External Review Board

Since its establishment in 2012, MVLRI has published numerous reports, including case studies of statewide blended learning implementation, teacher infrastructure practices, and yearly effectiveness reports on the state of online learning in Michigan. In all of this work, MVLRI has strived to conduct high quality research and report unbiased results with integrity. To further the core strategy of providing high quality and high-impact research, MVLRI has established an External Review Board. The purpose of the ERB will be to provide a high-level review of MVLRI-produced reports to ensure adherence to norms and policies of the educational research community, as well as to confirm objectivity and accuracy of results. The Institute is honored to have the following K-12 online and blended learning experts serving on the ERB.


Leanna Archambault is an Associate Professor of educational technology and innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her research areas include teacher preparation for online and blended classrooms, the use of innovative technologies to improve learning outcomes, and sustainability literacy among preservice and inservice teachers. In collaboration with her co-authors, Dr. Archambault was awarded the Online Learning Innovator Award for Important Research from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning in 2010, 2012 and 2015. She was part of an interdisciplinary team that won the ASU President’s Award for Sustainability for the development and implementation of an innovative course focused on sustainability science for teachers. Prior to taking her position at Arizona State University, Dr. Archambault graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a Ph.D. in instructional and curricular studies. As a former middle school teacher, Dr. Archambault is passionate about improving education, particularly through the use of relevant and emerging technologies.


Michael K. Barbour is the Director of Doctoral Studies for the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University. He has been involved with K-12 online learning in a variety of countries for well over a decade as a researcher, teacher, course designer and administrator. Dr. Barbour's research focuses on the effective design, delivery and support of K-12 online learning, particularly for students located in rural jurisdictions. Recently, his focus has shifted to policy related to effective online learning environments. This has resulted in invitations to testify before House and Senate education committees in several states, as well as consulting for Ministries of Education across Canada and in New Zealand. Dr. Barbour is currently a fellow for the National Education Policy Center and is also a past MVLRI fellow.


Jered Borup is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Learning Technologies at George Mason University. In his current position, he is the professor-in-charge of the Blended and Online Learning in Schools Master's and Certificate programs that are devoted to improving teacher practices in online and blended learning environments. Previous to earning his Ph.D. at Brigham Young University, Dr. Borup taught history at a junior high school for six years. He has also taught online and blended courses since 2008. His current research interests include developing online learning communities and identifying support systems that adolescent learners require to be successful in online environments. A full list of his publications can be found here.


Tom Clark is President of Clark Consulting, which seeks to help learning organizations improve, demonstrate their value and expand learning opportunities through its evaluation, planning and publication services. Dr. Clark has led evaluations of a variety of programs, including a $9.1 million federally funded digital learning project, four state virtual schools and eLearning in Chicago Public Schools; and he has acted as a collaborating evaluator for statewide school grant programs. Recognized as an author in digital learning, his latest book is Online, Blended, and Distance Education in Schools, co-edited with Michael K. Barbour. Dr. Clark has authored or co-authored white papers and reports for WestEd, Microsoft, and MVLRI, as well. Clark Consulting also provides confidential consultations in areas such as program planning and evaluation and grant writing assistance. Dr. Clark completed his Ph.D. in educational administration at Southern Illinois University. Learn more about Clark Consulting »


Randy LaBonte has worked as a senior level executive and consultant for over 30 years in the K-12 and postsecondary education sectors. His doctoral studies, which focused on leadership and implementation of technologies for British Columbia’s 50 K-12 Distributed Learning (or online) schools, led to government consulting work in the development and authoring of policy, agreements and e-learning standards. Randy developed, piloted, led and implemented the Quality Review process for British Columbia online K-12 schools, and this led to other research work examining distance education programs in the province of Alberta. He also assisted eCampusAlberta with its online program of services to member institutions, including online professional development and has published papers on quality, leadership and e-learning standards. Randy is an adjunct professor at Vancouver Island University where he teaches online courses for K-12 educators shifting their practices to online learning environments. Recently, Randy was appointed Chief Executive Officer for the newly formed Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) where he is actively growing this start-up nonprofit organization.


Chin-Hsi Lin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education at Michigan State University. Dr. Lin earned his Ph.D. in language, literacy and technology from the University of California, Irvine, in 2012. His research interests revolve around learning processes in online learning. Specifically, his work has focused predominately on self-regulation and teacher effect and how they predict achievement. His current project aims to determine optimal class size and instructors’ load for K-12 online courses in virtual schools.


Feng Liu is a researcher at the American Institutes for Research. Dr. Liu serves as a research analyst on experimental and quasi-experimental studies for statewide and nationwide research projects. He conducts data analysis using a variety of methods including multilevel level modeling, propensity score matching, comparative interrupted time series, and regression and mixed-design modeling; and provides support for instrument development using Rasch modeling and structure equation modeling. He manages client communication, writes reports and contributes to the dissemination of findings. Dr. Liu has more than nine years of experience in research design, advanced data analysis, and survey validation and design. He has worked on multiple federal and state level projects during his professional career at AIR and previously at the University of Florida. These projects include but are not limited to Multiple State 21st Century CCLC, including the states of New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington; New York City Common Core Curriculum Professional Development Evaluation; Mississippi School Leadership Program Evaluation; Ohio Race to the Top Pilot Projects Evaluation; FLVS Evaluation; Indiana’s System of Diagnostic Assessments; Cryptoclub Program Evaluation; and Florida’s Enhanced Education Through Technology (EETT). Dr. Liu has published research articles in several academic journals and presented his work at numerous conferences. He received his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with specialization in educational technology and a minor in research evaluation and methodology from the University of Florida.


Susan Lowes is Director of Research and Evaluation at the Institute for Learning Technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Adjunct Professor in the Program in Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design at Teachers College. Dr. Lowes has conducted research at both the university and K-12 levels, with a focus on the impact of technology on teaching and learning, and directed multi-year evaluations funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education, the National Science Foundation, state and local departments of education, and private foundations. She is particularly interested in online learning and has studied self-paced and cohort-paced online courses for high school students, as well as online professional development initiatives for teachers, medical doctors, and school administrators. At Teachers College, she teaches a course on online schools and online schooling and a course on methodologies for researching technology and education. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University.


Kerry Rice is a Professor in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University. She is author of Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices (Pearson, 2012), led the development of the Idaho K-12 Online Teaching Standards and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for INSPIRE Connections Academy, a virtual charter school. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Awards: the first, a Fulbright Scholar Award to Poland in 2012-2013 and, most recently, a Fulbright Specialist award to Poland in the summer of 2015 where she co-directed an International Summer Institute on Emerging Technologies in Education. Her research focuses on best practices in K-12 online education with articles appearing in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education, the Journal of Educational Technology and Society, and the British Journal of Educational Technology. She has presented on best practices in K–12 online teaching at numerous national and international conferences including those of iNACOL, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Society for Information Technology and Education, and the American Educational Research Association.


Jayson W. Richardson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies and a Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). He currently teaches educational leadership, emerging technologies, technology leadership, action research and qualitative methods at the graduate level. His research and teaching focus on how digital technologies can be harnessed by school leaders to improve teaching and learning outcomes. Dr. Richardson earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration with a focus on comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.