This study examines student enrollment patterns within cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, a state where elected policymakers tend to view choice as a means for school improvement. The findings suggest that despite the more accessible choice sets inherent to the online nature of the cyber charter school sector, enrollment stratification persists along student demographics and feeder district traits. These patterns lead to unequal access to higher performing online schools.
This article presents a multiple-case study that investigated six different cases of exemplary online teachers and their teaching contexts within a large research university. The findings reveal common exemplary online teaching practices and suggest recommendations for supporting and nurturing successful online teaching in higher education institutions.
This article presents findings from a qualitative synthesis study that examines faculty experiences with online learning.
In spite of the increased popularity and presence of online learning opportunities, however, many researchers and practitioners are decrying the lack of a research-validated framework to guide their design. Other researchers and practitioners point out that what works in effective traditional learning environments may or may not work in online environments. These concerns are addressed in this article through a review of relevant research and the presentation of a learner-centered framework.
This article explores some of the common metaphors used to illuminate the Web and its application to distance education. Using the work of Lakoff and Johnson (1980) as a foundation for understanding and categorizing metaphors, the advantages and disadvantages for our future of such metaphors as the "Web,""Information Highway,""virtual,""surfing,""information as education," and "distance education" are evaluated.
This article reports on an evaluation of a virtual schooling innovation in an Australian context. The purpose of the study was to examine the organisational, pedagogical, and technological efficacy of the innovation.
In this paper, we describe the transition of a face-to-face jigsaw role-play exercise to a primarily asynchronous graduate-level online course in education. Beyond the community building aspects of the exercise, our goals were to promote the application of course theory to real life situations; promote the construction of knowledge through peer interaction; address a general, common problem from diverse problem-solving perspectives; and negotiate issues in consensual and confrontational modes. We conclude with reflections, lessons learned, and future plans.
In developing a bilingual/ESL endorsement program, teacher educators at Brigham Young University have devised a distance education model founded on sociocultural pedagogy. This model supports the delivery of high quality professional development to collaborative teams of teachers at local school sites.
This study uses Gidden’s (1991) concepts of time-space separation and disembedding to identify how teachers and students in a virtual classroom taught by one of the authors constructed social relations. Using discourse analytic methods, the study illuminates the discursive processes through which the teacher and students re-articulated conventional classroom discourse to create hybrid, student-controlled/teacher-centered spaces. The study poses several fundamental questions about our assumptions about teaching and student-centered classrooms.
Plants, Pathogens, and People is a website intended to promote agricultural awareness. The use of the site in large-enrollment classes for five years provides one of the longest-lived and most thoroughly-documented cases of web-enhanced instruction. We have collected both qualitative and quantitative data on student perceptions of the site, their learning, and the relation of the web site to the course as a whole.
Relying on data from an in-depth study of 15 community colleges, this article explores online education through the lens of institutional theory. This theoretical perspective highlights the colleges’ environmental contexts and offers a critical examination of the ways that the institutional contexts have structured the colleges’ approaches to online education. At the core of this analysis is the contention that community colleges are interpreting and responding to a set of taken-for-granted ideas about online education. These ideas have taken on the status of myth and have played a powerful role in guiding and legitimating colleges’ online activity. This analysis provides a research-based foundation for understanding online activity at the community college level and for carefully addressing the challenges associated with its adoption.
This study explores how adults learn from asynchronous written dialogue through the lens of psychological type preferences.
This paper describes the need for new and adapted evaluation methods that are sensitive to the affordances of the technology in e-learning environments. The paper discusses specifics of e-learning and explores evaluation methodology as it applies to technology.
This article reports findings of a meta-analytical study of research on distance education. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the effectiveness of distance education. The results show that although the aggregated data of available studies show no significant difference in outcomes between distance education and face-to-face education as previous research reviews suggest, there is remarkable difference across the studies. Further examination of the difference reveals that distance education programs, just like traditional education programs, vary a great deal in their outcomes, and the outcome of distance education is associated with a number of pedagogical and technological factors. This study led to some important data-driven suggestions for and about distance education.
In this essay, I take stock of the developments shaping distance learning and consider the implications for educational researchers and for the future of education. I proceed in four stages. First, I consider the constellation of forces leading to the development of distance education and the emerging shape of this part of the education sector. Second, I review the development of distance learning to date, a path of development based largely on the extension of and borrowing from existing educational arrangements and patterns in face-to-face education. Third, I explore developments at the leading edge of contemporary distance learning that depart in some more substantial way from patterns characteristic of face-to-face education. Fourth, I consider the implications for educational researchers as well as those for policy makers and educators.
A plan is presented that replaces the age/grade x school subjects structure of schooling with a structure of sequenced courses leading to incremental capability certification.
A Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the Teachers College Record and TCRecord.org
A personal reflection on the undergraduate experience that illuminates the author's concerns about distance education.
The authors consider some issues confronting higher education as a result of the increasing use of new information and communication technologies for online teaching and the increasing globalization of higher education institutions and constituencies.
This article examines UK teachers’ use of an Internet-based discussion group over a two year period. This is then contrasted with the popularly held view of computer-mediated communication creating ‘virtual communities’ of teaching staff.
Why computers are used less often in classrooms than in other organizations
Educational technology's place in classroom teachers' thoughts and practices
This study investigated how new technology affects the working procedures and mental activity of industrial machinists, examining how machinists learn to use computer numerical control technology. Results indicate areas of cognitive difference requiring further study (e.g., differences in conceptualization, formalization, and perspective, and shifts to logical cues from sensory ones).
Consideration of the computer as just another type of material in classrooms.
The use of computers in education can be an opportunity for children to surprise themselves and their teachers. The key is to empower the child with tools of self-expression.
Numerous efforts in higher education and the schools have aimed to make computing an effective tool serving the entire curriculum by helping to make the diverse fruits of academic culture available to students. Despite such efforts, however, computers have yet to prove very useful substantively in education. More often than not, what happens is that the computer becomes the object of study, not a tool for the study of some subject in depth.
We are now heading back in the old formalistic direction, with the insouciant amnesia that
has become a hallmark of our educational history. Then, the slogans were "excellence," "mastery," "structure," and "discipline"; and the devices
were teaching machines, programmed instruction, and new school curricula prepared by experts in the disciplines. Now, the slogans are "excellence,"
"basics," "minimum competences," and "standards" and the devices are
television and, more particularly, the computer.
The need for some form of computer literacy has come to be accepted as an essential condition of everyday life, now that the computer has insinuated itself into our jobs, our schools, and our homes. As a result, computer-literacy education has become very big business, evidenced by the myriad of computer classes, workshops, and camps available to people of all ages. The purpose of all this training, we are told, is not to make engineers or programmers of everyone; rather, its focus is on a minimal level of instruction that will introduce the masses to the ubiquitous computer and enable them to feel “comfortable," to have “a sense of belonging in a computer-rich society."