Michigan Virtual’s Joseph R. Freidhoff recognized for the 2024 Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) Research Impact Award at the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC)

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Joseph R. Friedhoff holding the 2024 Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) Research Impact Award

AUSTIN, Texas – The DLC is thrilled to announce Joseph R. Freidhoff as the recipient of the DLC’s Research Impact Award for his research report K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2021-22, published in March 2023. Dr. Freidhoff was recognized in person at the closing ceremony of the Digital Learning Annual Conference (#DLAC24), on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, in Austin, Texas.

The DLC Research Impact Award recognizes researchers whose studies in the field of K-12 digital learning have fostered best practices to advance the industry over the past year and have a real impact on practice. 

Joseph R. Freidhoff, Vice President, has been working in research at Michigan Virtual for over 15 years. Michigan Virtual is a pioneering force in online education. Dr. Freidhoff proudly accepts this prestigious award, spotlighting his groundbreaking contributions to K-12 digital learning. This recognition underscores the vital role of research in advancing educational innovation, ensuring equitable access, and enhancing student outcomes in today’s rapidly evolving educational landscape. 

“This report aligns so closely with the DLC Research Impact Award’s focus on research that impacts practice,” Freidhoff remarked. “I am proud of the report as one of the country’s best examples of an annual state-level analysis of K-12 virtual learning, and while it is specific to Michigan, we are proud of this contribution to the field and as an inspiration for researchers and leaders in other states.”

The report outlines pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to the Michigan Department of Education and the Center for Educational Performance and Information and highlights 2021-22 enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses among K-12 pupils. Detailed findings and analysis are presented on schools, courses, and students, as well as over 80 data tables in a highly-consumable way to aid the evaluation of virtual learning programs. The report is the tenth annual; as such, its value is not exclusive to a single year but rather adds to a series which illuminates short and long-term trends, including an incredible snapshot of before, during, and after the pandemic.

The DLC announced additional 2024 award recipients:

  • 2024 DLC Individual Excellence in Digital Learning Award – Jessica Enderson
  • 2024 DLC Unsung Super Star Award (Individual) – Jeff Tracy
  • 2024 DLC Unsung Super Star Award (School/District) – Mesa Digital Learning Program
  • 2024 DLC Spirit of DLAC Award – Daniel Pfaff, Shelby County Schools (KY)
  • 2024 DLC Spirit of DLAC Award – Julie Young

“We were delighted by the many amazing nominations from online learning leaders and organizations across the country,” remarks Dr. Allison Powell, DLC Chief Academic Officer, “We are so proud to recognize these distinguished digital learning leaders. Each year we have a new group of innovators and change makers, and we’re pleased to learn alongside them to improve learning for K-12 education.”


About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit educational organization that is leading and collaborating to build learning environments for tomorrow. Driven by student success, we have a strong record of supporting Michigan education that spans more than two decades. While many know us for our research-based, quality online learning options for students and professional development for educators, we also do a great deal of work behind the scenes to conduct original research, test innovations in learning, and provide consulting partnerships to promote effective practices. Education is changing faster than ever. Discover new models and resources to move learning forward at