In May 2013, the Michigan Association for Secondary School Principals (MASSP) in partnership with Michigan Virtual created a survey to assess the current state and anticipated needs of online learning in Michigan’s secondary schools. The survey used a series of multiple choice rating questions along with a few open-ended questions to learn more about topics such as online learning use, vendor satisfaction and criteria, expected enrollment changes for next year, and challenges and opportunities brought about by the new online learning policy.
MASSP members were provided with a link to the survey instrument by email and a weekly webline that reaches 1600 people. The survey was open from May 1 until July 1, and respondents were able to go in as often as necessary to complete the survey. Three hundred and forty-four people clicked on the survey link to start the survey; 234 people (approximately 14.6 %) completed the survey though they may not have chosen to answer all of the questions.
The survey results indicate a range of involvement with online courses – from one enrollment to 1500 – and the same vast difference in people’s opinions of online learning – from not wanting to offer any courses to welcoming the opportunity to prepare students for online requirements in college and at work.
Among the high points are the following findings:
- 87% of respondents had students enrolling in online courses during the 2012-13 school year.
- 74.7% of respondents indicated it was slightly or very important for online courses to include Michigan certified teachers.
- The greatest needs respondents anticipated for the 2013-14 school year were:
- Preparing teachers to teach in an online or blended learning environment,
- Setting up blended learning, training teachers to mentor online learners,
- Evaluating online program and teacher effectiveness, and
- Updating the school improvement plan to better reflect online and blended learning.
- The most often expressed concern was assuring or maintaining program, course, and/or content quality, rigor, and/or standards.
- The most often noted opportunity was the increase in choices and access for what the school does not or cannot offer.
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.