Collaborative meetings bring researchers and practitioners together

Assorted Electronics on table

MVLRI’s Collaborative meetings are designed to bring researchers and practitioners together virtually in order to share opportunities for collaboration, including but not limited to research, grants, publications, presentations, as well as request critical feedback on current research. The Collaborative meetings are held quarterly, occurring in December/January (Winter), March/April (Spring), June/July (Summer), and September/October (Fall). Below are the notes from the Spring Collaborative meeting that took place on March 31 via Adobe Connect. A list of attendees, their affiliation, research interest and email is at the end of this posting.

Business – Collaboration Opportunities
Grants provides an opportunity for micro-funding. You provide a brief write up and budget, crowdsource for the project. Learn more


Kristy Pytash and Jennifer Nigh (Kent State) invite middle and high school (7th-12th grade) teachers (from any country) teaching online (supplemental, school day, hybrid) to participate in their quantitative survey study to see what they are doing to support online writing (regardless of content area). It takes about 15 minutes to complete, is anonymous and was adapted from a tool developed by Kiara, Graham and Hawkins to incorporate technology questions aligned with online teaching.

Please share with colleagues
Additional information (link to 3/25/15 post)

If you have questions, you can contact Kristy ([email protected]) or Jennifer ([email protected]).

Related: Joe recommended Jennifer or Kristy reach out to Jeff Grabill from Michigan State University who is using ELI with quite a few different programs:

Related: Suggestion to reach out to Write at Home, those who do online writing instruction for homeschoolers.

Chris Haskell (Boise State) is looking for Minecraft collaborators. Folks at Boise State are teaching graduate level classes in that environment. Students develop strategies and curriculum for implementation in the classroom in a variety of content areas. Working with Alice Keeler and looking for ways to bring in pre-service teachers:

Related: Lee Graham blog post about using Minecraft in teaching “The Giver.” (link to 1/25/15 post)

Rozella Clyde is a Ph.D. candidate at Capella University in Instructional Design for online learning and looking for instructional designers creating virtual courses for high school students for a 45-minute telephone interview. Contact her at [email protected].

Related: Western Governors University might be a great resource because they graduate more math and science teachers than any university in the nation, and were rated #1 in secondary school education last year by the NCTQ. Their Teacher’s College has a specific track for Instructional Design; they might send an email blast to their ID professors and students.
Tracey Wheeler of Dixie State University ([email protected]) is interested in research on faculty development for K-12.

Kathryn Kelly of ISchool ([email protected]) is interested in participating in research projects to test new educational tools. ISchool is a nonprofit school serving 50 students, grades 6-12.

Diane Mayse ([email protected]) says Nexus Academy is asking their virtual teachers to observe students complete lessons online to see what curriculum resources they are using in lessons for learning — and how effectively students are able to use the resource (graphic organizers, compare-contrast visual) for learning.

Publications & presentations
  • Special call for articles for a K-12 online learning issue for OLC (Online Learning Consortium) formerly Sloan-C journal being edited by Michael Barbour and Anissa Vega. Entire article is due June 30. Learn more (Barbour and Vega also looking for reviewers for journal.)
  • Journal of Online Learning Research
  • Weekly blogs and request for guest bloggers for MVLRI website »
  • MVLRI webinars and podcasts
Upcoming conferences/PD
  • American Educational Research Association (AREA) in Chicago, April 16-20.
  • Online Learning Consortium (OLC) formerly Sloan-C in Orlando; proposals due April 28 for conference October 14-16. Related: Tracey Wheeler submitting a proposal on faculty development in online/blended teaching. Related: MVLRI may submit some proposals.
  • OLC Blended Learning Conference in Denver July 7-8. Higher Ed but growing K-12 interest.
  • Digital Learning conference in Vancouver April 15-19; blended learning and online K-12.
  • Texas VSN Speaks VOLumes proposals due June 23 for the conference, July 29-31; totally online. Related: MVLRI may submit some proposals.
  • Research Preconference on November 8 at iNACOL Symposium (November 8-11) being planned.
Other opportunities

Niki Davis (Christ Church) says the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning will contain at least one article relevant to K-12 online and blended learning (on indigenous language revitalization). She has collaborated on a UNESCO publication on ICT structure for primary and secondary education. Learn more

Susan Lowes is going to Europe to review ICT proposals for a European Community Education organization.

Anything Else

A discussion about ESPRI (Educational Success Prediction Readiness Instrument) took place. Peggy Roblyer developed the ESPRI instrument and published on it as M.D. Roblyer. It was found to be more predictive of success than of failure.

Jason Siko is doing some work on ESPRI. Learn more
Also, Jason is looking for teachers, administrators, and researchers to review a series of modules that promote readiness skills in online learning. Learn more

Favorite repositories for research on online and blended learning:

  • MVLRI’s Clearinghouse is almost exclusively tied to K-12. Staff receives article alerts from all of the major journals allowing continuous updates. Many publications are in peer-reviewed journals and therefore not available directly.
  • Quality Matters research library has over 600 citations of higher education and K-12 resources. Learn more
Wrap-up and Preview of Upcoming Events

Results of the Customer Satisfaction and Value Survey prompted MVLRI staff to ask about interest in changing the structure of collaborative meetings and possibly the webinars to having roundtable discussions. The response was positive.

Quality Matters and ELI has a webinar on April 8 from 1-3 p.m., free to anyone who is a member of QM or ELI.
For more information

The next MVLRI Research Webinar is on April 8 at 2 p.m.: ACE Framework, presented by Dr. Jered Borup from George Mason University. Past webinars 

In Attendance

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Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) is a non-biased organization that exists to expand Michigan’s ability to support new learning models, engage in active research to inform new policies in online and blended learning, and strengthen the state’s infrastructures for sharing best practices. MVLRI works with all online learning environments to develop the best practices for the industry as a whole.

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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.