2016-17 directives support and accelerate innovation in online and blended learning

For the 2016-17 school year, Section 98 of the State School Aid Act directs MVLRI to address 20 tasks to strengthen teaching and learning for K-12 education. Toward that end, staff has responsibilities as summarized in the items below. (For exact language, please see the legislation.)

Support and accelerate innovation in education

  • Test, evaluate and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.
  • Research, design and recommend digital education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.
  • Research, develop and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and online course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils.
  • Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction.
  • Provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number and percentage of teachers, school administrators and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University, and identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of digital learning in the public education system.
  • Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Provide leadership for this state's system of digital learning education

  • Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective online learning in this state’s schools.
  • Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations and other information related to online learning.
  • Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for online teaching.
  • In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.
  • Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.
  • Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.
  • Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.
  • Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.
  • Research and establish an Internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the platform. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.
  • Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. MVLRI shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. MVLRI shall review the virtual course offerings of MVU, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. MVLRI shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the MVU website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f.
  • The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:
    • The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The completion rate for each virtual course.
  • Develop prototype and pilot registration, payment services, and transcript functionality to the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.
  • Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.