed to examine if the trends from this study continue over a more extended period and if these results reflect the development of and change in the field of K-12 online and blended learning.
    • A Snapshot of Successful K-12 Online Learning: Focused on the 2015-16 Academic Year in Michigan

      Bae Kwon, Jemma; DeBruler, Kristen; Kennedy, Kathryn (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-09)
      The purpose of this study was to provide a snapshot of successful K-12 online learning in one of the frontrunner states in the field—Michigan. The authors explored the state’s legislative and policy infrastructure; the beliefs, perceptions, and values of various stakeholders; and statewide enrollment patterns and effectiveness for the 2015-16 academic year. With that understanding, the study presented a secondary analysis of student information, activity, and performance data in a learning management system (LMS) in an attempt to explore success factors at the micro-level. The study results revealed the following: (a) the engagement pattern representing students’ consistent and persistent attempts to complete course tasks week-by-week was the most powerful success factor; (b) a more nuanced notion of students’ time spent in the LMS; and (c) a student population who presents unique needs to be successful in the online learning. The paper concludes with discussion about all findings in terms of a way of creating a feedback loop for upper-level systems.
    • A Time For Reflection: Recognizing Successes and Planning for Improvements

      Borup, Jered; Archambault, Leanna (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-09)
      For many in the field, the start of the academic year is a time when we update our CVs and reflect on the previous year's academic accomplishments. Our attention inevitably also turns to unfinished tasks that we were not able to squeeze into a summer that always seems to end up busier than expected. Thankfully the start of the academic year is full of possibilities that can energize our efforts. Similarly this is an important time for the Journal of Online LearningResearch (JOLR). We are quickly nearing the end of our fifth year, and while we have accomplished many of our goals, there is much work left to be done. As the field’s growth accelerates, we hope to continue to be a leading publication outlet.
    • Accessibility and Usability of Preferences in Blended Learning for Students with and without Disabilities in High School

      Alvarado-Alcantar, Rebecca; Keeley, Randa; Sherrow, Breanna (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2018)
      The researchers designed this study to investigate the programmatic needs of students enrolled in blended courses in high school. Students enrolled in a twelfth-grade blended course in a high school in the southwestern United States were surveyed. Based on participant survey results from students with disabilities and without disabilities, researchers found neutral ratings related to the programmatic needs in course navigation, course layout, advocacy, and accessibility. However, students reported that blended courses were not a preferred means of instruction. More research is needed to determine the underlying reasons that high school students reported negative opinions about blended learning, because the negative opinions of students were not related to course navigation, course layout, advocacy, and accessibility. Areas of future research include investigating the asynchronous and synchronous student-student interactions, teacher-student interactions, student-content interactions, and areas of professional development for teachers.
    • Adapting the Curriculum: How K-12 Teachers Perceive the Role of Open Educational Resources

      de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Weller, Martin; McAndrew, Patrick (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2016-03-31)
      It has been suggested that open educational resources (OER) can lower cost and lead to greater flexibility, however while there has been significant investment in opening up content there have been few studies looking at how these resources are perceived by those who might use them. This quantitative article contributes to fill a gap in our knowledge of how K-12 educators teaching in face-to-face, online and blended contexts currently think about and use OER. It is part of the research carried out by the Hewlett-funded OER Research Hub (OERRH) Project to examine the impact of OER on teaching and learning practices. The authors report findings from a survey of 600+ schoolteachers who answered a set of attitudinal and behavioural questions in relation to how they use OER, what types of OER they use and what influences their selection of content, in addition to the purpose, challenges and perceived impact of OER in the K-12 classroom. The research highlights how OER allow schoolteachers to personalise learning through adaptation, and argues that mainstreaming OER in K-12 education is not only a matter of raising awareness but of changing teachers’ habits.
    • An Analysis of the Curriculum Requirements for K-12 Online Teaching Endorsements in the U.S.

      McAllister, Laura; Graham, Charles (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2016-02-20)
      This study examined existing K-12 online teacher preparation programs in the United States to ascertain the degree to which teachers are prepared to function in online/blended classroom learning environments. This study used a content analysis approach. Research specifically targeted online teacher preparation programs implemented in institutions of higher education. The researcher collected data from state offices of education and institution deans through email surveys inquiring about the existence and capacity of K-12 online teaching endorsements, course descriptions and other course documents.
    • Attitudes and Achievement in a Self-Paced Blended Mathematics Course

      Balentyne, Phoebe; Varga, Mary Alice (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2017-05)
      Blended learning opportunities are expanding for K-12 students in public school settings. As these opportunities increase, researchers and educators seek to discover specific characteristics of the students who are most successful in blended learning environments. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between students’ achievement and their attitudes in a self-paced blended mathematics course. A total of 23 high ability eighth grade students participated in the study by completing the Measures of Academic Progress Mathematics Test and the Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory to examine the relationship between achievement growth during the course and attitudes at the end of the course. Findings revealed a significant positive correlation between achievement growth and attitudes toward mathematics. Achievement growth was also significantly positively correlated individually with each of the four attitudinal factors studied: value, motivation, enjoyment, and self-confidence. Furthermore, there were significant positive correlations between each of the individual attitudinal factors and overall attitudes toward mathematics. This research demonstrates that high ability students with the most positive attitudes toward mathematics may be more successful in self-paced blended mathematics courses. This is an important step in discovering which students are best suited for this learning environment.
    • Blended and Online Practices for Personalized Learning

      Lokey-Vega, Anissa; Stephens, Stephanee (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-02)
      The 2017 National Educational Technology Plan asserted that personalized learning and blended learning are key strategies to technology’s transformation of all schools across the country (US Dept. of Education, 2017). While blended learning has been well conceptualized and communicated, personalized learning has been leaving educators feeling confused in concept and action. To help facilitate a common language and understanding for K-12 practitioners and researchers, this special issue dives into the connections between personalized learning and K-12 blended and online learning from conceptualization, to teacher preparation, and into teacher actions.  A theme that pops up through the issue is the value of planning time and confidence as influences on teacher reception of the personalized learning movement (Tan & Chong, 2018). Additionally, the authors in this special issue share practices that represent the many roles and environments being impacted by the personalized learning movement, and they call us all to engage in future study of this emergent field.  
    • Blended Learning in Indian Elementary Education: Problems and Prospects

      Kundu, Arnab (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2018)
      Elementary education is very vital in human life as well as for the whole society. So it is the duty of every guardian and Government to give elementary education to every child. It serves three major purposes in a man’s life. It gives him a basic foundation for learning the core subjects. It helps to learn about his environment and society and it also helps him to foster his interest in duty and responsibility within his own community through various activities. So researches should be carried on to improve the whole system giving elementary education to our children. Innovative thinking should be employed to universalize of elementary education in the country. Blended learning is one such innovative thinking which may proof effective in giving elementary education more successfully to the children. So the objective of this study is to understand the scope of introducing Blended Learning in the elementary schools in India as well as the problems and prospects of introducing it.
    • Blended Learning in Middle School Math: The Question of Effectiveness

      Fazal, Minaz; Bryant, Melanie (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-03)
      Blended learning models can help teachers leverage the power of technology to customize student learning and differentiate instruction for students at varying achievement levels. Research on the effectiveness of blended learning in K-12 education has largely relied on case studies, and findings suggest differences in achievement outcomes based on content areas and grade levels. This paper reports findings from a quantitative comparative study conducted to investigate the effects of blended learning, specifically using the station rotation model, on the math achievement of 413 sixth grade students. Scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), as well as the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) were used. Student groups were selected based on teacher responses on a survey in which they were asked to identify what portion of their class was spent on blended learning practices and on face-to-face teaching. A t-test was conducted to determine the differences in the scores of students taught in traditional fully face-to-face classrooms and those taught in blended learning classrooms. Findings showed that students instructed through blended learning scored higher on the MAP assessment (M = 11.12, SD = 7.88) than students in a fully face-to-face environment (M = 8.84, SD = 7.40), t(411) = 3.02, p < .01. On the other hand, students instructed in a face-to-face setting scored higher on STAAR (M = 29.96, SD = 11.84) than those in blended learning settings (M = 26.75, SD = 11.06), t(411) = -2.85, p < .01. Blended learning was more effective in facilitating growth in math learning as compared to meeting grade level criteria. These findings indicate that schools can benefit from implementing blended learning particularly for students who are behind academically and need additional academic growth in one school year.
    • (Blended) Learning: How Traditional Best Teaching Practices Impact Blended-Learning Classrooms

      Anthony, Elizabeth (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2019-03)
      Decades of research have shown that the quality of instruction a student receives has a greater impact than any other factor on his or her learning, but the emergence of the blended-learning model has caused many teachers and leaders to focus on innovation and changing practices rather than on developing the research-based teacher practices that have a demonstrated positive impact on students’ learning. Through observations of and interviews with six teachers, this study shows that best teaching practices from traditional classrooms – especially (1) demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness, (2) using assessment in instruction, and (3) engaging students – do, in fact, have a substantial impact on student learning in blended-learning classrooms. These results should help leaders and teachers understand where to focus their time and energy in order to improve student learning. Key Words: blended learning, teacher practices, instruction
    • Book Review–Online, Blended, and Distance Education: Building Successful Programs in Schools

      Adelstein, David (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2015-08)
      This article is a review of Online, Blended, and Distance Education: Building Successful Programs in School. This book gives a much-needed global overview on the current state of K-12 e-learning. Editors Tom Clark and Michael K. Barbour have gathered a wide array of academics and educators to author chapters on a fervently discussed topic, one that has a growing, but a surprisingly limited body of research. The vast scope of the book, which looks at the online educational process from creation to practice, offers insight to a large audience consisting of educators, administrators, and researchers in the field.
    • Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice in Online Learning

      Kennedy, Kathryn; Archambault, Leanna (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2015-02)
      As Gutierrez and Penuel (2014) pointed out in a recent issue of AERA’s Educational Researcher, to be relevant and rigorous, a component of effective research needs to be its direct and meaningful applicability to practice. As a sharing platform for the application of research to practice, JOLR will serve this role for the field of K-12 online and blended learning. We anxiously await your submissions to this new endeavor, and we look forward to continue to learn with you to inform the field through thoughtful research.
    • Building Better Courses: Examining the Construct Validity of the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses

      Adelstein, David; Barbour, Michael (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2016-04)
      In 2011 iNACOL released the second iteration of the National Standards for Quality Online Courses. These standards have been used by numerous institutions and states around the country to help design and create K-12 online courses. However, there has been no reported research on the validity of the standards or the accompanying rubric. This study compares all elements under the five main standards to contemporary K-12 or higher education online course literature. The research concludes with suggested changes and additions, as well as an explanation as to how the research connects to a larger study on K-12 online course design.
    • Coming Together as a Research Community to Support Educators and Students in K-12 Online and Emergency Remote Settings

      Archambault, Leanna; Borup, Jered (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2020-05)
      In the midst of a global pandemic, our work specific to the field of K-12 online and blended learning has never been more relevant or important. Teachers all over the U.S. and globally are faced with the difficult challenge of working to continue remote learning opportunities for their students. Parents are realizing the many challenges of being a teacher and the importance of their role as many step into the fill the gap and help their students. Schools and districts continue to adjust, adapt, try new approaches, and figure out what works being at a distance. We all struggle with the realities of the digital divide and lack of access to devices, internet connections, and necessary accommodations for learners. To say that we are not sure what to expect or often how to proceed is an understatement. Fortunately, our community is filled with talented and giving individuals who have stepped up to provide a wealth of research-driven advice, resources, instructional design support, guidance, ideas and strategies. From Kerry Rice’s blog to Michael Barbour’s 5 minute video chats with selected colleagues, to Stephanee Stephens’ High Noon Help Desk on Facebook Live, there have been so many examples of coming together to help teachers make the transition to emergency remote learning. This is the kind of community we are proud to be a part of and to continue to cultivate through the Journal of Online Learning Research, an open access, academic outlet.
    • Computer Versus Computer and Human Support in an Argumentation-based Science Learning Environment

      Akpinar, Yavuz; Ardac, Dilek; Amuce, Neslihan Er (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 2015-08)
      Technological advancements have made it possible to design learning environments which support multiple representations, discussions and experimentations. This study designed and developed a web based argumentation environment, Argümantaryum. It provides virtual experimentation with, visually rich multi-representations of contents, video, and simulations upon which students may base their arguments and learn some elementary level science units related to matter. It has also a built-in discussion forum and an instant messaging component both of which contain argumentation sentence-openers. Following the implementation, the system was tested in real classroom settings under different study schemes for different learning units. Results revealed that when students used the system collaboratively under a teacher’s guidance, students made progress in terms of both scientific discussion skills and knowledge of the learning units accommodated in the platform. Similar results were also obtained when the same usage scheme was followed for another learning unit. Finally, the report compared performance of the system to a human support only learning environment, and provided a discussion and a set of recommendations on how to further evaluate the platform.