Virtual School Effectiveness

Michigan Virtual School Course Effectiveness

by Mark Sivy

The effectiveness of virtual learning for K-12 students was studied and presented In a recent report from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute™ (MVLRI™), a division of Michigan Virtual University (MVU). Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report indicates that virtual course enrollments in the Michigan Virtual School have seen rapid growth, increasing from 89,921 in 2010-2011 to 185,053 in 2012-2013. This report was prepared at the request of the Michigan Legislature to examine the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 students

Mike Flanagan, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, stated “It is very helpful to see the data that schools are required to submit for virtual enrollments being turned into useful information that can help impact instruction and policy in Michigan.” Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of MVU, adds “The data suggest that students with lower academic success in traditional classroom environments are more often directed to virtual learning options. I am surprised that schools are not doing more to guide students with demonstrated success as independent learners into virtual learning options.”

Michigan Virtual School

Michigan Virtual School is a division of Michigan Virtual University

The researchers, Dr. Joe Freidhoff (Executive Director of MVLRI), Kristen DeBruler, and Kathryn Kennedy, concluded:

  • There are inherent issues in the reporting of data that could lead to an inaccuracy in the current findings.
  • The current process that’s in place for the collection of state data at the school level is not producing sufficient data to be able to have a definitive understanding of what does and doesn’t work.
  • The data that does exist has resulted in mixed outcomes, indicating virtual course successes and weaknesses.

Please visit THE Journal’s article to read about David Nagel’s views on the report

To view the full report >>


Virtual School News

 Announcing my new blog – Virtual School News

by Mark Sivy

<img src="image.gif" alt="Virtual School" />My dissertation in now complete and will soon be published, bringing an end to a long doctoral program journey for this mid-career professional-gone-student. The short version of the rationale for taking this life-altering path was to gain a breadth and depth of knowledge, research skills, and theoretical perspective that would augment many years of practical experience in educational technology, e-learning, and educational leadership. It’s now time to regroup and put this wealth of abilities, wisdom, and education to good use.

Did I accomplish what I expected? Yes and more! On the surface I knew I was pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in instructional systems technology. Done! Then there was the strengthening of self-motivation, self-esteem, self-efficacy and indomitable character that enabled the completion of years of coursework and research, all while moving into an unknown future. Made it! Studies included organizational theory, advanced instructional design, policy, learning theory, educational technology, instructional systems, leadership, research design, and more. Suited my desires and needs! Then came the freedom to explore educational innovations and technological trends in the areas of e-learning, online professional development, virtual school ecosystems, and virtual school leadership. Icing on the cake!

So, now what? Well, I’d been thinking about creating a blog for virtual school news (which includes cyber schools, online school programs, and such) as a way to share what I’ve learned and will yet discover. Since I have many other interests and curiosities, I decided to create the following blogs in addition to Virtual School News:

<img src="image.gif" alt="Virtual School" />

As I mentioned, I’ve used this post as a common introduction to all my blogs and after this point they shall each set sail in their own direction. The destinations are many, with several being charted, others pursuing intriguing trends, and some going where the winds might blow. So now onward with these journeys…this one being on virtual school news.

Reflection Point – I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking, And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.  ~ First stanza of Sea Fever by John Masefield