Online Learning: Around the Country and Around the World Susan D. Patrick President and CEO North American Council for Online Learning
North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) • NACOL is the leading, international, non-profit association in K-12 online learning. • Conference - Virtual School Symposium (VSS): “Bridging the Gap through Online Learning” in Phoenix, AZ on October 26-28, 2008 • 2000 members in K-12 virtual schools & online learning • Provides leadership, advocacy, research, training and networking with experts in K-12 online learning. • “Ensure every student has access to the best education available regardless of geography, income or background.”
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Global Trends in Online Learning • Results of the NACOL International Survey • China: Digital Curriculum & Strategy • Mexico: Digital Content & Teacher Training • European Union: IB Online • IB Diploma Program Online • Foreign Languages • Singapore Secondary Schools 100% Online & Teacher Training • South Korea Virtual School
China & UK 29 Billion K-12 Education Online Learning Deal BBC: Announced October 2007 Education as “export”
“Web opens world for young Chinese . . .”-Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2007 • Beijing -- “Excited and emboldened by the wealth of information they find on the Internet, Chinese teens are breaking centuries of tradition to challenge their teachers and express their opinions in class. . . .” • “Students at Tianjin’s No. 1 Middle School are encouraged to challenge their history texts.” • “The Internet has given Chinese children wings,” says Sun Yun Xiao, vice president of the China Youth and Children’s Research Center. • 137 million online in China at the end of 2006 (in 1999 there were just 4 million connections in China) • 87% of urban youth in China use the Internet
Singapore • Today • All teachers know how to teach online • 100% of secondary schools using online learning • Singapore holds E-Learning week each year • They close physical schools down and ensure e-learning is used for continuity of learning & disaster preparedness • Next step? • All teachers in Singapore trained to use Second Life (virtual worlds) for educating youth
What Students Need to Know: 21st Century Skills and ICT Literacy The future will demand people who can express themselves effectively with images, animation, sound, and video, solve real world problems that require processing and analysis of thousands of numbers, evaluate information for accuracy, reliability, and validity; and organize information into valuable knowledge, yet students are not learning these skills in school.
Defining 21st Century ICT Literacy • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills defined 6 key elements of 21st Century Learning • Emphasize core subjects. • Emphasize learning skills. • Use 21st Century tools to develop learning skills. • Teach and learn in 21st century context. • Teach and learn 21st century content. • Use 21st century assessments that measure 21st century skills. www.21stCenturySkills.org
National Online Learning Facts • 1 in 5 undergraduate and graduate student enrolls in an online course in higher education in the U.S.; there are 3.5 million online learning enrollments in higher education (Sloan-C, 2007) • More than 50% of school districts in the United States offer online courses to students (QED, America’s Digital Schools, 2006) • 42 states have significant policies and/or programs for online learning • 26 states have statewide virtual schools offering supplemental courses • 18 states allow for full-time virtual schools • More universities are offering K-12 courses online • Stanford, John Hopkins, University of Miami, etc. • K-12 Online Learning enrollments growing 30% annually nationwide • 2000, there were 50,000 enrollments • 2003, there were 300,000 • 2005, there were 500,000 • 2006, there were 700,000 • 2007, there were 1,000,000
Michigan Online Learning HS Graduation Requirement • First state to require “online learning” in 2006 as part of updated, more rigorous high school graduation requirements • In new requirements: “every student must have an online learning experience or course” before graduating from high school • Why? Need for online learning is greatest with students to access skills they will need to get ahead and compete in an increasingly technological workplace
New Mexico P-20 E-Learning Network Universities Community Colleges K-12 Pre-K State Snapshots
State Trends: Florida Virtual School • www.FLVS.org • Started in 1996 to “break the mold” in education (innovation grant) • Based on “Prisoners of Time” report; student-centered, instructor-led courses; asynchronous and synchronous • Competency-based; performance funding based on successful completion, not seat time • Set up as a separate LEA (school district) • School districts may not limit access to courses offered through virtual school • In 2008, 100,000 enrollments in Florida Virtual School (statewide supplemental online program) • 2007 Florida Tax Watch Report: • Students academically performed better • Served higher population of underserved students • New standard of accountability • Better use of tax payer dollars with results
State Trends: Georgia Virtual School • Georgia Department of Education • Professional Development for Online Teaching • Teaching License/Online Endorsement • Georgia Virtual School Implementation • AP Courses: Year 1 • Core/Basic Courses: Year 2 • Credit Recovery: Year 3
Alabama ACCESS: Online Learning • Goal: To deliver high quality, advanced courses to students statewide via online learning • $30M over 3 years: upgrade network, 21st century classrooms, train teachers, invest in content • Alabama Supercomputer Authority (ASA) is the networking technology partner for the ACCESS project • Funding 21st century classrooms using online learning • ACCESS students: Chinese, French, German and Latin; advanced placement (AP) calculus, AP English literature and composition, AP macroeconomics, and marine science are courses now available • "Using technology to provide those opportunities not only increases the rigor of instruction, but it also acclimates students to the use of technology and prepares them for a 21st century workforce.” -Governor Riley
What Leaders Need to Know: Four Key Ideas • #1 Online Learning Expands Options • “The first impetus to the growth of K-12 distance education was an interest in expanding educational options and providing equal opportunities for all learners.” (p.7) • #2 Online Learning Is Rapidly Growing • “Recent surveys show that K-12 online learning is a rapidly growing phenomenon.” (p.4) • Clark: 40,000-50,000 enrollments in 2000-2001 • Eduventures: 300,000 K-12 enrollments online 2002-3 • USED/NCES: 328,000 enrollments in distance ed 2002-3 • Peak Group: 500,000 enrollments in 2005 • Sloan-C: 700,000 enrollments in 2006 • Peak Group: 1,000,000 enrollments in 2007 • Growing 30% annually
Online Learning Works • #3 Is Effective: “Equal or Better” • “One conclusion seems clear: On average, students seem to perform equally well or better academically in online learning.” (p. 17) • #4 Improves Teaching • Teachers who teach online reported positive improvements in face-to-face, too. • “Of those who reported teaching face-to-face while teaching online or subsequently, three in four reported a positive impact on their face-to-face teaching.” (p. 25)
Online Learning Demand: Students and Parents • Forty percent of all middle and high school students are interested in taking online courses (2007) • Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to let their child take a high school course online for credit • Education Next and Harvard study (2008)
Online Teaching and Classroom Change • Innovate Journal for Online Education • Special Issue: Building an Evidence Base for K-20 Online Education • Article #1: Susan Lowes • Transformation of both a teacher and the course when a teacher moves between face-to-face and online environments. • Online teaching requires additional training for skills to use digital content, rethink communication, and use collaborative online tools. • Explores shifts in ideas, strategies, and practices that constrain or improve their practice in either venue.
Blended/Hybrid Learning • “Combining face-to-face with fully online components optimizes both environments in ways impossible in other formats” -Educause Research Bulletin, 2004 • Digital content, curriculum, LMS, online assessments, data system • Shift in instructional model and training Self-direction, high engagement, (Less direct student support needed) Struggling student, low-engagement, (More direct student support needed)
Blended Learning is “Best of Both Worlds” • “Blended learning should be approached as not only a temporal construct, but rather as a fundamental redesign of the instructional model with the following characteristics: • A shift from lecture- to student-centered instruction where students become interactive learners (this shift should apply to entire course, including face-to-face sessions); • Increases in interaction between student-instructor, student-student, student-content, and student-outside resources; and • Integrated formative and summative assessment mechanisms for student and instructor.” - (Educause, “Blended Learning”, 2004)
Let Me Learn with My Peers Online • Article #2: Rayenne Dekhinet, Keith Topping, David Duran, and Silvia Blanch • Foreign-language learning with reciprocal peer tutoring. • Primary school program that linked English-speaking learners of Spanish with Spanish-speaking learners of English as peers from two different countries. • Students in the study were highly engaged and motivated in learning their foreign language as they related to a real and authentic audience. • The results of this study provide insight on how Internet technology can be leveraged to enhance language learning.
Learning at a Distance: Engaged or Not? • Article #3: Pu-Schih Chen, Robert Gonyea, and George Kuh • To what degree are online learners engaged in effective educational practices? • Study the engagement of distance learners versus their campus-based counterparts at U.S. four-year degree-granting colleges and universities. • perceptions of more senior distance learners on their engagement in the online setting and noteworthy differences between older distance learners and their younger online course mates.
When the Medium Illustrates the Content • Article #4: Foertsch and Gernsbacher • Seven principles of effective education and their use in an online psychology course • The course on Autism appropriately examines communication absent non-verbal cues, as reflected in online communications that are text-based. • The article examines a comparison between face-to-face communication and online communication and highlights the exchange of ideas and rigor through various mediums and the results.
When the Medium Illustrates the Content . . . cont’d • The article highlights the results of the course, as evaluated against each of the seven principles of effective education: contact between faculty and students, collaboration among students, active learning, timely feedback, time on task, high expectations for students and respecting diverse learning and talents.
V-Learning: How Gaming and Avatars are Engaging Students • Article #5: Annetta, Klesath, and Holmes • Virtual learning environments and the use of avatars in an online course. • The study looks at various interactions, collaborative elements, the role of social presence, and personality through avatars and offers suggestions for online education. • Multidimensional gaming environments offer several elements that have enormous potential for online learning to provide flexibility, interaction and data transparency.
Experiential Work-Integrated Online Learning • Article #6: Arnold • 5 learning concepts incorporated in an online Bachelor’s degree focused on experiential learning • Learning, Technology and Research degree blends five concepts of learning: personalized learning, work-based learning, inquiry-led learning, exhibition and online community. • There are useful lessons in thinking how these concepts could be applied in other online education settings for improving instruction and student engagement. • Benefits of blending these approaches and the challenges across the entire degree program.
Highlights from Review of Studies in K-20 from the United States • Need for more federal research funding for K-12 online learning • Need for training and professional development for online teaching • Key findings from research of postsecondary and professional online learning and online programs • Meta-analysis of 29 study effects found that: • “Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction” • Average effect size of +0.34 favoring online • “Studies in which the same instructors taught the online and face-to-face classes had effects more favorable to online learning” • “Online learning can be enhanced by giving learners control of their interactions with media and scaffolding learner reflection” • Manipulations that trigger learner activity
Resources • Professional Development • NACOL hosts annual conference: Virtual School Symposium • NACOL Monthly Webinars (Elluminate) & TeacherTalk webinars • Quality Issues in K-12 Online Learning • NACOL published National Standards of Quality for Online Courses (2007) • National Quality Standards for Online Teaching (2008) • National Quality Standards for Online Programs (in development) • K-12 Online Learning Reports & Research Committee • NACOL Primer on K-12 Online Learning (2007) • Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning (2007) • Access and Equity in K-12 Online Learning (2007) • Professional Development for Virtual Schools (2007) • 21st Century Skills and Virtual Schools (2006) • Identifying Online Needs of States • NACOL State Needs Assessments Project (10 states) • NACOL Experts • Membership forums, job posting, grants, advice and networking
“Using the Internet to deliver courses seems to contain great disruptive potential. It could allow a radical transformation to happen in an incremental, rational way.” -Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School • Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns predicts that the growth in computer-based delivery of education will accelerate swiftly until, by 2019, half of all high school classes will be taught over the Internet.
“Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail look like a rounding error.” - John Chambers, Cisco CEO
In 1502, Leonardo da Vinci painted the concept of a “pressed bow” bridge, stretching the keystone arch concept with a pier. The bridge was designed for Sulta Bajazet II of Istanbul, but never built. In 1996, Norweigan Vebjorn Sand discovered the bridge and developed the “Golden Horn Bridge” project. The bridge unites past with present, expressing the best aspects of Renaissance art and science in a modern age, without losing the integrity.