/ News / Center for Online Learning Research and Innovation established at Michigan Virtual

Center for Online Learning Research and Innovation established at Michigan Virtual

Share on social media

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Indicative of the emerging role online learning plays in K-12 education, Public Act 201 of 2012 directed the Michigan Virtual to establish the Center for Online Learning Research and Innovation.

The Center for Online Learning Research and Innovation will serve multiple roles to support Michigan’s students, parents, schools, K-12 and postsecondary educators and state and local policymakers. Housed at Michigan Virtual and headquartered in Lansing, the Center will draw upon recognized state and national leaders from K-12 schools, higher education and the private industry to provide research, evaluation, and development expertise.

The Center will support and accelerate innovation in education through a variety of activities, including researching technology-based instructional tools and online learning delivery models, designing professional development services for educators, and identifying and sharing best practices for implementing online and blended education delivery models.

“This initiative demonstrates both Michigan’s and Michigan Virtual‘s continued dedication to the online and blended learning field and to supporting an array of quality learning environments for students throughout the state,” said Susan Patrick, President & CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. “The Center will provide a blueprint for others to emulate as they explore the establishment of new models of learning in their own states.” iNACOL is the international K-12 nonprofit association representing the interests of practitioners, providers and students involved in online learning worldwide.

The Center will also provide leadership for online and blended learning in the state through activities such as:

  • Producing an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective online education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends;
  • Developing and reporting policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective online learning in this state’s schools;
  • Providing a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to online learning;
  • In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, recommending to the superintendent guidelines and standards for a new teacher endorsement credential related to effective online and blended instruction; and
  • Convening focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to online learning.

“The Center will support and accelerate innovation and we plan to focus attention on a variety of strategies designed to build greater capacity for online teaching and learning that further expand Michigan’s leadership role in the knowledge economy,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, Michigan Virtual President & CEO. “Michigan Virtual has chosen Dr. Joe Freidhoff to serve as the Center’s director.”

Dr. Freidhoff’s promotion to Center director comes after more than three years of service to Michigan Virtual. Dr. Freidhoff earned his Ph.D. in Educational Technologies from Michigan State University and specializes in data-driven decision making, analysis of student and teacher performance, course evaluation and data optimization.

“The Center’s focus on policy, research and innovation in online and blended learning allows the Michigan Virtual to further its mission as a change agent and capacity builder,” said Dr. Freidhoff. “The work of the Center will bring a research-based approach to help the state and its schools continue their pursuit of providing high-quality instruction for all students.”

Dr. Freidhoff also has experience teaching in face-to-face and online settings, having taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in both face-to-face and online formats. Before returning to school for his Ph.D., he taught high school English in Michigan.

Over the coming weeks, the Center will establish a web presence for communicating its findings and begin work on several of this year’s projects.

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

###

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Keep up with the latest Michigan Virtual has to offer

Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.