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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

Evaluating Professional Learning Course Offerings and Educator Engagement

Professional learning (PL) for educators is essential for promoting connections, pedagogical growth, and fulfilling recertification requirements. Investigating educators’ engagement with PL courses is crucial for ensuring its effectiveness. This study showed that most educators were satisfied with their PL courses and found audio/visual course elements particularly engaging and helpful for learning.

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Innovative Approaches to Online CTE: Lessons from Missouri, Idaho, and Arkansas

This report offers a detailed analysis of online Career and Technical Education programs in Idaho, Missouri, and Arkansas, shedding light on their goals, curriculum, instruction, and alignment with industry standards. It also highlights essential strategies to enhance success in online CTE programs, emphasizing the critical role of these programs in providing flexible learning opportunities and preparing students for the evolving job market, thus contributing to workforce development and education.

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Shared Space and Time: Learning from Others on the Synchronous Virtual Courses Journey

This study explores synchronous online learning in five U.S. states (K-12, enrollments 20 to 14,000+). Key considerations include relationships, scheduling, supports, infrastructure, and data. Synchronous learning enhances structured scheduling, supports real-time interactions, streamlines infrastructure, and facilitates data-informed decision-making. Understanding these factors is critical for effective implementation in virtual education.

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The Impact of Virtual Learning in Michigan Schools