Tag Archives: report

Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials

Published May 22, 2012
William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, Kelly A. Lack & Thomas I. Nygren
Online learning is quickly gaining in importance in U.S. higher education, but little rigorous evidence exists as to its effect on student learning outcomes. In “Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials,” we measure the effect on learning outcomes of a prototypical interactive learning online (ILO) statistics course by randomly assigning students on six public university campuses to take the course in a hybrid format (with machine-guided instruction accompanied by one hour of face-to-face instruction each week) or a traditional format (as it is usually offered by their campus, typically with 3-4 hours of face-to-face instruction each week).
We find that learning outcomes are essentially the same—that students in the hybrid format “pay no price” for this mode of instruction in terms of pass rates, final exam scores, and performance on a standardized assessment of statistical literacy. These zero-difference coefficients are precisely estimated. We also conduct speculative cost simulations and find that adopting hybrid models of instruction in large introductory courses have the potential to significantly reduce instructor compensation costs in the long run.
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Full Text: Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials | Ithaka S+R.

Searching for the Reality of Virtual Schools (Report)

Patte Barth, director
Jim Hull, senior policy analyst
Rebecca St. Andrie, managing editor
Centre for Public Education
National School Boards Association
May 2012
Main findings:

  • Online courses and schools enrol a small fraction of the 52 million public school students, but they are rapidly gaining ground. P-12 students take nearly 2 million courses online annually. In addition, about 250,000 students were enrolled full-time in virtual schools in 2010-11, up from 200,000 the year before.
  • The development, management and staffing of online courses and schools is supported by both public and private providers. For-profit companies K-12, Inc., and Connections Academy together enrolled nearly half of all full-time online students in 2010-11.
  • Funding for online learning varies by state, and ranges from 70 to 100 percent of state and local per pupil rates. The impact on district funds also varies by state. In some states, districts are billed for each student enrolled online. In addition, accounting for the actual cost of virtual courses and schools is often lacking.
  • The jury is still out on the effect of online courses on P-12 student achievement. The U.S. Department of Education reviewed existing research and found a modest positive impact of online courses, but cautioned that the findings were based mostly on results for post-secondary students.
  • Emerging reports show a troubling overall picture of poor performance and low graduation rates for full-time online students. Two small-scale studies found positive effects for elementary students, however, suggesting that parental supervision could be an important factor.
  • There needs to be a clearer accountability path for online learning, especially in regard to monitoring student progress and performance as well as accounting for the cost of virtual schooling.

Full Report: http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Organizing-a-school/Searching-for-the-reality-of-virtual-schools-at-a-glance/Searching-for-the-reality-of-virtual-schools-full-report.pdf

Universal design for learning: Initiatives on the Move

Ralabate, P., Hehir, T., Dodd, E., Grindal, T., Vue, G., Eidelman, H., Karger, J., Smith, F., & Carlisle, A. (2012). Universal design for learning: Initiatives on the move: Understanding the impact of the Race to the Top and ARRA funding on the promotion of universal design for learning. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Universal Design for Learning.

On May 15, 2012, the webinar, Universal Design for Learning: Growing Momentum in States and Districts, offered new insights about how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is emerging as a national innovation that is transforming curriculum and instruction for all learners.

Here’s what you’ll learn: UDL expert, Dr. David Rose, describes the UDL framework, followed by highlights from co-author Dr. Patti Ralabate on the findings ofUniversal Design for Learning: Initiatives on the Move, the first comprehensive study of the use of federal funding for UDL initiatives in 14 states and over 130 local districts.

In addition, Ricki Sabia shares advocacy successes of the National UDL Task Force, Fran Sorin of the Maryland Department of Education describes successful state UDL initiatives and Dr. George Van Horn offers perspectives on UDL implementation from the Bartholomew Consolidated School District in Columbus, IN. Finally, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation President Stewart Hudson suggests ways you can “Join the UDL Movement.”

Offered free by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning through a generous grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, this webinar, the UDL: Initiatives on the Move report and supporting resources are available on the site.

Full Text: Report – UDL: Initiatives on the Move | National Center On Universal Design for Learning.

14 online learning challenges at community colleges

Students sitting at computers

Ever wonder if the online learning team at your community college is anywhere near normal?  Is your distance learning program facing the same challenges as peer institutions across the nation?
The Instructional Technology Council (ITC), a non-profit organization that tracks online learning trends at community colleges across the nation, has come up with a loose list of 14 generalized indicators of what “normal” may look like deep inside two-year colleges when it comes to the impact of distance learning. This loose list is based on a survey of 143 accredited institutions that responded to ITC’s annual distance learning trends survey, published March 2012.
Full Text: 14 online learning challenges at community colleges | TPE Post.
Copy of Report (PDF): http://www.itcnetwork.org/attachments/article/87/ITCAnnualSurveyMarch2012.pdf