From September 20 to 27, 2017, Public Sector Consultants Inc. (PSC), on behalf of Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, conducted surveys with 800 Michigan adults and 400 college students (88% from Michigan) as part of ongoing public opinion research designed to better understand the opinions, preferences, and beliefs of Michigan residents about online learning opportunities for high school students in the state. The adult survey is a follow-up to similar polls conducted by PSC in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and was designed to include common questions for comparison. The college student survey, new for the 2017 year, includes questions about their specific experiences with online learning in high school and college. Taken together, these surveys allow for continued monitoring of opinion trends about online learning while providing important context about the experiences of current college students.
- Public Sector Consultants
What we already know about this topic
- Michigan adults have consistently viewed online learning as important.
- Adults expect online learning to continue to grow.
- Despite these beliefs, Michigan adults tend to be relatively unaware of online learning requirements or policy for K-12 students.
- Attitudes about online learning tend to vary by subgroups.
What this report adds
- Provides updated data on public awareness and attitude measures.
- Includes, for the first time, survey data collected from college students about their college and high school online learning experiences and attitudes.
- Richer picture, through the eyes of recent high school graduates, of their online exposure in high school.
Implications for practice and/or policy
- Given the optimistic attitudes of adults and the belief on the part of college students that more online learning opportunities in high school would have benefited them, it is likely to continue to see growth in K-12 online enrollments.
- Data observed in Michigan’s Effectiveness Report however, suggests that increases in online enrollments over the last six years has also come with a reduction in the statewide pass rate of online courses.
- Thus, great attention and care must be given to supporting the growing population of students who are learning how to learn online so that, to the greatest extent possible, the intended learning outcomes are achieved.