Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Blog

Research, Policy, Innovation & Networks

Research community sessions of interest at iNACOL 2016

posted by MVLRI, on October 20, 2016

For the last few years, MVLRI has been discussing the importance of community and making sure that we all work together to move the field forward.

Based on our discussions with members of the community, we would like to propose the idea of biannual meetings, once in the fall and once in the summer. These meetings would occur at the iNACOL (fall) and ISTE (summer) conferences, would take place over two days prior to the start of the conferences, and would include a full-day preconference. The meetings would be open to anyone who would like to attend, and we would like them to be free. We are currently in negotiations with both iNACOL and ISTE staff to see if it’s possible for us to use their space for these gatherings. These two days would include networking and research sessions that are in addition to those that would occur during the conferences themselves.

Additionally, there would be a chance to contribute to a collection of conference proceedings published in a special issue of the Journal of Online Learning Research at the end of the year as well as opportunities to share your work through the MVLRI webinar, podcast and blog series.

Stay tuned as we’d like to gauge your interest in these types of gatherings and to get your feedback and input into the future activities we host.

To kick off this initiative, here are the sessions we think will be of interest to the research community at iNACOL 2016.

8 a.m. - 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

K-12 ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING RESEARCH COMMUNITY MEETING — FREE but please register!

Location: Please check program book upon arrival.

This day-long research community meeting will foster a space for researchers and practitioners and other stakeholders to come together and provide opportunities for networking, find funding opportunities and drum up collaborative prospects. We’ll provide a chance for everyone to gain and give practical, applicable insights into measuring K-12 blended learning initiatives. Differentiated training around The Learning Accelerator’s (TLA) Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning will be followed by facilitated, mixed-role, small group discussions about a path forward. More information » 

10 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

HOW DOES THE COMBINATION OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING WITH BLENDED LEARNING SUPPORT EQUITY IN STUDENT LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS?

Location: 214B

Engaging students in project-based learning (PBL) alongside blended learning can present challenges to teachers who may view them as opposing pedagogical approaches. This session discusses how one urban middle school math teacher combines both approaches to personalize learning for students through partnership with researchers at Stanford University. Participants will experience hands-on how PBL and blended learning approaches can help achieve equity in student mathematics learning.  

MEASUREMENT AGENDA FOR BLENDED LEARNING: ADVANCING COLLECTIVE UNDERSTANDING OF BLENDED LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS

Location: 304C

You need to make decisions about blended learning to best support your students. We have answers to your questions and recommendations for how to help us better understand if, how and when blended learning is effective. Join us for differentiated training about The Learning Accelerator’s (TLA) Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning, followed by mixed-role, small-group discussions facilitated by researchers, administrators, funders, industry and others. Gain and give practical insights into measuring K-12 blended learning.  

RAPID CYCLE EVALUATION FOR ED TECH TOOLKIT – SOFT LAUNCH EVENT

Location: Exhibit Hall – Booth #622 (listed as “U.S. Department of Education”)

We are very excited to be soft-launching the RCE for Ed Tech toolkit at iNACOL. We will have a booth in the main exhibit hall from about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Wednesday evening, with the official soft launch on Wednesday morning, 10 a.m. - Noon. Please stop by and encourage others to do the same!  

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH THE CENTER ON ONLINE LEARNING AND STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: THE STATE OF POLICY, PRACTICE AND RESEARCH

Location: 303B

The Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (COLSD) is a federally funded research center focused on the emerging trends, issues and promising practices in online, blended and digital learning for students with disabilities. Our annual publication Equity Matters: Digital & Online Learning for Students with Disabilities provides a summary of current trends. This session will highlight the 2016 publication as well as provide an open discussion around students with disabilities.  

ON THE VERGE: CREATING AN EDUCATION INNOVATION CLUSTER

Location: 302A

Education Innovation Clusters (EIC) are geographic concentrations of interconnected organizations that develop and nurture edtech and breakthrough learning practices, as well as collaboration between education, research and commercial partners. Since convening as a loose network, Rhode Island’s EIC has grown to a network of over 100 stakeholders and 60 companies. Discussion will bring together national thought leaders about process, timeline, hiccups and early wins, and how to start the process in your own community.  

TOP 5 REASONS TO NEVER IGNORE LEARNING SCIENCE WHEN DESIGNING SCHOOL MODELS

Location: 301C

Historically, a gulf has divided research on how children learn and are motivated from the design of schools. This session will illuminate the problems with ignoring learning science when designing school and highlight the great possibilities of grounding design in evidence-based insights. The session will be led by Dr. Bror Saxberg, Chief Learning Officer of Kaplan Inc. and board member of Transcend, together with Dr. Jennifer Charlot, who is a Partner at Transcend. 

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

A CALL TO ACTION: HOW CAN RESEARCHERS, FUNDERS AND PRACTITIONERS WORK TOGETHER TO IMPROVE THE EVIDENCE BASE FOR NEXTGEN LEARNING?

Location: 304C

We will explore the evidence base to date for personalized learning, inlcuding the findings of a new Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) report highlighting what 50+ next gen schools care most about measuring. Participants will engage in a rich discussion around what metrics matter most for proving the value of personalized learning, some existing efforts to date to rethink the goal post for student success, and how we can build consensus across stakeholders and further build the evidence base for these models.

CATALYST: USING RAPID-CYCLE EVALUATION TO OPTIMIZE STUDENT LEARNING

Location: 221B

In 2014, IDEA Public Schools implemented Catalyst, our 6-12 individualized learning program designed to ensure that 8,000 students enter high school on grade level and graduate college-ready. This year, Catalyst middle-of-year data projects over two years of student growth. In this session, we will focus on how to use Rapid-Cycle Evaluation to collaboratively identify emerging issues, share best practices and modify implementation to maximize student growth.  

DEVELOPING DATA SHARING RELATIONSHIPS: BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR DISTRICT-WIDE BLENDED LEARNING ANALYSIS

Location: 305

This session is designed for any district or school looking to analyze the effectiveness of multiple blended learning programs against internal school metrics. Participants will (1) learn to create data sharing agreements, (2) understand the technical complexities and strategies for data integration and storage (including type and granularity of data), and (3) create research questions that their organizations hope to answer with an established integrated data platform.  

HOW DO SCHOOL SYSTEMS NEED TO CHANGE TO SUPPORT PERSONALIZED LEARNING?

Location: 302C

This session explores how state and district systems shape the implementation and growth of personalized learning (PL) in schools. The session begins with an overview of findings from in-progress studies of PL implementation. Attendees will then work in small groups through two thought exercises: advising a hypothetical district interested in making changes to better support PL, and reflecting on how to address system-level issues in their own organizations to better support PL in schools.  

LEADERSHIP IN BLENDED AND DIGITAL LEARNING: SHIFTING CULTURE, LEADING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING, TRANSFORMING TEACHING AND DOCUMENTING CHANGE

Location: 217D

This interactive session addresses key strategies to enable school leaders to shift school culture, design professional learning and transform teaching for blended and personalized models. Participants will share questions and experiences as they engage in hands-on activities, explore resources from the Leadership in Blended and Digital Learning program, discuss its implementation in MyBlend schools and examine research results conducted by the Friday Institute and Michigan Virtual University.  

PERSONALIZING LEARNING FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: BEST PRACTICES AND LESSONS FROM THE FIELD

Location: 303B

The promise of personalized learning is that it meets the needs of each student, but how does it best meet the needs of students with disabilities? Learn about the National Center for Learning Disabilities’s (NCLD) efforts to bring together leading education and disability experts to make personalized learning work for students with disabilities. Hear from practitioners and parents about their experiences and insights. Dive into NCLD’s research and identify best practices for implementing personalized learning for students with disabilities.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING: FOUNDATIONAL TO PERSONALIZED LEARNING

Location: 213B

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is foundational to successful personalized learning programming. We will share highlights of CASEL’s Student SEL metacognitive study and will present SEL competencies, including self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making and relationship skills. This session will be interactive through the use of the Buzz learning platform in small groups and will allow for collaborative reflection and problem solving of common dilemmas related to SEL programming in schools.

HOW MENTORS, INSTRUCTORS, PARENTS AND STUDENTS SUPPORT ONLINE LEARNER ENGAGEMENT

Location: 207A

When learning online, students must not only learn the content but must also learn how to learn online. Students who lack online learning skills are likely to underperform or fail unless they are provided with the level of support that matches their needs. This session will broaden understanding around the support systems at schools that have successfully provided students with extensive support systems. We will discuss findings from nearly 100 interviews with students, teachers, parents and mentors.

10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

FEATURED SESSION: PROVING GROUND: USING EVIDENCE TO DRIVE CHANGE

Location: 221C/D

Proving Ground, a Center for Education Policy Research initiative, is developing a new research infrastructure to allow districts and charter management organizations to quickly learn about the relationship between their interventions and student outcomes in order to improve implementation, assess impact and inform decision-making. Session participants will learn about this infrastructure, the relationship between specific education software usage and student outcomes, review sample reports and engage in an discussion about how data can help inform change.

EFFECTS OF COMPLETION-BASED FUNDING ON SCHOOL POLICIES, ADMINISTRATOR AND TEACHER PRACTICES AND STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: A CASE STUDY EVALUATION OF AN ONLINE CHARTER SCHOOL

Location: 304C

In this session, we discuss impacts of completion-based funding on school policies, administrator and teacher practices, and student outcomes through our case study of an online charter school serving 12,000 students. This study asks three questions: (1) What are the “nuts and bolts” of this completion-based funding system in practice? (2) What impact does competency-based education have on the policies and practices of school leaders and teachers? and (3) What is the relationship of these practices to student outcomes?

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

EDUCATING ACROSS LOCALES: A CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS OF ENROLLMENT AND PERFORMANCE ACROSS VIRTUAL SCHOOLS

Location: 302C

Research on online learning in Michigan has revealed enrollment and performance differences in virtual courses based on student locale. This session will share the results of a nationwide study of virtual school students, highlighting enrollment and performance trends for students across different geographic areas, including urban, suburban, rural and town locales.

LEARNING ASSEMBLY: HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT WORKS? EVIDENCE FOR ED TECH IMPACT

Location: 304C

The edtech industry can be uncharted territory if you’re trying to figure out what will work for your classrooms. Join the Learning Assembly — a network of organizations who are piloting and evaluating edtech with schools across the country — to learn about their efforts to standardize how these products are evaluated. With market transparency in mind, their new evaluation taxonomy creates common definitions and processes for determining which products will best improve outcomes for students.

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

ENSURING INSTRUCTOR PRESENCE: EFFECTIVE PRACTICES FROM THE FIELD

Location: 304A

This session brings together program leaders, researchers and others interested in ensuring instructor presence, an important aspect of personalizing online and blended learning. Leaders and researchers briefly share their related practices and studies, then participants dynamically cluster and share their experiences and interests via “brainwriting,” combining ideas to create visual affinity diagrams that reveal their own practices, concerns and lessons learned in ensuring instructor presence.

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

BLENDED LEARNING IN INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS — WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

Location: 304C

Join us to learn about research conducted at five independent Jewish day schools that spent the past three years implementing blended learning. Hear from the research team at the Center for Reinventing Public Education and from the funders of the project as they discuss the educational and financial outcomes of the project. The lessons learned will be applicable to other school settings and we will think together about what structures need to be in place to ensure better implementations.

10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF STUDENT MATH READINESS: SUCCESSFUL USE CASES, SUPPORTIVE DATA AND RESEARCH FINDINGS

Location: 304B

This interactive presentation will start by asking attendees to identify student math challenges in their local setting. The presenters will then provide correlations to authentic use case implementations of EdReady in secondary and higher education co-requisite and companion mathematics classes. Supportive data and quantitative and qualitative research findings, by researchers from the University of Montana, will illustrate the versatility and success of this student friendly mathematics tool.

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

MICHIGAN'S K-12 VIRTUAL LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS REPORT, 2014-15

Location: 302C

The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute released its third annual report on the effectiveness of K-12 virtual learning in Michigan, highlighting enrollment totals, completion rates and the overall impact of virtual learning on K-12 pupils. The report’s author will share findings from data analysis and lead a discussion around the implications of those findings on future practice and research.

REDUCING BARRIERS TO EVALUATION: NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Location: 221C/D

Join the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology and Institute of Education Sciences launch of the new Rapid Cycle Evaluation Platform. Created with Mathematica, this web-based evaluation platform is designed to meet the needs of districts seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of education technology products they use. In this session, participants will explore the new tools that increase their capacity to assess whether products meet their students’ needs and improve student outcomes.

THE RAISE YOUR HAND TEXAS (RYHT) RAISING BLENDED LEARNERS (RBL) STATEWIDE INITIATIVE: CREATING THE MOVEMENT, DESIGNING THE COMPETITION AND PROVIDING IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORTS

Location: 301C

RYHT will explain the impetus behind the RBL initiative and what they hope to accomplish. Heather Staker will provide an overview of the RBL competition design and process for creating statewide awareness and selecting demonstration sites. Cat Alexander will describe the ecosystem of technical supports developed to create enabling conditions and ensure implementation success at the RBL demonstration sites and larger network of innovating districts throughout Texas.