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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

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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Tailoring Learning for Teachers: The Power of Personalized Professional Development

Through the strategic implementation of personalized professional learning, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (P-CCS) has successfully transformed its approach to educator professional development. Through a blend of in-house curriculum creation, external resources and partnerships, technology utilization, and opportunities for educator choice based on feedback as well as their unique needs and aspirations, they’ve cultivated a culture of enthusiastic engagement and reflective growth.

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Examining Mentors’ Navigation of Online Environments and Use of Student Support Practices

This report utilized Michigan Virtual student learning interfaces and survey data to examine the navigation patterns of Michigan K-12 mentors within student learning interfaces and their perceptions of student support practices. Findings suggest that mentors’ student loads vary based on specific factors. Mentors consider relationship building, motivating students, and monitoring student progress as effective practices. Furthermore, mentors reported varying degrees of usage of tools within the student learning interfaces.

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The Impact of Virtual Learning in Michigan Schools