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Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Providing the groundwork & research to support the success of students and educators through online & blended learning platforms

Helping to define educational practices online and in the classroom

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) receives directives from the Michigan legislature to define the areas of research in blended and online learning each year. Research is conducted throughout the state, nation and internationally to incorporate a global perspective. Research is also conducted without regard to the provider to ensure that important findings are brought to light and practiced in our own backyard.

Each year MVLRI reports a summary of these findings in its Annual Report. This report, along with other research conducted through the Institute, informs educational policy in the state. Further research including focus groups of teachers, administrators and other school officials provides continuous feedback regarding the effectiveness of the policy as it is implemented in districts across Michigan. The effectiveness of all online learning programs is tracked in MVLRI’s annual Effectiveness Report. Many times the Effectiveness Report uncovers important aspects of online learning implementation that are not working, once again informing policy to ensure that Michigan’s students are receiving the best online education possible.

The work of the MVLRI is internationally recognized for providing accurate research that is utilized throughout the education industry to empower educators and support learners of all ages.

Recent Publications

Key Strategies for Supporting Disengaged and Struggling Students in Virtual Learning Environments

This study delves into effective strategies used by virtual programs and teachers to support disengaged and struggling students, noting significant overlap with strategies for all students and highlighting the critical roles of parental and mentor support, intervention, and communication. The report covers strategies employed by experienced virtual teachers, programmatic supports, professional development sources, and considerations for supporting virtual learners.

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Out of Order, Out of Reach: Navigating Assignment Sequences for STEM Success

Pacing, or the timing of students’ assignment submissions, has been shown to have an important relationship to course performance. Less is known about how the submission order or sequencing of assignment submissions relates to course performance. This study found that the order in which students submitted assignments in their online STEM courses is related to their final grades, with students who submitted all assignments in line with pacing guide recommendations outperforming peers who did not. Indeed, students’ final grades decreased as deviations from the pacing guide increased.

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The Impact of Virtual Learning in Michigan Schools