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Monday, November 09, 2009

 
Call for Nominations
Dissertation Award in Rural Education


Sponsored by
the American Educational Research Association
Special Interest Group in Rural Education

Fully one-quarter of American schoolchildren live in rural communities. The AERA SIG in Rural Education seeks to promote and recognize rigorous research among new scholars that can influence policy and practice to improve the educational lives of these children. The Rural Ed SIG seeks nominations for its 8th Dissertation of the Year Award. The winner of the award will be recognized at the Rural SIG reception at the Annual AERA Meeting in May 2010 in Denver, Colorado.

Eligibility: Doctoral dissertations completed between September 1, 2007 and August 31, 2009.

The awards committee will accept nominations from any research tradition in education, sociology, history, and other fields, and in which the rural context is prominent in the conception, research design, execution, conclusions, and recommendations (if any). Dissertations in which the word rural is uncommon are not likely to qualify to be judged. Authors are encouraged to nominate their own works; nomination by another scholar is unnecessary and it is not considered a substantive advantage.

The nomination must include the dissertation author’s current contact information (postal address, phone, email address, current work affiliation, and webpage if any) and the nominee's contact information (if not a self-nomination). In addition, the nomination must provide the name of institution, the relevant academic department, and exact date of the dissertation defense at which the study was accepted.

Please send nominations, an unbound copy of the complete dissertation (title page, text, abstract, reference list) and an electronic version on a CD-ROM by January 15, 2010 to the Award Committee Chair. Materials submitted become the property of the awards committee and cannot be returned to the author or nominator.

Award Committee Chair
Caitlin Howley
300 Summers Street, Suite 600
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
304.342.4627
CHowley@icfi.com

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Friday, November 06, 2009

 

NRCRES Conference: Increasing Rural 8th Graders' Access to Algebra I: Is Online Education An Effective Alternative?

nrcresThe final day of The National Research Center on Rural Education Support's Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference (see program here). The breakout session today that focused upon K-12 distance education is:
8:00 - 9:45
Break-Out Session I
Distance Education and Technology

Chairs: Judith Meece and Matthew Irvin
Discussant: Miles Bryant (UNL)

Presenters:

  • Wallace Hannum (UNC-CH) and Matthew Irvin (UNC-CH) - Enhancing Distance Education in Rural Schools

  • Michael Barbour (Wayne State University) - Supporting K-12 Students Online: Local schools, Virtual Schools, and Teacher Education

  • Peggy Clements (REL-NEI) - Increasing Rural 8th Graders' Access to Algebra I: Is Online Education an Effective Alternative?

  • Steve Oliver (UGA) - Relevance of NSF Drivers of Systemic Reform for Instructional Technology Interventions



This entry is focused on the first group in this session:

Peggy Clements (REL-NEI) - Increasing Rural 8th Graders' Access to Algebra I: Is Online Education an Effective Alternative?


The session began with a rationale for her study... Studying Algebra I because it is a gatekeeping course for more advanced mathematics, and studying it in an online environment with eighth graders because online delivery is a common way to increase access to curricular opportunities. The sample focused on 70 schools in Maine and Vermont that did not previously offer Algebra I courses in their school. The students who were the focus of the study were "algebra ready" (AR) eighth graders (based on the decision of the schools), but they were also interested in any side affects for the three quarters of eighth grade "non-algebra ready" students who were left in the classroom environment.

The primary research questions were:

  1. What is the impact of offering Algebra I online to AR students on their end-of-eighth grade algebra achievement?

  2. What is the impact of offering Algebra I online to AR students on their subsequent high school course taking?


The secondary research questions:

  1. What is the impact of offering Algebra I online to AR students on the N-AR students mathematics achievement?

  2. What is the impact of offering Algebra I online to AR students on the n-AR students subsequent high school course taking?

  3. What is the impact of offering Algebra I online to AR students on the AR general mathematics achievement?


Unfortunately, while the research project has been completed the funding agency hasn't approved the report yet - so the presenter was not able to discuss the results.

As a side note, on two separate occasions the presenter decided to "correct" something she thought I had said in my presentations - the first time she clearly wasn't listening to what I said and the second time it was something she appears to have made up altogether.

Crossposted at Virtual High School Meanderings.

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NRCRES Conference: Enhancing Distance Education In Rural Schools

nrcresThe final day of The National Research Center on Rural Education Support's Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference (see program here). The breakout session today that focused upon K-12 distance education is:
8:00 - 9:45
Break-Out Session I
Distance Education and Technology

Chairs: Judith Meece and Matthew Irvin
Discussant: Miles Bryant (UNL)

Presenters:

  • Wallace Hannum (UNC-CH) and Matthew Irvin (UNC-CH) - Enhancing Distance Education in Rural Schools

  • Michael Barbour (Wayne State University) - Supporting K-12 Students Online: Local schools, Virtual Schools, and Teacher Education

  • Peggy Clements (REL-NEI) - Increasing Rural 8th Graders' Access to Algebra I: Is Online Education an Effective Alternative?

  • Steve Oliver (UGA) - Relevance of NSF Drivers of Systemic Reform for Instructional Technology Interventions



This entry is focused on the first group in this session:

Wallace Hannum (UNC-CH) and Matthew Irvin (UNC-CH) - Enhancing Distance Education in Rural Schools


This session was a follow-up or more detailed focus on the qualitative results from yesterday's session (see NRCRES Conference: Overview Of The Enhancing Rural Online Learning Project). The data was based on discussion boards and interviews. Some of the findings included:

Interestingly, the research targeted what they called "very small" rural school and for over 80% of the schools that participated in their study this was the first time they had online learning in their schools. Based on their findings, they found that the best facilitators

In terms of practice, the researchers found the facilitators were likely important, particularly when there was good communication and awareness of the role.

Crossposted at Virtual High School Meanderings.

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NRCRES 2009: Supporting K-12 Students Online: Local schools, Virtual Schools, And Teacher Education

The final day of The National Research Center on Rural Education Support's Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference (see program here). The breakout session today that focused upon K-12 distance education is:

8:00 - 9:45
Break-Out Session I
Distance Education and Technology

Chairs: Judith Meece and Matthew Irvin
Discussant: Miles Bryant (UNL)

Presenters:

  • Wallace Hannum (UNC-CH) and Matthew Irvin (UNC-CH) - Enhancing Distance Education in Rural Schools
  • Michael Barbour (Wayne State University) - Supporting K-12 Students Online: Local schools, Virtual Schools, and Teacher Education
  • Peggy Clements (REL-NEI) - Increasing Rural 8th Graders' Access to Algebra I: Is Online Education an Effective Alternative?
  • Steve Oliver (UGA) - Relevance of NSF Drivers of Systemic Reform for Instructional Technology Interventions

This entry is focused on my presentation in this session:

Michael Barbour (Wayne State University) - Supporting K-12 Students Online: Local schools, Virtual Schools, and Teacher Education

As this was my session, the best I can do is post the slides I used. These are available at:

http://www.michaelbarbour.com/research/pubs/nrcres-2009.pdf

If you have any questions about this presentation, feel free to ask.

Crossposted at Virtual High School Meanderings.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

 

NRCRES Conference: Overview Of The Enhancing Rural Online Learning Project

nrcresSo, I'm sitting at The National Research Center on Rural Education Support's Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference (see program here). The only session today that focused upon K-12 distance education is:
1:30 - 2:15
EROL Presentation
Wallace Hannum and Matthew Irvin
Overview of the Enhancing Rural Online Learning Project
The session began with Wally providing an overview of the five years worth of work that has gone into this project. Wally felt that distance education at the K-12 level was particularly well placed to address many of the issues related to rural education (e.g., geographic isolation, fewer numbers of students, difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers in certified advanced courses, rural school's ability to provide advanced/AP courses).

Their distance learning administrator survey was sent to 400 randomly selected superintendents of rural school districts (95% rate of return). Some of their main findings
One one of Wally's slides, there was a bullet that read:
From the beginning of the project, the researchers viewed the results through the lens that the presence of a local facilitator is key. The local facilitator:
And also through the lens of the APA Learner Centered Principles. Based on the results on an initial survey, the researchers developed a professional development program that taught local facilitators on how to use the learner centered principles. Using data from an initial pilot study, the researchers moved from a direct instruction PD program that focused on the learner centered principles to a more constructivist program that utilized various scenarios based upon actual examples that local facilitators reported experiencing during that pilot year.

Much of this earlier work was described in this following article (I'm pretty sure):
Hannum, W. H., Irvin, M. J., Banks, J. B., & Farmer, T. W. (2009). Distance education use in rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 24(3). Retrieved 17 April 2009 from http://jrre.psu.edu/articles/24-3.pdf
Next Matt took over and began to describe a cluster randomized experimental design study that they completed with the local facilitators during the final two years of the project. Matt provided a detailed background into the design of the study and the nature of the sample that they had over the two year period. Matt then turned it over to one of his colleagues, who's name I didn't catch, to describe the method of data analysis and eventually the results.

In looking at the results, there were several statistically significant (and I missed many of these, as the speaker went through them very quickly):
Matt ended with a brief discussion of future directions. At present, they still have a lot of data that they can analyze and analyze in new ways. The researchers also want to continue to develop and refine the professional development program for the local facilitators.

Crossposted at Virtual High School Meanderings.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

 

Reminder: National Research Center on Rural Education Support: Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference

A reminder about this event and the fact that I'll be blogging about it while I am there - both at Virtual High School Meanderings for the K-12 online learning entries and here for the other entries.

The National Research Center on Rural Education Support is hosting the Supporting Rural Schools and Communities Research Conference from 05-06 November 2009 at the Carolina Inn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among other presentations on the program, are two sessions related to K-12 online learning.

05 November 2009

1:30pm to 2:15pm - Overview of the Enhancing Rural Online Learning Project by Wallace Hannum and Matthew Irvin

06 November 2009

8:00am to 9:45pm - Distance Education and Technology chaired by Matt Irvin and Judith Meece, with Miles Bryant as discussant
Registration information is currently online, along with the complete program. Hope to see some of you there.

Crossposted at Virtual High School Meanderings.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

 

Rural Reminders Return

According to a recent EdWeek blog posting, John White, who was hired in May as the press secretary for ED, is now serving the deputy assistant secretary for rural outreach. Although he's admittedly not a "rural guy," the move does signal ED's attention to critiques that it has ignored rural issues.

*Rural Reminders would like to apologize for their abscence; they've been busy acclimating to a new job.

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