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Michigan Virtual at MACUL in Detroit this week: See you there!

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Michigan Virtual staff members will be presenting at the 2015 MACUL Conference this week on Thursday and Friday in Room 358. Please visit us at booth 145 and booth 614 in the exhibitor’s hall on both days.

Thursday, March 19
Leading for Blended Learning
10-11 a.m.

Join Michigan Virtual’s MyBlend team for a discussion about what leaders need to consider when implementing effective blended learning strategies. This session will highlight emerging standards for blended instruction, lessons from recent research and state-level policies needed to move Michigan forward. Participants will also learn what blended learning looks like in classrooms throughout the state and what type of supports are available for school leaders as they begin to implement.

Presenters: Jamie DeWitt, Senior Blended Learning Specialist; and Jeff Gerlach, Instructional Designer

Mentors: Making Online Learning Work
1-2 p.m.

Come explore the online Mentor Orientation Module and “Mentor Fundamentals: A Guide for Mentoring Online Learners,” prepared by Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute staff with assistance from mentors, instructors, and others from Michigan Virtual School. The comprehensive guide describes mentor roles and responsibilities and includes numerous resources to prepare mentors. The module, created for the novice mentor, is of value to the experienced mentor as well. The new mentor portal will also be introduced.

Presenters: Ken Dirkin, Senior Media Integration Specialist; Marcia Docks, Senior Mentor Support Specialist; Rebecca Stimson, Senior Writer

Getting Started: The Online Learning Orientation Tool
2:30-3:30 p.m.

The Online Learning Orientation Tool — OLOT— a self-paced, web-based resource originally designed over a decade ago, is intended to help students understand what online learning entails and introduces the skills and knowledge that are key to success: Knowing What to Expect, Technical Skills You’ll Need, Learning Skills You’ll Need and Managing Day-to-Day. Come review and discuss how OLOT is being used in the field and offer feedback for its continuous improvement.

Presenter: Justin Bruno, Research Associate

Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report 2015
4-5 p.m.

The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute at Michigan Virtual recently released its annual report highlighting enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 pupils. The author of the report will share this year’s key findings and lead a discussion about the implications of the findings for future practice and research.

Presenter: Joe Freidhoff, Executive Director of MVLRI


Friday, March 20
What is it like to teach online?
8:30-9:30 p.m.

Michigan Virtual instructors will share essential components of online instruction to ensure student success. Participants will learn what is different and what remains the same between good face-to-face instruction and good online instruction, and the critical aspects needed to ensure that online instruction leads to student success.

Presenters: Tamara Bashore-Berg, Executive Director of Educational Programs; Ryan Call, Online Instructor; Lori Coyle, Online Instructor; Kristin Flynn, Director of Curriculum & Instruction; Lisa Rohde, Online Instructor; Andrew Spiece, Online Instructor; William Springer, Online Instructor

Don’t just tell me … show me
10-11 a.m.

Learn how to quickly and effectively communicate with students, parents, and other stakeholders in learning through the use of screenshots and screencast videos. Screencasting is easy and very effective – teachers can provide detailed student feedback that can be continuously available to all stakeholders, and they can give helpful tutorials that save everyone a lot of confusion and time. Maximize your instructional time and effort! Participants will leave with simple tools and practical insight that allows them to get started screencasting right away.

Presenters: Tamara Bashore-Berg, Executive Director of Educational Programs; Kristin Flynn, Director of Curriculum & Instruction; Annette Gleason, Online Instructor; William Springer, Online Instructor

Getting Started: The Online Orientation Tool
11:30-12:30 p.m.

The Online Learning Orientation Tool — OLOT— a self-paced, web-based resource originally designed over a decade ago, is intended to help students understand what online learning entails and introduces the skills and knowledge that are key to success: Knowing What to Expect, Technical Skills You’ll Need, Learning Skills You’ll Need and Managing Day-to-Day. Come review and discuss how OLOT is being used in the field and offer feedback for its continuous improvement.

Presenter: Justin Bruno, Research Associate

Mentors: Making Online Learning Work
1-2 p.m.

Come explore the online Mentor Orientation Module and Mentor Fundamentals: A Guide for Mentoring Online Learners, prepared by Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute staff with assistance from mentors, instructors, and others from Michigan Virtual School. The comprehensive guide describes mentor roles and responsibilities and includes numerous resources to prepare mentors. The module, created for the novice mentor, is of value to the experienced mentor as well. The new mentor portal will also be introduced.

Presenters: Ken Dirkin, Senior Media Integration Specialist; Marcia Docks, Senior Mentor Support Specialist; Rebecca Stimson, Senior Writer

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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.