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Legislative Directives

Legislative Directives

Each school year, MVLRI is directed by Section 98 of the State School Aid Act to strengthen teaching and learning for K-12 education by supporting and accelerating innovation and providing leadership in online and blended learning.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, including a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for the next fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section. Not later than March 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Updates

Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute’s AI Lab is currently launching three spring pilots focusing on AI in K-12 education which will have summaries published on the website in Summer of 2024:

  • Continuation of the pilot for “nudging” students through proactive and authentic communication in online courses. This third pilot focuses on bringing the instructor of an online course more into the process to tailor and recommend corrective strategies to students who are struggling.
  • Khan Academy Khanmigo pilot launched in February, allowing schools to enroll one section of Algebra 1 into a guided onboarding of the Khan Academy AI tutoring platform Khanmigo. By aggregating sections together, Michigan Virtual was able to provide access to small and rural school districts that do not meet Khan Academy’s volume of enrollment requirements. The Institute will be conducting a study with the teachers in the pilot on benefits and problems they encountered and publishing that to the Michigan Virtual website in summer 2024.
  • A pilot focused on the creation of Open Education Resources (OER) launches in March, providing 100 Michigan educators access to QuestionWell, an AI tool for creating standards-aligned formative assessment and practice items. Michigan Virtual has worked with Questionwell to enable Michigan Merit Curriculum Standards in the Questionwell platform.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has entered into a collaboration with the Michigan State University College of Education’s Office of K-12 Outreach to engage the Technical Interns in Education (TIE), preservice teachers who support the Center for Teaching and Technology to develop a series of video assets around the usage of new and novel AI tools for creating educational materials in K-12. These videos will be available as a set of resources through the Michigan Virtual AI Lab website and hosted on YouTube.

Participate in 1EdTech’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools and participate in Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification.

Michigan Virtual continues to be a contributing member to 1EdTech. Two employees have received certifications in the Trusted Apps Certified Leader program. Multiple members have attended the 2023 K-12 Leaders Forum & Senior Executive Summit in November. Plans are underway for Michigan Virtual leaders to attend and contribute to the June Learning Impact Conference.

Offer up to 3 innovative learning options for year-round online and blended enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual has continued our partnership with WizKid Learning to offer coding and STEAM online classes. In addition, Michigan Virtual created six enrichment experiences that are focused on career exploration and 21st century skills with a desire to add several more options for students by the summer of 2024. The six courses that are currently available include:

  • Introduction to Esports
  • Content Creator
  • 21st Century Home Economics
  • Investigating Medical Careers: Diagnostic Services
  • Investigating Medical Careers: Support Services
  • Investigating Medical Careers: Therapeutic Services

Publish a series of 4 blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute’s AI Lab has published 4 blog posts on the topic of Artificial Intelligence in K-12 education and one research study that has led to national recognition from EdWeek and ASCD. Blog posts can be found at https://michiganvirtual.org/blog/category/research/.

Explore data interoperability with learning tools with a focus on security and data privacy and publish or present on the findings.

Michigan Virtual continues to explore interoperability in learning tools within pilots that incorporate data interoperability to increase positive support for learners in digital platforms. Systems being piloted through Michigan Virtual research and development projects have data visibility and permission control as a key focus area when testing and evaluating tools.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Updates

Design and conduct research on the experiences of Michigan Virtual professional learners.

Michigan Virtual designed, conducted, and published Evaluating Professional Learning Course Offerings and Educator Engagement (https://michiganvirtual.org/research/publications/evaluating-professional-learning-course-offerings-and-educator-engagement/). The study captures how educators use Michigan Virtual professional courses and their satisfaction with the courses.

This research study is a two-part series. The second publication will look more deeply into educators’ feelings of utility and value and how they specifically engage with PLS courses. The second part is expected to be published in spring 2024.

Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on models of predicting at-risk students in Michigan Virtual courses and design a research study utilizing the at-risk model.

Michigan Virtual are continuing to collaborate with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study that uses Michigan Virtual course data to train an AI predictive model designed to identify students at risk of earning less than 65% of the available course points. The researchers and Michigan Virtual staff are currently determining the viability of a research study in 2024.

Design, conduct, and share the results of a study that examines teachers’ communication patterns, use of discussion boards and announcements, and feedback given to students within Michigan Virtual courses.

Michigan Virtual is conducting a study using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to allow for a better understanding of teachers’ communication and relationship-building practices during the first four weeks of an online course. Qualitative data from conversations with Michigan Virtual’s full-time instructors as well as quantitative survey data from both full-time and part-time instructors has already been gathered. An analysis of these data as well as data from the student learning portal will be incorporated alongside a review of current Michigan Virtual training materials and best practices to facilitate alignment between theory and practice for a report published on the Michigan Virtual website in late summer.

Collaborate with Dr. Jacqueline Zweig to conduct research with Michigan Virtual data and in Michigan Virtual courses.

Michigan Virtual continues to collaborate with Dr. Jacqueline Zweig to research Michigan Virtual student learning behaviors and their relationship to course outcomes. Dr. Zweig recently completed work examining the relationship between student final course grades and Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores. The brief, Using AP Exam Data to Drive Discussions About AP Courses (https://michiganvirtual.org/blog/using-ap-exam-data-to-drive-discussions-about-ap-courses/) is available on the Michigan Virtual website.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Updates

Serve in a leadership capacity for the National Standards work, including improvement and promotion activities.

Michigan Virtual staff continue to serve on the NSQ leadership team. In this capacity, staff provide overall direction and recommendations to the group work on the standards. Staff moderated an NSQ panel at a conference in February that focused on how to apply the standards in practices and the work we are doing to refresh them.

In addition, one Michigan Virtual staff member is currently serving as a national co-chair for the revision of the National Standards for Quality Online Programs. This work includes designing and conducting several focus group interviews of virtual school/program leaders from across the nation, and then leading work group teams through the process of formally revising the standards based on the recommendations of the focus groups.

Develop and publish a self-assessment tool that schools can use to evaluate the extent to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs.

Michigan Virtual has been collaborating with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, to develop a formal, virtual learning program certification process that may be used by schools and districts within Michigan and throughout the nation. This process will allow virtual schools or programs to assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs. As part of this process, Michigan Virtual developed and published an Online Learning Program Self-Assessment Tool, designed to assist schools and educators in evaluating and improving their online learning programs. The tool is based on the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL) and provides a comprehensive rubric for schools to gather evidence, collaborate with team members, and assess themselves for areas of improvement. The tool, along with the Self-Assessment Companion Guide and Guiding Questions for Online Program Evaluation, can be found on the Michigan Virtual website at https://michiganvirtual.org/resources/program-self-assessment/.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section.

Updates

Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by March 31, 2024, with a link to the report and infographic sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2024.

A draft of the 2022-23 Effectiveness Report is completed, and a copy was provided to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) for their review. A presentation to those organizations is scheduled for March 2024, to gather feedback and to receive permission to release the report. The report will be made publicly available through the Michigan Virtual website no later than March 31, 2024. As with the prior year, the entire report will be posted directly as a webpage on the Michigan Virtual website. Making the report available in this format helps users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to discover the findings and make them available to users. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards and provides a mobile-friendly version. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section.

Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2024.

A summary infographic and cover letter related to the report will be mailed to Michigan school superintendents as well as high school and middle school principals in April 2024, providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report online.

Post recording covering key findings from the report on the Michigan Virtual website by April 30, 2024.

A recorded presentation that highlights key findings from the report is expected to be completed in March 2024. The recorded presentation, along with the aforementioned infographic, will be linked to resources on the report webpage and available for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM council described in section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state, including professional development for employees in childcare facilities, early childhood facilities, and after-school programs. Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also include both of the following:

(A) The identification of barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

(B) A link to, and explanation of, the Michigan Virtual University’s online course standards for professional development programming. The standards described in this sub-subparagraph must inform learners how to file a complaint about course content and detail the steps that will be taken for the review and resolution of complaints.

Updates

Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

We continue to review and implement feedback from our users based on our end of course survey and customer care feedback. We use this feedback to improve our current course offerings and provide professional learning that is not readily available.

Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.

Michigan Virtual partners with several different educational organizations and groups to provide new opportunities for professional learning. Currently, we are partnering with over 20 different entities including MiLEAP, MDE, and the Michigan E-Library.

Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.

We continue to offer a series of 8 micro-credential courses designed to guide educators who are supporting students in an online format. We also offer micro-credential opportunities for those supporting literacy from K-12 Connect. Through our partnership with K-12 Connect, we are building six new micro-credentials around best practices in math.

Host the 2024 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference for instructors and a fall event for online mentors.

Michigan Virtual held the annual Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference in August and a fall conference for online mentors in November.

Submit the 2024 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2024. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.

The 2022-2023 Professional Learning Report was sent to the legislature in December 2023 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of the annual report page at https://michiganvirtual.org/about/annual-reports/.

Submit the 2024 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2024.

Michigan Virtual is on-track to submit the December 2024 report on time.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public-school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Updates

Host the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning on our website.

Michigan Virtual developed a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual continues to host these guides on the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual has engaged over 12,000 visits with the creation of the AI Integration Framework and Planning Guide freely available on the Michigan Virtual website.

Conduct research with the VLLA on effective support strategies for struggling K-12 online learners and share the results on the Michigan Virtual website.

In collaboration with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) leadership, Michigan Virtual conducted a survey focused on factors that contribute to effective support of struggling or disengaged K-12 virtual learners. Teachers and administrators at VLLA schools were asked to complete a survey on effective practices for supporting struggling K-12 online learners. Data analysis is underway and results from this research will be shared with the VLLA and publicly on the Michigan Virtual website in spring 2024.

Publish a blog series on innovative learning in Michigan on the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual continues to conduct research on innovative learning models and effective practices in Michigan schools. These findings will be published in the Michigan Virtual Digital Backpack starting in spring 2024.

Design and conduct a research study investigating course assignment completion patterns in Michigan Virtual courses.

To better understand how to support learners Michigan Virtual designed and conducted a research study that investigates how students move through their course content. The study uses Michigan Virtual LMS data and analyzes if students move through their coursework in a linear fashion, and how that is related to course outcomes. The draft report is completed and will be published on the Michigan Virtual website in spring 2024.

Collaborate on a series of research projects with Dr. Aman Yadav on the experiences of students in online computer science courses.

Michigan Virtual is currently collaborating with Dr. Aman Yadav on a series of research projects that explore the experiences of students in online Computer Science courses. This research is investigating students’ self-efficacy in Advanced Placement (AP) and general Computer Science and identify areas to increase course outcomes of traditionally underserved students. Results will be published on the Michigan Virtual website and shared with Michigan Virtual instructional and instructional design staff in summer 2024.

Develop a professional learning course using MVLRI research on student-centered learning to be offered in the Professional Learning Portal.

Michigan Virtual is developing a professional learning course, rooted in our own research around student-centered learning. Learners will examine various MVLRI case study examples to understand what SCL looks like in a big-picture sense before focusing on classroom-level examples, strategies, and resources. The course will culminate in a module inviting teachers to determine their own next steps and take action to make learning student-centered in their own classrooms.

Present or exhibit at 15 or more Michigan professional learning conferences.

Michigan Virtual is active at Michigan education conferences as a thought leader and partner to Michigan education groups. Michigan Virtual has attended 15 conferences and hosted one conference, partnering with 15 key education groups. Staff have presented 30 professional learning sessions to educators, school leaders, and board members. To date, our Executive Team has had eight public speaking opportunities at these conferences, sharing knowledge and research, introducing key speakers, and explaining the benefits of our services to conference participants. Presentation and outreach at these events include sharing our resources and experience with research-based online learning, AI integration in schools, school consulting services, mental health awareness, and professional learning for educators. Looking forward, our calendar includes 11 additional conference opportunities with multiple engagements at each.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Updates

Before December 31, 2023, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education.

In December 2022, Michigan Virtual submitted five recommendations to address current virtual learning issues. They included:

  • Support AI Lab Expansion
  • Support K-12 Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Training Initiatives
  • Expand Access to Career & Technical Education (High School)
  • Require Virtual Learning Accountability and Transparency
  • Revise Reporting Field to Collect Credit Recovery Data

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Updates

Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.

The first Clearinghouse Quarterly Newsletter of the year was published December 11th, 2023. That resources is available at https://mail.michiganvirtual.org/winter-2023-quarterly-research-clearinghouse-newsletter. The second newsletter will be published in March.

Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.

Resources are added to the Clearinghouse quarterly. The next round of resources will be added in March 2024.

Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as needed for improved functionality.

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the Clearinghouse platform and will update as needed for improved functionality.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Updates

Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”

Resources continue to be added to the Clearinghouse using the tags “instructional design” and “standards.”

Add five new instructional design resources to the Clearinghouse.

Resources are added quarterly. Instructional design resources will be added by fall 2024.

Promote the National Standards for Quality Online Learning by offering four professional learning courses.

Currently we offer NSQ courses free of charge on our professional learning platform. We continue to promote these courses in our customer newsletters and in our featured courses list.

Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including through the offering of online professional courses.

Free professional development courses that support teachers in instructional design of online content include: Universal Design for Learning: Action & Expression, Universal Design for Learning: Engagement, Intro to Universal Design for Learning: Representation, So You Want to Be an Instructional Designer, Instructional Practices with Technology and Blended Classroom Design.

Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at least two Michigan-based education conferences.

The presentation, “Assessment Intelligence: Exploring AI’s impact on Assessment” was proposed and presented at the MACUL / Michigan Virtual AI Summit on December 13, 2023. The presentation, “Building a Communicative World Language Course” was proposed and is scheduled to be presented at MACUL in March 2024.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Updates

Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.

We continue to host and partner with universities to offer courses on inclusive teaching and learning that can be accessed for free. We also continue to present best practices in online teaching and learning to pre-service teachers at the University of Michigan.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has entered into a collaboration with the Michigan State University College of Education’s Office of K-12 Outreach to engage the Technical Interns in Education (TIE), preservice teachers who support the Center for Teaching and Technology to develop a series of video assets around the usage of new and novel AI tools for creating educational materials in K-12. These videos will be available as a set of resources through the Michigan Virtual AI Lab website and hosted on YouTube. This agreement allows for both organizations to use the video assets generated.

Michigan Virtual continues to be invited to present to multiple higher education institutions on AI in the future of learning, this included:

  • Baker College
  • Central Michigan University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Olivet
  • Clair County Community College

Continue to support an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.

Our 2024 edtech pitch competition and innovation bootcamp programs will be announced in Spring 2024. These will again be run in partnership with Spartan Innovations at the MSU Research Foundation and SBDC Michigan. Students and staff from teacher preparation programs across Michigan are eligible to participate.

Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Currently, Dr. Stefanie Marshall, from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, Dr. Matthew Koehler, from Michigan State University’s College of Education, and Dr. Rick Ferdig from Kent State University serve on the Michigan Virtual Innovation Advisory Council.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Updates

Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level.

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain membership in the following national-level organizations:

  • 1EdTech (formerly IMS Global) – Educational technology standards
  • Digital Learning Collaborative – Online and virtual Learning
  • NROC – High quality digital learning resources
  • Quality Matters – High quality digital learning standards
  • Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance – Statewide K-12 virtual programs

Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.

The Future of Learning Council has grown to 70 districts and ISDs across the state. Michigan Virtual continues to provide partnership in scaling this statewide effort, including support for the monthly meetings and reduced fees for events like the AI Summit with MACUL and Michigan Virtual. The second annual Michigan Virtual/Future of Learning Summit is scheduled for May. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute provides research capacity through case studies on FLC districts and support with survey and focus group facilitation. Though not limited to only the FLC districts, many participate in MVLRI pilot opportunities for exploration of new educational technologies including AI pilots like Khanmigo.

Continue to collaborate and partner with private and public sector organizations around Michigan to promote entrepreneurial activity for edtech development in Michigan.

Our 2024 edtech pitch competition and innovation bootcamp programs will be announced in Spring 2024. These will again be run in partnership with Spartan Innovations at the MSU Research Foundation and SBDC Michigan. These programs are designed to support innovative thinking by those in Michigan’s education ecosystem, helping them develop and share business ideas that have the potential to advance learning and teaching through the use of existing technology or the development of new technology.

Michigan Virtual will promote 1EdTech’s “Trusted Apps Pledge” agreeing to a set of fair and acceptable business practices in the use of open standards by suppliers.

Michigan Virtual continues to be a contributing member to 1EdTech. Two employees of Michigan Virtual have received certifications in the Trusted Apps Certified Leader program. Multiple members of Michigan Virtual have attended the 2023 K-12 Leaders Forum & Senior Executive Summit in November. Plans are underway for Michigan Virtual leaders to attend and contribute to the June Learning Impact Conference. As a leader in high quality educational technology implementation and support, Michigan Virtual continues to help districts connect to 1EdTech resources and opportunities for membership.

Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

From private business, Thomas Arnett, Senior Education Research Fellow at the Christensen Institute, and Lucie Howell, Chief Learning Officer at The Henry Ford, both serve on the Michigan Virtual Innovation Advisory Council.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Updates

Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices.

Michigan Virtual began the process of curating a video catalog to complement the written resources already established to support mentors throughout the state. These assets will support the daily practices of mentors, as well as provide sharable resources for the community and parents of students involved in virtual learning.

Offer opportunities for mentors to engage and collaborate with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.

Our Mentor Collaboration virtual gathering was held on November 13, 2023. This event was an opportunity for mentors supporting Michigan Virtual students to come together and share on topics such as building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students. An additional event for non-MV mentors is being planned for late spring or early summer.

Maintain and host two Mentor Advisory Council meetings annually.

The first Mentor Advisory meeting was held onsite at the Michigan Virtual offices on October 23, 2024. The second meeting is tentatively scheduled for spring.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Updates

Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.

A focus group was held with nine students from Mason High School in October 2023. Two more focus groups with students enrolled in online courses will be conducted during the spring semester of 2024.

Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.

All learners enrolled in Michigan Virtual professional and student courses are presented with an end-of-course questionnaire. From October 1, 2023 through January 31, 2024, the professional learning questionnaire has received 46,821 responses, and the student end-of-course questionnaire has received 6,128 responses. Our student end-of-course survey shows that 87% of respondents are highly satisfied thus far in 2023-24, while our professional learners have a highly satisfied rate of 96%. We also run a survey for students taking courses in our collaborative programs, in which we provide online courses that local teachers use with local students. With168 responses, we saw an 85% highly satisfied rate for the October 1, 2023, through January 31, 2024.

These surveys have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of a learner’s experience with our courses, platforms, and instructors, and understanding their motivations for taking the courses. More specifically, our learning services and instructional design teams use the results to provide instructors with feedback and to improve both course content and instructional design in ways that improve a student’s experience and overall course satisfaction. This includes course-specific items, like broken links or confusing content, and more universal design elements, like realizing a significant link between student satisfaction and clarity of course instructions and ease of platform navigation.

Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual courses.

A mid-year survey of mentors with students taking courses with Michigan Virtual was distributed in early February 2024 to align with the end of all Semester 1 courses. An additional survey is planned for May or June to collect year-end feedback.

Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.

The first Mentor Advisory meeting was held onsite at the Michigan Virtual offices on October 23, 2024. The second meeting is tentatively scheduled for spring.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Updates

Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring).

The Consumer Awareness was updated in December 2023 with data from the fall semester. It will be updated again in spring 2024 with spring data.

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K to 12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Updates

Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.

Michigan Virtual continues to contribute one staff member to serve on the #GoOpen Strategy team and meet with leaders of this initiative at MDE.

Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.

In partnership with Michigan #GoOpen, Michigan Virtual continues to host modules on our professional learning platform that help educators understand the initiative, explore open educational resources, and discover how they can contribute their own resources. These modules can be accessed at the following URL: https://michiganvirtual.org/course/goopen-open-educational-resources-in-michigan/

Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Michigan Virtual continues to provide educators modules that support the design of digital content including courses such as Assessments in the Blended Classroom, #GoOpen: Open Educational Resources in Michigan.

Provide funding for maintenance of Michigan’s GoOpen hub.

Michigan Virtual continues to cover the maintenance cost for Michigan’s GoOpen hub providing districts with free open educational resources including curriculum and activities.

Train 100 teachers to use AI tools to create state aligned OER learning objects for the MI GoOpen Hub.

Michigan Virtual has been facilitating professional development initiatives across Michigan this fiscal year, focusing on the application of advanced AI tools for creating educational resources. In our ongoing commitment to championing open educational resources, Michigan Virtual has engaged in a collaboration with a leading AI educational technology provider to launch a pilot program. This initiative is designed to train 100 educators in employing AI tools for the development of learning materials that align with state standards. Participants in the pilot will be guided to share their resources through Michigan’s GoOpen Hub as they create and verify the value of these materials. We expect to hit the targeted number of students by the end of the summer.

Expand pilot with Michigan schools to provide Michigan Virtual content through a learning object repository that allows for embedding in multiple Learning Management Systems and publish or present on findings around viability of learning object repository use for this purpose.

Michigan Virtual continues to build upon the capacity to utilize the 100+ courses that have been developed in a portable and flexible manner for district adoption as a digital learning tool. Efforts are underway to develop the prototype of this offering, meanwhile priority is placed on distribution of whole courses that natively work in multiple learning management systems. By Summer 2024, a prototype of the new model of flexible content offering will have been created for feedback from the field with a hopeful launch of a complete Michigan Merit Curriculum content repository by Fall 2025.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog must also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.

(B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.

(C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Updates

Maintain the public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses.

The 23-24 school year was added to the website as was performance data from the prior year. Functionality continues to be evaluated, but at this time seems to be serving the needs of users. We continue to add new users to the system and train them in its use.

Include information about the National Standards for Quality Online Learning on the About page of the Micourses website.

The About page of the Micourses website includes a paragraph about the National Standards for Quality Online Learning and includes information about free online courses that Michigan Virtual developed to help people learn more about them.

Submit a minimum of ten MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews.

Six semesters have been submitted to QM for review. These include First Nations: A History of Indigenous People, AP Macroeconomics, Middle School Math 8: Pre-Algebra, and Spanish II A & B. The first three remain in review, and the Spanish II A & B courses has been approved. Plans are underway to submit additional courses, and we are on track to exceed 10 semesters reviewed.

Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews.

Michigan Virtual currently offers professional development courses for educators related to quality online courses and practices. These courses are aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are offered at no cost for educators, and include state continuing education credit hours for Michigan educators.

Send out performance data communication request and upload received results to the catalog.

The prior year’s data has been uploaded to the website. Data collection for this year will occur in the summer after the main school year is completed. This year the performance data requests will be sent out by July, with a return date of September.

Maintain Section 21f resources made available through the statewide catalog.

Users visiting the public search at the Michigan’s Online Course Catalog website (https://micourses.org/) can click on the About link located at the top of the page and in the footer. This brings the user to a Michigan Virtual knowledge base article titled About Michigan’s Online Course Catalog, and the first paragraph is about Section 21f and links to additional details in a link titled Michigan’s Online Learning Law (21f) (https://michiganvirtual.org/resources/21f/).

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Updates

Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.

For users of the public search, there is a Help link located at the top of the page and in the footer and this brings the user to knowledge base article that contains links to many How-To pages for finding and using the public search and using the MiCourses Admin site to add and maintain courses and course offerings. In addition, users can reach out to Customer Care and receive additional assistance.

New or returning District Course Managers and 3rd party Vendors (Course Managers) are directed to the MiCourses Admin User, who reaches out directly to the Course manager. New Course Manager users are offered a 30-to-60-minute training through Zoom, covering the MiCourses Admin Website. Course Manager are given links to additional resources and the contact information for the Admin User.

The Admin User is available to assist Course Managers and provide refresher training at their convenience. This includes assisting with complex tasks and creating new features, such as the School Year, new Term Type, or new Course Standards (AP, NCAA, MMA), and with understanding course review process.

Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation and user interface (when needed) to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Help documentation is audited annually.

Examine District Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Updates

Continue evaluating Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.

Michigan Virtual has fully transitioned to a new tool to house the evaluation process using the modified Danielson rubric. This tool allows for more seamless communication and ease of use for instructors regarding the walk-through and evaluation process. The first round of walk-throughs was completed during semester 1. Evaluations are scheduled to be conducted beginning March 2024.

Engage MDE and CEPI in conversations about the use of state data to provide a robust picture of virtual teachers in the state.

Michigan Virtual has discussed with MDE about interest in leveraging state-collected data to provide an in-depth look at virtual teachers, similar to the kinds of analyses that are done in the Effectiveness Report. Further conversations on this topic have been tabled until after the Effectiveness Report is completed. We expect to have a draft proposal to the Department in late Spring.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Updates

By December 1, 2023, submit the combined Annual Report for the 2022-23 year.

The 2022-23 Institute Report was sent to the legislature in December 2023 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of the annual report page at https://michiganvirtual.org/about/annual-reports/.

By December 1, 2024, submit the combined Annual Report for the 2023-24 year.

Michigan Virtual is on track to submit this report by December 1.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Updates

Maintain accreditation during the 2024 fiscal year.

Michigan Virtual has maintained accreditation through Cognia during the 2024 fiscal year.

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Updates

Adopt a fiscal year 2024 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.

In October 2023, Michigan Virtual’s Board of Directors approved its fiscal year 2024 budget fulfilling this benchmark.

Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Based on audited figures from the 2022-23 school year, an independent third-party auditing firm concluded Michigan Virtual adhered to this requirement.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Updates

Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation.

Michigan Virtual is approved by the Michigan State Police (MSP) as a qualified entity to use the MSP Criminal History Record Internet Subscription Service (CHRISS) for fingerprinting for employment, assignment, or volunteer placement as authorized by the National Child Protection Act. Michigan Virtual works with its teachers and staff to complete background checks and MSP fingerprint checks through this process.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Updates

Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments.

Michigan Virtual has invited major education associations and other organizations focused on effective K-12 teaching and learning in Michigan to participate in a statewide AI Workgroup. This group aims to produce resources, recommend guidance on policy, and work with districts to implement AI tools into their instructional and district management capacities.

Michigan Virtual is also working with intermediate service units to define, develop, and deploy AI instructional coaching and leadership micro-credentials to create a larger pool of credentialed trainers to work with districts in the implementation of AI tools.

Provide face-to-face and online professional development to districts, in the form of workshops, presentations, and courses, on the topic of artificial intelligence and its impact on teaching, learning, and other functions of schools.

Between October 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024, Michigan Virtual engaged directly with 18 different school districts and intermediate school districts to deliver face-to-face professional development to teachers, administrators, and other educational staff totaling over 1,200 personnel. In addition to these direct engagements, Michigan Virtual has partnered with professional organizations including MEMSPA, MAISA, the Alliance for Student Opportunity, OER Network, Michigan Assessment Consortium and others to offer webinars and conference sessions on AI in education. Michigan Virtual and MACUL also partnered to host an AI Summit in December 2023, including a full day of keynote presentations and breakout sessions on the topic of AI, garnering an attendance of over 400 educators from across the state. In total, Michigan Virtual has engaged nearly 3,300 participants in synchronous learning opportunities on AI in FY24 so far. Lastly, Michigan Virtual hosts two AI-focused professional learning courses in its Professional Learning Portal: ChatGPT for Educators: An Introduction (530 enrollments) and Rethinking Classroom Practices with ChatGPT (50 enrollments).

Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology.

In April 2024, 35+ participants, compromised largely of district leadership teams, will be traveling on scholarships provided by Michigan Virtual’s partner GSV Ventures to the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego, CA. This will be the third Michigan Virtual curated trip for district leaders from across Michigan. The Summit is self-described as focusing on the vision that “ALL people have equal access to the future, and we believe that innovations at scale in ‘Pre-K to Gray’ learning and skills are critical to achieving that end.” Michigan Virtual will be providing pre-summit webinars, summit updates and opportunities, and a post-summit debrief for participating districts.

Review and update blended learning courses.

We continue to offer the blended series and are now looking at transitioning CEU blended course to a non-facilitated model to allow for flexibility for learners and SCECHs.

In October 2023, we launched the Modern Classroom Project Essentials course, which utilizes blended learning to help foster student agency and engagement. To date, we’ve had over 400 enrollments (187 which are currently active) and almost 200 completions.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as that term is defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at-risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Updates

Continue to offer over 240 teacher-facilitated online courses for middle school and high school student enrollment.

In the 2023-2024 school year, Michigan Virtual has offered a total of 261 teacher-led online courses for middle school and high school, including…

  • 45 semester-length Advanced Placement (AP) courses, fulfilling AP Course and Exam Description (CED) requirements for 24 AP exams administered by the College Board.
  • 24 high school credit recovery courses in the subjects of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  • 152 high school courses within the subjects of English language arts, health and physical education, mathematics, science, social studies, visual and performing arts, world languages, business, computer technologies, and other career interest electives.
  • 40 middle school courses within the subjects of English language arts, health, mathematics, science, social studies, visual art, world languages, and computer technologies.

In addition, Michigan Virtual has provided 196 semester-length middle school and high school online courses, hosted on its learning management system (LMS) available to be taught by teachers employed by local schools within a collaborative partnership model, and access to 12 personalized independent study paths within EdReady Math and EdReady English powered by The NROC Project.

Home-Schooled and Nonpublic Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Updates

Produce 2023-24 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

Michigan Virtual’s prices for the 2023-24 school year are the same for home-schooled and nonpublic school students as they are for district students using the same services. Pricing information is available on the Michigan Virtual website at https://michiganvirtual.org/students/pricing/.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School.

(b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts.

(c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course.

(d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Updates

Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2023.

The 2022-23 report on the Michigan Virtual School was sent to the legislature in December 2023 and is posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of the annual report page at https://michiganvirtual.org/about/annual-reports/. The 2023-24 report will be provided in December 2024.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) must also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Updates

Serve at least 600 Michigan schools through the Michigan Virtual School or our internet-based platform efforts.

Michigan Virtual is poised to support over 600 schools via a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy. The organization provides an extensive range of student programs, encompassing more than 260 online course titles for middle and high school levels. Michigan Virtual also provides unique access to districts interested in researching the application of digital technology through collaboration with educational technology entities in pilot programs. These collaborations offer educators access to, and training in, small intentional pilots to test cutting-edge educational tools and methodologies in cost-effective opportunities that normally would not be available because of lack of funding or ability to commit larger resources to initiatives.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of residents of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Updates

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Updates

No later than November 1, 2023, submit a detailed budget for 2023-24 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.

A detailed budget breaking down 2023-24 projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services was submitted by November 1, 2023.

No later than March 1, 2024, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

The breakdown of Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year was included for legislators in the same mailing as this update.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, including a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for the next fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section. Not later than March 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will explore different applications associated with defined innovation pathways around using technology to increase instructional capacity and improve effectiveness, learner engagement and communications, access to educational technology and curriculum, and the demonstration of personal and professional learning. This work will encompass exploring the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), next generation learning engagement platforms, counseling supports, and student and professional credentials and badges.

Michigan Virtual will also continue to participate in the learning interoperability standards body 1EdTech (https://www.1edtech.org/) as a contributing member to develop a deeper understanding of digital learner records and how it impacts the recognition and portability of student achievements and outcomes in K-12 settings. 1EdTech also has created the Trusted Apps framework to allow districts onboarding educational technology to understand alignment with district policies around data privacy. Michigan Virtual will continue to train on Trusted Apps to help inform Michigan districts around edtech best practices as well as intentionally implement edtech applications for Michigan Virtual.

Michigan Virtual will engage in year-round enrichment programs that explore next generation learning platforms and offer innovative learning opportunities to students as supplemental learning in-school and out-of-school environments. These programs will be offered at a low cost through schools, community-based organizations and direct to parents interested in providing enrichment opportunities for students.

Michigan Virtual will also develop and publish a series of blog posts documenting different tools and their application in creating pathways for teachers to use technology to achieve instructional goals in their online, blended, and traditional classrooms in a variety of student-centered learning models.

As interoperability in learning tools and data becomes a key factor in delivering high quality blended and online learning experiences to students, Michigan Virtual continues to focus on the piloting of tools around data interoperability to increase positive supports for learners in digital platforms. This includes examining the impact of data dashboards for instructor and mentors to display impactful learner data to support personnel.

Benchmarks

  • Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Participate in 1EdTech’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools and participate in Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification.
  • Offer up to 3 innovative learning options for year-round online and blended enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Publish a series of 4 blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Explore data interoperability with learning tools with a focus on security and data privacy and publish or present on the findings.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Plans

Michigan Virtual has committed to improving the experience in Professional Learning Services (PLS) courses. Part of this effort requires developing a more comprehensive understanding of how educators are utilizing PLS courses, educators perceived usefulness and value of the courses, and their satisfaction with the course overall. Michigan Virtual will design and conduct a research study that seeks to understand how educators use Michigan Virtual courses, how often they access, how long they typically spend in courses, what aspects of courses they visit most often, etc. as well as their satisfaction with the course. This research study is a two-part series, with the second part looking more deeply into educators’ feelings of utility and value as well as how they specifically engage with PLS courses.

Michigan Virtual will continue a collaboration with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study that uses Michigan Virtual course data to train an AI predictive model designed to identify students at risk of earning less than 65% of the available course points. Part of this collaboration will include designing a research study to be implemented in Michigan Virtual courses that provides identification of, and relevant interventions to at-risk students.

Bridging the distance that is felt between an online learner and their instructor can play an important role in students’ online learning experience. Existing research has consistently demonstrated that the degree of ‘presence’ felt by students is closely linked to their satisfaction and perceived learning outcomes. This sense of presence can be fostered through various teacher behaviors, including effective communication, timely feedback, encouragement, and the promotion of meaningful discussions. Given the positive associations between such behaviors and student outcomes, Michigan Virtual will design and conduct a study that examines teachers’ communication patterns, use of discussion boards and announcements, and feedback given to students within Michigan Virtual courses. The focus will be on understanding the relationship between teacher communication in the first four weeks of a course and student outcomes.

Michigan Virtual will continue to collaborate with Dr. Jacqueline Zweig to research Michigan Virtual student learning behaviors and their relationship to course outcomes. Dr. Zweig will work with Michigan Virtual staff to identify, design, and conduct research using Michigan Virtual data and within Michigan Virtual courses.

Benchmarks

  • Design and conduct research on the experiences of Michigan Virtual professional learners.
  • Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on models of predicting at-risk students in Michigan Virtual courses and design a research study utilizing the at-risk model.
  • Design, conduct, and share the results of a study that examines teachers’ communication patterns, use of discussion boards and announcements, and feedback given to students within Michigan Virtual courses.
  • Collaborate with Dr. Jacqueline Zweig to conduct research with Michigan Virtual data and in Michigan Virtual courses.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Plans

Michigan Virtual is heavily involved with co-leading the work on the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL) (https://www.nsqol.org/). NSQOL includes separate quality standards for programs, teaching, and courses. We have also produced a crosswalk between the Danielson framework and the teaching standards.

We have also been collaborating with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, to develop a formal, virtual learning program certification process that may be used by schools and districts within Michigan and throughout the nation. This process will allow virtual schools or programs to assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs. As part of the assessment, leaders of virtual learning programs will be able to identify where they meet the national standards and where they fall short; specific recommendations will be provided in a culminating report to help these leaders take actions that will help improve their school’s or programs to better align with the standards.

Benchmarks

  • Serve in a leadership capacity for the NSQOL work, including improvement and promotion activities.
  • Develop and publish a self-assessment tool that schools can use to evaluate the extent to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section.

Plans

By March 31, 2024, Michigan Virtual will produce the Effectiveness Report in a form and method consistent with the past version as it has been well-received and represents the most in-depth, state-level analysis of virtual course enrollments in the country. Like past reports, Michigan Virtual will also create an infographic summarizing key findings from the report. A link to the infographic and the report will be mailed to required recipients and published on the Michigan Virtual website. The report’s author will produce a recording that will be made available on-demand through the Michigan Virtual website.

Benchmarks

  • Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by March 31, 2024 with a link to the report and infographic sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2024.
  • Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2024.
  • Post recording covering key findings from the report on the Michigan Virtual website by April 30, 2024.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM council described in section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state, including professional development for employees in child care facilities, early childhood facilities, and after-school programs. Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also include both of the following:

(A) The identification of barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

(B) A link to, and explanation of, the Michigan Virtual University’s online course standards for professional development programming. The standards described in this sub-subparagraph must inform learners how to file a complaint about course content and detail the steps that will be taken for the review and resolution of complaints.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to advance its professional development services by gathering and acting on feedback from individuals currently taking professional development courses, individuals who may be seeking professional development in the future, and from the field in general. Michigan Virtual will also develop new partnerships with schools or educational groups to provide professional learning services while integrating professional learning communities to build engagement. The Michigan Virtual professional development platform will be continuously improved through course updates, new courses, and pilots to explore opportunities for more competency-based learning at scale.

Michigan Virtual will continue to host the annual event called Collaboration of the Minds (COM). COM is an annual professional development conference that serves as an opportunity to bring the large remote teaching staff of Michigan Virtual, many of whom have full-time teaching positions in local school districts, together to learn, explore, and collaborate with each other. This is an opportunity for all instructors to meet face-to-face and provides time for like-content instructors to explore best practices and strategies for supporting students. The event introduces new learning in the virtual environment, training in effective practices, and collaboration time to explore with fellow instructors. Michigan Virtual is also putting on a virtual fall event for mentors of online learners to strengthen effective practices and expand their professional learning community.

Michigan Virtual will fulfill the PD report’s requirement through publishing its annual report. The report will include a section addressing identified barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system. It will also include a link to a page on the Michigan Virtual website that identifies our online course standards for professional development programming. Along with the link, the report will document steps a learner can take to share feedback, including a complaint about course content, and outline how that feedback will be reviewed and resolved.

Benchmarks

  • Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.
  • Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.
  • Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.
  • Host the 2023 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference for instructors and a fall event for online mentors.
  • Submit the 2023 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2023. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.
  • Submit the 2024 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2024.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Plans

Michigan Virtual developed a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual will host these guides on the Michigan Virtual website.

In collaboration with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) leadership, Michigan Virtual will conduct a study focused on factors that contribute to effective support of struggling or disengaged K-12 virtual learners. Teachers and administrators at VLLA schools will be asked to complete a survey on effective practices for supporting struggling K-12 online learners. Results from this research will be shared with the VLLA and publicly on the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will continue to conduct research on innovative learning models in Michigan schools and provide effective practices and recommendations to Michigan schools and districts through a blog series in the Michigan Virtual Digital Backpack.

Student pacing is inextricably linked with student learning outcomes. In order to better understand how to support learners Michigan Virtual will design and conduct a research study that investigates how students move through their course content. The study will use Michigan Virtual LMS data and will analyze if students move through their coursework in a linear fashion, and how that is related to course outcomes.

Michigan Virtual will collaborate with Dr. Aman Yadev on a series of research projects that explore the experiences of students in online Computer Science courses. This series of research will target students’ self-efficacy in Computer Science and identify areas to increase course outcomes of traditionally underserved students.

Michigan Virtual will develop a professional learning course, rooted in our own research around student-centered learning. Learners will explore what student-centered learning (SCL) is, how it is defined, and its benefits. Learners will examine various MVLRI case study examples to understand what SCL looks like in a big-picture sense before getting more focused and learning about classroom-level examples, strategies, and resources to help teachers understand how they can make learning student-centered in their own classrooms. The course will culminate in a module inviting teachers to determine their own next steps and take action.

Finally, Michigan Virtual is active at Michigan education conferences. Staff will be presenting or exhibiting at 15 or more Michigan professional learning conferences. Presentation and outreach at these events will include sharing our resources and experience with research-based online learning for students, innovation with an emphasis on our new AI Lab, school redesign, mental health awareness, and professional learning for educators.

Benchmarks

  • Host the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning on our website.
  • Conduct research with the VLLA on effective support strategies for struggling K-12 online learners and share the results on the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Publish a blog series on innovative learning in Michigan on the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Design and conduct a research study investigating course assignment completion patterns in Michigan Virtual courses.
  • Collaborate on a series of research projects with Dr. Aman Yadev on the experiences of students in online computer science courses.
  • Develop a professional learning course using MVLRI research on student-centered learning to be offered in the Professional Learning Portal.
  • Present or exhibit at 15 or more Michigan professional learning conferences.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will provide feedback on current virtual learning policies and make recommendations that will accelerate the use of effective virtual learning in the state.

Benchmarks

  • Before December 31, 2023, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain the existing clearinghouse website (http://k12onlineresearch.org/) and add additional resources to the website throughout the fiscal year. Currently, the nationally recognized clearinghouse acts as an aggregator of K-12 online and blended research and key publications. To date, there are over 1,300 resources cataloged in the clearinghouse. On a quarterly basis, Michigan Virtual will email a clearinghouse newsletter to the MVLRI mailing list and share it via social media to highlight resources added during that time.

Benchmarks

  • Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.
  • Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as needed for improved functionality.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain and update the instructional design guidelines and standards tagged in the Research Clearinghouse. At least five new instructional design resources will be added to the Clearinghouse to assist Michigan schools in developing and delivering their own digital content to students.

Michigan Virtual will also promote the National Quality Standards for Online Teaching, National Quality Standards for Online Programs, and National Quality Standards for Online Courses (https://www.nsqol.org/), which will all help to inform Michigan-based work in online and blended learning. This includes offering four free online professional learning courses focused on different aspects of the national standards.

Michigan Virtual will also offer courses on instructional design and on creating digital content and effective online assessments. Michigan Virtual will submit at least two presentation proposals to Michigan-specific education conferences to promote and share best practices related to instructional design and standards of quality.

Benchmarks

  • Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”
  • Add five new instructional design resources to the Clearinghouse.
  • Promote the National Standards for Quality Online Learning by offering four professional learning courses.
  • Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including through the offering of online professional courses.
  • Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at least two Michigan-based education conferences.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will make available a wide variety of online resources and courses to institutions that operate teacher and administrator preparation programs. These resources, which include digital content and professional learning related to early literacy; online, blended, and student-centered learning; and the use of open educational resources, will be available to colleges and universities through Michigan Virtual-hosted environments. In some cases, these resources may be made available in university-hosted environments.

Michigan Virtual will continue to collaborate with university entrepreneurship programs and technology accelerators / tech transfer teams to promote educational technology entrepreneurship and to catalyze teachers’ creation of new technology to solve educational challenges. This program includes a series of experiences that bring together college students, faculty, education technology entrepreneurs, and Michigan Virtual to support innovation in education throughout the state.

Michigan Virtual is also interested in collaborating with colleges and universities in ways that drive innovation in education. The Michigan Virtual’s Innovation Advisory Council will continue to include representatives from higher education institutions that operate teacher and/or administrator preparation programs.

Benchmarks

  • Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.
  • Continue to support an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.
  • Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to lead conversations about digital learning throughout Michigan. Maintaining memberships and affiliations with national digital learning organizations such as the Digital Learning Consortium and Aurora Institute will help gain insight into other state and national trends as they relate to key issues in digital learning, policy development, and effective program practices, in general. Michigan Virtual will gather and share such information with schools and districts throughout the state as they continue to implement digital learning opportunities for their students.

Michigan Virtual will also provide direct support to the Future of Learning Council through a professional collaboration that provides a structured environment for Michigan leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning with other innovative school leaders. Both Michigan Virtual and the Future of Learning Council believe we have a unique opportunity to chart a new course regarding the structure of schools by blending the best of our traditional instructional models with an intentional focus on innovations in learning to better serve all children.

Michigan Virtual will continue to collaborate with national and regional technology accelerator programs to promote educational technology entrepreneurship, catalyze teachers’ creation of innovative technology to solve educational challenges, and promote high-quality educational technology development and implementations in Michigan. This includes promoting standards-based educational technology that promotes an agile, scalable, ethical & safe edtech ecosystem.

As Michigan Virtual continues to develop its innovation portfolio, it will seek participation from a variety of external stakeholders to bring diversity of thought to the process. Michigan Virtual will continue working with representatives of the public and private sectors on the Innovation Advisory Council.

Benchmarks

  • Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level.
  • Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.
  • Continue to collaborate and partner with private and public sector organizations around Michigan to promote entrepreneurial activity for edtech development in Michigan.
  • Michigan Virtual will promote 1EdTech’s “Trusted Apps Pledge” agreeing to a set of fair and acceptable business practices in the use of open standards by suppliers.
  • Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide a critical service to schools by highlighting the importance of mentors in virtual learner success. Mentors will have access to resources, share assets and practices, and explore emerging tools to support students’ engagement and success in online learning. Mentors will have access to both in-person and virtual training opportunities.

Michigan Virtual staff will offer events including a virtual fall conference where mentors examine effective practices, develop resources, discuss the latest pupil accounting policies, and strengthen their professional learning community.

Michigan Virtual will maintain a Mentor Advisory Council consisting of 8-12 members representing schools across the state. Michigan Virtual will host bi-annual council meetings to explore new goals and initiatives within the virtual school program and elicit feedback from the advisory council on next steps and directions that will benefit school partners.

Benchmarks

  • Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices.
  • Offer opportunities for mentors to engage and collaborate with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.
  • Maintain and host two Mentor Advisory Council meetings annually.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will collect feedback from key users and stakeholders through surveying, focus groups, and other means. Student focus groups will center on the student experience in online learning, their motivations for taking an online course, and their preferences for online or in person learning. The results will help Michigan Virtual refine its offerings and identify opportunities to improve virtual learning for students.

Surveys will be used with students and professionals to focus on the learner experience, their motivations, and opportunities for Michigan Virtual to improve its offerings and the outcomes for learners. The professional learning survey results will be filtered by the learner’s role (teacher, administrator, parent, support staff, etc.) to help identify and understand opportunities that may be unique to each role.

Michigan Virtual will also survey mentors of virtual students and conduct advisory committee meetings to learn from the field, gathering information on what supports work best for students in virtual learning and what does not work in terms of supports, content, and systems.

Benchmarks

  • Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.
  • Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.
  • Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual courses.
  • Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Plans

The Consumer Awareness resource (https://michiganvirtual.org/research/consumer awareness/) is available as an important link on the About page of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog (https://micourses.org/). The report includes sections devoted to background, providers, delivery models, performance data, cost structures, research trends, conclusions, and resources. Including the Consumer Awareness resource as part of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog provides high visibility for parents, students, and schools exploring Section 21f options. Data on areas such as the school districts that are putting courses in the catalog, the distribution of courses by ISD, PSA, LEA, and Michigan Virtual, and disaggregation by key variables such as who is providing the content or the instructor, are updated in the fall and in the spring to reflect the changes in those two enrollment windows.

Benchmarks

  • Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring).

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K to 12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Plans

Michigan Virtual acts as a close partner with the Michigan Department of Education and the #GoOpen Michigan Strategy Team to make available a common Open Educational Resources system throughout the state. On the GoOpen Michigan website (https://goopenmichigan.org/), educators can access open educational resources for modification and use in the classroom. In addition to providing leadership on the platform, Michigan Virtual will also cover the cost of maintenance of this platform for continued use.

Michigan Virtual also supports educators in the creation and sharing of digital learning objects by providing courses on its Professional Learning Portal. These courses provide training to educators on how to develop their own learning objects as well as learning more about open educational resources, including how GoOpenMichigan can be leveraged for use in their classrooms.

With advancements in AI tools for learning content creation increasing impacts districts throughout the state, Michigan Virtual will build training specific to using AI-enabled learning tools to create state standards aligned student-centric learning objects and train teachers on the use of the tools and process for contributing to the state’s GoOpen initiative.

As districts increase their reliance on digital tools, many teachers are being asked to be both instructional designers, creating new learning objects to support their curriculum, and learning facilitators. To enable district staff to use digital learning objects more effectively, Michigan Virtual will continue to build an advanced learning object repository (LOR) that allows for efficient and intuitive access to the Michigan Virtual catalog of digital curriculum objects and courses to supplement local curriculum. Building upon lessons learned from a pilot the previous year, Michigan Virtual will work to ramp up access to Michigan Virtual-owned digital learning assets in progressively more teacher-customizable models.

Benchmarks

  • Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.
  • Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.
  • Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.
  • Provide funding for maintenance of Michigan’s GoOpen hub.
  • Train 100 teachers to use AI tools to create state aligned OER learning objects for the MI GoOpen Hub.
  • Expand pilot with Michigan schools to provide Michigan Virtual content through a learning object repository that allows for embedding in multiple Learning Management Systems and publish or present on findings around viability of learning object repository use for this purpose.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog must also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.

(B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.

(C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Plans

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the statewide catalog of online courses located at https://micourses.org/. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has worked with other leading experts across the country to develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning programs, teachers, and courses. These sets of standards are formally known as the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (https://www.nsqol.org/). These standards have been added to the Micourses catalog and can be used by Michigan Virtual, intermediate districts and districts to report the results of their quality course review. Michigan Virtual will also submit a minimum of 10 MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews.

Michigan Virtual offers a series of four asynchronous professional development courses housed on its Professional Learning Portal in an effort to help schools understand ways in which they could develop high-quality online courses for students. These courses, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are titled: Online National Standards 1: Getting Started; Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design; Online National Standards 3: Assessment; and Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs. These courses are available at no cost to all Michigan schools.

Toward the end of each school year, Michigan Virtual will reach out to each course provider that offered online courses that year and request their performance data for inclusion in the catalog. MV staff will upload the performance data results we receive to the Micourses website.

Lastly, Michigan Virtual will maintain the Section 21f documentation made available through the statewide catalog website.

Benchmarks

  • Maintain the public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses.
  • Include information about the National Standards for Quality Online Learning on the About page of the Micourses website.
  • Submit a minimum of ten MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews.
  • Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews.
  • Send out performance data communication request and upload received results to the catalog.
  • Maintain Section 21f resources made available through the statewide catalog.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to support the functionality of the course catalog, including providing technical and customer support for users. Michigan Virtual will also continue to maintain a public-facing knowledge base allowing catalog users to browse for instant help.

Benchmarks

  • Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.
  • Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation and user interface (when needed) to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Examine District Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to implement the modified Danielson evaluation rubric with all instructors both full- and part-time (a minimum of 200 instructors). This process allows Michigan Virtual to continue its effort to support district-level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues.

Michigan Virtual also plans to hold discussions with MDE and CEPI to explore using existing data collected by the state to produce a clearer picture of teachers of virtual learning. The ideal end state would be to sign a data sharing agreement and issue a report before the end of the fiscal year.

Benchmarks

  • Continue evaluating Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.
  • Engage MDE and CEPI in conversations about the use of state data to provide a robust picture of virtual teachers in the state.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Plans

Submit required reports detailing Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute activities.

Benchmarks

  • By December 1, 2023 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2022-23 year.
  • By December 1, 2024 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2023-24 year.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Plans

Michigan Virtual is accredited through Cognia, and it will complete any necessary requirements from Cognia to maintain that accreditation.

Benchmarks

  • Maintain accreditation during the 2024 fiscal year.

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will pass a board-approved budget that caps appropriation spending for Michigan Virtual School to no more than $1M.

Benchmarks

  • Adopt a fiscal year 2024 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.
  • Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will conduct background checks through a private security firm that uses the FBI’s LiveScan fingerprinting process to comply with these requirements.

Benchmarks

  • Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide support for and collaborate with the Future of Learning Council. This will result in supporting the specific professional learning needs of district teams participating in FLC activities and creating new opportunities to use the FLC as a feedback mechanism for professional and student learning needs across the state to address new and next learning models. Michigan Virtual will work with the FLC to address areas, identified by the participating districts, to develop, test, and pilot professional learning products and services focused on instruction in virtual and blended learning environments. These collaborations will provide opportunities to increase the reach and impact of both existing and newly identified professional learning programs for Michigan teachers.

In partnership with the FLC, Michigan Virtual will offer one virtual and one face-to-face blended and online learning professional development to prepare educators for utilizing virtual and blended learning in the classroom.

Michigan Virtual will organize a study tour for educators, administrators, and education stakeholders, to attend a national educational technology networking event around innovation in education. The purpose of this tour will be to provide opportunities to connect and participate in next generation learning models, with the intent to build a strong innovation hub in Michigan schools.

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer a suite of courses focused on blended learning and will continue to create and offer course content specific to blended learning.

Benchmarks

  • Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments.
  • Provide face-to-face and online professional development to districts, in the form of workshops, presentations, and courses, on the topic of artificial intelligence and its impact on teaching, learning, and other functions of schools.
  • Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology.
  • Review and update blended learning courses.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as that term is defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at-risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Plans

Michigan Virtual offers over 240 online courses, taught by Michigan certified teachers, for middle school and high school students in a wide variety of subjects that fulfill grade level and high school graduation requirements, other elective offerings, credit recovery, and Advanced Placement courses. Michigan Virtual also provides opportunities for personalized, independent study pathways in mathematics and English and access to online courses and content that can be taught by local educators.

Benchmarks

  • Continue to offer over 240 teacher-facilitated online courses for middle school and high school student enrollment.

Home-Schooled and Nonpublic Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to adhere to this requirement. Michigan Virtual makes available its courses to Michigan home-schooled or nonpublic students at the advertised base rate. Michigan Virtual pricing is available at https://michiganvirtual.org/students/pricing/.

Benchmarks

  • Produce 2023-24 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School.

(b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts.

(c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course.

(d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Plans

Submit the report detailing Michigan Virtual School activities for 2022-23 school year as part of an annual report that also includes the Michigan Virtual’s professional development report specified under 2(a)(v) and the Institute annual report required under 2(b)(xiii) no later than December 1, 2023.

Benchmarks

  • Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2023.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) must also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Plans

Michigan Virtual plans to serve over 600 schools through the Michigan Virtual School and the internet-based platform. Our student programming offers online courses for over 240 middle school and high school titles. Our internet-based platform includes support for the #GoOpen Michigan initiative (https://goopenmichigan.org/). The #GoOpen Michigan website has thousands of registered educators who represent many schools throughout the state.

Benchmarks

  • Serve at least 600 Michigan schools through the Michigan Virtual School or our internet-based platform efforts.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of residents of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Plans

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to submit the required materials in accordance with the identified deadlines.

Benchmarks

  • No later than November 1, 2023, submit a detailed budget for 2023-24 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.
  • No later than March 1, 2024, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, including a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for the next fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section. Not later than March 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Updates

  1. Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual

As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual has completed the Fall 2022 run of an AI system to help “nudge” students by identification of attitudinal states based on behavior recorded by LMS data (the second pilot in a three-part series) and is currently analyzing the results against student completion data for Fall semester. The third test in the series has been launched, with completion and analysis occurring post Spring semester in June.

  1. Participate in 1EdTech’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools and explore Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification and Trusted Apps Pledge.

As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual and 1EdTech have had a successful strategy call focused on reviewing and adopting the Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification, training to occur in June, and adopting the Trusted Apps Pledge. Michigan Virtual presented in November at the annual 1EdTech Digital Curriculum Summit on changing expectations around digital learning for K-12 districts, as well as participating in a K-12 micro-credentials panel during the K-12 Programs retreat following the summit. 1EdTech and Michigan Virtual also co-presented at the Digital Learning Annual Conference in February on similar topics.

  1. Test and evaluate tools that will allow unit and lesson level learning objects to be tagged with digital standards and competencies in Michigan and publish or present on results of the use of digital learning standards for learning tools.

As of March 1, 2023, work has been launched to explore acquiring access to the digital standards for the Michigan Merit Curriculum to be used in tagging lesson level objects within our LearningMate Frost platform evaluation pilot which is ongoing.

  1. Offer up to 3 innovative learning options for year-round online and blended enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtual

As of March 1, 2023, a suite of 3 courses on STEAM and computer science related topics for middle school aged students has been made available. These were provided as enrichment activities during school breaks, such as the holiday break in 2022, as well as spring break at the end of March and early April 2023. These enrichment titles include “Roblox: Intro to Game Design”, “Roblox Game Design and Coding Camp”, and “Website Development Camp.” Work is currently underway to complete the building of a “21st Century Home Economics”, a revised “Intro to Esports”, and a “Content Creator” enrichment option to debut in summer 2023.

  1. Publish a series of 4 blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual

In January 2023, the first of the blog series was published exploring the debut of the OpenAI system ChatGPT, built on the large language model AI of GPT-3.5. The second blog post was published in February 2023, and focuses on the impact of GPT models on Michigan educators. Data is being collected from Michigan educators to craft the third and fourth blog posts.

  1. Explore data interoperability with learning tools with a focus on security and data privacy and publish or present on the findings.

As of March 1, 2023, the work on this has not been started, as it is reliant on the dependencies of possible partnership with 1EdTech.

  1. Explore and test an application to organize, track and prioritize instructional coaching support for educators and coaches.

During the 2022-23 school year, the Michigan Virtual instructional leadership team will engage the Connect Hub tool to monitor, review and audit interactions with instructors. The tool utilizes a variety of features to help organize and track Feedback loops, observations, communications and includes a variety of charts for easy reference. The initial feedback on the tool suggests that it will fill some gaps currently existing within our vast and remote instructional team. The data that we can collect will help inform PD decisions both individually and as a group.

  1. Launch pilot with Michigan schools to provide Michigan Virtual content through a learning object repository that allows for embedding in multiple Learning Management Systems through interoperability standards and publish or present on findings around viability of learning object repository use for this purpose.

As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual has been participating in a pilot partnership to migrate 10 courses into a learning object repository (LOR) platform to test out the feasibility of migrating Michigan Virtual courses from our current learning management system (LMS), D2L Brightspace, into an online software as a service LOR platform. The second phase of this pilot will commence post March 1, 2023, to work with national and regional partners to then test the ability to deliver those courses into Buzz, Canvas, and Schoology LMS. An executive summary about the process and the results will be shared through the Michigan Virtual website.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models 

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Updates

  1. Design and execute a study investigating mentor behavioral engagement and effective student support practices.

Michigan Virtual staff are currently investigating the availability of mentor behavioral engagement data within the Michigan Virtual learning management system and student information system. Data collection from either the Michigan Virtual systems or Michigan Virtual network of mentors will begin in spring 2023.

  1. Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on models of predicting at-risk students in Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual has continued the ongoing collaboration with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study using Michigan Virtual course data to train an AI predictive model designed to identify students at-risk of earning less than 65% of the available course points.

  1. Design and execute a study investigating synchronous K-12 online learning trends, effective practices, and lessons learned from online programs and make the findings available on the Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual, in partnership with Dr. Saro Mohammed, has designed a research study on synchronous K-12 online learning that highlights trends, effective practices, and lessons learned from online programs. The data collection for this study will begin in February 2023 with results expected in spring 2023.

  1. Design and execute a study investigating online CTE and make the findings available on the Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual staff are on-track and underway in designing a study investigating online career and technical education. Potential subjects for a case study research approach are being identified and will be secured by Spring 2023. Findings from this study will be made available on the Michigan Virtual website summer 2023.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Updates

  1. Offer to conduct online program reviews, including written recommendations, using the NSQOL standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual has additional capacity, and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost to Michigan schools.

Upon completion of the development of the virtual learning program certification process for the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), the Michigan Virtual consulting team will begin the process of revising the process and documentation needed to provide free online program reviews for Michigan schools. The revised free online program review process will be upgraded to be closely aligned to the VLLA certification process, and this work is expected to commence in March 2023 with a target completion date of May 2023. Upon completion, Michigan Virtual will conduct a broad outreach campaign, offering free program reviews to at least 10 Michigan schools.

  1. Develop a comprehensive certification review process to help schools and districts assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs.

Michigan Virtual is leading the development of a formal, virtual learning program certification process that may be used by schools and districts within Michigan and throughout the nation. This process will allow virtual schools or programs to assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs. The overall certification process and related forms, rubrics and training materials have been created, and a pilot virtual school has been identified to participate in a pilot certification review. This pilot is expected to conclude during summer 2023, and a formal report and recommendations for process improvement will be generated and presented to the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance no later than September 2023.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated in this section.

Updates

  1. Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2023 deadline with copies sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2023.

A draft of the 2021-22 Effectiveness Report is completed and a copy provided to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) for their review. A presentation to those organizations is scheduled for March 10, 2023, to gather feedback and to receive permission to release the report. The report will be made publicly available through the Michigan Virtual website no later than March 31, 2023. As with the prior year, the entire report will be posted directly as a webpage on the Michigan Virtual website. Making the report available in this format will help users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to discover the findings and make them available to users. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards and provides a mobile-friendly version. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section.

  1. Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2023.

A summary infographic and cover letter related to the report will be mailed to Michigan school superintendents as well as high school and middle school principals in April 2023, providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report online.

  1. Post recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

A recorded presentation that highlights key findings from the report is expected to be completed in March 2023. The recorded presentation, along with the aforementioned infographic, will be linked to resources on the report webpage and available for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM council described in section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also include both of the following:

(A) the identification of barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

(B) A link to, and explanation of, the Michigan Virtual University’s online course standards for professional development programming. The standards described in this sub-subparagraph must inform learners how to file a complaint about course content and detail the steps that will be taken for the review and resolution of complaints.

Updates

  1. Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

Michigan Virtual continues to gather information through customer surveys and focus groups to ensure that learners have the best experience and add additional content to the Michigan Virtual Professional Learning Platform based on this feedback.

  1. Offer professional learning courses through partnerships with at least 10 districts, the department, and educational groups.

Michigan Virtual continues to partner with many organizations and districts across the state, including a new partnership with MiRegistry and the office of Great Start to provide professional development to those who work in the area of early education. Michigan Virtual has started conversations with the MiSTEM council to begin partnering to serve educators with professional learning through course hosting and/or course building. As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual is partnering with over 16 different learning partners.

  1. Offer 25 competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.

Michigan Virtual has included over 40 opportunities for learners to experience competency-based courses that provide learners feedback on submitted evidence of learning.

  1. Host the 2023 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference for instructors and a fall event for online mentors.

The annual Michigan Virtual Collaboration of the Minds conference is scheduled to be held on August 2-3 this year. Dexter Community Schools will once again host the event that will serve over 250 Michigan Virtual instructors, and we are in discussion with keynote speakers currently. Our PD focus this year will center on bias training, special education updates and support, clarification and revisiting of policy and expectations to provide consistency to our stakeholders, and opportunities for self-guided exploration and teamwork development.

  1. Submit the 2022 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2022. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.

The 2021-2022 Professional Learning Report was sent to the legislature in December 2022 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Updates

  1. Maintain and update the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning.

Beginning in April 2023, Michigan Virtual will be updating a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual will review and update the content of these guides as needed and make this content available to the public through the Michigan Virtual website.

  1. Design and execute research study investigating student pacing in Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual, in partnership with Dr. Jackie Zweig, has designed a research study investigating student pacing in Michigan Virtual courses. Internal analysis of course data demonstrated that pacing, rather than performance on assignments, determines whether students stay on-track to complete their course. This research study uses Michigan Virtual LMS data to generate evidence that could support future rigorous research testing different approaches to assignments in online courses. Data for this study has been collected from the Michigan Virtual LMS and analysis is underway.

  1. Publish a research study on the experiences of students, teachers, and mentors with online learning.

Michigan Virtual, in partnership with Dr. Anne Jonas at Michigan State University, has begun conducting interviews as part of a research study that examines student, teacher, and mentor experiences with online learning. This study will highlight the experiences of rural and low-income students, in addition to telling the varied stories and perspectives of stakeholders. Findings from this research will be shared through the Michigan Virtual website.

  1. Continue to conduct research on student-centered learning and provide effective practices and recommendations to Michigan schools and districts.

Michigan Virtual staff have begun work on a series of reports that will highlight student-centered learning practices and innovative learning models in schools around Michigan. These reports will highlight effective instructional practice in Michigan schools as well as provide recommendations and resources to Michigan schools and districts looking to adopt similar practices. Reports will be published to the Michigan Virtual website in spring and summer 2023.

  1. Present or exhibit at 10 or more Michigan professional learning conferences.

Michigan Virtual is active at Michigan education conferences as a thought leader and partner to Michigan education groups. Michigan Virtual has attended 14 conferences, partnering with 10 key education groups. Staff have presented 26 professional learning sessions to educators, school leaders, and board members. Our Executive Team has had eight public speaking opportunities at these conferences, introducing key speakers and our services to the conference participants. Presentation and outreach at these events will include sharing our resources and experience with research-based online learning, school redesign, mental health awareness, and professional learning for educators.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Updates

  1. Before December 31, 2022, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education.

In December 2022, Michigan Virtual submitted 8 recommendations to address current virtual learning issues. They included:

  • Convene Task Force to Study How Students Should Be Counted in Membership
  • Increase Flexibility in Seat-Time Requirements
  • Expand Access to Career & Technical Education (High School)
  • Formalize District Virtual Learning Options for Parents and Students
  • Require Virtual Learning Accountability and Transparency
  • Create Alternative Teacher Pathways
  • Grow Summer Learning Opportunities to Address Equity and Learning Loss
  • Revise Reporting Field to Collect Credit Recovery Data

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Updates

  1. Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.

Michigan Virtual sent the first quarterly newsletter of the fiscal year December 2022.

  1. Add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual staff added new resources in the form of blogs and publications to the clearinghouse and Michigan Virtual website.

  1. Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as needed for improved functionality.

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the clearinghouse platform and updates as needed for improved functionality.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Updates

  1. Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”

Michigan Virtual staff tag resources as appropriate to the Research Clearinghouse as “instructional design” and “standards.” Clearinghouse resource additions are on-going throughout the year.

  1. Add five new instructional design resources to the Clearinghouse.

Michigan Virtual is on track to add five new instructional design resources to the Clearinghouse.

  1. Promote the National Standards for Quality Online Learning by offering four professional learning courses.

Michigan Virtual currently offers four courses in the Professional Learning Catalog that train teachers on the use of the National Standards for Online Learning. These include Online National Standards 1: Getting Started, Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design, Online National Standards 3: Assessment, and Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs.

  1. Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including through the offering of online professional courses.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer several free online professional learning courses that train teachers in the instructional design of online content. Some of these courses include Assessments in the Blended Classroom, Blended Classroom Design, and Instructional Practices with Technology 101. We recently added the course UDL: Engagement- Apply Your Skills and have two more courses in the Univeral Design for Learning (UDL) series planned for this year. Additionally, plans are underway to add an Instructional Design Resources page to the Michigan Virtual webpage where standalone instructional design will be more easily shared and accessible.

  1. Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices for at least two Michigan-based education conferences.

A presentation titled Instructional Design in the K-12 Setting was submitted and accepted for presentation at the national Digital Learning Annual Conference in February 2023. Work is underway to adapt this for a Michigan setting and work with the Michigan Virtual marketing team to submit it as a proposal to additional Michigan Conferences.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Updates

  1. Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.

General solicitation of interest for participation in this program will be sent out in late Spring 2023.

  1. Continue to support an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.

Our 2023 edtech pitch competition and innovation bootcamp programs were launched in February 2023 and submissions for the pitch competition can be entered between March 20th and May 14th, 2023. We have partnered with the Burgess Institute at Michigan State University and Spartan Innovations at the MSU Research Foundation, as well as SBDC Michigan, to develop and host these programs. Students, faculty, and staff at other Universities across the state are eligible to participate.

  1. Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Dr. Stefanie Marshall, from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Matthew Koehler, from Michigan State University’s College of Education, have both agreed to participate for a second two-year term of the Innovation Advisory Council.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Updates

  1. Continue partnerships with educational organizations to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of micro-credentials in high need areas.

As of March 1, 2023, the first set of eight micro-credentials around “Esports Coaching” is available in partnership with the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL). The “Starter Pack” includes: Esport Technology, Esport leadership, Program Sustainability, Esport Competitions, Funding Esport Programs, The Legal, Operations, and Esports Advocacy micro-credentials.

Grand Valley State University’s K-12 Connect program also released their literacy tutoring micro-credentials for public use through the Michigan Virtual Professional Learning Portal in Fall 2022.

  1. Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level.

Michigan Virtual maintains memberships with the following national-level organizations focused on supporting digital learning at the K-12 level:

  • Digital Learning Collaborative
  • Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance
  • 1EdTech
  • NROC
  • Aurora Institute
  1. Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.

As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual has launched one community of practice focused on AI & Learning, with two of five sessions completed. The group meets the last Tuesday of every month. In Spring 2023, a second community of practice, focused on strategic foresight simulations around the future of learning, will launch with a three-part series.

  1. Support an educational technology entrepreneurship program cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.

Our 2023 edtech pitch competition and innovation bootcamp programs were launched in February 2023, and submissions for the pitch competition can be entered between March 20th and May 14th, 2023. The mission of the Michigan EdTech Innovation Pitch Contest & Bootcamp is to encourage and support innovative thinking by those in Michigan’s education ecosystem, helping them develop and share business ideas that have the potential to advance learning and teaching through the use of existing technology or the development of new technology. The pitch contest and related supports are focused on helping innovative educators refine and build on their idea for a business that can improve learning and teaching through the use of existing or new technologies. The Bootcamp is designed to help participants further explore and develop a business model around their business idea while also introducing them to resources and supports that are available to entrepreneurs and innovators in Michigan and strategies for integrating lessons in innovation and entrepreneurship in their schools and classrooms.

  1. Promote 1EdTech’s “Trusted Apps Pledge” agreeing to a set of fair and acceptable business practices in the use of open standards by suppliers.

As of March 1, 2023, Michigan Virtual and 1EdTech have had a successful strategy call focused on reviewing and adopting the Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification, training to occur in June, and adopting the Trusted Apps Pledge. Target date for signing the pledge is September 2023.

  1. Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Thomas Arnett, Senior Education Research Fellow at the Christensen Institute, and Lucie Howell, Chief Learning Officer at The Henry Ford, have both agreed to renew a two-year term on the Innovation Advisory Council.

  1. Offer 25 or more competency-based online courses to districts through the professional learning portal.

Michigan Virtual has included 40 opportunities for learners to experience competency-based courses that provide learners feedback on submitted evidence of learning.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Updates

  1. Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices.

The Michigan Virtual Mentor Webpage continues to be a place where mentors from around the state can access resources for mentoring virtual learners. Resources on the website have been maintained and/or updated during Semester 1 of the 2022-2023 school year. Mentor resources are also available via Mentor’s Corner – a live mentor community that is housed in Brightspace.

  1. Offer opportunities for mentors to engage and collaborate with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.

On November 8, 2022, Michigan Virtual hosted a mentor-specific conference, Mentor Collaboration of the Minds. During the one-day conference, mentors from around the state were given the opportunity to collaborate with one another, while learning more about navigating student information systems, learning management systems, communicating with online instructors, and general best practices for supporting online learners. Mentors also have the opportunity to collaborate throughout the school year using the discussion boards in the Mentor’s Corner, a mentor community housed in Brightspace.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Updates

  1. Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.

Michigan Virtual is currently in the process of scheduling three focus groups with students in online courses during the spring 2023 semester, with these being done in person or remotely depending on the school location and policies regarding visitors in the participating schools.

  1. Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.

All learners enrolled in Michigan Virtual professional and student courses are presented with an end-of-course questionnaire. From October 1, 2022 through January 27, 2023, the professional learning questionnaire has received 17,494 responses, and the student end-of-course questionnaire has received 5,752 responses. Our student end-of-course survey shows that 87% of respondents are highly satisfied thus far in 2022-23, while our professional learners have a highly-satisfied rate of over 95%. We have also implemented a new survey for students taking courses in our collaborative programs, in which we provide online courses that local teachers use with local students. With just over 100 responses we see a 88% highly satisfied rate.

These surveys have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of a learner’s experience with our courses, platforms, and instructors, as well as understanding their motivations for taking the courses. More specifically, our learning services and instructional design teams use the results to provide instructors with feedback and to improve both course content and instructional design in ways that improve a student’s experience and overall course satisfaction. This includes course-specific items, like broken links or confusing content, and more universal design elements, like realizing a significant link between student satisfaction and clarity of course instructions and ease of platform navigation.

  1. Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual

A mid-year survey of mentors of students taking courses with Michigan Virtual was distributed on January 27, 2023, marking the end of all Semester 1 courses. An additional survey is planned for May or June to get year-end feedback.

  1. Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.

The fall Mentor Advisory Board meeting was held at Michigan Virtual on October 11, 2022, with nine mentors attending. The next Mentor Advisory Board meeting will be held in April 2023.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Updates

  1. Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring).

The Consumer Awareness Report on the Michigan Virtual website was updated in February 2023 to reflect data from the fall 2022 semester and is scheduled to be updated again near the end of the spring 2023 semester.

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Updates

  1. Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.

Michigan Virtual continues to contribute one staff member to serve on the #GoOpen Strategy team and meet with leaders of this initiative at MDE.

  1. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.

In partnership with Michigan #GoOpen, Michigan Virtual continues to host modules on our professional learning platform. Michigan Virtual is currently in the process of creating additional modules for educators and administrators at no cost.

  1. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Michigan Virtual continues to provide educators modules that support the design of digital content including courses such as Assessments in the Blended Classroom, #GoOpen: Open Educational Resources in Michigan.

  1. Provide funding for maintenance of Michigan’s GoOpen hub.

Michigan Virtual continues to cover the maintenance cost for Michigan’s GoOpen hub providing districts with free open educational resources including curriculum and activities.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog must also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.

(C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Updates

  1. Maintain and update catalog functionality on an ongoing basis.

The 23-24 School Year has been added. No functionality issues have arisen, and the application has been running well.

  1. Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals.

So far this year, Civics and Economics courses have been submitted to QM for review. Plans are underway to submit Spanish 1, Social Media, Study Skills, and Anatomy and Physiology in the coming months. 

  1. Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses.

Within the Professional Learning Portal, there are four courses available for users:

  • Online National Standards 1: Getting Started
  • Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design
  • Online National Standards 3: Assessment
  • Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs

  1. Send out performance data communication request and upload received results to the catalog.

This occurs in the Summer after Semester 2 had completed. This year the performance data requests will be sent out by June 30, 2023, with a return due date of September 25, 2023.

  1. Review and revise Section 21f resources made available through the statewide catalog.

Users visiting the public search at the Michigan’s Online Course Catalog website can click on the About link located at the top of the page and in the footer. The brings the user to a Michigan Virtual knowledge base article titled “About Michigan’s Online Course Catalog” and the first paragraph is about Section 21f and links to additional details in a link titled “Michigan’s Online Learning Law (21f).”

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Updates

  1. Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.

For users of the public search, there is a Help link located at the top of the page and in the footer and this brings the user to knowledge base article that contains links to many How-To pages for finding and using the public search and using the MiCourses Admin site to add and maintain courses and course offerings. In addition, users can reach out to Customer Care and receive additional assistance.

New or returning District Course Managers and 3rd party Vendors (Course Managers) are directed to the MiCourses Admin User, who reaches out directly to the Course manager. New Course Manager users are offered a 30-to-60-minute training through Zoom, covering the MiCourses Admin Website. Course Manager are given links to additional resources and the contact information for the Admin User.

The Admin User is available to assist Course Managers and provide refresher training at their convenience. This includes assisting with complex tasks and creating new features, such as the School Year, new Term Type, or new Course Standards (AP, NCAA, MMA), and with understanding course review process.

  1. Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation and user interface (when needed) to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Several articles have been updated for 22-23 as part of a yearly audit.

Examine District Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Updates

  1. Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.

Michigan Virtual instructors will be evaluated this spring using the modified Danielson rubric tool. Each term, instructors receive at least two walkthroughs by their Lead instructor that serve as coaching opportunities supporting the professional development of the Student Learning Services team. Our supervisors will review these notes and conduct their own observation of each instructor to provide growth-mindset centered feedback to support our program and the students who participate in it.

  1. Michigan Virtual will collaborate and contribute to the development of a national alignment tool/ crosswalk of the Danielson evaluation rubric and the NSQ Quality Online Teaching standards.

As a representative of Michigan Virtual, Shannon Smith, is participating in the development of a national alignment tool/ crosswalk of the Danielson evaluation rubric and the NSQ Quality Online Teaching standards. This work is being led by a consortium consisting of the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), Quality Matters (QM), and the Evergreen Education Group in consultation with the Danielson Group.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Updates

  1. By December 1, 2022 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2021-22 year.

The 2021-22 Institute Report was sent to the legislature in December 2022 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report page.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Updates

  1. Maintain accreditation during the 2023 fiscal year.

Michigan Virtual will maintain accreditation through Cognia during the 2023 fiscal year.

  1. Adopt a fiscal year 2023 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.

In October 2022, Michigan Virtual’s Board of Directors approved its fiscal year 2023 budget fulfilling this benchmark.

  1. Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Based on audited figures from the 2021-22 school year, an independent third-party auditing firm concluded Michigan Virtual adhered to this requirement.

  1. Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation.

Michigan Virtual is approved by the Michigan State Police (MSP) as a qualified entity to use the MSP Criminal History Record Internet Subscription Service (CHRISS) for fingerprinting for employment, assignment, or volunteer placement as authorized by the National Child Protection Act. Michigan Virtual works with its teachers and staff to complete background checks and MSP fingerprint checks through this process.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Updates

  1. Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments.

Wondercert, Michigan Virtual’s micro-credential platform, currently hosts the pilot micro-credential stack for Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Esports Coach starter pack micro-credentials. It also contains the community of practice micro-credentials for the Future of Learning Council for the following experiences:

  • AI & Learning – five-part series on the impact of AI & Learning
  • Learning 2032 – three-part simulation series on what learning looks like in ten years
  • Future of Learning Council ASU+GSV Summit – FLC participants traveling to ASU+GSV Summit can earn a micro-credential upon completing a post-summit action plan.
  1. Provide in partnership with the FLC, synchronous and face to face session for educators on implementing blended learning.

Michigan Virtual has provided opportunities for the FLC to engage in blended learning opportunities such as Teacher Boost, which is a professional development training focused on how classroom teachers can create a more personalized experience for students through the implementation of blended learning.

  1. Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology.

Starting March 2, 2023, a cohort of forty-five educators and association executives will begin a series of professional learning webinars leading up to in-person attendance at the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego, April 17-19. The kick-off orientation and following four-part webinar series will acclimatize the participants to this unique conference experience. The participation in the summit is paid for by a grant from the ASU+GSV Summit organizers through Michigan Virtual. Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute provides support and stewardship to participants.

  1. Review and update Assessment in the Blended Classroom course offering.

Michigan Virtual blended learning courses created during the pandemic are being updated and reformatted to better serve educators who are interested in creating a blended or online learning experience for students. Michigan Virtual has also implemented a number of scenario-based activities for learners in various courses.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as that term is defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Updates

  1. Continue to offer over 240 teacher-facilitated online courses for middle school and high school student enrollment.

In the 2022-2023 school year, Michigan Virtual has offered a total of 269 teacher-led online courses for middle school and high school, including:

  • 45 semester-length Advanced Placement (AP) courses, fulfilling AP Course and Exam Description (CED) requirements for 24 AP exams administered by the College Board
  • 24 high school credit recovery courses in the subjects of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies
  • 157 high school courses within the subjects of English language arts, health and physical education, mathematics, science, social studies, visual and performing arts, world languages, business, computer technologies, and other career interest electives
  • 43 middle school courses within the subjects of English language arts, health, mathematics, science, social studies, visual art, world languages, and computer technologies

In addition, Michigan Virtual has provided 183 semester-length self-hosted middle school and high school online courses, available to be taught by teachers employed by local schools within a collaborative partnership model.  We also offer dual enrollment registration support for 28 online postsecondary courses offered by St. Clair County Community College (SC4), free access to 12 personalized independent study paths within EdReady Math and EdReady English powered by NROC, and free access to lesson content for 73 high school level courses via Michigan Virtual’s Learning Continuity website.

  1. Engage in efforts to expand online course offerings and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ digital learning needs.

In preparation for the 2023-2024 school year’s catalog of online course offerings, Michigan Virtual is working with four third-party course content providers to add at least one new AP course – AP European History, three new high school elective courses related to career exploration, science, and technology, and three new middle school elective courses within the subjects of physical education, music, and STEM.

Michigan Virtual is also engaged in six new course developments to provide a new version of the AP U.S. Government and Politics course, a competency-based model of high school Algebra, an exploratory middle school elective course surveying multiple world languages, a new version of high school Spanish level 2, and two new computer programming courses – Mobile App Design with MIT App Inventor as well as Video Game Design with Java.

Home-Schooled and Nonpublic Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Updates

  1. Produce 2022-23 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

Michigan Virtual’s prices for the 2022-23 school year are the same for home-schooled and nonpublic school students as they are for district students using the same services. Pricing information is available on the Michigan Virtual website.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School.

(b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts.

(c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course.

(d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Updates

  1. Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2022.

The 2021-22 report on the Michigan Virtual School was sent to the legislature in December 2022 and is posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report. The 2022-23 report will be provided in December 2023.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) must also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Updates

  1. Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content.

Michigan Virtual plans to serve over 600 schools through a multi-pronged approach. This first approach is through our student programming in which we offer online courses for over 280 middle school and high school titles. The second is through our free course content that we make available through our learning continuity webpage (lc.michiganvirtual.org ). Through this site, we offer content from over 75 quality online courses at no cost. The content will be made available until September 1, 2023, and will cover eight subject areas. Our third approach is through our contributions to the #GoOpen Michigan initiative. Michigan Virtual currently hosts over 2,000 learning objects on the platform as well as providing free professional development to educators on how to create and upload open educational resources. The #GoOpen Michigan website has over 5,500 registered educators that represent many schools throughout the state.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of residents of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Updates

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Updates

  1. No later than November 1, 2022, submit a detailed budget for 2022-23 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.

A detailed budget breaking down 2022-23 projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services was submitted by November 1, 2022.

  1. No later than March 1, 2023, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

The breakdown of Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year was included for legislators in the same mailing as this update.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, including a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for the next fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section. Not later than March 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will explore different applications associated with defined innovation pathways around using technology to increase instructional capacity and improve effectiveness, learner engagement and communications, access to educational technology and curriculum, and the demonstration of personal and professional learning. This work will encompass exploring the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), next generation learning engagement platforms, counseling supports, and virtual and augmented reality.

Michigan Virtual will also continue to participate in learning interoperability standards body, 1EdTech as a contributing member to develop a deeper understanding of digital learner records and how it impacts the recognition and portability of student achievements and outcomes in K-12 settings. Comprehensive Learner Records (CLR), digital badges, and learning record stores are all technology infrastructure of a competency-based learning environment and enable the documenting and sharing of achieved competencies, skills, knowledge, and aptitudes of students. CLR allows for greater flexibility of instructional pathways and portability and recognition of achievements between providers, schools, and the workforce. A subcomponent of this work is exploring how digital standards and competencies can be leveraged to support using digital learning standards in our learning environments to support the recognition of learning objectives at the lesson and unit levels.

Michigan Virtual will engage in year-round enrichment programs that explore next generation learning modalities and offer innovative learning opportunities to students as supplemental learning in-school and out-of-school environments. These programs will be offered at a low cost through schools, community-based organizations and direct to parents interested in providing enrichment opportunities for students.

Michigan Virtual will also develop and publish a series of blog posts documenting different tools and their application in creating pathways for teachers to use technology to achieve instructional goals in their online, blended, and traditional classrooms in a variety of student- centered learning models.

As interoperability in learning tools and data becomes a key factor in delivering high quality blended and online learning experiences to students, Michigan Virtual continues to focus on the piloting of tools around data interoperability to increase positive supports for learners in digital platforms. This includes examining the impact of data dashboards for instructor and mentors to display impactful learner data to support personnel.

To grow and expand the impact of Michigan Virtual’s instructional coaching teams in their work with online teaching staff (over 250 full and part-time instructors), Michigan Virtual will pilot an application that offers a series of tools to organize and track coaching sessions, discussion topics, and recommendations provided. Michigan Virtual will explore the platform’s ability to monitor and prioritize services to those teachers needing more personalized support.

As districts increase their reliance on digital tools, many teachers are also asked to be instructional designers, creating new learning objects to support their curriculum, and facilitators. To enable district staff to use digital learning objects from effectively, Michigan Virtual will pilot a learning object repository (LOR) that allows for efficient and intuitive access to the Michigan Virtual catalog of digital curriculum objects and courses to supplement local curriculum. Exploration of how this tool can help teachers find, use, and assess value of digital curriculum will influence future development of solutions to help teachers find relevant, high quality instructional content.

Benchmarks

  1. Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.
  2. Participate in 1EdTech’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools and explore Trusted Apps Certified Leader certification and Trusted Apps Pledge.
  3. Test and evaluate tools that will allow unit and lesson level learning objects to be tagged with digital standards and competencies in Michigan and publish or present on results of the use of digital learning standards for learning tools.
  4. Offer up to 3 innovative learning options for year-round online and blended enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtual
  5. Publish a series of 4 blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual website.
  6. Explore data interoperability with learning tools with a focus on security and data privacy and publish or present on the findings.
  7. Explore and test an application to organize, track and prioritize instructional coaching support for educators and coaches.
  8. Launch pilot with Michigan schools to provide Michigan Virtual content through a learning object repository that allows for embedding in multiple Learning Management Systems through interoperability standards and publish or present on findings around viability of learning object repository use for this purpose.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will conduct a study investigating mentor behavioral engagement with the Michigan Virtual learning management system and student information system. This descriptive analysis will inform conversations with mentors regarding optimal levels of engagement and serve to inform future recommendations and effective mentoring practice.

Michigan Virtual will continue a collaboration with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study that uses Michigan Virtual course data to train an AI predictive model designed to identify students at-risk of earning less than 65% of the available course points.

K-12 online synchronous learning while still a minority of overall enrollments represents a growing trend in online education. This delivery model gained popularity during the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools re-opened, many programs have continued to explore synchronous online learning for K-12 students. Michigan Virtual will design and execute a research study on synchronous K-12 online learning that highlights trends, effective practices, and lessons learned from online programs.

States nationwide are making investments in Career and Technical Education (CTE), with some investments being made towards online CTE. Michigan Virtual, in partnership with programs providing online CTE, will design and execute a research study in this area. The study will investigate the perceived need for online CTE, programmatic successes and ongoing challenges, and implications for ongoing investments in online CTE.

Benchmarks

  1. Design and execute a study investigating mentor behavioral engagement and effective student support practices.
  2. Continue collaboration with Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on models of predicting at- risk students in Michigan Virtual courses.
  3. Design and execute a study investigating synchronous K-12 online learning trends, effective practices, and lessons learned from online programs and make the findings available on the Michigan Virtual website.
  4. Design and execute a study investigating online CTE and make the findings available on the Michigan Virtual website.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Plans

For the past several years, Michigan Virtual has been part of a national effort to update standards for quality online learning. This effort led to the release of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL), which includes quality standards for programs, teaching, and courses. As more schools and districts throughout Michigan include online learning in their academic programs, there is a related growing need to ensure students are receiving the highest quality of education in this format. Given this need, Michigan Virtual will continue to offer to conduct reviews, with recommendations for improvement, of online learning programs at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. These reviews will align with research-based best practices for online learning and the National Standards for Quality Online Learning.

Additionally, Michigan Virtual, in collaboration with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, is leading the development of a formal, virtual learning program certification process that may be used by schools and districts within Michigan and throughout the nation. This process will allow virtual schools or programs to assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs. As part of the assessment, leaders of virtual learning programs will be able to identify where they meet the national standards and where they fall short; specific recommendations will be provided in a culminating report to help these leaders take actions that will help improve their school’s or programs to better align with the standards.

Benchmarks 

  1. Offer to conduct online program reviews, including written recommendations, using the NSQOL standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual, has additional capacity and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost to Michigan schools.
  2. Develop a comprehensive, certification review process to help schools and districts assess the degree to which their programs measure up to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Programs.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career- ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated in this section.

Plans

By March 31, 2023, Michigan Virtual will produce the Effectiveness Report in a form and method consistent with the past version as it has been well-received and represents the most in-depth, state-level analysis of virtual course enrollments in the country. Like last year’s report, Michigan Virtual will also create an infographic summarizing key findings from the report. A link to the infographic and the report will be mailed to required recipients and published on the Michigan Virtual website. The report’s author will produce a recording that will be made available on- demand through the Michigan Virtual website.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2023, deadline with a link to the report and infographic sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2023.
  2. Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2023.
  3. Post recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM council described in section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also include both of the following:

  • the identification of barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.
  • A link to, and explanation of, the Michigan Virtual University’s online course standards for professional development programming. The standards described in this sub-subparagraph must inform learners how to file a complaint about course content and detail the steps that will be taken for the review and resolution of complaints.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to advance its professional development services by gathering and acting on feedback from individuals currently taking professional development courses, individuals who may be seeking professional development in the future, and from the field in general. Michigan Virtual will continue partnering with districts, the department, and educational groups to provide professional learning services while integrating professional learning communities to build engagement. The Michigan Virtual professional development platform will be continuously improved through course updates, new courses, and pilots to explore opportunities for more competency-based learning at scale.

Michigan Virtual will continue to host the annual event called Collaboration of the Minds (COM). COM is an annual professional development conference that serves as an opportunity to bring the large remote teaching staff of Michigan Virtual, many of whom have full-time teaching positions in local school districts, together to learn, explore, and collaborate with each other.

This is an opportunity for all instructors to meet face-to-face or virtually and provides time for like-content instructors to explore best practices and strategies for supporting students. The event introduces new learning in the virtual environment, training in effective practices, and collaboration time to explore with fellow instructors. Michigan Virtual is also putting on a hybrid fall event for mentors of online learners to strengthen effective practices and expand their professional learning community.

Michigan Virtual will continue to fulfill the PD report’s requirement through publishing its annual report. The report will include a section addressing identified barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system. It will also include a link to a page on the Michigan Virtual website that identifies our online course standards for professional development programming. Along with the link, the report will document steps a learner can take to share feedback, including a complaint about course content, and outline how that feedback will be reviewed and resolved.

Benchmarks

  1. Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.
  2. Offer professional learning courses through partnerships with at least 10 districts, the department, and educational groups.
  3. Offer 25 competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.
  4. Host the 2023 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference for instructors and a fall event for online mentors.
  5. Submit the 2022 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2022. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority 

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Plans

Michigan Virtual developed a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual will review and update the content of these guides as needed and make this content available to the public through the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will design and execute a research study investigating student pacing in Michigan Virtual courses. Internal analysis of course data demonstrated that pacing, rather than performance on assignments determines whether students stay on-track to complete their course. This research study will use Michigan Virtual LMS data to generate evidence that could support future rigorous research testing different approaches to assignments in online courses.

Further, this study will contribute to the growing literature on how course design influences student outcomes.

Michigan Virtual, in conjunction with Dr. Anne Jonas at Michigan State University, will publish a research study that examines student, teacher, and mentor experiences with online learning.

This study will highlight the experiences of rural and low-income students, in addition to telling the varied stories and perspectives of stakeholders. Findings from this research will be shared through the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will continue to conduct research on student-centered learning and provide effective practices and recommendations to Michigan schools and districts.

Finally, Michigan Virtual is active at Michigan education conferences. Staff will be presenting or exhibiting at 10 or more Michigan professional learning conferences. Presentation and outreach at these events will include sharing our resources and experience with research-based online learning, school redesign, mental health awareness, and professional learning for educators.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain and update the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning.
  2. Design and execute research study investigating student pacing in Michigan Virtual courses.
  3. Publish a research study on the experiences of students, teachers, and mentors with online learning.
  4. Continue to conduct research on student-centered learning and provide effective practices and recommendations to Michigan schools and districts.
  5. Present or exhibit at 10 or more Michigan professional learning conferences.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will provide feedback on current virtual learning policies and make recommendations that will accelerate the use of effective virtual learning in the state.

Benchmarks

  1. Before December 31, 2022, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain the existing clearinghouse website and add additional resources to the website throughout the fiscal year. Currently, the nationally-recognized clearinghouse acts as an aggregator of K-12 online and blended research and key publications. To date, there are over 1,200 resources cataloged in the clearinghouse. On a quarterly basis, Michigan Virtual will email a clearinghouse newsletter to the MVLRI mailing list and share it via social media to highlight resources added during that time.

Benchmarks

  1. Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly-added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.
  2. Add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.
  3. Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as need for improved functionality.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain and update the instructional design guidelines and standards tagged in the Research Clearinghouse. At least five new instructional design resources will be added to the Clearinghouse to assist Michigan schools in developing and delivering their own digital content to students.

Michigan Virtual will also promote the National Quality Standards for Online Teaching, National Quality Standards for Online Programs, and National Quality Standards for Online Courses which will all help to inform Michigan-based work in online and blended learning. This includes offering four free online professional learning courses focused on different aspects of the national standards.

Michigan Virtual will also offer courses on instructional design and on creating digital content and effective online assessments. Michigan Virtual will submit at least two presentation proposals to Michigan-specific education conferences to promote and share best practices related to instructional design and standards of quality.

Benchmarks

  1. Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”
  2. Add five new instructional design resources to the
  3. Promote the National Standards for Quality Online Learning by offering four professional learning courses.
  4. Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including through the offering of online professional courses.
  5. Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices for at least two Michigan-based education conferences.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will make available a wide variety of online resources and courses to institutions that operate teacher and administrator preparation programs. These resources, which include digital content and professional learning related to early literacy; online, blended, and student-centered learning; and the use of open educational resources, will be available to colleges and universities through Michigan Virtual-hosted environments. In some cases, these resources may be made available in university-hosted environments.

Michigan Virtual will continue to collaborate with university entrepreneurship programs and technology accelerators / tech transfer teams to promote educational technology entrepreneurship and to catalyze teachers’ creation of new technology to solve educational challenges. This program includes a series of experiences that bring together college students, faculty, education technology entrepreneurs, and Michigan Virtual to support innovation in education throughout the state.

Michigan Virtual is also interested in collaborating with colleges and universities in ways that drive innovation in education. The Michigan Virtual’s Innovation Advisory Council will continue to include representatives from higher education institutions that operate teacher and/or administrator preparation programs.

Benchmarks

  1. Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.
  2. Continue to support an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.
  3. Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain existing partnerships with specific educational organizations to support efforts related to professional learning micro-credentials. Through collaboration with the educational organizations, Michigan Virtual will continue to support the design, development, and delivery of micro-credentials focused on knowledge, skills, and experiences related to high-need areas.

Michigan Virtual will continue to lead conversations about digital learning throughout Michigan. Maintaining memberships and affiliations with national digital learning organizations such as the Digital Learning Consortium and Aurora Institute will help gain insight into other state and national trends as they relate to key issues in digital learning, policy development, and effective program practices, in general. Michigan Virtual will gather and share such information with schools and districts throughout the state as they continue to implement digital learning opportunities for their students.

Michigan Virtual will also provide direct support to the Future of Learning Council through a professional collaboration that provides a structured environment for Michigan leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning with other innovative school leaders. Both Michigan Virtual and the Future of Learning Council believe we have a unique opportunity to chart a new course regarding the structure of schools by blending the best of our traditional instructional models with an intentional focus on innovations in learning to better serve all children.

Michigan Virtual will continue to collaborate with national and regional technology accelerator programs to promote educational technology entrepreneurship, catalyze teachers’ creation of new technology to solve educational challenges, and promote high-quality educational technology development and implementations in Michigan. This includes promoting standards- based educational technology that promotes an agile, scalable, safe, data-rich edtech ecosystem.

As Michigan Virtual continues develops its innovation portfolio, it will seek participation from a variety of external stakeholders to bring diversity of thought to the process. Michigan Virtual will continue working with representatives of the public and private sectors on the Innovation Advisory Council.

Michigan Virtual will also offer 25 or more competency-based online courses to districts through its professional learning portal. The variety of courses will allow learners to experience a competency-based course through a range of subject areas.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue partnerships with educational organizations to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of micro-credentials in high need areas.
  2. Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level.
  3. Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.
  4. Support an educational technology entrepreneurship program cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.
  5. Promote 1EdTech’s “Trusted Apps Pledge” agreeing to a set of fair and acceptable business practices in the use of open standards by suppliers.
  6. Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.
  7. Offer 25 or more competency-based online courses to districts through the professional learning portal.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Plans 

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide a critical service to schools by highlighting the importance of mentors in virtual learner success. Mentors will have access to resources, share assets and practices, and explore emerging tools to support students’ engagement and success in online learning.

Michigan Virtual staff will offer events where mentors examine effective practices, develop resources, discuss the latest pupil accounting policies, and strengthen their professional learning community.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices.
  2. Offer opportunities for mentors to engage and collaborate with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will collect feedback from key users and stakeholders through surveying, focus groups, and other means. Student focus groups will center on the student experience in online learning, their motivations for taking an online course, and their preferences for online or in person learning. The results will help Michigan Virtual refine its offerings and identify opportunities to improve virtual learning for students.

Surveys will be used with students and professionals to focus on the learner experience, their motivations, and opportunities for Michigan Virtual to improve its offerings and the outcomes for learners. The professional learning survey results will be filtered by the learner’s role (teacher, administrator, parent, support staff, etc.) to help identify and understand opportunities that may be unique to each role.

Michigan Virtual will also survey mentors of virtual students and conduct advisory committee meetings to learn from the field, gathering information on what supports work best for students in virtual learning and what does not work in terms of supports, content, and systems.

Benchmarks

  1. Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.
  2. Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.
  3. Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual
  4. Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Plans

The Consumer Awareness resource is available as an important link on the About page of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog. The report includes sections devoted to background, providers, delivery models, performance data, cost structures, research trends, conclusions, and resources. Including the Consumer Awareness resource as part of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog provides high visibility for parents, students, and schools exploring Section 21f options. Data on areas such as the school districts that are putting courses in the catalog, the distribution of courses by ISD, PSA, LEA, and the Michigan Virtual School, and disaggregation by key variables such as who is providing the content or the instructor, are updated in the fall and in the spring to reflect the changes in those two enrollment windows.

Benchmarks

  1. Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring).

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Plans

Michigan Virtual acts as a close partner with Michigan Department of Education and the #GoOpen Michigan Strategy Team to make available a common Open Educational Resources system throughout the state. On the GoOpenMichigan website educators can access open educational resources for modification and use in the classroom. In addition to providing leadership on the platform, Michigan Virtual will also cover the cost of maintenance of this platform for continued use.

Michigan Virtual also supports educators in the creation and sharing of digital learning objects by providing courses on its Professional Learning Portal. These courses provide training to educators on how to develop their own learning objects as well as learning more about open educational resources, including how GoOpenMichigan can be leveraged for use in their classrooms.

Benchmarks

  1. Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.
  2. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.
  3. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.
  4. Provide funding for maintenance of Michigan’s GoOpen hub.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog must also contain all of the following:

  • The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
  • The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
  • The pass rate for each virtual course.

Plans

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the statewide catalog of online courses. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute has worked with other leading experts across the country to develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning programs, teachers, and courses. These sets of standards are formally known as the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. These standards have been added to the Micourses catalog and can be used by Michigan Virtual, intermediate districts and districts to report the results of their quality course review. Michigan Virtual will also submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals.

Michigan Virtual offers a series of four asynchronous professional development courses housed on its Professional Learning Portal in an effort to help schools understand ways in which they could develop high-quality online courses for students. These courses, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are titled: Online National Standards 1: Getting Started; Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design; Online National Standards 3: Assessment; and Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs. These courses are available at no cost to all Michigan schools.

Toward the end of each school year, Michigan Virtual will reach out to each course provider that offered online courses that year and request their performance data for inclusion in the catalog. MV staff will upload the performance data results we receive to the Micourses website.

Lastly, Michigan Virtual will review and revise the documentation that is specific to Section 21f made available through the statewide catalog website on an as needed basis. These revisions will include any recent legislation that was passed by the Michigan legislature.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain and update catalog functionality on an ongoing basis.
  2. Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals.
  3. Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses.
  4. Send out performance data communication request and upload received results to the catalog.
  5. Review and revise Section 21f resources made available through the statewide catalog.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to support the functionality of the course catalog, including providing technical and customer support for users. Michigan Virtual will also continue to maintain a public facing knowledge base allowing catalog users to browse for instant help.

Benchmarks

  1. Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.
  2. Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation and user interface (when needed) to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Examine District Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to implement the modified Danielson evaluation rubric with all instructors both full- and part-time (a minimum of 200 instructors). This process allows Michigan Virtual to continue its effort to support district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues.

Michigan Virtual will work in collaboration with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) to establish a national alignment tool or crosswalk between the Danielson evaluation rubric and the NSQ Quality Online Teaching standards. This is a multi-state effort to ensure clarity of purpose, application, and implementation of teaching standards across multiple environments. The goal is to provide shared language when supporting and evaluating educators across learning environments.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.
  2. Michigan Virtual will collaborate and contribute to the development of a national alignment tool/ crosswalk of the Danielson evaluation rubric and the NSQ Quality Online Teaching standards.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Plans

Submit required report detailing Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute activities.

Benchmarks

  1. By December 1, 2022, submit the combined Annual Report for the 2021-22 year.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

  • To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:
    • The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.
    • The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.
    • In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Plans 

Michigan Virtual is accredited through Cognia, and it will complete any necessary requirements from Cognia to maintain that accreditation. It will pass a board-approved budget that caps appropriation spending for Michigan Virtual School to no more than $1M. It will also conduct background checks through a private security firm that uses the FBI’s LiveScan fingerprinting process to comply with these requirements.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain accreditation during the 2023 fiscal year.
  2. Adopt a fiscal year 2023 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.
  3. Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.
  4. Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

  • From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide support for and collaborate with the Future of Learning Council. This will result in supporting the specific professional learning needs of district teams participating in FLC activities and creating new opportunities to use the FLC as a feedback mechanism for professional and student learning needs across the state to address new and next learning models. Michigan Virtual will work with the Future of Learning Council to address areas, identified by the participating districts, to develop, test, and pilot professional learning products and services focused on instruction in virtual and blended learning environments.

These collaborations will provide opportunities to increase the reach and impact of both existing and newly-identified professional learning programs for Michigan teachers.

In partnership with the Future of Learning Council, Michigan Virtual will offer one virtual and one face to face blended and online learning professional development to prepare educators for utilizing virtual and blended learning in the classroom.

Michigan Virtual will organize a study tour for educators, administrators, and education stakeholders, to attend a national educational technology networking event around innovation in education. The purpose of this tour will be to provide opportunities to connect and participate in next generation learning models, with the intent to build a strong innovation hub in Michigan schools.

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer a suite of courses focused on blended learning and will be updating our Blended Assessment course to reflect updated pedagogical practices.

Benchmarks

  1. Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments.
  2. Provide in partnership with the FLC, synchronous and face to face session for educators on implementing blended learning.
  3. Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology.
  4. Review and update Assessment in the Blended Classroom course offering.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

  • If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
    • Information technology
    • College level equivalent courses, as that term is defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.
    • Courses and dual enrollment
    • Programs and services for at‐risk
    • High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated
    • Special interest
    • Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Plans

Michigan Virtual offers over 240 online courses, taught by Michigan certified teachers, for middle school and high school students in a wide variety of subjects that fulfill grade level and high school graduation requirements, in addition to elective offerings, credit recovery, Advanced Placement, the facilitation of online dual enrollment postsecondary course registration, as well as the provision of online courses and content that can be taught by local educators.

The needs for online and digital learning solutions for Michigan students and their schools face ever evolving forces of change. Michigan Virtual strives to provide current, quality online courses and digital learning support services to meet these changing needs. As state agencies adopt new or revised content standards and graduation requirements, the College Board adopts new curriculum frameworks for scoring high school students’ fulfillment of college credit requirements through the AP Exams, and schools seek to bolster student achievement in online and hybrid learning environments with new or enhanced educational delivery models and support services, Michigan Virtual seeks to introduce new and revised course offerings, products and services to meet these demands.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to offer over 240 teacher-facilitated online courses for middle school and high school student enrollment.
  2. Engage in efforts to expand online course offerings and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ digital learning needs.

Home-Schooled and Nonpublic Students

Organizational Priority

  • If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to adhere to this requirement. Michigan Virtual makes available its courses to Michigan home-schooled or nonpublic students at the advertised base rate.

Michigan Virtual pricing is available online.

Benchmarks

  1. Produce 2022-23 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

  • Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding fiscal year:
    • A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School.
    • A list of virtual course titles available to districts.
    • The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course.
    • The overall course completion rate percentage.

Plans

Submit the report detailing Michigan Virtual School activities for 2021-22 school year as part of an annual report that also includes the Michigan Virtual’s professional development report specified under 2(a)(v) and the Institute annual report required under 2(b)(xiii) no later than December 1, 2022.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2022.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

  • In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) must also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Plans

Michigan Virtual plans to serve over 600 schools through a multi-pronged approach. This first approach is through our student programming in which we offer online courses for over 240 middle school and high school titles. The second is through our free course content that we make available through our learning continuity webpage. Through this site, we offer content from over 70 quality online courses at no cost. The content will be made available until September 1, 2023, and will cover eight subject areas. Our third approach is through our contributions to the #GoOpen Michigan initiativeMichigan Virtual currently hosts over 2,000 learning objects on the platform as well as providing free professional development to educators on how to create and upload open educational resources. The #GoOpen Michigan website has over 5,000 registered educators that represent many schools throughout the state.

Benchmarks 

  1. Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

  • The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group serve at the pleasure of the governor and without The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of residents of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Plans

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

  • Not later than November 1 of each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those Not later than March 1 each fiscal year for which funding is allocated under this section, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to submit the required materials in accordance with the identified deadlines.

Benchmarks

  1. No later than November 1, 2022, submit a detailed budget for 2022-23 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.
  2. No later than March 1, 2023, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, which shall include a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2022-2023. Not later than March 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Updates

Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual continues to work with Discourse Analytics to conduct a pilot within specific Michigan Virtual online courses. This pilot aims to provide support to students struggling within the courses by introducing “nudges” (helpful, automated tips and reminders) to students through artificial intelligence technology. The pilot is on schedule to be completed by the end of the school year with a research blog post sharing the findings of the pilot expected to be published to the Michigan Virtual website during the summer of 2022.

Participate in IMS Global’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools.

Michigan Virtual continues to participate as the chair of the IMS Global Innovation Leadership Network (ILN) for virtual schools. The Virtual School ILN is part of the Statewide Programs Board and the chair of the Virtual School ILN serves on the Statewide Programs Committee. Michigan Virtual staff members participated in two IMS Global presentations at the Digital Learning Annual Conference in February 2022 as well as the IMS Global Annual Credential Summit, also February 2022. In addition, staff will participate in the K12-related proposal review process for the IMS Global Learning Impact conference scheduled for June 2022.

Continue the development, pilot, and execution of research on next generation learning platforms for counselor and mentor support that informs the ongoing development of practitioners in these positions.

Currently, Michigan Virtual is in the process of updating its SLiDE mentor and virtual teacher support mobile application to WCAG 2.0 standards for accessibility, while adding in improved community of practice features and functionality. This is currently targeted for a fall 2022 release.

Michigan Virtual is also continuing to design and build a micro-credential platform, with an anticipated roll-out that will support the collaboration of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Michigan Virtual related to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund) program. Functionality of the platform will be in place, and the first micro-credential is expected to be ready for release in late March 2022. Michigan Virtual has been supporting the development of design and functionality in partnership with the GEER Fund project, with new micro-credentials from multiple projects queued up to be offered through the platform following a pilot.

Michigan Virtual will also be conducting research on the implementation of a text-based professional development platform for the GEER Fund project as a way to understand the end-user experience and interest in multiple modalities of online professional development.

Finally, Michigan Virtual has been focused on exploring popular gaming technology. An internal group assembled and explored the use of Roblox, a popular game engine, to create graphically enhanced 3D learning environments as part of a summer camp exploration project. An output from this work can be found by visiting the Roblox website. Articles focused on the development and adoption of virtual worlds in learning are scheduled to be published to the Michigan Virtual website in fall 2022.

Offer innovative learning options for summer enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will be offering two competency-based online summer enrichment programs for summer of 2022. The first program is a coding academy for students grade 6-12 focused on STEM. Students have the opportunity to participate in 10 different possible STEM-related coding and design experiences, from Unity programming to digital design. There will be a number of intensive virtual 4-day weekly camps, plus two more asynchronous and flexible 4-week options. The second summer enrichment opportunity focuses on grades 6-8 and is an introduction to esports experience for students looking to understand the growing acceptance of esports as a varsity sport in high schools across Michigan as well as a career and college pathway. This experience will orient students (and parents) to the concept of esports and how it can help improve academic achievement and STEM-related career experiences through high school and college. This will be offered in one asynchronous summer session with occasional opportunities to hear from experts and participants in the Michigan High School eSports League. All programs will provide competency-based activities aligned to competencies set forth by the Michigan Department of Education that encompass skills related to Michigan’s “Profile of a Graduate,” which includes characteristics of career- and college-ready students that are evident within all of the academic standards, including those in the arts and the career and technical education (CTE) career-ready practices.

Publish a series of blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual

An estimated five blog posts focused on coaching teachers through employing a method, a technique, or subject matter in their classroom are scheduled to be published to the Michigan Virtual website throughout the spring and summer months of 2022. These posts are expected to include a collection of lesson plan ideas and artifacts for teachers to take and use in their own virtual and/or face-to-face classrooms.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Updates

Design and execute a statewide research study on the learning experiences and preferences of Michigan students and their families.

The Michigan Virtual research team completed the development of the scope and methodology for this study. The team is currently finalizing the timeline for data collection and analysis as well as the development and format of the final research report. This study is on schedule for completion in the summer of 2022.

Design and execute a research study that examines how students engage with virtual course assignments and related resources and the impact such engagement has on students’ course outcomes.

Michigan Virtual has executed a contract with Dr. Jacqueline Zweig to explore the degree of student engagement with virtual course assignments and related resources and student outcomes in Michigan Virtual courses. Data were collected from the fall 2020-21 semester in February 2022. Analysis of the data is underway, and the findings of this study are expected to be published to the Michigan Virtual website in June 2022.

Provide ongoing research support to the Future of Learning Council.

Michigan Virtual staff have been working closely with the Future of Learning Council leadership team to identify research that can help support the focus of their work throughout the 2021-22 school year. As a result, the Michigan Virtual research team has designed and begun executing a series of case studies that explore the ways in which three Michigan school districts are designing and implementing student-centered learning instructional frameworks.

Design and execute a research study that investigates the context and systemwide support structures of effective student-centered learning models in Michigan.

This qualitative research study, in partnership with the Michigan CoOp, is in progress, and all data have been collected. Site visits were conducted during October and November 2021 at three different Michigan school districts that are making significant progress in terms of creating student-centered learning models. The findings from this study will be released in four different parts—three individual case studies and an implications/recommendations report—to be released monthly, February through May 2022.

Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on a study focused on early warning predictive models.

Researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung are continuing to refine their early warning prediction model based on Brightspace learning management system (LMS) data provided by Michigan Virtual. Dr. Rice and Dr. Hung met with the Michigan Virtual research team to discuss current model predictions, accuracy, and thresholds. Based on this meeting, Dr. Rice and Dr. Hung are currently compiling fall 2021 data to further refine and test their predictive model.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Updates

Offer to conduct online program reviews using the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL) standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual has additional capacity and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost to Michigan schools.

An invitation to participate in an online program review was distributed to more than 3,000 Michigan educators in June, September, and October of 2021. Communications to schools through email, presentations at education conferences, social media, blogs, and other publications will continue to remind Michigan schools of the value of conducting an online program review through Michigan Virtual at no cost to the districts.

Provide written recommendations for online program design and maintenance that are aligned with best practices per NSQOL to each Michigan school or district participating in the voluntary online program review process.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer online program reviews at no cost to all Michigan schools and districts. These reviews involve a data collection process comprised of the distribution of an online questionnaire and subsequent interviews of key school or district personnel to understand the design and operation of their programs. Once data are collected and analyzed through the use of a standards-aligned rubric, Michigan Virtual personnel write a summary of the school’s or district’s program along with recommendations for optimizing the program for increased student performance. The reviews will reflect the National Standards for Quality Online Programs.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Updates

Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2022 deadline with copies sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2022.

Work is currently underway in the development of the 2020-21 Effectiveness Report. A presentation will be given to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) by mid-March 2022 to gather feedback and to receive permission to release the report. The report will be made publicly available through the Michigan Virtual website no later than March 31, 2022. As with the prior year, the entire report will be posted directly as a webpage on the Michigan Virtual website. Making the report available in this format will help users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to discover the findings and make them available to users. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards and provides a mobile-friendly version. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section.

Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2022.

A summary infographic and cover letter related to the report will be mailed to Michigan school superintendents as well as high school and middle school principals in April 2022, providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report online.

Conduct and record a webinar in April 2022 to present key findings from the report.

A recorded presentation that highlights key findings from the report is expected to be completed in March 2022.

Post the recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

The recorded presentation, along with the aforementioned infographic, will be linked resources on the report webpage and available for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Updates

Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

Since October 2021, Michigan Virtual has been updating its blended learning courses to make them more relevant for educators, post-emergency remote learning, acknowledging the hard work that has been done in terms of intentional technology integration and exploring what ways educators can continue to move forward with the use of technology. Thus far, Michigan Virtual has launched two of the four blended learning courses with updates. Additionally, based on a survey administered in December 2021, Michigan Virtual continues its partnership with Michigan State University and University of Michigan to offer courses focused on prioritized topics in social emotional learning, anti-racism, trauma-informed practices, and supporting students with disabilities. Lastly, in response to growing numbers of adolescent suicide across the state, Michigan Virtual continues its work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Michigan Elementary and Middle Schools Principals Association (MEMSPA) to offer additional courses in the suicide prevention series, concentrating on peer-to-peer support and information for the general public.

Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.

Throughout the fall 2021 and winter 2022, Michigan Virtual has supported seven Shared-Time Programs throughout the state of Michigan and provided professional learning opportunities through its group registration and enrollment (GRE) service to over 21 school districts. This includes its work with educational organization partnerships, including Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC), Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), and MEMSPA. In addition, at the start of January 2022, Michigan Virtual provided 27 schools associated with the Step Up to Wellness Grant with social and emotional learning (SEL) and suicide prevention courses through the GRE service. Three school districts are currently utilizing the Michigan Virtual GRE Choice service for their school staff, a service where learners have the opportunity to choose their own professional development based on the approved catalog by their school leaders.

Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.

In January 2022, Michigan Virtual launched a competency-based learning experience focused on integration of SEL within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). It is also beginning work on a stack of competency-based experiences, in partnership with Grand Valley State University, that focus on knowledge and skills in Target Literacy. Additionally, Michigan Virtual staff are exploring work with the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC) to adjust current offerings and offer competency-based experiences to support counselors.

Host the 2022 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conferences for instructors and for mentors of online learners.

Planning is underway for the August 2022 Michigan Virtual Collaboration of the Minds (COM) event. The goal is to return to an in-person event so Michigan Virtual instructors can once again engage with each other in-person and focus on teambuilding and knowledge expansion. Currently, Michigan Virtual staff are working with Okemos High School to host the event and are finalizing decisions related to keynote speakers. The COM theme this year is expected to be “Power Up” as we consider the energy needed for the coming school year. The event planning team is looking to provide breakout sessions that focus on further development of instructor skills related to supporting at-risk populations; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); SEL; and different modalities for providing online education.

Submit the 2021 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2021. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.

The 2020-21 Professional Learning Report was sent to the legislature in December 2021 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report.

Submit the 2022 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2022.

The 2021-2022 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2022.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Updates

Maintain and update the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning.

The six Guides to Online Learning developed by Michigan Virtual are reviewed annually to incorporate any changes to Michigan’s Section 21f legislation. Effective October 2021, the pandemic learning language was eliminated from the Guides.

As research in digital learning surfaces new promising practices and resources, they are added in the appropriate Guides along with links to any resources freely available for schools to enhance their programs. The Student and Parent Guides have been promoted monthly this year through infographics that highlight a particular component of virtual learning. These activities are aimed at helping students and parents to be aware of and where they can locate the guides on the Michigan Virtual website for greater detail.

Design and execute a research study that provides recommendations to school leaders and digital course providers to increase equity in digital learning.

Michigan Virtual’s research study on equity in digital learning is currently underway. The research team has begun collecting, compiling, and analyzing resources in preparation for data collection. Data are expected to be collected from the Michigan Virtual 2020-21 Effectiveness Report, MiSchoolData.org, and the CEPI Educational Entity Master. The full report on equity in digital learning is scheduled to be published in early summer 2022.

Design and execute a research study that examines teacher retention in relation to the social and emotional training and supports provided to them.

In publishing their July 2021 research report on the social and emotional needs of Michigan educators, researchers at Michigan Virtual discovered that the lack of social and emotional supports is one major reason why teachers and administrators have considered leaving the education field in recent school years. It also explains why people are not entering the field of education. In response, the Michigan Virtual research team has developed a research study that examines the place of social and emotional supports in the recruitment and retention of online teachers. The study also hopes to identify effective practices in averting a shortage of teachers. The concept paper and survey instrument for this study have been developed and a research partnership has been secured with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) to recruit relevant administrators of online programs in Michigan and across the country to complete this study’s survey. Data collection was completed in February 2022, and the final report for this study is on schedule to be completed by May 2022.

Produce and publish podcasts as part of the BRIGHT podcast series.

Since October 2021, Michigan Virtual has published nine episodes of the BRIGHT: Stories of Hope and Innovation in Michigan Classrooms podcast series, with four currently in the production stage—recording has occurred, and editing is underway. There are 16 more episodes planned for publication this year. Currently published BRIGHT podcast episodes can be accessed through the BRIGHT podcast page on the Michigan Virtual website.

Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to increasing teacher efficiency in virtual learning environments.

The Michigan Virtual research team’s prior work concluded that a lack of time and an overwhelming amount of work contributed to teachers’ feelings of burnout and frustration in doing their jobs. As a way to help teachers navigate these time and workload challenges, the Michigan Virtual research team is publishing a blog series titled “Time for Teachers,” which identifies ways to help teachers streamline their work and be able to more effectively manage the many tasks and priorities they need to accomplish in their jobs. The first blog post that focused on the distinction between systemic and individual barriers and solutions was published in January 2022. The second blog that focused on examples of systemic barriers and solutions will be published in March 2022. The third blog that focuses on examples of individual barriers and solutions is scheduled to be published in April 2022.

Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to meeting students’ and teachers’ social and emotional needs.

Michigan Virtual’s research related to the social and emotional needs of educators in 2021 revealed that the lack of social and emotional supports is a major reason for why teachers and administrators have considered leaving the education field in recent school years. In response, the research team at Michigan Virtual is writing a blog series focused on how the integration of social and emotional supports in schools and communities can help mitigate an educator shortage crisis in Michigan and beyond. The first blog post of the series was published in December 2021 and focused on teacher recruitment and retention challenges and potential solutions in Michigan. The second blog post will be published in March 2022 and will summarize the findings and implications of a 2021 U.S. Department of Education and MDE study on supports that are associated with higher teacher retention in Michigan. A third blog post is scheduled to be published in April 2022, focusing on successful teacher recruitment and retention programs in Michigan that are based on social and emotional learning concerns.

Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to providing effective professional learning experiences for teachers and school leaders.

This blog series will provide insights into effectively designing and delivering professional learning to educators. Implications will be provided for teachers who are creating their own online content, school leaders and teachers who are evaluating online courses, instructional designers of online professional development courses, as well as individuals delivering professional development to educators. The blog series will be comprised of at least three individual posts which are scheduled to be released throughout the summer of 2022.

Offer consulting services that provide guidance and share effective practices with schools and districts related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs for students and educators.

The Michigan Virtual leadership team has been refining the scope of the consulting services offered to Michigan schools and districts. Currently, services are being provided to two school districts related to strategic planning and the design and implementation of personalized instructional frameworks. The leadership team plans to continue service refinement throughout the summer and expects to have expanded services available to schools for the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Updates

Before December 31, 2022, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education.

In December 2021, Michigan Virtual submitted nine recommendations to address current virtual learning issues. They included:

  • Increase flexibility in seat-time requirements
  • Support Literacy Essentials in grades 4-5
  • Formalize district virtual learning options for parents and students
  • Increase virtual learning accountability and transparency
  • Create alternative teacher pathways
  • Expand summer learning opportunities
  • Allocate funding to redesign the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS)
  • Change teacher effectiveness rating responsibilities
  • Revise reporting field to collect credit recovery data

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Updates

Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.

The K-12 Online Research Clearinghouse underwent a major redesign during the last year and was updated to add more user-friendly options such as the ability to add resources to a user library and easier editing options. The winter 2021 Research Clearinghouse Newsletter was distributed in December 2021. The Research Clearinghouse was also updated at that time and now holds 1,192 resources.

Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.

The Research Clearinghouse has been promoted throughout the year through social media and distribution through an opt-in email listserv. In addition, Michigan Virtual staff have shared the website link to the Research Clearinghouse in various presentations and webinars to state and national audiences.

Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as needed for improved functionality.

With the help of local web development group, Web Ascender, the Research Clearinghouse has been completely redesigned and a new version was launched in fall 2021. As part of the commitment from Michigan Virtual to the continued improvements and maintenance of the Research Clearinghouse, the updates focused on utilizing latest web technologies as well as providing a more accessible and functional user experience.

A “Getting Started” guide and other knowledge base articles were also created to help support the launch of the new version of the Research Clearinghouse and are linked from the website as well as hosted in the Michigan Virtual Knowledge Base.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Updates

Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”

Instructional design resources continue to be added to the Research Clearinghouse on a quarterly basis. Specific resources are highlighted through the Quarterly Newsletter and in Michigan Virtual’s annual report.

Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at a minimum of two Michigan-based education conferences.

Michigan Virtual submitted and had accepted two proposals to present on instructional design best practices at the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference in March 2022. These presentations will recognize the fact that the last two years have put many teachers on an unexpected fast track to utilizing online learning. Now that some time has passed, teachers have the opportunity to reflect on what is and is not working. Michigan Virtual presenters will discuss strategies, tips, and resources that will help attendees increase student motivation and engagement and hold students accountable for their understanding of content. Attendees will be encouraged to share their successes to help our colleagues improve their blended and online teaching. The following are the titles of the presentation proposals submitted:

  • How to Win the Game After Your Players Show Up: Increasing Engagement and Accountability in the Online and Blended Environments
  • Practical Tips, Tools, & Techniques for Teaching Online

Additionally, Michigan Virtual was asked by Michigan Afterschool Partnership (MASP) to submit a proposal for a presentation for their annual conference. The Instructional design team at Michigan Virtual expects to deliver a presentation titled, “How to Connect with Kids in a Digital Age” at the MASP summer conference in June 2022.

Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including five resources related to instructional design for schools seeking to develop their own digital content.

Michigan Virtual revised its Instructional Practices with Technology 101 course to improve the user experience and update the content. This course provides educators with instruction for incorporating technology into instructional practices via blended learning, understanding the affordances of face-to-face and digital learning cycle elements, and takes learners through the process of designing a blended learning cycle that incorporates instructional best practices and technology.

The Blended Classroom Design course was redesigned with updated best practices and an improved user experience. This course includes a Blended Learning Refresher module, a module that explores the benefits and affordances of a blended classroom, and a module that introduces learners to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching, guiding educators through areas of consideration when planning their blended learning experiences.

Michigan Virtual also created and made available a Collaborative Instructor Onboarding course that has been adapted for teachers with access to Michigan Virtual course content through online learning collaboratives. This course walks educators through an introduction to online learning, an introduction to the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal (which is similar to many student information systems), and an introduction to the Brightspace LMS.

These free professional learning resources have been promoted by Michigan Virtual during a podcast interview, through a LinkedIn article, during a presentation at a national Quality Matters conference, and in several other informal forums.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Updates

Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.

As part of an email campaign scheduled for late spring 2022, Michigan Virtual will be notifying directors, chairpersons, and deans of the colleges of education at Michigan universities of the opportunity to make use of Michigan Virtual professional learning courses and content.

Launch an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders.

Michigan Virtual launched its EdTech innovation pitch contest in February 2022 , which targets educators and other individuals with ties to Michigan’s education ecosystem who have an idea for applying an existing or new technology to improve teaching and learning. Those participating in the pitch contest will also be eligible to participate in an innovation and entrepreneurship bootcamp following the pitch, with the bootcamp designed to help them further advance their ideas. The pitch contest is scheduled to occur in late spring and early summer of 2022, and the bootcamp is expected to be held during the summer of 2022.

  1. Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Two individuals representing higher education institutions, Dr. Matt Koehler (Michigan State University) and Dr. Stefanie Marshall (University of Minnesota), continue to serve on the Michigan Virtual Innovation Advisory Council during this year.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v)- Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Updates

Form at least one public/private partnership with an organization to provide guidance with the design and execution of a research study.

In October 2021, the Michigan Virtual research team formed a partnership with Michigan CoOp to design and execute a qualitative research study that examined the context and systemwide support structures of effective student-centered learning models in Michigan. All data have been collected through onsite visits and video conference interviews with three Michigan school districts. The resulting reports for this study are on schedule to be published to the Michigan Virtual website by May 2022.

Continue partnerships with educational organizations to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of micro-credentials in high-need areas.

In January 2022, Michigan Virtual partnered with Living Slow Organization, which supports self-care and wellbeing of educators, to offer and issue the Integrating SEL within MTSS micro-credential to educators, free of charge. Michigan Virtual is also beginning the development of a stack of micro-credentials, in partnership with Grand Valley State University, focused on knowledge and skills in Target Literacy (reading/writing). Additionally, Michigan Virtual staff are exploring work with MACAC to adjust their current offerings into a self-paced course with an optional micro-credential to support counselors.

Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level.

Michigan Virtual continues to support the work of the Digital Learning Collaborative and Aurora Institute through membership and participation in their annual conferences. These organizations are national leaders that advocate for the adoption of forward-thinking virtual learning that incorporates competency-based learning. In addition, Michigan Virtual plays an active role in the national-level partnership between the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, Quality Matters, and the Digital Learning Collaborative as an advisor for advancing the development of high-quality virtual learning in K-12 schools across the nation.

Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.

Michigan Virtual has been providing direct support to the Future of Learning Council throughout the year as the organization works to provide guidance to Michigan school leaders to understand, design, and implement innovative, student-centered instructional frameworks. Specifically, Michigan Virtual provides onsite facility access and operational infrastructure support in addition to guidance of the Council through research and professional learning resources.

Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Five individuals representing the public and private sectors, Lucie Howell (The Henry Ford), Thomas Arnett (Clayton Christensen Institute), Keanna Warren (Purdue Polytechnic), Anupam Sidhu (Wayne RESA), and Tanya Leone (Fraser Public Schools) continue to serve on the Michigan Virtual Innovation Advisory Council during this year.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Updates

Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer the Online Mentor Course, which is in the process of being rebuilt and updated to provide more collaborative opportunities for mentors across Michigan. This course provides opportunities for ongoing communication and collaboration for mentors as well as best practices for supporting virtual learners. Currently, all mentors have access to the mentor webpage on the Michigan Virtual website, which houses numerous resources related to the critical connections mentors provide to virtual students.

Offer virtual opportunities for mentors to engage with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.

Michigan Virtual hosted a fall mentor professional development work session as a supplement to the summer 2022 Mentor Collaboration of the Minds conference. The event was a highly interactive day of collaboration between the 24 mentors in attendance. As a group, mentor attendees discussed updates to the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Brightspace LMS, new resources recently made available to mentors, mentor tips and tricks, Count Day practices, and the challenges of mentoring through the pandemic. Mentors also had the opportunity to connect with some Michigan Virtual instructors during this time.

Michigan Virtual has also scheduled a Mentor Meetup workshop in March 2022, where mentors can connect with other mentors in a face-to-face setting. During this event, attending mentors will have a chance to examine their own mentoring programs and hear about other schools’ and districts’ programs. Discussions will focus on best practices for mentoring online students, building relationships, and communication strategies in a virtual learning environment.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Updates

Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.

One focus group was planned for fall 2021; however, it was canceled a few days prior due to other priorities at the participating school. Michigan Virtual is currently in the process of scheduling three focus groups with students in online courses during the spring 2022 semester, with these being done in person or remotely depending on the school location and policies regarding visitors in the participating schools.

Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.

All learners enrolled in Michigan Virtual professional and student courses are presented with an end-of-course questionnaire. Since October 2021, the professional learning questionnaire has received 7,540 responses, and the student end-of-course questionnaire has received 4,699 responses in that same period (through January 2022). Our student end-of-course survey shows more than 80% of respondents were high satisfied thus far in 2021-22, while our professional learners have a highly-satisfied rate of over 90%.

These surveys have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of a learner’s experience with our courses, platforms, and instructors, as well as understanding their motivations for taking the courses. More specifically, our learning services and instructional design teams use the results to provide instructors with feedback and to improve both course content and instructional design in ways that improve a student’s experience and overall course satisfaction. This includes course-specific items, like broken links or confusing content, and more universal design elements, like realizing a significant link between student satisfaction and clarity of course instructions and ease of platform navigation.

Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual courses.

The survey of mentors of students taking courses with Michigan Virtual will be administered in May 2022.

Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.

The fall Mentor Advisory Board meeting was held virtually in October 2021. The event was very well-attended, and participants discussed the challenges of mentoring students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, updates to the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Brightspace LMS, the Mentor Collaboration of the Minds conference held in August 2021, and upcoming professional development opportunities for mentors. The next advisory board meeting will be held in spring 2022.

Conduct a survey on innovation pathways in learning with teachers and administrators.

In spring 2022, Michigan Virtual staff will be developing a survey to collect data that will help inform the advancement of innovation in K-12 schools and districts throughout the state. The survey will be widely distributed to educators during the summer of 2022.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Updates

Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring).

The Consumer Awareness Report on the Michigan Virtual website was updated in January 2022 to reflect data from the fall 2021 semester and is scheduled to be updated again near the end of the spring 2022 semester.

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Updates

Continue to offer content from high-quality Michigan Virtual courses to Michigan schools.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer digital content from over 75 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools, districts, and parents. These courses provide educators and students resources to supplement and extend learning. Educators, parents, and students can access these resources from Michigan Virtual’s Free Learning Content website.

Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff members who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.

Michigan Virtual participates on the #GoOpenMichigan task force in coordination with MDE and other Michigan stakeholders. A representative from Michigan Virtual serves on a work group tasked with providing and creating professional development around the #GoOpenMichigan initiative.

Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.

As of January 2022, there were 8,999 enrollments and 4,892 participants who have completed the #GoOpenMichigan course offered at no cost through Michigan Virtual. Moving forward, ongoing discussions will continue related to the possibility of offering micro-credentials associated with this work and the creation of a professional development hub for administrators. The #GoOpenMichigan course will remain open and available for teachers.

In addition, Michigan Virtual continues to promote the statewide initiative by linking to the #GoOpenMichigan website and specific resources within it in other courses developed by Michigan Virtual. A most recent example of this is the inclusion of hyperlinks to the #GoOpenMichigan website in a bundle of blended classroom online courses that is currently being redesigned by the professional learning services team at Michigan Virtual.

Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Courses that are currently offered in the Michigan Virtual Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects include the following:

  • Assessments in the Blended Classroom
  • Digital Content in the Blended Classroom
  • Podcast PD: Google Forms, Failure-Free Failing and CBE
  • Podcast PD: Growing Student Agency and implementing Google Classroom
  • Podcast PD: Screencasting, the Future of Education
  • Transitions to Remote Teaching 3: Digital Content
  • Transitioning to Remote Teaching 4: Digital Assessment

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Updates

Maintain and update catalog functionality on an ongoing basis.

Michigan Virtual continues to utilize internal and external resources to update and maintain functionality of the newly redeveloped Michigan Online Course Catalog (MOCC). Michigan Virtual staff members are continuously soliciting and acting on user feedback to bring new functionality to the system and to maintain an efficient and accessible user experience and to support current course catalog needs. Recent updates included adding a new feature to allow district course managers and vendors to import syllabi and the addition of the availability of access to the 2022-23 school year.

Further scheduled updates include work on adding communication functionality for users to express interest in a virtual course from the course catalog public search to a MOCC district administrator. This work is slated to begin in spring 2022.

Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews.

Michigan Virtual currently offers professional development courses for educators related to quality online courses and practices. These courses are aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are offered at no cost for educators, and include state continuing education credit hours for Michigan educators. This year, these courses continue to be updated and maintained to ensure a quality user experience and currently have more than 100 enrollments.

Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals.

As of February 2022, Michigan Virtual has submitted the AP Computer Science Principles A and the AP Computer Science Principles B courses (2 semesters, new builds) to Quality Matters for review. In addition, the following courses are currently being prepared for submission:

  • Psychology (1 semester, new build)
  • Employability Skills (1 semester, new build)
  • AP Physics C (2 semesters, new build)
  • AP Chemistry (2 semesters, new build)
  • AP US History Sem1/Sem2 (2 semesters, revision)

Review and revise Section 21f publications made available through the statewide catalog.

Section 21f publications were updated in fall of October 2021 to reflect that the language related to pandemic learning was eliminated from Section 21f by the legislature.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Updates

Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.

As of this update, all participating MOCC school districts and active third-party providers have received training on the new MOCC administration website. As new user accounts are requested for either a district/vendor or new users for an existing district/vendor, the users will receive an invitation for a 1-hour training session and are encouraged to contact Michigan Virtual for questions or support as needed. Knowledge base articles are also available to all users and are updated and maintained when new features are added to the MOCC administration website.

Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

New features that were added to the MOCC were documented, and an annual review of MOCC knowledge base articles was conducted in December 2021. These efforts continue to support the functionality of the course catalog, including providing technical and customer support for users.

In addition, article feedback through Michigan Virtual’s Customer Care and help ticketing system is frequently monitored to identify any needed updates to documentation.

Examine District-Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Updates

Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.

The evaluation process for Michigan Virtual teachers has begun. Michigan Virtual staff have maintained the current modified Danielson rubric without change, although some updates to the internal course walkthrough tool have been made to better align with specific needs within the Michigan Virtual system. Since Michigan Virtual now has more than 300 teachers to date, the administrative team executes a continuous cycle of evaluation rather than all evaluations taking place in the spring months. This modification of process has been communicated with all Michigan Virtual instructors, and they are now familiar with the process. These evaluation results will be submitted in spring as part of the Michigan Teacher Effectiveness Ratings.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Updates

By December 1, 2021, submit the combined Annual Report for the 2020-21 year.

The 2020-21 Institute Report was sent to the legislature in December 2021 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report page.

By December 1, 2022 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2021-22 year.

The 2021-22 Institute Report will be provided to the legislature in December 2022.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Updates

Maintain accreditation during the 2022 fiscal year.

Following the accreditation review by Cognia last year, Michigan Virtual was provided with a variety of feedback points to continue to aid in the building and refinement of its virtual school program. Michigan Virtual staff are using that feedback to determine additions to the program and the tools that would be needed to support program refinement. An example of this is the staff’s exploration of the Insights Tool from the Brightspace LMS, which may be able to provide Michigan Virtual with some additional data resources related to student usage and success in virtual courses.

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Updates

Adopt a fiscal year 2022 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.

In October 2021, Michigan Virtual’s board of directors approved its fiscal year 2022 budget fulfilling this benchmark.

Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Based on audited figures from the 2020-21 school year, an independent third-party auditing firm concluded that Michigan Virtual adhered to this requirement.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Updates

Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation.

Michigan Virtual is approved by the Michigan State Police (MSP) as a qualified entity to use the MSP Criminal History Record Internet Subscription Service (CHRISS) for fingerprinting for employment, assignment, or volunteer placement as authorized by the National Child Protection Act. Michigan Virtual works with its teachers and staff to complete background checks and MSP fingerprint checks through this process.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Updates

Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments.

Michigan Virtual has continued to work closely with the Future of Learning Council to identify areas of interest by member schools and districts for developing, testing, and piloting professional learning products and services that could help educators advance their skills and capacity to implement virtual and blended learning experiences for students. While the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have hindered school leaders’ engagement in this work, Michigan Virtual staff continue to provide support to these leaders to the greatest extent possible.

Michigan Virtual is also currently in the process of updating its SLiDE mentor and online teacher support mobile application to WCAG 2.0 standards for accessibility. Features and functionality to support future communities of practice are also being added. The SLiDE mobile application is currently targeted for a fall 2022 release.

In addition, Michigan Virtual staff are continuing the development work of a micro-credential platform. Michigan Virtual has been supporting the development of the design and functionality of the platform, in partnership with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University as part of the GEER Fund project, with new micro-credentials from multiple projects queued up to be offered through the platform after the piloting of the “Integrating SEL into an MTSS Framework” micro-credential. The first micro-credential is expected to be ready for release in late March or early April 2022.

Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology.

As part of its work to provide educational leaders with opportunities to connect and participate in next generation learning models, with the intent to build a strong innovation hub in Michigan schools, Michigan Virtual staff have coordinated attendance for some of its staff and 10 school district leaders at the ASU+GSV Summit in April 2022.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at‐risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Updates

Design and execute market research to determine the needs of schools and districts related to virtual content/courses to be developed and included in the statewide course catalog.

Michigan Virtual routinely engages with stakeholders to understand the challenges they are facing and to identify opportunities to change or add to its course catalog to best meet the needs of schools and districts throughout Michigan. Examples of such market research and outreach conducted to date include:

  • Ongoing dialog with partners regarding more flexible uses of the Michigan Virtual course platform and content and needs for additional courses to best serve students
  • Asking students directly, through an end-of-course survey, what courses they would like to see added to the Michigan Virtual course catalog
  • Working collaboratively with the Future of Learning Council to understand district challenges and opportunities and considering these as Michigan Virtual staff refine courses and consider future uses of the course catalog by schools in Michigan
  1. Continue to offer and expand online courses and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ changing digital learning needs.

Michigan Virtual has engaged in three major efforts throughout this year related to updating and improving online course offerings to support schools’ and districts’ changing digital learning needs: middle school online course development, enhancement of current high school online course offerings, and evaluations of potential new third-party provided course offerings.

Middle School Online Course Development

A number of Michigan schools and districts have expressed a need for greater flexibility in the available online delivery models for middle school level core course offerings from grades 6-8. As a result, Michigan Virtual has engaged with a Michigan-based private eLearning course development company, in order to contract their design services to work with a dedicated team of Michigan Virtual instructional designers and subject matter experts to design and develop 12 original, year-long middle school courses that fulfill Michigan’s grade level learning expectations in grades 6-8 in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The specific courses being developed are as follows:

  • Middle School English Language Arts 6
  • Middle School English Language Arts 7
  • Middle School English Language Arts 8
  • Middle School Math 6
  • Middle School Math 7
  • Middle School Math 8: Pre-Algebra
  • Middle School Physical Science
  • Middle School Life Science
  • Middle School Earth and Space Science
  • Middle School World Geography
  • Middle School World History and Geography
  • Middle School Early U.S. History

The targeted completion for course development is July 2022 for the first semester of each course listed above, in preparation for course offerings in the fall semester of the 2022-23 school year. The targeted completion for the second semester of each course, in preparation for course offerings in the winter semester of the 2022-23 school year is November 2022.

As of February 2022, the blueprints for the first semester of each of the 12 middle school courses have been completed including learning objectives, lesson outlines, and assessment plans for nearly 600 lessons. Additionally, the staff involved have completed the content and assessment writing for nine lessons and one lab experience that constitute the first full unit of instruction in the Middle School Life Science course.

Enhancement of Current High School Online Course Offerings

Michigan Virtual has undertaken additional independent course development efforts to produce updated versions of several existing high school course offerings. These updates include improvements such as the ease of use for integrated technology applications, the closer alignment of course content to select Michigan curricular standards, piloting a competency-based learning model in mathematics, and establishing more current real-world lesson topic coverage. Course development efforts are underway for the following high school course titles:

  • Algebra 1
  • American Sign Language 1
  • American Sign Language 2
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • British Literature
  • Composition
  • Japanese 1
  • Japanese 2
  • Social Media
  • Spanish 1
  • Study Skills

Updated versions of American Sign Language 1A, American Sign Language 1B, Japanese 1A, and Japanese 1B have been completed and published for use in the 2021-22 semester 2 term. The updated versions contain implemented changes that were recommended by previous school and student users, and they incorporate the use of audio and video recording tools integrated into the Brightspace LMS as a feature of world language performance assessments.

In addition, the Spanish 1 course is well into the development stage and is on track for timely completion. Revision work is also underway in the Composition course. Subject matter experts have been hired for both the Social Media and the Anatomy and Physiology courses, which are both in the early stages of development. The work for British Literature, Study Skills, and Algebra 1 has been scoped out, and development work will begin in March 2022. All of these courses remain on track to launch in fall 2022.

Evaluations of Potential New Third-Party Provided Course Offerings

Michigan Virtual has identified a number of course offerings available for potential adoption under licensed terms of use by five private, third-party course providers. Subject matter experts among Michigan Virtual’s instructional staff have been assigned to conduct reviews of the content and assessments and to complete evaluations of each course in light of select standards of quality online course design, alignment and coverage of Michigan content standards where appropriate, conformance with web content accessibility guidelines, and suitability of the course designs within Michigan Virtual’s online course delivery models. Recommendations will be obtained from each evaluator to inform new course adoption decisions prior to the publication of Michigan Virtual’s catalog of online course offerings for the 2022-23 school year.

As of February 2022, course evaluations and recommendations by Michigan Virtual staff have been completed for the following course titles:

  • Biology
  • Careers in Criminal Justice
  • Creative Writing
  • English Language Learner (ELL) Success
  • Intensive Reading
  • Law and Order: Introduction to Legal Studies
  • Learning in a Digital World: Digital Citizenship
  • Middle School Digital Art and Design
  • Middle School Health Education
  • National Security
  • Online Prep: Tools for Success
  • Piano 1

Two of the above courses have been adopted and are being prepared for use as course offerings beginning in the summer 2022 academic term. The remainder of the course recommendations are under consideration in preparation for the spring publication of Michigan Virtual provided course offerings for the 2022-23 school year.

Develop and update digital content and assessments based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

Based on feedback from customers who were interested in having a full suite of 6-12 courses to offer in the collaborative model, Michigan Virtual engaged an external development groupto support the development of a set of core courses for middle school. The work began in summer 2021 and included a total of 12 courses in the math, English language arts, social studies, and science subject areas across grades 6-8. As of February 2022, the course maps for first semester courses are near completion as is the first unit of content for each of the courses. These courses are being built with the intention of implementation by local teachers in their own schools in the Michigan Virtual collaborative model and will also eventually be used by Michigan Virtual instructors in Michigan Virtual teacher-provided models.

Home-Schooled and Non-public Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Updates

Produce 2021-22 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

Michigan Virtual’s prices for 2021-22 school year are the same for home-schooled and nonpublic school students as they are for district students using the same services. Pricing Information is available on the Michigan Virtual website.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding state fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School. (b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts. (c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course. (d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Updates

Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2022.

The 2020-21 report on the Michigan Virtual School was sent to the legislature in December 2021 and is posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s annual report. The 2021-22 report will be provided in December 2022.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) shall also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Updates

Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content.

Michigan Virtual is working to serve a minimum of 600 schools throughout the 2021-22 school year. As part of this, Michigan Virtual continues to offer digital content from over 70 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools and districts as well as supporting free learning objects that were added to the #GoOpenMichigan website.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall serve without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of citizens of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Updates

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Updates

No later than November 1, 2021, submit a detailed budget for 2021-22 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.

A detailed budget breaking down 2021-22 projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services was submitted by November 1, 2021.

No later than March 1, 2022, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

The breakdown of Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year was included for legislators in the same mailing as this update.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, which shall include a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2022-2023. Not later than March 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will explore different applications associated with defined innovation pathways around using technology to increase instructional capacity and improve effectiveness, learner engagement and communications, access to educational technology and curriculum, and the demonstration of personal and professional learning. This work will encompass exploring the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), social-emotional learning, next generation learning management platforms, counseling supports, virtual and augmented reality, and comprehensive learner records.

Michigan Virtual will also continue to participate in IMS Global as a contributing member to develop a deeper understanding of digital learner records and how it impacts the recognition and portability of student achievements and outcomes in K-12 settings. Comprehensive Learner Records (CLR), digital badges, and learning record stores are all technology infrastructure of a competency-based learning environment and enable the documenting and sharing of achieved competencies, skills, knowledge, and aptitudes of students. CLR allows for greater flexibility of instructional pathways and portability and recognition of achievements between providers, schools, and the workforce.

Michigan Virtual will engage in summer programs that explore next generation learning modalities and other innovative opportunities. These programs will be offered at a low cost through schools and community-based organizations to parents interested in providing enrichment opportunities for students. Insights about programs and outcomes will be shared publicly on the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will also develop and publish a series of blog posts documenting different tools and their application in creating pathways for teachers to use technology to achieve instructional goals in their online, blended, and traditional classrooms.

Benchmarks

  1. Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.
  2. Participate in IMS Global’s Statewide Programs Board and Innovation Leadership Network focused on virtual schools.
  3. Continue the development, pilot, and execution of research on next generation learning platforms for counselor and mentor support that informs the ongoing development of practitioners in these positions.
  4. Offer innovative learning options for summer enrichment and publish summaries of the outcomes to the Michigan Virtualwebsite.
  5. Publish a series of blog posts focused on exploration and use of learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual website. 

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Plans

In an effort to lead statewide conversations about the various experiences and preferences of students and their families related to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Virtual will design and execute a research study that includes a large, statewide survey. Michigan Virtual will use the findings from this study to help support schools by helping them understand the preferences of students and their families and how to improve their experiences related to digital learning.

Michigan Virtual will also conduct a research study that investigates how students engage with virtual course assignments and related resources in specific subject areas and whether such engagement is related to students’ course outcomes. The results from this study will inform school leaders and teachers, within and beyond Michigan, as they continue to develop virtual courses within their own academic programs.

Michigan Virtual will provide a high level of support to the newly formed Future of Learning Council whose primary focus is on helping schools shift from traditional time-based educational structures to ones that are student-centered and designed around mastery learning. Specifically, Michigan Virtual will provide research support on topics related to innovative learning models and share research findings and effective practices in partnership with the Council.

Michigan Virtual will also continue a collaboration with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study that uses Michigan Virtual course data to develop early warning predictive models to accurately identify students at-risk of falling behind in their online courses. This collaboration will include a pilot study intended to test the model developed by Dr. Rice and Dr. Hung.

Benchmarks

  1. Design and execute a statewide research study on the learning experiences and preferences of Michigan students and their families. 
  2. Design and execute a research study that examines how students engage with virtual course assignments and related resources and the impact such engagement has on students’ course outcomes. 
  3. Provide ongoing research support to the Future of Learning Council. 
  4. Design and execute a research study that investigates the context and systemwide support structures of effective student-centered learning models in Michigan. 
  5. Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on a study focused on early warning predictive models. 

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Plans

For the past three years, Michigan Virtual has been part of a national effort to update standards for quality online learning. This effort led to the release of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL) which includes quality standards for programs, teaching, and courses. As more and more schools and districts throughout Michigan are including the online learning format in their academic programs, there is a related growing need to ensure students are receiving the highest quality of education in this format. Given this need, Michigan Virtual will continue to offer to conduct reviews, with recommendations for improvement, of online learning programs at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. These reviews will be in alignment with research-based best practices for online learning as well the National Standards for Quality Online Learning.

Benchmarks

  1. Offer to conduct online program reviews using the NSQOL standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual has additional capacity and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost to Michigan schools.
  2. Provide written recommendations for online program design and maintenance that are aligned with best practices per NSQOL to each Michigan school or district participating in the voluntary online program review process. 

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Plans

By March 31, 2022, Michigan Virtual will produce the Effectiveness Report in a form and method consistent with the past version as it has been generally well-received and represents the most in-depth, state-level analysis of virtual course enrollments in the country. Like last year’s report, Michigan Virtual will also create an infographic summarizing key findings from the report. The infographic and a link to the report will be mailed to required recipients and published on the Michigan Virtual website. The report’s author will produce a recording that will be made available on-demand through the Michigan Virtual website.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2022 deadline with copies sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2022.
  2. Mail an At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2022.
  3. Conduct and record a webinar in April 2022 to present key findings from the report.
  4. Post the recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing. 

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM council described in section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to grow and advance its professional development services by gathering and acting on feedback from individuals currently taking professional development courses, individuals who may be seeking professional development in the future, and from the field in general. Michigan Virtual will also develop new partnerships with schools or educational groups to provide professional learning services while integrating professional learning communities to build engagement. The Michigan Virtual professional development platform will be continuously improved through course updates, new courses, and pilots to explore opportunities for more competency-based learning at scale.

Michigan Virtual will continue to host the annual event called Collaboration of the Minds (COM). COM is an annual professional development conference that serves as an opportunity to bring the large remote teaching staff of Michigan Virtual, many of whom have full-time teaching positions in local school districts, together to learn, explore, and collaborate with each other. This is an opportunity for all instructors to meet face-to-face or virtually and provides time for like-content instructors to explore best practices and strategies for supporting students. The event introduces new learning in the virtual environment, training in effective practices, and collaboration time to explore with fellow instructors. An annual Collaboration of the Minds is also convened for mentors of online learners to strengthen effective practices and expand their professional learning community.

Michigan Virtual will continue to fulfill the requirement of the PD report through the publication of its annual report.

Benchmarks

  1. Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.
  2. Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.
  3. Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators. 
  4. Host the 2022 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conferences for instructors and for mentors of online learners. 
  5. Submit the 2021 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2021. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.
  6. Submit the 2022 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2022. 

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Plans

Michigan Virtual developed a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual will review and update the content of these guides as needed and make this content available to the public through the Michigan Virtual website.

The COVID-related alterations to instruction during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years revealed issues of inequity that have been present in education for some time but were not as apparent or immediate prior to COVID. Schools largely operate along a model of equality, focusing on student similarities and providing instruction and resources as a one-size-fits-all model. Equity, or attending to differences and distributing instruction and resources based on an understanding of these differences, is much more challenging yet necessary to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. Michigan Virtual will conduct a research study that will focus on defining what “equity” means in terms of digital learning and will provide recommendations to school leaders and digital course providers to increase equity in digital learning and better serve all digital learners.

Michigan Virtual will expand upon its 2020-21 research related to the manner in which Michigan schools and districts addressed the social and emotional needs of teachers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team will examine teacher retention with attention being given to the social and emotional supports and related training that would help teachers navigate and overcome challenges associated with moving and adapting to online and remote learning.

In the upcoming year, Michigan Virtual will continue to produce and publish its BRIGHT podcast series. These podcasts feature practitioners in Michigan schools and districts as well as educational leaders supporting K-12 education and are designed to share stories of hope and innovation in Michigan classrooms.

Michigan Virtual will also publish three blog series that share best practices related to increasing teacher efficiency in virtual learning environments, meeting students’ and teachers’ social and emotional needs, and providing effective professional learning experiences for teachers and school leaders. The first blog series will highlight digital instruction strategies to help virtual teachers save time preparing materials and logistics and focus more on instruction. Emphasis will be placed on sharing tips for increasing efficiencies related to lesson planning, grading and providing feedback to students, executing synchronous learning, and communicating with students and families. The second series will share social and emotional learning (SEL) resources available to Michigan schools and districts along with effective practices for integrating SEL exercises in the classroom and how to increase social and emotional learning awareness beyond the classroom within families and communities. The third blog series will provide insights into various strategies related to providing professional learning to teachers and school leaders. Emphasis will be placed on practices that have been proven to be effective in nurturing the development of student-centered learning models. All blog posts will be published on the Michigan Virtual website.

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer support to Michigan schools and districts by providing consulting services that share research-based effective practices with school leaders and teachers. The scope of consulting services will include support for schools and districts seeking to design, implement, and/or maintain student-centered digital learning programs.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain and update the Michigan Virtual Guides to Online Learning. 
  2. Design and execute a research study that provides recommendations to school leaders and digital course providers to increase equity in digital learning. 
  3. Design and execute a research study that examines teacher retention in relation to the social and emotional training and supports provided to them.  
  4. Produce and publish podcasts as part of the BRIGHT podcast series. 
  5. Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to increasing teacher efficiency in virtual learning environments.
  6. Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to meeting students’ and teachers’ social and emotional needs. 
  7. Publish a blog series that shares effective practices related to providing effective professional learning experiences for teachers and school leaders. 
  8. Offer consulting services that provide guidance and share effective practices with schools and districts related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs for students and educators. 

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will provide feedback on current virtual learning policies and make recommendations that will accelerate the use of effective virtual learning in the state.

Benchmarks

  1. Before December 31, 2022, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and Michigan Department of Education. 

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain the existing clearinghouse website and add additional resources to the website throughout the fiscal year. Currently, the nationally-recognized clearinghouse acts as an aggregator of K-12 online and blended research and key publications. To date, there are over 1100 resources cataloged in the clearinghouse. On a quarterly basis, Michigan Virtual will email a clearinghouse newsletter to the MVLRI mailing list and share it via social media outlets to highlight new resources added during that time period.

Benchmarks

  1. Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.
  2. Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website. 
  3.  Continue to maintain the clearinghouse platform and update as need for improved functionality. 

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain and update the instructional design guidelines and standards tagged in the Research Clearinghouse. Michigan Virtual will also promote the National Quality Standards for Online Teaching, National Quality Standards for Online Programs, and National Quality Standards for Online Courses which will all help to inform Michigan-based work in the area of online and blended learning.

Michigan Virtual is committed to helping Michigan educators develop their skills and abilities in designing and delivering quality digital learning experiences for students. Therefore, Michigan Virtual will also submit at least two presentation proposals to Michigan-specific education conferences to promote and share best practices related to instructional design and standards of quality.

Michigan Virtual will offer free online professional development resources on instructional design through the Michigan Virtualwebsite. This offering will help schools as they continue to navigate the challenges associated with the continuing need for virtual or remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A minimum of five resources related to instructional design will be made available to all Michigan schools that are working toward developing and delivering their own digital content to students.

Benchmarks

  1. Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.” 
  2. Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at a minimum of two Michigan-based education conferences.
  3. Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development resources to train teachers in the instructional design of online content, including five resources related to instructional design for schools seeking to develop their own digital content. 

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will make available a wide variety of online resources and courses to institutions that operate teacher and administrator preparation programs. These resources, which include digital content and professional learning related to early literacy; online, blended, and student-centered learning; and the use of open educational resources, will be available to colleges and universities through Michigan Virtual-hosted environments. In some cases, these resources may be made available in university-hosted environments.

Michigan Virtual will collaborate with the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Michigan State University (MSU) and Spartan Innovations at the MSU Foundation to explore the possibility of creating an educational technology entrepreneurship program to catalyze teachers’ creation of new technology to solve educational challenges. This program would be a series of experiences that bring together MSU students, faculty, education technology entrepreneurs, and Michigan Virtual to support innovation in education.

Michigan Virtual is also interested in collaborating with colleges and universities in ways that drive innovation in education across the state. The Michigan Virtual’s Innovation Advisory Council will continue to include representatives from higher education institutions that operate teacher and/or administrator preparation programs.

Benchmarks

  1. Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university. 
  2. Launch an educational technology entrepreneurship program to support one cohort of educators/innovators interested in developing and scaling their education technology solutions with relevant stakeholders. 
  3. Continue to have at least two members from a higher education institution serve on an Innovation Advisory Council to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio. 

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Plans

Michigan Virtual’s research team will seek partnerships for specific research studies that will be conducted during the 2022 fiscal year. Lead investigators of Michigan Virtual research studies will conduct outreach to relevant public and private organizations to form research partnerships that provide guidance and/or assistance with the design and execution of studies related to competency-based, technology-rich learning.

Michigan Virtual will also maintain existing partnerships with specific educational organizations to support efforts related to professional learning micro-credentials. Through collaboration with the educational organizations, Michigan Virtual will continue to support the design, development, and delivery of micro-credentials focused on knowledge, skills, and experiences related to high-need areas.

Michigan Virtual will continue to lead conversations about digital learning throughout Michigan. Maintaining memberships and affiliations with national digital learning organizations such as the Digital Learning Consortium and Aurora Institute will help gain insight into other state and national trends as they relate to key issues in digital learning, policy development, and effective program practices, in general. Michigan Virtual will gather and share such information with schools and districts throughout the state as they continue to implement digital learning opportunities for their students.

Michigan Virtual will also provide direct support to the Future of Learning Council through a professional collaboration that provides a structured environment for Michigan leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning with other innovative school leaders. Both Michigan Virtual and the Future of Learning Council believe we have a unique opportunity to chart a new course regarding the structure of schools by blending the best of our traditional instructional models with an intentional focus on innovations in learning to better serve all children. 

As Michigan Virtual develops its innovation portfolio, it will seek participation from a variety of external stakeholders to bring diversity of thought to the process. Michigan Virtual will continue to work with representatives of both the public and private sectors on the Innovation Advisory Council.

Benchmarks

  1. Form at least one public/private partnership with an organization to provide guidance with the design and execution of a research study. 
  2. Continue partnerships with educational organizations to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of micro-credentials in high-need areas. 
  3. Maintain membership in at least two national-level organizations that advocate for and support digital learning at the K-12 level. 
  4. Collaborate with the Future of Learning Council to provide opportunities for Michigan school leaders to learn about next generation learning models, share design practices, and gain access to high quality professional learning.
  5. Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio. 

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide a critical service to schools by highlighting the importance of mentors in virtual learner success. Mentors will have access to resources, share assets and practices, and explore emerging tools to support students’ engagement and success in online learning.

Michigan Virtual staff will offer several virtual events where mentors examine effective practices, develop resources, discuss the latest pupil accounting policies, and strengthen their professional learning community.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to maintain resources for effective mentoring of virtual learners and state reporting practices. 
  2. Offer virtual opportunities for mentors to engage with each other on topics such as pacing, building relationships, motivating students, and helping struggling students.  

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will collect feedback from key users and stakeholders through surveying, focus groups, and other means. Student focus groups will center on the student experience in online learning, their motivations for taking an online course, and their preferences for online or in-person learning. The results will help Michigan Virtual refine its offerings and identify opportunities to improve virtual learning for students.

Surveys will be used with students and professionals to focus on the learner experience, their motivations, and opportunities for Michigan Virtual to improve its offerings and the outcomes for learners. The professional learning survey results will be filtered by the learner’s role (teacher, administrator, support staff, etc.) to help identify and understand opportunities that may be unique to each role.

Michigan Virtual will also survey mentors of virtual students and conduct advisory committee meetings to learn from the field, gathering information on what supports work best for students in virtual learning and what doesn’t work in terms of supports, content, and systems.

An additional survey of Michigan teachers and administrators will also be distributed related to innovation pathways in learning. This effort will be aimed at obtaining a range of diverse perspectives from educators, which will help inform Michigan Virtual’swork in advancing innovation in K-12 schools throughout the state.

Benchmarks

  1. Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.
  2. Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.
  3. Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors of students in Michigan Virtual courses. 
  4. Continue to convene a Mentor Advisory Board twice a year where mentor annual survey feedback is used to expand resources and effective training models for mentors.  
  5. Conduct a survey on innovation pathways in learning with teachers and administrators. 

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Plans

The Consumer Awareness resource is available as an important link on the About page of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog. The report includes sections devoted to background, providers, delivery models, performance data, cost structures, research trends, conclusions, and resources. Including the Consumer Awareness resource as part of Michigan’s Online Course Catalog provides high visibility for parents, students, and schools exploring Section 21f options. Data on areas such as the school districts that are putting courses in the catalog, the distribution of courses by ISD, PSA, LEA, and the Michigan Virtual School, and disaggregation by key variables such as who is providing the content or the instructor, are updated in the fall and in the spring to reflect the changes in those two enrollment windows.

Benchmarks

  1. Update the Consumer Awareness resource twice annually (fall and spring). 

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer digital content from over 70 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. This work is intended to serve educators and parents as a resource to support and supplement student learning throughout the continued disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Schools and parents can access these resources from the Michigan Virtual website

Michigan Virtual acts as a close partner with Michigan Department of Education and the #GoOpen Michigan Strategy Team to make available a common Open Educational Resources system throughout the state. On the GoOpenMichigan website, educators can access open educational resources for modification and use in the classroom. In addition to providing leadership on the platform, Michigan Virtual also creates free learning objects for the platform, having contributed over 1,000 learning objects to the platform to date.

Michigan Virtual also supports educators in the creation and sharing of digital learning objects by providing courses on its Professional Learning Portal. These courses provide training to educators on how to develop their own learning objects as well as learning more about open educational resources, including how GoOpenMichigan can be leveraged for use in their classrooms.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to offer content from high-quality Michigan Virtual courses to Michigan schools. 
  2. Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff members who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.
  3. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.
  4. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects. 

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Plans

Moving forward into the 2022 fiscal year, the statewide catalog of online courses will be maintained and improved upon as needs arise. Current functionality includes the ability for schools to use the National Standards for Quality Online Courses developed in 2019.

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer a series of four asynchronous professional development courses housed on its Professional Learning Portal in an effort to help schools understand ways in which they could develop high-quality online courses for students. These courses, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are titled: Online National Standards 1: Getting Started; Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design; Online National Standards 3: Assessment; and Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs, and they are available at no cost to all Michigan schools.

Michigan Virtual will also continue its commitment to modeling and disseminating quality practices for virtual learning by providing free, asynchronous online professional development courses on the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. Michigan Virtual will submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals.

Lastly, Michigan Virtual will review and revise the documentation that is specific to Section 21f made available through the statewide catalog website on an “as needed” basis. These revisions will include any recent legislation that was passed by the Michigan legislature.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain and update catalog functionality on an ongoing basis. 
  2. Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews. 
  3. Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of five semester-length course renewals. 
  4. Review and revise Section 21f publications made available through the statewide catalog. 

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to support the functionality of the course catalog, including providing technical and customer support for users. Michigan Virtual will also continue to maintain a public facing knowledge base allowing catalog users to browse for instant help.

Benchmarks

  1. Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog. 
  2. Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Examine District-Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to implement the modified Danielson evaluation rubric with all instructors both full- and part-time (a minimum of 200 instructors). This process allows Michigan Virtual to continue its effort to support district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric. 

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Plans

Submit required reports detailing Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute activities.

Benchmarks

  1. By December 1, 2021 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2020-21 year.
  2. By December 1, 2022 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2021-22 year .

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Plans

Michigan Virtual is accredited through Cognia, and it will complete any necessary requirements from Cognia to maintain that accreditation.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain accreditation during the 2022 fiscal year.  

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will pass a board-approved budget that caps appropriation spending for Michigan Virtual School to no more than $1M.

Benchmarks

  1. Adopt a fiscal year 2022 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.
  2. Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school. 

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will conduct background checks through a private security firm that uses the FBI’s LiveScan fingerprinting process to comply with these requirements.

Benchmarks

  1. Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate related documentation. 

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will work with the Future of Learning Council to address areas, identified by the participating districts, to develop, test, and pilot professional learning products and services focused on instruction in virtual and blended learning environments. These quick iterations of design, test, and build will provide opportunities to increase the reach and impact of both existing and newly identified professional learning programs for Michigan teachers.

Michigan Virtual will organize a study tour for educators, administrators, and education stakeholders, to attend a national educational technology networking event around innovation in education. The purpose of this tour will be to provide opportunities to connect and participate in next generation learning models, with the intent to build a strong innovation hub in Michigan schools.

Benchmarks

  1. Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in virtual and blended learning environments. 
  2. Facilitate a study tour for educators, administrators, and/or education stakeholders in attending one national-level conference around innovation in educational technology. 

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at‐risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Plans

During the 2022 fiscal year, Michigan Virtual will continue to design and conduct market research to identify the various needs of Michigan schools and districts that are specific to digital learning. This process will include outreach to Michigan school and district leaders as well as several Michigan-based educational organizations. The data collected through the market research will be analyzed, and decisions will be made by Michigan Virtual leaders relative to the need to redesign its existing digital content and assessments or the need to develop new content and assessments. This effort to determine the adjustments needed to the digital content and related assessments is expected to be a multi-year process.

This year, Michigan Virtual will continue to offer online courses and digital course content in a variety of ways that support schools’ and districts’ digital learning models. These offerings will include fully online courses taught by Michigan Virtualteachers, online courses that can be taught by a school district’s local teachers, and digital content options, available for hosting locally in districts’ own learning management systems, that support schools’ hybrid learning options and efforts related to learning continuity. These current offerings will be evaluated and refined throughout the 2022 fiscal year to meet the changing needs of Michigan schools and districts.

Benchmarks

  1. Design and execute market research to determine the needs of schools and districts related to virtual content/courses to be developed and included in the statewide course catalog. 
  2. Continue to offer and expand online courses and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ changing digital learning needs. 
  3. Develop and update digital content and assessments based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research. 

Home-Schooled and Non-public Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to adhere to this requirement. Michigan Virtual makes available its courses to Michigan home-schooled or nonpublic students at the advertised base rate. Michigan Virtual pricing is available on its website.

Benchmarks

  1. Produce 2021-22 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student. 

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding state fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School. (b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts. (c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course. (d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Plans

Submit the report detailing Michigan Virtual School activities for 2021-22 school year as part of an annual report that also includes the Michigan Virtual’s professional development report specified under 2(a)(v) and the Institute annual report required under 2(b)(xiii) no later than December 1, 2022.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2022. 

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) must also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Plans

Michigan Virtual plans to serve over 600 schools with online courses and free content as well as free learning objects created by Michigan Virtual and made available through the state’s GoOpenMichigan website. Michigan Virtual is currently working on maintaining a minimum of 1,000 Michigan Virtual-created learning objects in the website by the end of the fiscal year. The content is also available to website visitors without a registered account.

Benchmarks

  1. Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content. 

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of residents of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Plans

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to submit the required materials in accordance with the identified deadlines.

Benchmarks

  1. No later than November 1, 2021, submit a detailed budget for 2021-22 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.
  2. No later than March 1, 2022, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, which shall include a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2021-2022. Not later than March 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Updates

  1. Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual.

As part of Michigan Virtual’s work to explore different applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in K-12 settings, the research and development team is involved in conversations with a Michigan-based company on the possible use of their data-driven AI platform that integrates natively with learning management system (LMS) providers to “nudge” students and increase student engagement. Other activities of the team included the exploration of an AI-based language learning platform for providing personalized skills practice for German and French as well as an AI-based platform for creating flexibility with formative and summative assessments from content.

  1. Participate in IMS Global’s technical project group focused on comprehensive learner records.

Michigan Virtual continues to play a leadership role within the IMS Global community with a member of the executive leadership team serving as the chair of the IMS Global Virtual School Innovation Leaders Network (ILN), which is part of the K-12 Statewide Programs Board. Leadership activities this year included the delivery of a presentation on the use of comprehensive learner record standards for virtual schools in November 2020 as well as the facilitation of discussions at both the K-12 Statewide Programs Board meeting in February 2021. An additional presentation was delivered in partnership with the Clayton Christensen Institute, Texas Education Agency, and Virtual Virginia in February 2021 at the IMS Global Quarterly Meeting.

  1. Explore and test adaptive learning tools including the application of learning record stores and share findings through the Michigan Virtual.

The Michigan Virtual research and development team also sees great value in exploring and testing adaptive learning tools such as learning record stores. Plans are currently being made by the internal Instructional Product Development (iPD) and Technology Integrations teams at Michigan Virtual to conduct some deeper research on the best standard to adopt between xAPI or IMS Global’s Caliper standard.

  1. Publish six blog posts focused on competency-based learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtual.

Competency-based education is also at the forefront of the work of the Michigan Virtual research and development team. Personnel are currently shaping a blog series that will focus on exploring competency-based learning solutions in K-12 schools. The blog posts will be published starting in April 2021.

  1. Conduct research throughout the duration of the SLiDE mobile app pilot that informs the ongoing development of the app.

Data collection is focused on existing features, functions, and content needs within the app. A focus group with school practitioners is planned for March 2021. These data will be used to develop a roadmap for ongoing future development.

  1. Continue development of the SLiDE application that can be used to support students, mentors, and parents.

While the current pandemic continues to impact the availability of school-based mentors and students, the development of the SLiDE mobile app is moving forward. Development will intensify during the second semester of this current school year with a focus on providing the functionality to support the Statewide Mentor Network that is currently housed in the Michigan Virtual Professional Learning Portal (PLP).

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Updates

  1. Design and execute a statewide research study on the digital learning model trends of schools and districts.

The Michigan Virtual research team has designed and is ready to execute a statewide research study on the digital learning model trends of schools and districts. A concept paper for this particular study has been finalized, detailing the need for the study, the overarching research questions, and the methodology for executing the study. In March 2021, research partners and research study subjects will be identified in preparation for the development and distribution of an online survey to collect data from Michigan school leaders. The anticipated date of completion of this study is late summer 2021.

  1. Design and execute a research study that interprets the ways in which Michigan schools and districts are implementing student-centered learning.

The research team has also begun the execution of a research study that interprets the ways in which Michigan schools and districts are implementing student-centered learning. This particular study is currently underway and is on schedule to be completed by late spring 2021. Survey questions were developed and distributed to participants from five different Michigan K-12 school districts in December 2020, and interviews of school leaders and teachers of these schools were conducted in January 2021. Data are currently being compiled and analyzed, and the development of a written report is scheduled for March/April 2021.

  1. Design and execute a research study specific to best practices for providing SEL support for virtual learners.

Based on research and experiences during spring 2020 and summer 2020, researchers at Michigan Virtual developed a firm understanding of the need for sound social and emotional learning (SEL) practices to support virtual and remote learners. In response, the research team is developing a research study that is specific to sharing best practices for providing SEL support for virtual and remote learners. The concept paper for this study has been developed, and outreach to secure a partnership for this study has been made. Beginning in March 2021, data collection instruments will be developed, and the collection of data will occur throughout the spring months. The final report for this study is on schedule to be completed by September 2021.

  1. Design and execute a research study on competency-based learning models in Michigan.

Michigan Virtual researchers have also designed and are in the process of executing a research study on competency-based learning models in Michigan. This study is focused on the ways in which Michigan schools and districts are implementing competency-based learning, the motivations for doing so, and the challenges and success relating to the design and implementation of their models. Several school leaders throughout the state, as well as some national experts, have confirmed participation in the study. Individual interviews with these leaders and experts will occur during the months of March and April 2021. This study is expected to be completed by late summer 2021.

  1. Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on a study focused on early warning predictive models.

The Michigan Virtual research team is continuing its collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a study focused on early warning predictive models within virtual learning environments. The research team intended to conduct its first intervention study in Spring 2020 to test the predictive model for accuracy as well as to investigate whether providing teachers with an early warning notice of students predicted as at-risk for failure would lead to improved outcomes. Although the researchers were able to collect data through most of the semester, the last weeks were disrupted by school closures due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This disruption made the data unreliable. Therefore, the team used what they had done to further test the predictive model and to analyze the intervention study processes for future feasibility. It is the team’s hope is to resume their work during spring 2021.

Michigan Virtual’s collaborative efforts with Boise State University continue to make an impact in the data mining field related to the potential for machine and deep learning techniques in better understanding how student success can be supported through predictive analytics. Based on this work, Boise State faculty members have submitted several papers for publication that highlight some highly innovative approaches:

An Innovative Learning Pattern Analysis Approach – The Long Short-term Memory Based Autoencoder. IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing – submitted for publication.

Using Convolutional Neural Networks to Recognize Learning Images for Early Warning of At-risk Students. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.

Improving Predictive Power Through Deep Learning Analysis of K-12 Online Student Behaviors and Discussion Board Content. Information Discovery and Delivery.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Updates

  1. Offer to conduct online program reviews using the NSQOL standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual has additional capacity and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost for Michigan schools.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer virtual program reviews at no cost to all Michigan schools and districts. These reviews involve a data collection process comprising the distribution of an online questionnaire and subsequent interviews of key school or district personnel to understand the design and operation of their programs. Once data are collected and analyzed through the use of a standards-aligned rubric, Michigan Virtual personnel write a summary of the school’s or district’s program along with recommendations for optimizing the program for increased student performance. The rubric and the review recommendations reflect the National Standards for Quality Online Programs.

In January 2021, Michigan Virtual extended an invitation to approximately 3,000 schools and districts throughout the state of Michigan to participate in a virtual program review at no cost. So far, six schools responded requesting to participate. The reviews of two of the schools’ virtual programs are currently in progress, and follow-up communications with the remaining schools continues. Ongoing outreach will also continue for the remainder of the year to encourage higher levels of participation.

  1. Provide written recommendations for online program design and maintenance that are aligned with best practices per NSQOL to each Michigan school or district participating in the voluntary online program review process.

As part of the program review process, Michigan Virtual provides each school with written recommendations aligned to NSQOL. Schools are also given time to review, reflect, and share feedback prior to the recommendations being finalized.

Michigan Virtual also continues to have staff members who serve as part of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning Leadership team. As such, they serve as experts to help shape the design and development of the standards.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center for educational performance and information from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The report shall be submitted to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Updates

  1. Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2021 deadline with copies sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2021.

Work is currently underway in the development of the 2019-20 Effectiveness Report. A presentation will be given to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) in March 2021 to gather feedback and to receive permission to release the report. The report will be made publicly available through the Michigan Virtual website in March 2021. As with the prior year, the entire report will be posted directly as a webpage on the Michigan Virtual website in addition to providing a .pdf format for downloading. Making the report available in this format will help users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to discover the findings and make them available to users. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards and provides a mobile-friendly version. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section.

  1. At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources will be mailed to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2021.

A summary infographic and cover letter related to the report will be mailed to superintendents as well as high school and middle school principals in April 2021, providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report.

  1. Conduct and record a webinar in April 2021 to present key findings from the report.

A recorded presentation of the report is expected to be completed in March 2021.

  1. Post the recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

The recorded presentation will be posted on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Updates

  1. Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

With many districts now providing remote learning opportunities for students, Michigan Virtual staff have created a number of new professional development opportunities for educators, including two new courses focused on supporting early elementary students in a remote environment with a third course in this series to be released in late spring 2021. These courses are available at no cost to educators. In addition, the Michigan Virtual team continues to develop the Online Lessons with Littles professional learning series – designed for preschool and kindergarten educators, both teaching face-to-face and remotely – based on overwhelmingly positive feedback from educators.

The Michigan Virtual staff recognized the need to accommodate flexibility in student scheduling during this challenging time for schools, so the team shifted nearly 40 third-party online courses from a facilitated to a self-paced model. Additional efforts were made to help schools and districts that are utilizing Michigan Virtual courses for students. These schools and districts are offered a 10-month ongoing professional development experience to help build educators’ understanding of the delivery of online content. Michigan Virtual staff members have also updated this experience based on feedback from partners and provided opportunities for educators to take part in monthly webinars for even more opportunities for learning.

Conversations with schools and districts that have partnered with Michigan Virtual have also led to the development of additional support for educators related to Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Through a collaborative partnership with the College Board, Michigan Virtual developed a professional development course to help support the needs of AP teachers in a virtual environment.

  1. Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.

With the dramatic increase in the demand for professional learning caused by the pandemic, MIchigan Virtual personnel have also responded to the needs of school leaders as they relate to enrolling large quantities of educators in professional learning courses hosted within the Michigan Virtual PLP. The Michigan Virtual team created and implemented a process to group enroll educational professionals into a course or variety of courses within the PLP. This Group Registration and Enrollment (GRE) service includes communication to all learners, PLP account setup and registration, enrollment into course(s), automated State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) processing, and customized reporting with staff’s learning progress.

Michigan Virtual has also partnered with MEMSPA to group-enroll educators across the state into social emotional professional development courses. Approximately 2,500 educators were enrolled in the course titled, SEL: Introduction to Social Emotional Learning through the GRE service

In addition, two school district based “shared time” programs have chosen to use the Michigan Virtual GRE service to group register their staff into the Michigan Virtual PLP, giving them access to a program-chosen subset of the Michigan Virtual professional learning course catalog. The total number of “shared time” participants is now six school districts.

Michigan Virtual is currently in the process of developing an integration between their PLP and the 2gno.me company. This integration offers educators the opportunity to self-assess their knowledge and habits with regard to certain educational frameworks such as the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching or the Danielson Group’s Framework for Teaching. Upon receiving results from their self-assessment, educators receive personalized suggestions of appropriate learning experiences based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Educators will be able to select the assessment like any other course on the catalog, take the assessment, and then select the suggested training from Michigan Virtual’s offerings and additional resources, mostly provided by other members of the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance, a state virtual school network. The integration is currently in the testing stages, and a pilot of the system is expected to begin in March 2021.

Additional professional learning opportunities are being offered in collaboration with higher education institutions. Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Michigan Virtual are in the process of developing and making available a series of online professional learning modules for K-12 school personnel. The series of 6-9 modules will identify the latest research and best practices for serving a variety of special populations in face-to-face and remote settings, as well as cover several important topics designed to promote inclusive teaching and learning that includes SEL and trauma-informed education. The online modules will be made available to educators at no cost.

  1. Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.

Michigan Virtual is currently offering competency-based professional learning courses to Michigan teachers and administrators. To date, Michigan Virtual is offering 22 micro-credential courses: 16 in collaboration with MEMSPA for current and aspiring school administrators, five in collaboration with MASA for current and aspiring district leaders, and one in collaboration with STEM for educators in the STEM field (not limited to only teachers). Additionally, Michigan Virtual is offering five courses in collaboration with MACAC, which consist of a traditional course with some competency-based assignment components. These courses are currently being considered for micro-credentials.

  1. Host the 2021 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference.

The Michigan Virtual Collaboration of the Minds committee has formalized a theme for this year’s annual gathering and has begun decision-making on the event’s organization and structure. Due to the significant increase in their internal staff, Michigan Virtual has determined that they will close the event to the public and focus on internal professional development. Key decisions regarding the format of the event (virtual as compared to face-to-face) will be determined during the spring of 2021, and the committee is moving forward with outlining the program and offerings to be available to staff.

  1. Submit the 2020 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2020. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.

The 2019-2020 Professional Learning Report was sent to the legislature in December 2020 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s Annual Report.

  1. Submit the 2021 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2021.

The 2020-2021 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2021.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Updates

  1. Maintain and update our Guides to Online Learning.

Michigan Virtual previously published and currently maintains six widely used guides recognized as being important to school and district online learning programs. The six Guides to Online Learning will be reviewed and updated this year to add any changes to Michigan’s Section 21f legislation. This year, Michigan legislation addressed the shift to pandemic learning in March 2020 and its continuation into the current school year. As research in digital learning continues to surface promising practices for improving outcomes for students learning virtually or remotely, these practices will be incorporated in the appropriate guides along with links to any resources freely available for schools to enhance their programs. This work is scheduled to begin in April 2021.

  1. Design and execute a research study specific to the learning models Michigan schools and districts are implementing during the 2020-21 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Virtual research team is conducting a study specific to the learning models Michigan schools and districts are implementing during the 2020-21 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was broken down into two phases. Phase 1 focused on seeking to understand the learning continuity plans formulated by schools and districts in the spring of 2020 as well as teacher, parent, and student perceptions of how these plans were executed. That report, Learning Continuity in Michigan: Plans and Perceptions From Spring 2020 Emergency Remote Instruction, has been published and can be found on the Michigan Virtual website. Phase 2 of this study is currently underway and will focus on the learning continuity models formulated by school districts in the 2020-21 school year as well as lessons learned, challenges, and recommended best practices for virtual or remote learning. School administrator interview questions have been developed, and the next steps are to secure subject schools and schedule and conduct interviews. This study is scheduled to be completed by late spring 2021.

  1. Design and execute a research study on best practices for providing special education support for virtual learners.

Another study being conducted by the Michigan Virtual research team is focused on best practices for providing special education support for virtual learners. This study was launched in February 2021 with the review of resources that were previously published by Michigan Virtual. Some resources will need to be converted from their current PDF state to HTML and/or moved to a new page on the Michigan Virtual website so they can be more accessible and easily located. This study is on schedule to be completed by late summer 2021.

  1. Develop and offer a consulting services model that provides guidance and shares best practices with schools and districts related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs for students and educators.

In another effort to share best practices with Michigan schools and districts, Michigan Virtual designed and implemented a consulting model to help schools grow and share their innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Michigan Virtual staff have completed the process of developing a consulting services model that is intended to help schools move forward with the design and implementation of innovative digital learning programs for students. The scope of consulting services to be made available to Michigan schools and districts include, but are not limited to, strategic planning and program design, program implementation and support, instructional design and pedagogy, professional learning planning, and technology resource evaluation and selection. Michigan Virtual staff are currently providing consulting services to three Michigan school districts, sharing the successes and challenges other schools and districts encounter in their work.

  1. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares stories of student-centered learning practices.

The Michigan Virtual research team believes another way to share best practices with education practitioners throughout the state of Michigan is through the writing and publishing of short blog posts. The team has identified and begun the writing and posting of multiple series of blog posts related to innovative learning models. Topics for the six blog posts focused on student-centered learning blog series have been identified and developed. Some of the content for this blog series – stories of how educators are implementing student-centered learning practices into their classrooms – will be extracted from the interviews that have been conducted for the student-centered learning study. As the data from these interviews are analyzed and the report is drafted, the blogs in this series will be developed and drafted as well. The final post of this blog series is on schedule to be published by September 2021.

  1. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares guidance and best practices related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs.

A blog series entitled, School Leader Insights is planned for spring of 2021, and it will focus on providing guidance to school leaders on how to design, implement, and maintain digital learning programs to meet the instructional needs of their unique school communities. The topics to be discussed are vision; curriculum, instruction and assessment; technology; professional learning; school operations; and leadership. The series will be published in sequence throughout the spring and summer of 2021.

  1. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares summaries of recent research related to digital learning.

Another blog series that shares summaries of recent research related to digital learning is currently underway. The first blog post in this six-part series was published in February 2021, and it shared insights from existing Michigan Virtual research on best practices related to K-12 online learning. New blog posts will be published monthly on the Michigan Virtual website throughout the spring and summer of 2021.

  1. Publish a minimum of four blog posts in a series that shares innovations in education.

The final blog series to be written and published by Michigan Virtual will center on general innovations in education. Blog post contributors are being recruited to provide their perspective on innovative trends in education. One blog post has already been created focusing on the trend of design thinking and its application to educational settings. This post is scheduled for release in March 2021.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Updates

  1. Before December 31, 2020, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the Department.

The virtual learning recommendations, shared by Michigan Virtual in December 2020, included six areas of opportunity. The first was to explore summer learning options to help mitigate learning loss related to the pandemic. The second was to resume legislative conversations about e-learning days to create greater flexibility for schools to move online in the event of school closures due to inclement weather or as a pandemic or outbreak precaution. The third recommendation was to allocate funding to redesign the state’s outdated Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). The fourth was to revisit retirement policies in the hopes of providing greater flexibility to hire teachers during crises such as the pandemic. The fifth was to change teacher effectiveness reporting responsibility — in the case of third-party online instructors — to the entity providing the instructors rather than the various schools who are contracting for them. The final recommendation was to modify the existing virtual learning data collection process to update the “virtual method” data field from the current options of Not Virtual, Blended Learning, Digital Learning, or Online Course to a reduced set of Not Virtual, Virtual – Credit Recovery, Virtual – Not Credit Recovery.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Updates

  1. Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.

Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the nationally-recognized Research Clearinghouse, and there were 1,144 resources in the clearinghouse as of the publication of the Quarterly Newsletter in January 2021. The next quarterly newsletter is on schedule to be distributed in March 2021.

  1. Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual.

The execution of six research studies and the development of four blog post series are currently underway. When completed, these works will be published to the Michigan Virtual website and made available through the clearinghouse. Furthermore, the availability of these resources will be promoted through select social media channels by Michigan Virtual personnel.

  1. Continue to update the clearinghouse platform for improved functionality.

Michigan Virtual staff are committed to the ongoing improvement of the Research Clearinghouse and have engaged with Web Ascender, a web development company, to help audit the current functionality and user experience of the clearinghouse website/platform. Once the audit is completed, a development plan will be put together to provide a new user experience and functionality to the clearinghouse and will be made available by October 2021.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Updates

  1. Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”

Michigan Virtual continues to promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching. Instructional design resources are continuously added to the Research Clearinghouse on a quarterly basis with specific resources being highlighted through the Quarterly Newsletter and in Michigan Virtual’s annual report to the state legislature.

  1. Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at a minimum of two Michigan-based education conferences.

Another way that Michigan Virtual is promoting and distributing instructional design guidelines and standards is through the delivery of presentations at Michigan-based education conferences. Michigan Virtual’s iPD team led two sessions at the Teaching for Today and Tomorrow conference that was held February 23, 2021 for educators in the state as a collaboration between MASSP and Michigan Virtual. The session titles and descriptions are as follows:

Practical Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Teaching Online

The teaching and learning landscape has drastically changed in the past year, as have the demands on teachers to learn and adapt quickly to online instruction. We’re here to help! In this session we will share tips, tools, and techniques that you can use for planning and teaching your online or hybrid classes. You’ll walk away from this session with ideas and access to resources you can start using today!

Using a Design Mind for Doing Learning Online

Teachers wear many hats. You might be the lesson planner, the learning facilitator, the feedback provider, the school-to-home intermediary, the colleague, along with many other responsibilities. In our current world, you are also likely designing online experiences for students to rise to the challenge of supporting students beyond the physical classroom. This session will focus on mindsets that can help guide decisions as you design online learning experiences.

  1. Create and make available six resources related to instructional design for schools seeking to develop their own digital content.

Michigan Virtual is also making available several resources related to instructional design for schools seeking to develop their own digital content. The team has created resources to share out after the Teaching for Today and Tomorrow conference related to organizing digital content, tips for teaching live synchronous sessions, and digital tools. Additionally, as part of the team’s work on an onboarding course for instructors of Michigan Virtual partner schools, the team has created a number of resources that can be shared more broadly with instructors. A plan to make these resources to instructors is currently being developed.

  1. Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development courses to train teachers in the instructional design of online content.

Michigan Virtual continues to promote, maintain, and support free online professional development courses to train teachers in the instructional design of online content. Currently, Michigan Virtual is offering 77 free courses focused on instructional design and online learning. Each course provides SCECH credit, which are also processed by Michigan Virtual. Below are the Michigan Virtual offerings that are available to educators:

          • 4x Blended Courses
          • 3x Podcast PD
          • 7x Transitioning to Remote Teaching
          • 2x Intro to Online Course Facilitation
          • 2x Online Lessons with Littles
          • 1x Introduction to Blended Learning for School Leaders
          • 4x Online National Standards
          • 4x Courses for Whole School
          • 1x GLPS: Tech Use Strategies for Supporting Distance Learners
          • 2x Online Teacher’s Guide
          • 1x So you want to be an Instructional Designer?
  1. Train or coach at least 100 Michigan teachers on instructional design through live training sessions and/or an open “office hours” model.

The Michigan Virtual team is also committed to training or coaching Michigan teachers on instructional design through live training sessions and/or an open “office hours” model. As of February 2021, the team has trained 48 teachers on instructional design through either live training sessions or open “office hours” coaching.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Updates

  1. Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.

Beginning in April 2021, Michigan Virtual personnel will be communicating with various Michigan teacher and administrator preparation institutions to inform them of the various online resources and courses that can help pre-service teachers develop their knowledge and understanding of literacy, digital teaching and learning, and the myriad open educational resources that are available to support virtual teaching and learning.

  1. Provide an opportunity for interested colleges and universities to collaborate and participate in a student-centered research study.

The Michigan Virtual research team will also be providing opportunities for interested colleges and universities to collaborate and participate in research studies. The scheduled student-centered learning study is currently underway and the data collected from school leaders and teachers through an online survey and individual interviews are being compiled and analyzed. Once the findings of the study are documented, Michigan Virtual researchers will reach out to personnel at select colleges and universities to offer discussion related to the findings and the possibility of collaboration related to the dissemination of the findings to the greater Michigan educational community.

  1. Provide an opportunity for interested colleges and universities to collaborate and participate in a Michigan-specific digital learning model trends research study.

In an upcoming study scheduled to begin in March 2021, researchers at Michigan Virtual will contact personnel at institutions that offer teacher and administrator preparation programs to discuss partnering on a research project focused on school leaders’ visions of the future of education in Michigan. Partner responsibilities are expected to include such tasks as assistance with the development of data collection instruments, the collection of data through an online questionnaire and school interviews, data analysis, and/or report writing.

  1. Invite at least one member from a higher education institution to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Additional collaboration with higher education is planned through the invitation of at least one member from a higher education institution to serve on Michigan Virtual’s Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio. This advisory board is currently being assembled with the expectation of meeting in late spring or early summer of 2021. Multiple higher education members from Michigan State University have expressed interest in serving on the board and are currently under consideration.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v)- Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Updates

  1. Form at least one public/private partnership with an organization to provide guidance with the design and execution of a research study.

The lead investigators of the Michigan Virtual research team have partnered with multiple organizations to conduct research studies that are highly relevant to Michigan schools and districts. Specifically, Michigan Virtual and the Michigan CoOp have joined forces to study how student-centered learning practices are being implemented in specific school districts within the state. In addition, the member school districts of the Michigan Competency Consortium are partnering with the Michigan Virtual research team to investigate the motivations for schools implementing competency-based education along with the challenges and best practices related to system-wide implementation. A third study that is focused on learning continuity within the state of Michigan is being supported by MEMSPA.

  1. Continue partnerships with MASA, MEMSPA, and MAC to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of four micro-credentials in high-need areas.

Michigan Virtual is continuing partnerships with MASA, MEMSPA, and MAC to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of micro-credentials focused on knowledge, skills, and experiences related to high-need areas. To date, activity within the MEMSPA membership includes 39 elementary schools that were enrolled via GRE into SEL: Module 1 and 45 administrators were enrolled in the Literacy & Leadership micro-credential series. Other activity includes the write-up of the Online Lessons with Littles courses to promote in their newsletter, as MEMSPA is looking to provide more resources and professional development for their preschool and lower elementary members. Michigan Virtual is also working with MEMSPA to create Challenge Coins, a form of recognition, to be given to micro-credential earners.

The existing MASA District Leadership Team micro-credential and the MASA Communications micro-credential have been redesigned, redeveloped, and re-released in the following series. The MASA District Leadership Team micro-credential (released in January 2021) is comprised of the following courses and micro-credentials:

          • Course 1: District Leadership Team: Roles & Responsibilities
          • Course 2: District Leadership Team: Effective Relationships
          • Micro-credential 1: Board Responsibilities and Relationships
          • Course 3: District Leadership Team: Effective Board Meetings
          • Micro-credential 2: Board Meetings

The MASA Communications Micro-credential (released in December 2020) is comprised of the following courses and micro-credentials:

          • MASA Communications (was one micro-credential; now five courses and two micro-credentials)
          • Course 1: Communications Law
          • Course 2: Being an Effective Communicator
          • Course 3: Developing a Great Communication Plan
          • Micro-credential 1: Communication Plan
          • Course 4: Communicating in a Crisis
          • Micro-credential 2: Crisis Communication
          • Course 5: Handling the News and Social Media

Moving forward, Michigan Virtual is continuing to work with MASA on a new series of human resource focused courses and micro-credentials, while work with MAC has been delayed due to shifts in work priorities caused by the pandemic.

  1. Maintain membership in at least one national-level organization that advocates for and supports digital learning at the K-12 level.

Michigan Virtual has committed to maintaining membership in at least one national-level organization that advocates for and supports digital learning at the K-12 level. Currently, Michigan Virtual serves as an official supporting member of the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC). In this role, members of the Michigan Virtual leadership team regularly contribute to the DLC leadership conversations and planning of events.

  1. Participate in a statewide competency-based education work group to provide thought leadership.

As part of the competency-based education research study being conducted by the Michigan Virtual research team, the lead investigator of the study is working closely with the Michigan Competency Consortium to help shape conversations and provide research resources to help the consortium advance their efforts. In addition, the director of the consortium has been contracted by Michigan Virtual to play a leadership role within Michigan Virtual as a learning strategist.

  1. Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

The Michigan Virtual Innovation Advisory Board is currently being assembled with the expectation of meeting in late spring or early summer of 2021. Efforts are underway to invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on the board.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Updates

  1. Continue to update and build training resources and content for mentors in the Online Mentor Network while simultaneously building and testing content within a mobile application to raise engagement and draw new participants.

Michigan Virtual personnel continue to update and build training resources and content for mentors in the Online Mentor Network while simultaneously building and testing content within a mobile application to raise engagement and draw new network participants. In fall of 2020. internal staff met to discuss the next steps to support mentor development in the field, which included investigating the possible use of the SLIDE mobile app to facilitate professional development and training in the future. This tool could provide opportunities for ongoing communication and collaboration for mentors across the state. The group will have follow-up meetings to make final decisions and discuss options.

  1. Conduct two “Mentor Meet-Up” trainings.

Additional efforts to support mentors includes the planning and execution of “Mentor Meet-up” trainings. Michigan Virtual staff are currently in the process of planning at least two trainings to be conducted by the end of summer 2021. The internal planning team has been working to address challenges related to the complicated schedules of the face-to-face mentors as they manage pandemic response requirements.

  1. Host a webinar series for mentors of online learners, outlining strategies for providing support in online environments and providing opportunities for mentors across the state to convene and share in a virtual setting.

Michigan Virtual is also hosting two webinars for mentors of online learners, outlining strategies for providing support in online environments and providing opportunities for mentors across the state to convene and share in a virtual setting. In December 2020, a webinar titled, “Best Practices of Mentoring Online Students” was held with a focus on starting the year with clear expectations, getting students enrolled into courses smoothly, demonstrating the value of communication with students and teachers, and following through with student accountability and related student expectations. Throughout the webinar, the Michigan Virtual team provided many resources to support the effectiveness of the mentors. This webinar was available to both Michigan Virtual mentors as well as the general public. Planning for the second webinar to be conducted is currently in progress.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Updates

  1. Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.

Michigan Virtual typically collects feedback from key users and stakeholders through surveying, focus groups, and other means. Three remote focus groups with students enrolled in online course are planned for late Spring 2021.

  1. Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.

In addition, all learners enrolled in Michigan Virtual professional and student courses (educators and students) are presented with an end-of-course questionnaire. Since October 2020, the Michigan Virtual professional learning questionnaire has received 6,740 responses. The student end-of-course questionnaire has received 2,304 responses in that same period (through January 2021).

  1. Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors with students in Michigan Virtual.

An end-of-year survey is also distributed to mentors of students enrolled in Michigan Virtual courses. This survey will be administered near the end of the spring 2021 semester.

  1. Conduct at least two mentor advisory committee meetings, in person or virtually.

Barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning are also identified through Michigan Virtual’s execution of Mentor Advisory committee meetings. The first mentor committee meeting of the year was held in October 2020, and the majority of the committee membership was able to attend despite the unique circumstances created by the pandemic. The focus of this meeting was on the transition to the Brightspace learning management system, meeting students’ needs during a pandemic, providing support to students in remote learning environments, and engaging in a mentor support network during these difficult times. The second meeting of the committee will be held in late March or early April 2021.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Updates

  1. Update the Consumer Awareness Report twice annually (fall and spring).

Michigan Virtual continues to host and update the Consumer Awareness Report twice annually. The fall 2020 update is complete, and the spring 2021 update is forthcoming. In addition to updating the report with the spring data, the spring report will also include data from the upcoming Effectiveness Report for the 2019-20 school year. The purpose of this resource is to make consumers aware of the status of online learning in Michigan. It is specifically designed to inform parents, school personnel, and school board members of the nature of virtual learning options, their effectiveness for Michigan students, the cost of these programs, and current trends related to virtual learning.

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Updates

  1. Continue to offer content from more than 70 high-quality Michigan Virtual courses to Michigan schools at no cost.

Michigan Virtual continues to offer digital content from over 70 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. This effort is intended to help support educators and parents as a resource to support and supplement student learning throughout the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and parents can access these resources from Michigan Virtual’s Free Learning Content website.

  1. Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff members who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.

Michigan Virtual participates in the Michigan #GoOpen task force in collaboration with MDE and other Michigan stakeholders. Specifically, a Michigan Virtual staff member serves on the Michigan #GoOpen Strategy Team. This individual has been working with others to plan professional development for utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and training.

  1. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.

Michigan Virtual is hosting a course on its PLP where teachers can learn about the state’s #GoOpen initiatives. This course is free for educators to access and Michigan Virtual covers the cost of all related SCECH processing. To date, there are 5,235 enrollments in the course with a current total of 3,000 course completions.

  1. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Michigan Virtual also makes available various modules on the PLP that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Updates

  1. Maintain catalog functionality that was redeveloped during FY20.

Michigan Virtual continues to utilize internal and external resources to update and maintain functionality of the newly redeveloped statewide catalog. Staff members are continuously soliciting and acting on user feedback to bring new functionality to the system and to maintain a good and accessible user experience as well as support current course catalog needs. Updates to the backend interface of the statewide catalog were deployed by Web Ascender, a web development company under contract with Michigan Virtual, which places emphasis on system stability, usability, and live interaction with system data. The interface updates rolled out in February 2021, and continued maintenance and support of the system will be provided thereafter.

  1. Add the ability for schools to use the National Standards for Quality Online Courses when reporting their course reviews.

The inclusion of the ability for schools and districts to use the National Standards for Quality Online Courses when reporting their course reviews is part of the scope of work to update and maintain the statewide catalog. Specifically, the updates to the backend of the system offer expanded and more accessible functions for schools to filter and report by the standards.

  1. Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews.

The Michigan Virtual team also offers professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews. Michigan Virtual currently offers the following professional development opportunities in the form of self-paced courses at no cost to school and districts:

Getting Started

Tweak your existing teaching practices for an online or blended environment in ways that align with National Standards for Online Learning (4 SCECH credits)

Course Content & Design

Apply National Standards for Quality Online Learning to online content as you begin to design, develop, and deploy blended and online learning (3 SCECH credits)

Assessment

Explore the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and Courses to measure student progress in your online classroom (2 SCECH credits)

Meeting Needs

Recognize the National Standards for Quality Online Learning that help you better meet students’ needs online (2 SCECH credits)

  1. Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of 10 semester-length course renewals.

Michigan Virtual continues to add online courses that have been successfully reviewed for quality to the statewide catalog. To date, 11 semester-length courses have been submitted to Quality Matters for recertification. These courses include the following: World History & Geography A, World History & Geography B, AP Physics 1A, AP Physics 1B, AP Environmental Science A, AP Environmental Science B, Anatomy & Physiology A, Anatomy & Physiology B, Oceanography A, Oceanography B, and Entrepreneurship. The Michigan Virtual team plans to submit an additional five semester-length courses that are currently in development through the Quality Matters review process in July and August 2021. These courses include Psychology, Employability Skills, AP Physics C Sem 1, AP Chemistry Sem 1, and AP Computer Science Principles Sem 1.

  1. Revise Section 21f publications made available through the statewide catalog.

Recently, Michigan’s Section 21f legislation was modified to address the shift to pandemic learning in March 2020 as well as the continuation of the shift into the current school year. The changes to the legislation and their impact on other Section 21f resources developed by Michigan Virtual to support schools in their virtual programs have been updated and published to the Michigan Virtual website.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Updates

  1. Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.

Michigan Virtual continues to improve and update the statewide catalog to provide a better end-user experience. A public knowledge base for the statewide catalog is hosted in the Michigan Virtual website and is constantly updated as changes and new functions are introduced to the website. Any technical support required by users is handled through either the customer care or technology integrations teams at Michigan Virtual.

Michigan Virtual’s Customer Care Center is also available on business days from 7:30am – 5:00pm ET to answer calls and to respond to online support tickets that are submitted for the statewide catalog.

  1. Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Michigan Virtual continues to use customer feedback to improve the functionality of and to add new features to the statewide catalog. As changes are implemented, the knowledge base and other technical documentation are updated and made easily accessible through the Michigan Virtual website.

Examine District-Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Updates

  1. Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.

Michigan Virtual continues to evaluate its teachers using a modified Danielson rubric. The Student Learning Services team at Michigan Virtual began its annual evaluations in November 2020 to accommodate the needs of their expanded instructional staff, which now exceeds 230 teachers (part-time and full-time). The ongoing evaluation process will resume with the remainder of the teachers receiving their evaluation in April and May 2021. Aside from the formal evaluation process, Michigan Virtual support staff provide ongoing coaching walk-throughs to help support and engage instructional staff in best practices associated with teaching in a virtual environment.

  1. Provide a personalized professional learning platform with Michigan Virtual resources aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching in partnership with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters.

Michigan Virtual has also developed and is currently implementing the ability to deliver a personalized professional development tool through the Michigan Virtual PLP that is aligned with the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. Integration work with 2gno.me will be completed by early March 2021, and the Michigan Virtual marketing and communications team is in the planning phase to message the opportunity to Michigan school districts and individual educators.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Updates

  1. By December 1, 2020 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2019-20 year.

The 2019-2020 Institute Report was sent to the legislature in December 2020 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s Annual Report.

  1. By December 1, 2021 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2020-21 year.

The 2020-2021 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2021.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Updates

  1. Participate in the full re-accreditation process through Cognia during the 2021 fiscal year.

The process for re-accreditation of the Michigan Virtual School has begun. The Student Learning Services internal team is actively engaged in collecting evidence to share with the Cognia review committee for their scheduled visit in March 2021. Internal training has been completed in preparation for this visit, and multiple meetings are scheduled in advance of the visit to ensure that the Michigan Virtual team is ready and resources are organized for review.

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Updates

  1. Adopt a fiscal year 2021 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.

In October 2020, Michigan Virtual’s board of directors approved its fiscal year 2021 budget fulfilling this benchmark.

  1. Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Similarly, based on audited figures from the prior fiscal year, an independent third-party auditing firm concluded that Michigan Virtual adhered to this requirement for the 2019-20 school year.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Updates

  1. Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate documentation.

Michigan Virtual is approved by the Michigan State Police (MSP) as a qualified entity to use the MSP Criminal History Record Internet Subscription Service (CHRISS) for fingerprinting for employment, assignment, or volunteer placement as authorized by the National Child Protection Act. Michigan Virtual works with its teachers and staff to complete background checks and MSP fingerprint checks through this process.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Updates

  1. Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in online and blended learning environments.

As part of a process to be more innovative and personalized in supporting Michigan teachers, Michigan Virtual has established virtual “office hours,” which connect teachers who have expertise in online and blended learning practices to other teachers seeking to develop their skills in this model of instruction. The purpose of this program is to allow teachers seeking assistance to select a topic of conversation and then provide access to an experienced teacher they can learn with. This service is free for educators, and it allows teachers the ability to receive some direct, one-on-one guidance and advice to help them improve their own practice.

  1. Develop and pilot micro-credentials targeting alignment to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and educator evaluation frameworks in Michigan.

Michigan Virtual is also planning to create a set of leadership micro-credentials focused on understanding and aligning the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching for principals and evaluators of teachers working in virtual learning settings. These micro-credentials are paired with access to the national standards-aligned resources through the 2gno.me personalized professional learning platform. Currently, the rollout of the training platform has been delayed to April 2021 due to some technical difficulties. The creation of the actual micro-credentials will be scheduled to allow for a pilot that coincides with the availability of the training platform.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at‐risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Updates

  1. Design and execute market research to determine the needs of schools and districts related to virtual courses to be developed and included in the statewide course catalog.

As part of Michigan Virtual’s plan to conduct formal market research to identify the various needs of Michigan schools and districts that are specific to digital learning, staff members reached out to 19 schools and Intermediate School Districts in January 2021 to assess their general needs as well as needs that are specific to summer 2021 learning recovery. This outreach was accomplished via email and telephone calls, and the data collected are currently being compiled. During the months of March and April 2021, the data will be used to design and implement solutions for Michigan schools to address the summer learning needs of their students.

  1. Continue to offer and expand online courses and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ changing digital learning needs.

Michigan Virtual also completed a needs analysis related to its catalog of course offerings in the 2020-2021 school year in light of school districts’ requests for additional offerings in the context of specific delivery models for their students. The following needs were identified:

        • Middle school core and world language curriculum (math, science, ELA, social studies, French, German, and Spanish) that could be offered in the Michigan Virtual Whole School delivery model to coincide with those offerings already available under the Collaborative Partnership and the Michigan Virtual Plus delivery models.
        • Advanced Placement (AP) world language curriculum (French and Spanish) that could be offered in both the Michigan Virtual Whole School and Collaborative Partnership delivery models to coincide with those offerings already available under the Michigan Virtual AP delivery model.
        • Evaluation of the Michigan Virtual current high school core science offerings (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) in an effort to obtain more recently developed content that better aligns with current high school science content standards.
        • Consideration of the development of additional high school elective courses within the social studies subject area to address gaps in the Plus and Collaborative Partnership offerings related to diversity and minority studies in the United States.
  1. Develop and update digital content and assessments based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

The Michigan Virtual team is in the process of updating the digital content and assessments of existing courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research. As of March 2021, the team has realigned the Michigan Virtual Civics, Economics, and World History & Geography courses to align to the most recent Michigan Social Studies Standards and has also made updates to the course content where necessary. In addition, the team is redesigning the Michigan Virtual Employability Skills course to eliminate costly vendor content. The team is also redesigning its AP Chemistry courses to eliminate the need for schools to purchase a costly textbook and have instead adopted a College Board approved OER textbook.

Home-Schooled and Non-public Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Updates

  1. Produce 2020-21 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

Michigan Virtual’s prices for 2020-2021 school year are the same for home-schooled and nonpublic school students as they are for district students using the same services. Pricing Information is available on the Michigan Virtual website.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding state fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School. (b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts. (c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course. (d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Updates

  1. Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2021.

The 2019-2020 report on the Michigan Virtual School was sent to the legislature in December 2020 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual’s Annual Report. The 2020-2021 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2021.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) shall also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Updates

  1. Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content.

Michigan Virtual is on schedule to serve a minimum of 600 schools throughout the 2020-21 school year. As part of this, Michigan Virtual continues to offer digital content from over 70 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools and districts as well as supporting free learning objects that were added to the Michigan #GoOpen website.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall serve without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of citizens of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Updates

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Updates

  1. No later than November 1, 2020, submit a detailed budget for 2020-21 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.

A detailed budget breaking down 2020-2021 projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services was submitted by November 1, 2020.

  1. No later than March 1, 2021, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

The breakdown of Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year was included for legislators in the same mailing as this update.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, which shall include a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2021-2022. Not later than March 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified.

Mission: Advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will explore different applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the creation and deployment of instructional content in K-12 settings. A series of blog posts will be published documenting different tools and their application in creating pathways for teachers to use AI to achieve instructional goals in their online, blended, and traditional classrooms.

Michigan Virtual will also continue to participate in IMS Global as a contributing member to develop a deeper understanding of digital learner records and how it impacts the recognition and portability of student achievements and outcomes in K-12 settings. Comprehensive Learner Records (CLR), digital badges, and learning record stores are all technology infrastructure of a competency-based learning environment and enable the documenting and sharing of achieved competencies, skills, knowledge, and aptitudes of students. This allows for greater flexibility of instructional pathways and portability and recognition of achievements between providers, schools, and the workforce.

Expanding upon its membership role with IMS Global, Michigan Virtual will independently explore the use of learning record stores to increase the adaptability of instructional content delivery within Michigan Virtual courses and publish written recommendations on how these technologies might enable greater levels of student personalization and learning outcomes, in general.

Michigan Virtual will also develop and publish a blog series that focuses on the tools and resources educators can use to create competency-based, blended, or online learning environments.

Throughout 2019-2020, Michigan Virtual developed a mobile application to help students become successful online learners by providing useful content for students and mentors. This mobile application was made available to select school districts in the form of a pilot. Michigan Virtual will design and execute a focused research study to understand the benefits and value this resource brings to the pilot schools as well as its challenges and shortcomings in an effort to refine the application on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

Benchmarks

  1. Explore and test the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing and deploying instructional content and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.
  2. Participate in IMS Global’s technical project group focused on comprehensive learner records.
  3. Explore and test adaptive learning tools including the application of learning record stores and share findings through the Michigan Virtual website.
  4. Publish six blog posts focused on competency-based learning tools and resources to the Michigan Virtualwebsite.
  5. Conduct research throughout the duration of the SLiDE mobile app pilot that informs the ongoing development of the app.
  6. Continue development of the SLiDE application that can be used to support students, mentors, and parents.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Plans

In an effort to lead statewide conversations about the opportunities and benefits associated with digital learning in Michigan schools, Michigan Virtual will design and execute a research study that includes a large, statewide survey of Michigan schools’ and districts’ adoption of digital resources and their impact on learning in K-12 schools. By understanding the different learning models, motivations, catalysts, and barriers for schools and districts in Michigan, including those that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Virtual can then support schools by helping them understand what is working, what is not, where further research is needed, and identify policy needs.

Building off the 2019-20 abbreviated study on student-centered learning, Michigan Virtual will design and execute a new research study designed to interpret the ways in which schools are implementing student-centered learning along with the factors that impact the successful implementation of such practices. The research team will also develop recommendations and compile resources that can help school and district personnel overcome barriers to successful implementation.

As Michigan schools are increasingly incorporating online or virtual education into their academic programming, there is an increasing desire to understand the best practices for providing social and emotional learning (SEL) support for virtual learners. Michigan Virtual will lead a study that identifies best practices in providing SEL support and will share these emerging practices with educators throughout the state.

Michigan Virtual will intensify its support of Michigan schools and districts seeking to understand and implement competency-based education practices by executing a high-level research study that identifies the core components of competency-based education models as well as the ways in which schools and districts within Michigan and across the nation are designing and implementing effective models.

Michigan Virtual will also continue a collaboration with researchers Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung from Boise State University on a research study that uses Michigan Virtual course data to develop early warning predictive models to accurately identify students at-risk of falling behind in their online courses. This collaboration will include a pilot study intended to test the model developed by Dr. Rice and Dr. Hung.

Benchmarks

  1. Design and execute a statewide research study on the digital learning model trends of schools and districts.
  2. Design and execute a research study that interprets the ways in which Michigan schools and districts are implementing student-centered learning.
  3. Design and execute a research study specific to best practices for providing SEL support for virtual learners.
  4. Design and execute a research study on competency-based learning models in Michigan.
  5. Continue collaboration with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung on a study focused on early warning predictive models.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Plans

For the past two years, Michigan Virtual has been part of a national effort to update standards for quality online learning. This effort led to the release of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning (NSQOL) which includes quality standards for programs, teaching, and courses. As more and more schools and districts throughout the state of Michigan are including the online learning format in their academic programs, there is a related growing need to ensure students are receiving the highest quality of education in this format. Given this need, Michigan Virtual will offer to conduct reviews, with recommendations for improvement, of online learning programs at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. These reviews will be in alignment with research-based best practices for online learning as well the National Standards for Quality Online Learning.

Benchmarks

  1. Offer to conduct online program reviews using the NSQOL standards for up to 10 Michigan schools at no cost. If Michigan Virtual has additional capacity and schools express greater need, any additional reviews would also be done at no cost for Michigan schools.
  2. Provide written recommendations for online program design and maintenance that are aligned with best practices per NSQOL to each Michigan school or district participating in the voluntary online program review process.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center for educational performance and information from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The report shall be submitted to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Plans

By March 31, 2021, Michigan Virtual will produce the Effectiveness Report in a form and method consistent with the past version, while being reflective of the impact of the existing COVID-19 pandemic, as it has been generally well-received and represents the most in-depth, state-level analysis of virtual course enrollments in the country. Like last year’s report, Michigan Virtual will also create an infographic summarizing key findings from the report. The report will be mailed to required recipients and published on the Michigan Virtual website. The report’s author will produce a recording that will be made available on-demand through the Michigan Virtual website.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish the Effectiveness Report on the Michigan Virtual website by the March 31, 2021 deadline with copies sent to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department postmarked no later than March 31, 2021.
  2. At-a-Glance Report Infographic and cover letter detailing the online report and resources will be mailed to superintendents and high school and middle school principals (approximately 2,000 people) no later than April 30, 2021.
  3. Conduct and record a webinar in April 2021 to present key findings from the report.
  4. Post the recording on the Michigan Virtual website for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to grow and advance its professional development services by gathering and acting on feedback from the field, from individuals currently taking professional development courses, and also from individuals who may be seeking professional development in the future. Michigan Virtual will also develop new partnerships with schools or educational groups to provide professional learning to groups while integrating professional learning communities to build engagement. The Michigan Virtual professional development platform will be continuously improved through course updates, new courses, and pilots to explore opportunities for more competency-based learning at scale.

In affiliation with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (a state virtual school network), Michigan Virtual will also develop and maintain a personalized professional development platform that allows schools and districts to connect their teachers directly to resources aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching to support online and blended learning pedagogies. The system will provide individualized assessments for teachers and a collection of resources aligned to areas of growth for the user.

Michigan Virtual will continue to host the annual event called Collaboration of the Minds (COM). COM is an annual professional development conference that serves as an opportunity to bring the large remote teaching staff of Michigan Virtual, many of whom have full-time teaching positions in local school districts, together to learn, explore, and collaborate with each other. This is an opportunity for all instructors to meet face-to-face or virtually and provides time for like-content instructors to explore best practices and strategies for supporting students. The event introduces new learning in the virtual environment, training in best practices, and collaboration time to explore with fellow instructors. The event also includes a mentor workshop to support the needs of this unique group.

Michigan Virtual will continue to fulfill the requirement of the PD report through the publication of its annual report.

Benchmarks

  1. Develop and update professional learning courses based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.
  2. Offer professional learning partnerships to schools, districts, and educational groups.
  3. Offer competency-based professional development courses to Michigan teachers and administrators.
  4. Host the 2021 Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference.
  5. Submit the 2020 PD report as part of a combined annual report that also includes Michigan Virtual’s annual Institute report specified under 2(b)(xiii) and the annual report required under subsection 7 for the Michigan Virtual School no later than December 1, 2020. This is a requirement from the previous fiscal year that crosses over fiscal years.
  6. Submit the 2021 Professional Development report detailing Michigan Virtual’s professional learning services and the identification of barriers and opportunities report by December 1, 2021.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Plans

Michigan Virtual developed a series of guides related to online learning, which are made available to students, parents, teachers, mentors, school administrators, and school board members. Michigan Virtual will review and update the content of these guides as needed and make this content available to the public through the Michigan Virtual website.

With the COVID-19 related school closures in spring 2020, schools were pushed to adopt emergency remote instruction and student support. Michigan Virtual will conduct a research study that seeks to understand the learning continuity plans formulated by districts, as well as teacher, parent, and student perceptions of how these plans were executed. This research study draws on original MVLRI research as well as published research by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. These resources will be reviewed and synthesized to bring out a more comprehensive understanding of the experience of transitioning to remote learning from stakeholders.

While Michigan Virtual has published several resources that focus on serving special education students in an online environment, some of them are in need of updating. Michigan Virtual will design and execute a study that aims to update the research and best practices and present findings in a way that is easy for educators to apply to their practice. The overarching goal of this study is to produce a suite of resources on best practices for providing special education accommodations to online learners. These resources will be both foundational and practical, designed for schools serving K-12 online students with disabilities.

Michigan Virtual will also offer support to Michigan schools and districts by developing a consulting model that shares research-based best practices with school leaders and teachers. The scope of consulting services will include support for schools and districts seeking to design, implement, and/or maintain student-centered digital learning programs.

During fiscal year 2021, Michigan Virtual will publish a blog series that shares stories of how educators are implementing student-centered learning practices into their classrooms. In addition, a second blog series will be published focusing on providing guidance to school leaders on how to design, implement, and maintain digital learning programs to meet the instructional needs of their unique school communities. A third blog post series that provides summaries of recent research related to online and blended learning programs will be published to help educators stay abreast of the latest findings related to instructional strategies and program design. Finally, a fourth blog series featuring innovations in education will be published by Michigan Virtual. This series will include a wide variety of education-related topics aimed at expanding the vision of teachers and school leaders. All blog posts will be published on the Michigan Virtual website.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain and update our Guides to Online Learning.
  2. Design and execute a research study specific to the learning models Michigan schools and districts are implementing during the 2020-21 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Design and execute a research study on best practices for providing special education support for virtual learners.
  4. Develop and offer a consulting services model that provides guidance and shares best practices with schools and districts related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs for students and educators.
  5. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares stories of student-centered learning practices.
  6. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares guidance and best practices related to the design, implementation, and maintenance of digital learning programs.
  7. Publish a minimum of six blog posts in a series that shares summaries of recent research related to digital learning.
  8. Publish a minimum of four blog posts in a series that shares innovations in education.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will provide feedback on current virtual learning policies and make recommendations that will accelerate the use of effective virtual learning in the state.

Benchmarks

  1. Before December 31, 2020, submit virtual learning policy recommendations to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the Department.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain the existing clearinghouse website and add additional resources to the website throughout the fiscal year. Currently, the nationally-recognized clearinghouse acts as an aggregator of K-12 online and blended research and key publications. To date, there are over 1120 resources cataloged in the clearinghouse. On a quarterly basis, Michigan Virtual will email a clearinghouse newsletter to the MVLRI mailing list and share it via social media outlets to highlight new resources added during that time period.

Benchmarks

  1. Create and distribute quarterly newsletters that highlight new resources and document progress toward newly added resources to the clearinghouse by the end of the fiscal year.
  2. Continue to promote and add resources in the form of blogs, publications, webinars, and podcasts to the clearinghouse and the Michigan Virtual website.
  3. Continue to update the clearinghouse platform for improved functionality.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will maintain and update the instructional design guidelines and standards tagged in the Research Clearinghouse. Michigan Virtual will also promote the National Quality Standards for Online Teaching, National Quality Standards for Online Programs, and National Quality Standards for Online Courses which will all help to inform Michigan-based work in the area of online and blended learning.

Michigan Virtual is committed to helping Michigan educators develop their skills and abilities in designing and delivering quality digital learning experiences for students. Therefore, Michigan Virtual will also submit at least two presentation proposals to Michigan-specific education conferences to promote and share best practices related to instructional design and standards of quality. In addition, a minimum of six resources related to instructional design will be made available to all Michigan schools that are working toward developing and delivering their own digital content to students.

Michigan Virtual will offer free online professional development courses on instructional design through its Professional Learning Portal. This offering will help schools as they continue to navigate the challenges associated with the increased need for virtual or remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan Virtual instructional designers will also support Michigan teachers directly in their transition and implementation of remote learning. This will be accomplished by providing live, synchronous instructional design training sessions for teachers as well as an online “office hours” model where teachers are able to sign up for individual or group coaching from a Michigan Virtual instructional designer.

Benchmarks

  1. Include links to instructional design guidelines and standards in the Research Clearinghouse tagged under the keywords “instructional design” and “standards.”
  2. Propose a session focused on instructional design best practices at a minimum of two Michigan-based education conferences.
  3. Create and make available six resources related to instructional design for schools seeking to develop their own digital content.
  4. Promote, maintain, and support free online professional development courses to train teachers in the instructional design of online content.
  5. Train or coach at least 100 Michigan teachers on instructional design through live training sessions and/or an open “office hours” model.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will make available a wide variety of online resources and courses to institutions that operate teacher and administrator preparation programs. These resources, which include digital content and professional learning related to early literacy, online, blended, and student-centered learning, and the use of open educational resources, will be available to colleges and universities through Michigan Virtual-hosted environments. In some cases, these resources may be made available in university-hosted environments.

Michigan Virtual values partnerships with colleges and universities for the execution of the planned research studies related to teaching and learning. During the 2021 fiscal year, researchers at Michigan Virtual will contact personnel at institutions that offer teacher and administrator preparation programs to discuss partnering on research projects related to student-centered learning and school leaders’ visions of the future of education in Michigan. Partner responsibilities may include such tasks as assistance with the development of data collection instruments, the collection of data through an online questionnaire and school interviews, data analysis, and/or report writing.

Furthermore, Michigan Virtual is interested in collaborating with colleges and universities in ways that drive innovation in education across the state. Michigan Virtual will be forming an Innovation Advisory Board with the intent of including representatives from higher education institutions that operate teacher and/or administrator preparation programs.

Benchmarks

  1. Work with interested Michigan teacher preparation institutions to coordinate access to the Michigan Virtual-hosted content, or where applicable, provide technical support for materials made available for self-hosting by the college or university.
  2. Provide an opportunity for interested colleges and universities to collaborate and participate in a student-centered research study.
  3. Provide an opportunity for interested colleges and universities to collaborate and participate in a Michigan-specific digital learning model trends research study.
  4. Invite at least one member from a higher education institution to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v)- Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Plans

Michigan Virtual’s research team will seek partnerships for specific research studies that will be conducted during the 2021 fiscal year. Lead investigators of Michigan Virtual research studies will conduct outreach to relevant public and private organizations to form research partnerships that provide guidance and/or assistance with the design and execution of studies related to competency-based, technology-rich learning.

Michigan Virtual will also maintain existing partnerships with specific educational organizations to support efforts related to professional learning micro-credentials. Through collaboration with the educational organizations, Michigan Virtual will continue to support the design, development, and delivery of micro-credentials focused on knowledge, skills, and experiences related to high-need areas.

Michigan Virtual will continue to lead conversations about digital learning throughout the state of Michigan. Maintaining memberships and affiliations with national digital learning organizations such as the Digital Learning Consortium and Aurora Institute will help gain insight into other state and national trends as they relate to key issues in digital learning, policy development, and program best practices, in general. Michigan Virtual will gather and share such information with schools and districts throughout the state as they continue to implement digital learning opportunities for their students.

Michigan schools and districts continue to discuss and consider the merits and challenges of implementing competency-based learning models, and Michigan Virtual has prioritized its own work to be able to better support schools in this process. Key personnel within Michigan Virtual will engage with schools and districts throughout the state to help facilitate conversations related to competency-based education, providing thought leadership in this effort.

As Michigan Virtual develops its innovation portfolio, it will seek participation from a variety of external stakeholders to bring diversity of thought to the process. Michigan Virtual will actively solicit participation on its Innovation Advisory Board from organizations in both the public and private sectors.

Benchmarks

  1. Form at least one public/private partnership with an organization to provide guidance with the design and execution of a research study.
  2. Continue partnerships with MASA, MEMSPA, and MAC to help support the professional learning micro-credentialing effort through the development of four micro-credentials in high-need areas.
  3. Maintain membership in at least one national-level organization that advocates for and supports digital learning at the K-12 level.
  4. Participate in a statewide competency-based education work group to provide thought leadership.
  5. Invite at least two members from the public or private sector to serve on an Innovation Advisory Board to guide the development of Michigan Virtual’s innovation portfolio.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to provide a critical service to schools by highlighting the importance of mentors in online learner success. The Online Mentor Network, the primary hub for more than 400 active mentors across the state to connect and access resources and guidance, will continue to widen its reach and grow its list of valuable assets while also experimenting with alternative delivery models such as a mobile application.

Michigan Virtual staff will also conduct face-to-face and virtual live, synchronous events and webinars allowing mentors to go deeper in the examination of their practice and make connections with one another.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to update and build training resources and content for mentors in the Online Mentor Network while simultaneously building and testing content within a mobile application to raise engagement and draw new participants.
  2. Conduct two “Mentor Meet-Up” trainings.
  3. Host a webinar series for mentors of online learners, outlining strategies for providing support in online environments and providing opportunities for mentors across the state to convene and share in a virtual setting.

Focus Groups/Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will collect feedback from key users and stakeholders through surveying, focus groups, and other means. Student focus groups will center on the student experience in online learning, their motivations for taking an online course, and their preferences for online or in-person learning. The results will help Michigan Virtual refine its offerings and identify opportunities to improve online learning for students.

Surveys will be used with students and professionals to focus on the learner experience, their motivations, and opportunities for Michigan Virtual to improve its offerings and the outcomes for learners. The professional learning survey results will be filtered by the learner’s role (teacher, administrator, support staff, etc.) to help identify and understand opportunities that may be unique to each role.

Michigan Virtual will also survey mentors of online students and conduct advisory committee meetings to learn from the field, gathering information on what supports work best for students in online learning and what doesn’t work in terms of supports, content, and systems.

Benchmarks

  1. Convene a minimum of three focus groups of online students.
  2. Distribute an end-of-course survey to students and professional learners taking courses through the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal and the Professional Learning Portal.
  3. Distribute an end-of-year survey to mentors with students in Michigan Virtual courses.
  4. Conduct at least two mentor advisory committee meetings, in person or virtually.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Plans

The Consumer Awareness Report is available as an important link on Michigan’s Online Course Catalog homepage with sections devoted to background, providers, delivery models, performance data, cost structures, research trends, conclusions, and resources. Including the Consumer Awareness Report resource as part of the Micourses website provides high visibility for parents, students, and schools exploring Section 21f options. Data on areas such as the school districts that are putting courses in the catalog, the distribution of courses by ISD, PSA, LEA, and the Michigan Virtual School, and disaggregation by key variables such as who is providing the content or the instructor, are updated once in the fall and once in the spring to reflect the changes in those two enrollment windows. Other data throughout the report are also updated on an ongoing basis with a particular emphasis on the fall and spring updates.

Benchmarks

  1. Update the Consumer Awareness Report twice annually (fall and spring).

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to offer digital content from over 70 high-quality student courses at no cost to Michigan schools and districts. This effort is intended to help support educators and parents as a resource to support and supplement student learning throughout the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and parents can access these resources from Michigan Virtual’s Free Learning Content website.

Michigan Virtual acts as a close partner with the Michigan Department of Education and the #GoOpen Michigan Strategy Team to make available a common Open Educational Resources system throughout the state. On the GoOpenMichigan website, educators can access open educational resources for modification and use in the classroom. In addition to providing leadership on the platform, Michigan Virtual also creates free learning objects for the platform, having contributed over 1,000 learning objects to the platform to date.

Michigan Virtual also supports educators in the creation and sharing of digital learning objects by providing courses on its Professional Learning Portal. These courses provide training to educators on how to develop their own learning objects as well as learning more about open educational resources, including how GoOpenMichigan can be leveraged for their classrooms.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue to offer content from more than 70 high-quality Michigan Virtual courses to Michigan schools at no cost.
  2. Provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative by contributing staff members who serve on the GoOpen strategy teams and sub-teams.
  3. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that address open educational resources, including the state’s GoOpen initiative.
  4. Make available modules on the Professional Learning Portal that support educators in developing their own digital learning objects.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:

(A) The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (B) The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Plans

During the 2020 fiscal year, Michigan Virtual redeveloped portions of the statewide catalog to improve performance and user functionality. Moving forward into the 2021 fiscal year, this functionality will be maintained and improved upon as needs arise. Such functionality will include the ability for schools to use the National Standards for Quality Online Courses developed in 2019.

Michigan Virtual has developed a series of four asynchronous professional development courses housed on its Professional Learning Portal in an effort to help schools understand ways in which they could develop high-quality online courses for students. These courses, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, are titled: Online National Standards 1: Getting Started; Online National Standards 2: Course Content & Design; Online National Standards 3: Assessment; and Online National Standards 4: Meeting Needs, and they will be made available at no cost to all Michigan schools throughout the duration of 2021 fiscal year.

Michigan Virtual will also continue its commitment to modeling and disseminating quality practices for online learning by providing free, asynchronous online professional development courses on the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. Michigan Virtual will also submit a minimum of five semester length courses and 10 course renewals to Quality Matters for independent course-quality reviews.

Lastly, Michigan Virtual will revise the documentation that is specific to Section 21f made available through the statewide catalog website. These revisions will reflect recent legislation that was passed by the Michigan legislature during the summer of 2020.

Benchmarks

  1. Maintain catalog functionality that was redeveloped during FY20.
  2. Add the ability for schools to use the National Standards for Quality Online Courses when reporting their course reviews.
  3. Offer professional development courses to Michigan schools and districts specific to applying National Standards for Quality Online Courses when performing course reviews.
  4. Submit a minimum of five MVS semester-length courses to Quality Matters for independent course quality reviews as well as a minimum of 10 semester-length course renewals.
  5. Revise Section 21f publications made available through the statewide catalog.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to support the registration, payment services, and transcript functionality of the catalog. This includes providing technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog. Michigan Virtual will also continue to maintain a public facing knowledge base allowing catalog users to browse for instant help.

Benchmarks

  1. Provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog.
  2. Based on customer feedback and help-desk tickets, update help documentation to assist users to promptly resolve common issues.

Examine District-Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to implement the modified Danielson evaluation rubric with all instructors both full- and part-time (a minimum of 150 instructors). This effort allows Michigan Virtual to continue its effort to support district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues.

Michigan Virtual will work with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (state virtual schools) and Quality Matters to provide resources aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching for delivery through a self-assessment based personalized professional learning platform. This platform will be available to educators and districts interested in aligning their professional development activities towards best practices in online learning through the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching domains and indicators.

Benchmarks

  1. Continue evaluations of Michigan Virtual teachers using the modified Danielson rubric.
  2. Provide a personalized professional learning platform with Michigan Virtual resources aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching in partnership with the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Plans

Submit required reports detailing Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute activities.

Benchmarks

  1. By December 1, 2020 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2019-20 year.
  2. By December 1, 2021 submit the combined Annual Report for the 2020-21 year.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Plans

Michigan Virtual is accredited through Cognia. Michigan Virtual will complete any necessary requirements from Cognia to maintain that accreditation.

Benchmarks

  1. Participate in the full re-accreditation process through Cognia during the 2021 fiscal year.

Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will pass a board-approved budget that caps appropriation spending for Michigan Virtual School to no more than $1M.

Benchmarks

  1. Adopt a fiscal year 2021 budget which allocates no more than $1M to subsidize the virtual school.
  2. Based on audited figures from the prior year, demonstrate that no more than $1M of the state allocation was used to subsidize the virtual school.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will conduct background checks through a private security firm that uses the FBI’s LiveScan fingerprinting process to comply with these requirements.

Benchmarks

  1. Conduct criminal background checks on Michigan Virtual staff and maintain appropriate documentation.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will work with a design thinking firm to address areas, identified by the Statewide Learning Continuity workgroup, to develop, test, and pilot professional learning products and services focused on instruction in online and blended learning environments. These quick iterations of design, test, and build will provide opportunities to increase the reach and impact of both existing, and newly identified, professional learning programs for Michigan teachers.

Michigan Virtual will work with statewide organizations to create a set of leadership micro-credentials focused on understanding and aligning the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching for principals and evaluators of teachers working in online learning settings.

Benchmarks

  1. Design, test, and pilot new iterations of products and services associated with the delivery of effective professional learning for teaching in online and blended learning environments.
  2. Develop and pilot micro-credentials targeting alignment to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and educator evaluation frameworks in Michigan.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Information technology courses.

(b) College level equivalent courses, as defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.

(c) Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.

(d) Programs and services for at‐risk pupils.

(e) High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.

(f) Special interest courses.

(g) Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Plans

During the 2021 fiscal year, Michigan Virtual will be designing and conducting formal market research to identify the various needs of Michigan schools and districts that are specific to digital learning. This process will include extensive outreach to Michigan school and district leaders as well several Michigan-based educational organizations. The data collected through the market research will be analyzed, and decisions will be made by Michigan Virtual leaders relative to the need to redesign its existing digital content and assessments or the need to develop new content and assessments.

This effort to determine the adjustments needed to the digital content and related assessments is expected to be a multi-year process. This year, Michigan Virtual will continue to offer online courses and digital course content in a variety of ways that support schools’ and districts’ digital learning models. These offerings will include fully online courses taught by Michigan Virtual teachers, online courses that can be taught by a school district’s local teachers, and whole-school digital content options that support schools’ hybrid learning options implemented during the 2020-21 school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These currents offering will be evaluated and refined throughout the 2021 fiscal year to meet the changing needs of Michigan schools and districts.

Benchmarks

  1. Design and execute market research to determine the needs of schools and districts related to virtual courses to be developed and included in the statewide course catalog.
  2. Continue to offer and expand online courses and digital content options to support schools’ and districts’ changing digital learning needs.
  3. Develop and update digital content and assessments based on the needs of schools and districts identified through market research.

Home-Schooled and Non-public Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to adhere to this requirement. Michigan Virtual makes available its courses to Michigan home-schooled or nonpublic students at the advertised base rate. Michigan Virtual pricing is available to view on the Michigan Virtual Pricing page.

Benchmarks

  1. Produce 2020-21 pricing with no additional charges for a home-school or nonpublic school student.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding state fiscal year:

(a) A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School. (b) A list of virtual course titles available to districts. (c) The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course. (d) The overall course completion rate percentage.

Plans

Submit the report detailing Michigan Virtual School activities for 2020-21 school year as part of an annual report that also includes the Michigan Virtual’s professional development report specified under 2(a)(v) and the Institute annual report required under 2(b)(xiii) no later than December 1, 2021.

Benchmarks

  1. Publish MVS Annual Report no later than December 1, 2021.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) shall also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Plans

Michigan Virtual plans to serve over 600 schools with online courses and free content as well as free learning objects created by Michigan Virtual and made available through the state’s GoOpenMichigan website. Michigan Virtual is currently working on maintaining a minimum of 1,000 Michigan Virtual-created learning objects into the website by the end of the fiscal year. The content is also available to website visitors without a registered account.

Benchmarks

  1. Serve at least 600 Michigan schools with online courses or free content.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and shall serve without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of citizens of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Plans

Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan has been created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Plans

Michigan Virtual will continue to submit the required materials in accordance with the identified deadlines.

Benchmarks

  1. No later than November 1, 2020, submit a detailed budget for 2020-21 fiscal year that includes a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services.
  2. No later than March 1, 2021, submit a breakdown on Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

 

For the 2020-21 school year, Section 98 of the State School Aid Act directs MVLRI to strengthen teaching and learning for K-12 education by supporting and accelerating innovation and providing leadership in online and blended learning.

MVLRI supports and accelerates innovation by:

Supporting and Accelerating Innovation in Education

  • Testing, evaluating, and recommending as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.
  • Research, design, and recommending virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.
  • Researching, developing, and recommending annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.
  • Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center for educational performance and information from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyzing the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The report shall be submitted to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.
  • Providing an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.
  • Identifying and sharing best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Providing Leadership for This State’s System of Digital Learning Education

  • Developing and reporting policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective online learning in this state’s schools.
  • Providing a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.
  • Promoting and distributing the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.
  • In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, supporting implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.
  • Pursuing public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.
  • Creating a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.
  • Convening focus groups and conducting annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.
  • Producing an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.
  • Providing an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.
  • Creating and maintaining a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:
    • The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The pass rate for each virtual course.
  • Supporting registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.
  • Providing a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

This report is being submitted in fulfillment of the following legislative directive:

The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, including a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2020-2021.

Mission: Advance K-12 digital learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual is deep into the development of a mobile app that is designed to help students become successful online learners by providing useful content for students, mentors, and parents. The code for the app has been developed, and it is currently being tested for functionality. The content of the app that is specific to students, mentors, and parents continues to be added, and the piloting of the app is on schedule to begin during the months of April through June of this school year.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) technologies will be tested and evaluated throughout the spring of 2020. During the month of February, Michigan Virtual personnel began the process of loaning VR equipment to two Michigan educators who will document their experience using the equipment in their classroom for several activities. Interviews with these educators, as well as with students and experts in the VR space, will be conducted and synthesized into a publication on the Michigan Virtual website by September 30, 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual has established itself as a “contributing member” of IMS Global. IMS Global works to develop interoperability standards for technology. As a contributing member, Michigan Virtual participates in the design groups working on IMS Global supported standards and programs. Michigan Virtual personnel attended the IMS Global Quarterly Meeting and Digital Credentials Summit on February 10-13, 2020 and presented “Credentialing Online: Compelling Stories of Three Online K-12 Programs.”
  • Michigan Virtual is committed to supporting educators who are utilizing technology in the classroom through the publishing of a series of 12 blog posts throughout the 2019-20 school year. The first three blog posts written are focused on different technology tools being used by educators. The first post highlighted a tool called Autocrat, which is an app being used to automate emails using Google Forms. This tool allows for better communication between educators and others. The second blog post focused on a recent update within Google Forms, which allows educators to utilize this tool to create auto-graded quizzes and to import previously created form questions. This tool can not only be used with students as a formative assessment, but it can also be used to gather information from others. Finally, the last blog post was centered around the use of annotated images and how teachers are using the ThingLink app and annotated images to create interactive opportunities for students.
  • Michigan Virtual also published the first podcast in a series of four designed to explore topics in educational innovation, digital learning, educational technology, and instructional design. This podcast, featuring an interview with 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Spencer Kiper and focused on STEM and community engagement, was released in January 2020 through the Michigan Virtual Upcoming podcast interviews with representatives from the Stanford d.school’s K-12 Lab Network and from 2Revolutions are scheduled to be released by April 2020.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual’s Essential Findings of Prior Research study is well underway and on schedule to be completed this spring. Eligible resources from prior publications and blog posts by Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) have been identified and organized. The research team has begun reviewing the resources in order to identify what the resource contributes to research on online learning and as well as the practical implications of the new knowledge.
  • The Early Warning Predictive Models research study is also underway and on schedule. This study will be ongoing throughout this fiscal year. Primary investigators Dr. Rice and Dr. Hung of Boise State University have added Michigan Virtual School data from the 2018 school year to their model and have obtained Institutional Review Board consent for a study with Michigan Virtual in 2020 to test their predictive model in real time. Findings from this research will be published on the Michigan Virtual website in fall 2020.
  • The formal design and procedures related to the Student-Centered Learning research study, aimed at providing a snapshot of how Michigan schools and districts are using technology to personalize learning for students, have been finalized, and the data collection instruments for this Michigan Virtual study are currently being developed. The study will utilize both quantitative and qualitative data; therefore, an online questionnaire and individual interview and focus group questions are being drafted. Formal data collection from schools across the state is scheduled to occur during April 2020, while the analysis of data and report writing is expected to occur during the summer of 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual’s Suite360 Implementation and Impact Study, focusing on how the Suite360 program facilitates social emotional learning, is underway with data collection currently in progress. To date, an online questionnaire was distributed to qualifying schools, and individual interviews with personnel of participating schools are scheduled to be completed by March 2020. The analysis of all data as well as the development of a summary report is on target for completion by the end of April 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual has also been collaborating with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation throughout the beginning of this fiscal year to develop a concept paper detailing a possible pilot study that focuses primarily on the effectiveness of the use of micro-credentials in teacher professional development. The concept paper was completed in January, and the Michigan Virtual leadership team has determined that it is feasible to execute such a pilot in the next fiscal year with a limited number of Michigan schools, providing that additional funding is secured to offset the costs incurred by Michigan Virtual.
  • Michigan Virtual is currently working with a small, focused group of practitioners to document the complexities involved in delivering a quality virtual course experience to students in a way that provides flexibility to begin and complete coursework at different times throughout the school year, while also allowing schools to meet Michigan’s reporting schedule established by the state’s academic calendar. A framework detailing the complexities and identifying potential pathways toward solutions is currently in development and expected to be completed in May.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual continues to offer online program reviews at no cost to all Michigan schools and districts. These reviews involve a data collection process comprised of the distribution of an online questionnaire and subsequent interviews of key school or district personnel to understand the design and operation of their programs. Once data are collected and analyzed through the use of a standards-aligned rubric, Michigan Virtual personnel write a summary of the school’s or district’s program along with recommendations for optimizing the program for increased student performance. The questionnaire items, interview questions, and rubric have all been updated to reflect the National Standards for Quality Online Programs, and Michigan Virtual has begun outreach to schools to offer these updated program reviews.
  • Beginning in April 2020, Michigan Virtual personnel will begin the development of a written brief aimed at raising the awareness of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. This document aims to raise the Michigan Department of Education’s familiarity with the standards and also to communicate how Michigan schools and districts can apply the standards within their own virtual programs to increase the statewide virtual course pass rate. The written brief is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2020 and will be published to the Michigan Virtual

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit the report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Updates

  • Work is currently underway for the 2018-19 Effectiveness Report. A presentation to the Michigan Department of Education and Center for Educational Performance and Information is scheduled for March to gather feedback and to receive permission to release the report. The report will be made publicly available through the Michigan Virtual website at the end of March.

As with the prior year, the entire report will be posted directly as a webpage on the Michigan Virtual website in addition to providing a .pdf format for downloading. Making the report available in this format will help users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to discover the findings and make them available to users. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards and provides a mobile-friendly version. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section.

  • A summary infographic and cover letter will be mailed to superintendents as well as high school and middle school principals in April, providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report. A presentation will also be recorded and posted on the website for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report must also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Updates

  • As of March 1, 2020, Michigan Virtual added twelve new courses to its Professional Learning Platform and updated and/or revised additional course offerings. These courses include five new counseling courses and seven MEMSPA courses for administrators. In order to provide educators with quality professional development, Michigan Virtual revised four courses offered through MASA and seven Phenomenal Science courses. In addition, the Michigan Department of Education Assessment Security course that is currently offered has been revised, and the MyPD course focused on promoting independent personalized professional learning has been revised to include new options. Currently, the Michigan Virtual course catalog has over 243 online professional learning courses available through its Professional Learning Portal.
  • As of February 18, 2020, there were almost 24,600 enrollments in professional learning courses offered through Michigan Virtual. It is likely that enrollments will exceed 30,000 by June 2020, resulting in the achievement of this benchmark.
  • Michigan Virtual is currently offering content for ACES Academy (Alpena Public Schools), and extensive support has been provided through frequent meetings with teachers and administrators of the Academy. These meetings were held virtually and in-person since the beginning of the school year. In addition, Michigan Virtual personnel have conducted classroom observations coupled with debriefing sessions with teachers of the school aimed at providing additional guidance and resources to help increase student and teacher success. Additional meetings, classroom observations, and debriefing sessions are planned in future months of the 2020-21 school year.
  • Michigan Virtual facilitated a two-day design thinking session with MiSTEM regional directors in November 2019 to produce an overall framework and format for the production of “playbooks” (resources) to be used by educators, business and industry representatives, and MiSTEM directors in initiating and implementing STEM programs for students in Michigan. The group’s work resulted in the creation of topic areas for the development of the playbooks and the general organizational structure and format for their production. Michigan Virtual is currently working to provide capacity and strategic input on the actual production of the resources with the intent of finding additional opportunities to collaborate with the MiSTEM network.
  • The planning of the 2020 Collaboration of the Minds (COM) event, which will take place on August 5-6, is underway. The event’s theme for this year has been finalized – Obstacles are Opportunities – and will be the centerpiece of the conference with each element tying back to the theme throughout the two-day event. Michigan Virtual personnel are in the final stages of negotiations with a high school in metro Detroit to house the event this year. As part of its goal to expand its network and partner with schools across the state, Michigan Virtual is focused on securing contracts for this event in schools rather than in traditional venues. In addition, Michigan Virtual personnel have secured a prominent keynote speaker to present on the second day of the event. In lieu of a keynote speaker for day one, COM organizers have opted to follow a “TED Talk” format, showcasing teachers and how the event theme has guided an aspect of their lives or career. Michigan Virtual personnel are also in the process of finalizing the schedule for the event. It is anticipated that attendees of the event on the first day will include Michigan Virtual instructors along with mentors from across the state. The second day is likely to be open to the public.
  • The 2018-19 professional development report was published as part of Michigan Virtual’s Annual Report, and the report for 2019-20 year is on schedule to be submitted no later than December 1, 2020.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual has previously published and maintained six widely used guides recognized as being important to school and district online learning programs. Three of the guides related specifically to virtual learners, their parents, and their mentors in schools are being updated to align with the recently released National Standards for Quality Online Programs. These three guides are expected to be published and made available through the Michigan Virtual website in webpage format, updated from their current .pdf format, no later than March 31, 2020. The remaining three guides related to teachers, administrators, and school board members are all expected to be converted to webpage format by the end of August 2020.
  • Four blog posts related to designing, implementing, and maintaining online learning programs have been published to the Michigan Virtual blog under the category Success in Online Learning. These first four posts in the series highlighted how to prepare and support online learners, common elements of successful online programs, unseen elements of successful online courses, and the importance of the relationship between students, mentors, and parents. The remaining blogs of the series are on schedule to be published by September 30, 2020.
  • In addition, three blog posts focused on student-centered learning have been published to the Michigan Virtual blog under the category StudentCentered Learning. These posts define student-centered learning, how the approach relates to online and blended learning, and how one Michigan teacher has implemented components of student-centered learning in their classroom. The topics for the remaining nine blog posts have been identified, and these posts are on schedule to be published by September 30, 2020.
  • Voluntary online program reviews, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Programs, are currently being offered to all Michigan schools and districts at no cost to the schools or districts. When schools or districts contact Michigan Virtual and express interest in having a program review conducted, a service agreement that details the expectations of both parties during the review is executed. The school completes an online questionnaire using their program’s data and participates in an interview where they expand on their survey responses. Michigan Virtual personnel then draft a report and obtain feedback from the school. The review concludes with a final report submitted to the school incorporating their feedback.
  • Virtual learners represent a relatively small but growing portion of the total students reported on Michigan’s “Count Days.” Michigan Virtual is connecting with school practitioners (typically mentors of virtual learners) and the business officials of schools and districts responsible for reporting student counts to identify a set of best practices and/or resources schools can incorporate into their virtual programs. Michigan Virtual personnel will distill the legislative guidelines for reporting virtual learners detailed in Michigan’s Pupil Accounting Manual as they were interpreted by the Michigan Department of Education in a webinar recently hosted by Michigan Virtual. Michigan Virtual is also in the process of seeking input from the Michigan Pupil Attendance and Accounting Association, whose membership includes the school practitioners involved in an audit as well as the auditors performing the audits. These best practices are on schedule to be published by September 2020.
  • On Friday, October 25, 2019, Michigan Virtual presented two sessions to educators at the MACUL Computer Science Summit in Detroit. The first session titled, “Getting Data for your Students with JavaScript (without a server!)” shared tips and tricks and lesson plans related to computer science and online instruction that session attendees can use in their classrooms. Other Michigan Virtual staff members presented “Minecraft “Social: How to Build Minecraft into Your Classroom.” Together, they shared their experiences using Minecraft for Education in online and blended environments and engaged the attendees in a hands-on learning opportunity that allowed them to blend Minecraft for Education into their curriculum.
  • On Thursday January 16, 2020, Michigan Virtual staff presented to school superintendents at the MiCoOp Winter Conference in Mt. Pleasant. The focus of this session was a discussion on the challenges that school districts face related to the implementation of blended and online learning. As part of this discussion, resources produced by Michigan Virtual were shared, including the guides to online learning; published webinars, podcasts, and blogs; the web-based Online Learning Orientation Tool (OLOT); and the availability of online program reviews – all free resources aimed at helping schools and districts design and implement effective digital learning programs for students.
  • Also on Tuesday January 16, 2020, Michigan Virtual personnel presented “Creative Uses of Online Learning for MMC Requirements” at the Michigan Merit Curriculum Flexibility Conference hosted by MASSP in Lansing. This session was an interactive discussion with a panel of Michigan counselors sharing how their schools implemented Michigan Virtual student courses to help their students meet their individual MMC requirements for graduation.
  • Moving forward, Michigan Virtual will be delivering seven presentations at the annual MACUL (Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning) conference in March. The MACUL conference has approximately 5,000 attendees and is the state’s premier educational technology professional learning conference. Session titles include: “Coaching: A playbook for Teachers,” “10-Year Challenge: Teaching in 2020 vs 2010,” “20 Tech Tools to Bring into Your Classroom in 2020” (presented twice), “Beyond the Basics: Hidden Features of Google Classroom,” “Experience It for Yourself: Student-Centered Learning,” and “A Face-to-Face Teacher’s Guide to Designing Online Experiences.” In addition, a lab session entitled “No More Wasted PD – Design Your Own Learning Pathway & Earn SCECHs” will also be presented. Michigan Virtual will also be submitting sessions for the upcoming MASSP and MASA annual conferences in addition to the MAA (Michigan Afterschool Association) Spring Conference.
  • Michigan Virtual personnel have been busy connecting with educators across the state to provide guidance and insight on the design and implementation of personalized learning models. To date, four onsite training sessions for educators have been conducted: Mt. Pleasant Teacher Boost (11/4/19), Ingham Teacher Boost: (11/21/19), Wayne RESA Teacher Boost (1/29/20), and Kent ISD Teacher Boost (2/13/20). Based on the success of these sessions, additional on-site trainings are being planned.
  • Michigan Virtual researchers are currently investigating best practices associated with identifying and evaluating learning management systems/platforms (LMS) that can meet the customized needs of schools and districts. Through the execution of a study that follows their own evaluation, selection, and implementation of an LMS, Michigan Virtual is seeking to understand and share the challenges and opportunities experienced by schools and districts regarding the implementation and maintenance of such systems/platforms. This research study is currently in the study design process, and formal data collection is expected to occur in April 2020. The data collection and analysis are expected to last several months, culminating in a written brief made available to schools and districts no later than September 30, 2020.

Policy Recommendations to Gov./Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual shared virtual learning recommendations which included three areas of opportunity. The first area of opportunity was to shift the teacher effectiveness rating reporting requirement from the local school to the virtual provider when the teacher is an employee of the virtual provider rather than the school. The second area was to create an online mentor training course, endorsed by the Michigan Department of Education, to inform and reinforce best practices in local support strategies for virtual learners. The final recommendation was to update a data field, Virtual Method, in the Michigan Student Data System whose current data value is not yielding insightful data with a simpler set of values that provide data on whether an enrollment is delivered virtual as well as whether it was for credit recovery.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual continues to maintain the nationally-recognized Research Clearinghouse, and there were 1,051 resources in the Research Clearinghouse as of the publication of the Quarterly Newsletter in November. The next quarterly newsletter is on schedule to be distributed in March 2020.
  • Four blog posts related to research on online and digital learning have been published to the Michigan Virtual blog under the category Research Round Up. The first four posts in the series highlighted approximately 16 resources including peer reviewed journal articles, journal special series, white papers, educational thought leader blogs, and updated online course and program standards. The final two blogs currently being planned are on schedule to be published by September 30, 2020.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual continues to promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching. Recently, Michigan Virtual issued a press release about its involvement in the creation of the National Standards for Quality Online Learning. As a result of that press release, Michigan Virtual staff were interviewed on Education Talk Radio, and the recorded interview is now published on the Michigan Virtual In addition, Michigan Virtual personnel updated several pages on its website to incorporate the new information about the standards, and four separate blog posts sharing the standards were published to the Michigan Virtual website. The webpages and blog posts were also promoted through Michigan Virtual social media channels.
  • Michigan Virtual personnel continue to add instructional design guidelines, aligned to the National Standards for Quality Online Learning, to the Research Clearinghouse on an ongoing basis. These standards have all been tagged and entered into the Research Clearinghouse in addition to three other instructional design specific resources in 2019.
  • The instructional design team at Michigan Virtual created a course titled, “So You Want to be an Instructional Designer?” which is now available and open for enrollment in Michigan Virtual’s Professional Learning Portal. This course provides an introduction to instructional design as well as the role of an instructional designer. A second instructional design course is currently being planned and development is expected to begin in March 2020. An instructional designer has been identified to take the lead on the development, the course content has been outlined, and the timeline is under development.
  • The promotion of instructional design courses for teachers throughout the state is a priority for Michigan Virtual, and a session titled, “A Face-to-Face Teacher’s Guide to Designing Online Experiences” is scheduled to be presented at the 2020 MACUL conference. The goal of the session is to provide classroom instructors with mindsets and strategies, based on instructional design theories, to support them in designing and developing online learning experiences for their students.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Updates

  • Beginning in April 2020, Michigan Virtual personnel will be communicating with various teacher preparation institutions to inform them of the various online resources and courses that can help pre-service teachers develop their knowledge and understanding of literacy, digital teaching and learning, and the myriad open educational resources that are available to support virtual teaching and learning.
  • In addition, the design and planning of a research study focused on student-centered learning across the state (including the ways in which technology and virtual learning supports such pedagogy) is currently underway at Michigan Virtual, and the execution of an outreach strategy to invite colleges and universities to partner with Michigan Virtual is scheduled for March 2020. Specifically, institutions that offer teacher or administrator preparation programs will be contacted to participate in the development of data collection instruments, the collection of data through an online questionnaire and school interviews, data analysis, and/or report writing.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v)- Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competencybased technology-rich virtual learning models.

Updates

  • As part of Michigan Virtual’s planned student-centered learning research study, the organization’s research team will be collecting data through the dissemination of an online questionnaire and the execution of individual and focus group interviews. Specific questions related to the use of technology and competency-based strategies will be included in the process. The collection of this data is scheduled to begin in April 2020, with outreach to possible education-related organization partners to occur during March 2020. Anticipated partners of this research study may include colleges, universities, or education organizations that have statewide memberships.
  • Michigan Virtual is also continuing partnerships with other organizations through its microcredentialing work. Meetings with the Michigan Assessment Consortium are currently underway, preparing to launch a district-wide pilot in late spring or early fall using assessment micro-credentials created in 2018-2019. In addition, the MASA Human Resources microcredential stack will start to be released in spring 2020. Each micro-credential is paired with a separate course component. Additional micro-credentialing work has been executed with MEMSPA. The following micro-credentials related to this particular work have been developed and released in the following areas: Social Emotional Learning, Leadership & Literacy Part 1 (rework), Leadership & Literacy Part 2 (rework), Leadership & Literacy Part 3 (rework), SEL and Whole Child, SEL and MTSS, SEL and Family Engagement, Staff Well-Being, Title IV, and Leading Student Engagement.
  • Michigan Virtual’s leadership and promotion of this micro-credentialing initiative is growing as the organization is now a “contributing member” of IMS Global, which allows the organization to participate in the design groups working on IMS Global supported standards and programs. Michigan Virtual personnel attended the IMS Global Quarterly Meeting and Digital Credentials Summit on February 10-13, 2020 and presented “Credentialing Online: Compelling Stories of Three Online K-12 Programs.” 
  • Michigan Virtual is also partnering with schools and districts on a research study to investigate the degree of implementation and best practices related to the use of the Suite360 digital character development and behavior intervention program. Michigan Virtual researchers have already collected questionnaire data from participating schools, and interviews of personnel from these schools and districts is on schedule to occur during March 2020.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual has scheduled face-to-face trainings to allow mentors of online learners to connect with one another to share details about their online learning programs and build expertise in the area of mentoring. To date, two trainings were executed in February 2020 – one in Coopersville and one in Plymouth- and another is scheduled for mid-March 2020 in Houghton Lake. The planning for a fourth training to be held in Livingston County is currently underway.
  • An additional support to mentors of online learners provided by Michigan Virtual is the continued operation of the Online Mentor Community. This community, hosted within the Brightspace LMS, has been updated with new discussion board threads and is moderated on a periodic basis to facilitate conversation between mentors. The platform has also been updated to include a new organizational framework for resources for mentors and includes links to the latest research-based mentor resources produced by Michigan Virtual and other leaders in this space. Work will begin in spring 2020 to build collaboration spaces and resources for mentors, building upon the updates of the Online Mentor Community, in a mobile environment.
  • Another way that Michigan Virtual is supporting mentors of online learners is through the delivery of presentations at Michigan education conferences. On Monday, November 11, 2019, Michigan Virtual personnel presented at the Michigan School Counselors Association annual fall conference in Lansing. The focus of this session was a discussion on the challenges that school counselors face when mentoring students in an online environment. As part of this discussion, best practices were shared for supporting online learners with tips for pupil accounting, creating policies, proctoring exams, and holding students accountable in the online learning space.
  • Michigan Virtual will also be submitting sessions for the upcoming MASSP Annual Conference, MAEO (Michigan Alternative Education Organization) Annual Conference, MEMSPA summer leadership conference, and the MPAAA conference.
  • Mentors of online learners are also supported through content posted monthly to the Michigan Virtual blog under the category Mentor Forum. Four blog posts related to the sharing of best practices for mentors have been published to date. These posts highlighted real-world success strategies for mentors, looked at mentoring through the lens of personalized learning, heard from mentors themselves, and talked with leading experts on mentoring. The final two blogs are on schedule to be published by September 30, 2020.

Focus Groups /Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual personnel aim to provide solutions and supports for virtual learners in all schools across the state. In order to develop these solutions, Michigan Virtual will be conducting focus groups in May 2020 as part of the process of collecting data to identify student-related factors and school- or program-related factors that impact student success. The specific questions for the focus groups have been drafted with the finalization of the questions to be completed in March 2020. The identification of focus group participants is scheduled to occur in April 2020.
  • The planned statewide study of student-centered learning will include a data collection process that utilizes an online questionnaire. This questionnaire is comprised of various questions designed to determine the degree to which schools and districts are implementing student-centered learning as well as the ways that online and blended learning are facilitating this type of learning model. This questionnaire is scheduled to be distributed to schools and districts in April 2020.
  • Additional focus groups comprised of online students were conducted by Michigan Virtual. Specifically, two student focus groups were completed during the Fall 2019 semester with a combined total of 13 students. The focus groups were held at Novi High School (eight students) and Brighton High School (five students). Each focus group interview lasted approximately 50 minutes. The focus group discussions centered on: (a) student perceptions of Michigan Virtual online classes, (b) how the students felt when they found out they would be taking an online class and what they did during this “discovery” phase, and (c) their experience in the online class. At least one additional student focus group is planned for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Additional data are collected from students and adults through the dissemination of voluntary end-of-course questionnaires. All learners enrolled in Michigan Virtual professional and student courses are presented with a questionnaire at the end of each course. Since October 1, 2019, our professional learning questionnaire has received 2,841 responses. Our student end-ofcourse questionnaire has received 1,231 responses in that same period (through January 15, 2020).
  • Michigan Virtual also values feedback and input from mentors of online learners. Michigan Virtual personnel plan to disseminate an online questionnaire to mentors at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. A mid-year mentor questionnaire has already been disseminated. This questionnaire, sent to all mentors with students enrolled in Michigan Virtual courses, received 132 responses from mid-December 2019 through mid-January 2020. The questionnaire included questions on overall satisfaction, suggestions for improving satisfaction, professional development needs, preferences within the Michigan Virtual Student Learning Portal, and the number of students supported.
  • The final means by which data will be collected from stakeholders will be through the execution of focus group interviews with educational organization partners. In mid-January 2020, Michigan Virtual prepared and distributed questionnaires focused on better understanding the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s educators and students as well as to learn about views on the future of education and the role technology will play in schools. This questionnaire was shared with MASSP, MEMPSA, MASA, MAISA, MASPA, and MANS with the intent that it be distributed to their memberships. Michigan Virtual personnel are also coordinating focus groups with two or more educational organizations to gain deeper insights into the topics covered in the questionnaire. Data collection through questionnaires and focus groups is expected to be completed by May 2020.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual continues to host and update the Consumer Awareness Report twice annually. The fall update is complete, and the spring update is forthcoming. In addition to updating the report with the spring data, the spring report will also include data from the upcoming Effectiveness Report for the 2018-19 school year. The purpose of this resource is to make consumers aware of the status of online learning in Michigan. It is specifically designed to inform parents, school personnel, and school board members of the nature of online learning options, their effectiveness for Michigan students, the cost of these programs, and current trends.

Internet-based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Updates

  • To provide leadership to the state’s GoOpen initiative, Michigan Virtual participates in the GoOpen task force in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education and other Michigan stakeholders. A representative from Michigan Virtual serves on a work group tasked with providing and creating professional development around the Michigan GoOpen initiative. Recently, Michigan Virtual has been assisting the REMC Association in creating training to further deepen educators’ understanding of the GoOpen initiative. Time has been dedicated to building a micro-credential for educators interested in advocating for open educational resources. Michigan Virtual continues to host an online GoOpen course for teachers. This course, titled “GoOpen: Open Educational Resources in Michigan,” is available and open for enrollment in Michigan Virtual’s Professional Learning Portal. This course provides instruction on how and why to use open educational resources, where to find them, and how to incorporate them into the design of course work.
  • Additional resources are being added to the GoOpenMichigan website. By March 2020, 250 free learning objects are expected to be added to the website, and an additional 250 free learning objects are scheduled to be added by July 2020.

Maintain Statewide Catalog of Online Courses

Organizational Priority

2(b)(x) – Create and maintain a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual

Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:

  • The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
  • The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year. (C) The pass rate for each virtual course.

Updates

  • In an effort to provide the best experience to users of the statewide catalog, Michigan Virtual has engaged with a web developer, Web Ascender, to completely redesign publicly accessible pages of micourses.org. This change is in response to growing accessibility concerns of the original design as well as the desire to provide a more up-to-date experience to users. The frontend search functionality has been divorced from the backend system and, as part of an extensive overhaul, was developed in the WordPress content management system. The new user experience is set to launch in the first quarter of 2020 as work is being completed on development and a communication plan to current users.
  • Michigan Virtual is committed to incorporating the ability for schools to use National Standards for Quality Online Courses when reporting their online course reviews. The organization has done an analysis and defined the scope of the work that needs to take place to include the standards as part of the course review and upload on micourses.org. It was determined that the statewide catalog core systems require extensive development and updates in order to implement the new standards. A course of action related to the best way to approach this development work and whether to engage the original developers of the micourses.org systems or to approach a new developer to completely overhaul and future-proof the system should be finalized no later than April 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual continues to add online courses that have been successfully reviewed for quality to the statewide catalog. To date, four semester-length courses (Health Education Abstinence Only, Japanese 2B, German 2B, and French 2B) were submitted for Quality Matter review in 2019; however, the review was completed in 2020. Michigan Virtual personnel are developing nine new semester-length courses (Medical Terminology, Trig/Pre-Calc A, Trig/PreCalc B, Bioethics, Advanced Programming: Mobile Apps and Game Design, AP World History: Modern A, AP World History: Modern B, Calculus A, and Calculus B) during 2020 and have planned to have the courses reviewed by Quality Matters by August 2020.

Support Registration, Payment Services, and Transcript Functionality to Statewide Catalog

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xi) – Support registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.

Updates

  • As a way to provide technical and customer support for users of the statewide catalog, Michigan Virtual maintains knowledge base articles specific to micourses.org. These articles include information specific to guardians; students or counselors who want to search the catalog for online courses; instructions for enrolling via the catalog; and to companies, districts, or other qualified parties that want to list their online courses in the catalog. The articles are accessible from the “important links” menu on micourses.org and maintained on the Michigan Virtual Knowledge Base website. Michigan Virtual’s Customer Care Center is also available on business days from 7:30am – 5:00pm ET to answer calls and to respond to online support tickets that are submitted for the statewide catalog.

Examine District-Level Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Related to Virtual Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xii) – Collaborate with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual has implemented an updated Modified Danielson Rubric for the evaluation process of its teachers. Throughout the year, course “walk-through” reviews have been conducted by Michigan Virtual department leads/instructional coaches. In addition, a large portion of the Michigan Virtual instructional staff received mid-year evaluation reviews as an opportunity to check on progress and provide some just-in-time feedback to support their growth in the second half of the year. The scheduling of formal annual evaluations will begin in April 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual representatives met with representatives from the Center for Educational Performance and Information and the Michigan Department of Education to discuss the challenge that currently exists with teacher effectiveness reporting and the implication of the current process within the state. A formal recommendation has been submitted to the house and senate subcommittees, the state fiscal agents, the Michigan Department of Education, and the state budget office.

Institute Annual Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(xiii) – Provide a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

Updates

  • The 2018-2019 report on the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute was sent to the legislature in December 2019 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtuals Annual Report. The 2019-2020 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2020.

Operate the Michigan Virtual School

Organizational Priority

(3) To further enhance its expertise and leadership in virtual learning, the Michigan Virtual University shall continue to operate the Michigan Virtual School as a statewide laboratory and quality model of instruction by implementing virtual and blended learning solutions for Michigan schools in accordance with the following parameters:

(a) The Michigan Virtual School must maintain its accreditation status from recognized national and international accrediting entities.

Updates

  • As part of the process of maintaining accreditation, Michigan Virtual’s staff connected with

Michael Nauss at the MASA Mid-Winter Conference in January 2020 to discuss Cognia’s (formerly known as AdvancEd) plan to publicize the online learning standards expected for the upcoming Spring 2021 accreditation visit. Mr. Nauss indicated that he would notify Michigan Virtual personnel when the standards will be made available.


Restricted Use of Appropriation for MVS

Organizational Priority

(b) The Michigan Virtual University shall use no more than $1,000,000.00 of the amount allocated under this section to subsidize the cost paid by districts for virtual courses.

Updates

  • On October 4, 2019, Michigan Virtual’s board of directors approved its fiscal year 2020 budget fulfilling this benchmark. Similarly, based on audited figures from the prior fiscal year, an independent third-party auditing firm concluded that Michigan Virtual adhered to this requirement for the 2018-19 school year.

Background Checks for MVS

Organizational Priority

(c) In providing educators responsible for the teaching of virtual courses as provided for in this section, the Michigan Virtual School shall follow the requirements to request and assess, and the department of state police shall provide, a criminal history check and criminal records check under sections 1230 and 1230a of the revised school code, MCL 380.1230 and 380.1230a, in the same manner as if the Michigan Virtual School were a school district under those sections.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual is approved by the Michigan State Police (MSP) as a qualified entity to use the MSP Criminal History Record Internet Subscription Service (CHRISS) for fingerprinting for employment, assignment, or volunteer placement as authorized by the National Child Protection Act. Michigan Virtual works with its teachers and staff to complete background checks and MSP fingerprint checks through this process.

Appropriation for Expanding Online and Blended Professional Development Programs

Organizational Priority

(4) From the funds allocated under subsection (1), the Michigan Virtual University shall allocate up to $500,000.00 to support the expansion of new online and blended educator professional development programs.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual is in the process of developing three new professional development courses to support Michigan teachers and schools. The first course being developed is in partnership with the Michigan Association of College Admissions Counselors (MACAC). Michigan Virtual is working with subject matter experts from the US Army (Education Service Specialists) to develop an introductory level (5 SCECH) course that meets the updated professional development requirements for school counselors in the state of Michigan. This is one of Michigan Virtual’s first courses for which the intended audience is counselors, and it broadens Michigan Virtual’s impact in the professional space. This course is nearing the end of development and will be available in the Michigan Virtual catalog in March 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual has also partnered with the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) to create a series of five small courses that introduce educators to services available through the College Board, including their AP program and ACT testing. These courses are currently in the development stage which is expected to continue through the spring of 2020.
  • The third course is being developed in partnership with the Michigan Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (MASCD) with contributions from the Michigan Assessment Consortium (MAC), Learning Forward Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education. Through this collaboration, Michigan Virtual is developing a course to introduce educators to the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community (WSCC) Model for Continuous Improvement in their schools and districts. With the state of Michigan expecting the launch of a new method for data collection for a Continuous Improvement Plan (MiCIP) in the spring of 2020, this course, which is nearing the end of the development stage, is meant to help educators better meet student, school, and community needs and help them apply those practices to their continuous improvement plans.
  • In another effort to support educator professional development, Michigan Virtual will be releasing the first in a series of MASA micro-credentials focusing on district superintendent human resources in spring of 2020. To date, the following MEMSPA micro-credentials have been developed and released in the following areas: Social Emotional Learning, Leadership & Literacy Part 1 (rework), Leadership & Literacy Part 2 (rework), Leadership & Literacy Part 3 (rework), SEL and Whole Child, SEL and MTSS, SEL and Family Engagement, Staff Well-Being, Title IV, and Leading Student Engagement.

MVS Catalog

Organizational Priority

(5) If the course offerings are included in the statewide catalog of virtual courses under subsection (2)(b)(x), the Michigan Virtual School operated by the Michigan Virtual University may offer virtual course offerings, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

  • Information technology courses.
  • College level equivalent courses, as defined in section 1471 of the revised school code, MCL 380.1471.
  • Courses and dual enrollment opportunities.
  • Programs and services for atrisk pupils.
  • High school equivalency test preparation courses for adjudicated youth.
  • Special interest courses.
  • Professional development programs for teachers, school administrators, other school employees, and school board members.

Updates

  • As part of its process of ensuring virtual courses are compatible with modern web browsers, Michigan Virtual is systematically removing course components that were previously designed with the Adobe Flash multimedia software platform. Flash components were removed from a total of 63 courses to date, and the following courses are scheduled for Flash removal in the upcoming months: Earth Science A and B, Oceanography A and B, AP Calculus AB (Sem 1 and 2), and AP Calculus BC (Sem 1 and 2). Michigan Virtual is also in the process of acquiring a new earth science course from a Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance member to address Flash instances in the currently offered course, and it has reached out to Advantage Press about acquiring the rights to the Flash-based eText for the current Oceanography course. All remaining courses that are being migrated from Michigan Virtual’s Blackboard instance will have Flash components removed as part of the migration process. This course migration is expected to be completed by July 2020. Michigan Virtual is also in the process of redeveloping the Calculus A/B, Pre-Calc/Trig, and Medical Terminology courses, during which all Flash components will be removed. This work is expected to be completed by the end of March 2020.
  • Michigan Virtual personnel are also currently developing a new AP World History Modern A course. The subject matter expert assigned to this project completed the scripting for the course at the end of January 2020, and the anticipated completion date of the course is March 2020. The team will then move on to the development of the second semester of AP World History Modern B.
  • Michigan Virtual, in partnership with St. Clair County Community College (SC4), introduced statewide access to twelve online dual enrollment courses in the Fall 2019 term: ART 120: Art Appreciation; BUS 150: Principles of Business; ENG 101: English Composition I; HIS 101: History of Western Civilization to 1715; HIS 102: History of Western Civilization since 1715; HIS 150: History of the United States, 1877 to Present; MTH 104: Foundations of Math; MTH 113: PreCalculus; MTH: 120 Introduction to Statistics; PS 101: Introduction to Political Science; PSY 180: Introduction to Psychology; and SOC 101: Principles of Sociology.
  • The primary benefits to Michigan schools and their high school students include: (a) the ability to locate postsecondary dual enrollment options within an online catalog that schools often reference in order to explore options for student scheduling, Michigan Virtual’s Student Learning Portal; (b) statewide access to SC4’s lower, in-district tuition rate; and (c) support services provided by Michigan Virtual in collecting and transmitting student registration data and files to the college, assistance in communicating questions to the college’s representatives from school enrollers and registered students, facilitation of invoicing and transmission of tuition and fees from all parties to the college, as well as communication of students’ final grades to the enrolling party at each participating school.
  • As a means of increasing the benefits offered to high school students through Michigan Virtual’s partnership with SC4, both parties committed to a goal of increasing the number and variety of online course offerings in alignment with the aim of permitting returning students the ability to fully complete the requirements of the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) over the course of two to four years of online dual enrollment coursework while in high school. In order to accomplish this, SC4 needed to provide a minimum of three additional online offerings through Michigan Virtual in at least two subject areas (e.g., a second English composition or communications course as well as two science courses, at least one of which containing a lab requirement).
  • As of the SC4’s Winter 2020 academic term, the stated goal was met with both the continued offering of the original twelve courses as well as the introduction of thirteen new dual enrollment course offerings: BIO 101: Essentials of Biology (w/ Lab)*; BIO 110: Cell Biology Basics*; BUS 153: Business Law; CIS 110: CIS Concepts and Careers; CJ 101: Introduction to Criminal Justice; ENG 102: English Composition II*; GEO 101: Earth Science (w/ Lab)*; GEO 233: World Regional Geography; HE 101: Math Related to Drug Administration; HE 102: Medical Terminology; PSY 220: Life Span Developmental Psychology; PSY 230: Psychology of Effective Leadership and Supervision; and PSY 260: Abnormal Psychology. Note: Asterisks (*) above indicate each of the four new dual enrollment courses that fulfill the stated benchmark.
  • Michigan high school students now have the ability to fully complete the requirements of the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) through the following online course work.
MTA RequirementCourse OfferingsPossible Credits

English Composition, plus a second semester of English Composition or

Communications

ENG 101 + ENG 1026
Two Social Science courses in two disciplines

Two of the following: GEO 233,

HIS 150, PS 101, (PSY 180 or

PSY 220 or PSY 230 or PSY

260), SOC 101

6- 8
Two Humanities and Fine Arts courses in two disciplines

ART 120 and either HIS 101 or

HIS 102

7
Two Natural Science courses, one with Lab

Two of the following: BIO 101,

BIO 110, GEO 101

7-8
One Mathematics course

MTH 104 or MTH 113 or MTH

120

4
Minimum of 30 Total CreditsNine Total Courses30-32
  • In order to provide the most effective and user-friendly online learning experience, Michigan Virtual is deep into the process of implementing a new learning management system (LMS) and migrating courses from its current Blackboard instance to this new platform. In October 2019, Michigan Virtual released a Request for Proposals for a new K-12 Learning Management System (LMS). Three vendors submitted their letters of intent to demonstrate their wish to participate and their ability to meet our requirements and timeline. The Michigan Virtual review committee selected two of the vendors as finalists, and the team completed a rigorous testing process of both vendors’ platforms. A contract with the chosen vendor was signed and work began to install, configure, and test the new LMS. Michigan Virtual is now working to develop effective methods of adding its many courses to the new system and planning for a small pilot to occur by the end of March 2020. A subsequent pilot will occur in the summer of 2020, training of staff and instructors will be delivered by the vendor, and multiple items will be validated by the internal team. Public launch for the new LMS is slated for early August 2020.

Home-Schooled and Non-public Students

Organizational Priority

(6) If a home-schooled or nonpublic school student is a resident of a district that subscribes to services provided by the Michigan Virtual School, the student may use the services provided by the Michigan Virtual School to the district without charge to the student beyond what is charged to a district pupil using the same services.

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual’s prices for 2019-2020 school year are the same for home-schooled and nonpublic school students as they are for district students using the same services. Pricing Information is available on the Michigan Virtual website.

MVS Annual Report

Organizational Priority

(7) Not later than December 1 of each fiscal year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department that includes at least all of the following information related to the Michigan Virtual School for the preceding state fiscal year:

  • A list of the districts served by the Michigan Virtual School.
  • A list of virtual course titles available to districts.
  • The total number of virtual course enrollments and information on registrations and completions by course.
  • The overall course completion rate percentage.

Updates

  • The 2018-2019 report on the MVS was sent to the legislature in December 2019 and is also posted on the Michigan Virtual website as part of Michigan Virtual Annual Report. The 2019-2020 report will be provided to the legislature in December 2020.

MVS Schools Served

Organizational Priority

(8) In addition to the information listed in subsection (7), the report under subsection (7) shall also include a plan to serve at least 600 schools with courses from the Michigan Virtual School or with content available through the internet-based platform identified in subsection (2)(b)(ix).

Updates

  • Michigan Virtual is on schedule to serve a minimum of 600 schools throughout the 2019-20 school year. As part of this process, additional free learning objects are being developed on an ongoing basis and are being added to the GoOpenMichigan website. By March 2020, 250 free learning objects are expected to be added to the website, and an additional 250 free learning objects are scheduled to be added by July 2020.

Advisory Board

Organizational Priority

(9) The governor may appoint an advisory group for the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute established under subsection (2). The members of the advisory group shall serve at the pleasure of the governor and without compensation. The purpose of the advisory group is to make recommendations to the governor, the legislature, and the president and board of the Michigan Virtual University that will accelerate innovation in this state’s education system in a manner that will prepare elementary and secondary students to be career and college ready and that will promote the goal of increasing the percentage of citizens of this state with high-quality degrees and credentials to at least 60% by 2025.

Updates

  • Since this section pertains to the actions of the Governor’s office rather than Michigan Virtual, no plan were created by Michigan Virtual.

MVS Budget Costs

Organizational Priority

(10) Not later than November 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a detailed budget for that fiscal year that includes a breakdown on its projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services. Not later than March 1 each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall submit to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, and the house and senate fiscal agencies a breakdown on its actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year.

Updates

  • A detailed budget breaking down 2019-2020 projected costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the anticipated fees to be paid by districts for those services was submitted in November. The breakdown of Michigan Virtual’s actual costs to deliver virtual educational services to districts and a summary of the actual fees paid by districts for those services based on audited financial statements for the immediately preceding fiscal year was included in the same mailing as this update.

Download the 2019-20 Plans & Benchmarks March Update

For the 2019-20 school year, Section 98 of the State School Aid Act directs MVLRI to strengthen teaching and learning for K-12 education by supporting and accelerating innovation and providing leadership in online and blended learning. MVLRI supports and accelerates innovation by:

Supporting and Accelerating Innovation in Education

  • Testing, evaluating, and recommending as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.
  • Research, design, and recommending virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.
  • Researching, developing, and recommending annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.
  • Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center for educational performance and information from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyzing the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The report shall be submitted to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.
  • Providing an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses on the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.
  • Identifying and sharing best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Providing Leadership for This State’s System of Digital Learning Education

  • Developing and reporting policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective online learning in this state’s schools.
  • Providing a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.
  • Promoting and distributing the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.
  • In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, supporting implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.
  • Pursuing public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.
  • Creating a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.
  • Convening focus groups and conducting annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.
  • Producing an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.
  • Providing an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.
  • Creating and maintaining a public statewide catalog of virtual learning courses being offered by all public schools and community colleges in this state. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall identify and develop a list of nationally recognized best practices for virtual learning and use this list to support reviews of virtual course vendors, courses, and instructional practices. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall also provide a mechanism for intermediate districts to use the identified best practices to review content offered by constituent districts. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall review the virtual course offerings of the Michigan Virtual University, and make the results from these reviews available to the public as part of the statewide catalog. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall ensure that the statewide catalog is made available to the public on the Michigan Virtual University website and shall allow the ability to link it to each district’s website as provided for in section 21f. The statewide catalog shall also contain all of the following:
    • The number of enrollments in each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The number of enrollments that earned 60% or more of the total course points for each virtual course in the immediately preceding school year.
    • The pass rate for each virtual course.
  • Supporting registration, payment services, and transcript functionality for the statewide catalog and train key stakeholders on how to use new features.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders to examine district level accountability and teacher effectiveness issues related to virtual learning under section 21f and make findings and recommendations publicly available.
  • Providing a report on the activities of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.
View the full set of plans and benchmarks
Section 98 of the State School Aid Act directs Michigan Virtual through its research institute, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI), to address a variety of tasks to strengthen teaching and learning for K-12 education. Michigan Virtual’s mission is to advance K-12 digital learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships. This document provides an update on the plans and benchmarks sent to the legislature in November 2018. For simplicity, updates are included after each legislative directive. (1) The Michigan Virtual University shall provide a report to the legislature not later than November 1 of each year that includes its mission, its plans, and proposed benchmarks it must meet, which shall include a plan to achieve the organizational priorities identified in this section, in order to receive full funding for 2019-2020. Not later than March 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual University shall provide an update to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on school aid to show the progress being made to meet the benchmarks identified. The original plans and benchmarks document was provided to the legislature in November. This document serves as the March 1 update and completes this legislative directive.

(A) Support and accelerate innovation in education through the following activities:

Test, Evaluate Tools

Organizational Priority

2(a)(i) – Test, evaluate, and recommend as appropriate new technology-based instructional tools and resources.

Update

This fall, Michigan Virtual created an easy-to-use template for educators to work through as they share their stories about using technology in the classroom to serve the needs of students. Throughout the year, we plan to use this process to produce a dozen blog posts that showcase how actual teachers are using various tools in their classrooms and their recommendations on what they are finding useful. Three blog posts have been completed and published to the Michigan Virtual website. The three blogs focus on teacher perspectives around developing a choice-based classroom to promote student agency, using video-making software to teach challenging course material to asynchronous students, and using online calendars to schedule face-to-face time to practice a new language. In November, Michigan Virtual published a new podcast episode on student engagement, and a second podcast, Student Agency and Google Classroom, was published in February.  The Michigan Virtual professional learning podcast has since been rebranded as the Digital Backpack podcast and moved to a different hosting site; guests and topics are being solidified for the remaining upcoming podcast episodes to be produced this year. Once the podcasts are published, a new SCECH-bearing course will be developed for the Professional Learning Portal.

Research, Design, Recommend Virtual Delivery Models

Organizational Priority

2(a)(ii) – Research, design, and recommend virtual education delivery models for use by pupils and teachers that include age-appropriate multimedia instructional content.

Update

Michigan Virtual continues to explore a wide array of tracking variables gathered in LMS repositories. High school-level mathematics courses in 2016-17 academic year were selected for the study focus and gradebook data were processed to create student trajectory data within a semester window. To identify meaningful subgroups of learners based on their learning behaviors, a growth mixture modeling is being used. The analysis will be completed by May and a report will be published this summer. As an extension of work done in the 2017-18 year, Michigan Virtual is collaborating with Dr. Kerry Rice and Dr. Andy Hung of Boise State University to refine models to identify early warning indicators of student success or failure in their online courses, an expanded data set was shared with the researchers in November 2018. For 2018-19, this research was expanded to include course enrollments from prior school years. The expanded model will then be tested on data from another school year. Following completion of this multi-year project, Michigan Virtual will post a webinar to the MVLRI website this fall. In exploring methods to monitor progress on professional learning, Michigan Virtual staff collected network and text data from discussion forums housed in two virtual professional communities and analyzed data using Social Network Analysis, Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, and word-cloud. A research paper will be presented at conferences in March and April. A publication focused on practical implications is expected to be published this spring. Michigan Virtual launched two pilots of the NuTeacher app: one with the Lansing School District’s New Teacher Network Initiative, and another with Michigan Virtual’s student learning instructional staff. Through the pilots, content was developed to facilitate two different leadership book studies. Feedback from pilot users has been incorporated into numerous continuous updates to the application, and more formal feedback is being collected from the groups to help refine and improve user experience. A pilot is being developed with the Brighton School District shared services program for teacher professional development of their 300 shared services teachers throughout the state. Schools that elect to purchase Evolution Labs products from Michigan Virtual are asked to complete a short adoption survey approximately 8 weeks after they begin using the product or products that they purchase. The brief survey asks them which products they use, their satisfaction level with each product that they use, and what could be done to improve their satisfaction. They are also asked to describe their strategies for implementing the products and to provide a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Thus far we have provided the survey to four schools. Results have been mixed and our sales team is following up with schools to find out more about each implementation. Staff completed preliminary research on effective communication practices among students and instructors. Data from student end of course surveys (Fall semester 2017-18) were examined using a variety of statistical tests, including factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, its post-hoc test, and effect size estimation. Dependent variables included final grades, course engagement indicators (course access count and duration), student perceived course quality, and student course satisfaction. As independent variables, the study used grouping variables by which students were categorized based on their report on communication practices (e.g., Yes vs. No to welcome messages by the instructor) and preference of communication tools (e.g., least vs. most preferred “Messaging Tools”). With some significant findings from the preliminary study, data collection for the final research with “Messaging Tools” embedded into Blackboard has started. A report detailing the findings from both studies will be published this summer.

Recommend Evaluation Criteria for Cyber and Online Providers

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iii) – Research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and virtual course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality education for their pupils.

Update

Michigan Virtual staff, along with staff from MDE, have actively participated in the revision of the National Standards for Online Programs, Online Teaching, and Online Course Standards led by the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters. The standards for programs and for teaching are scheduled to be published in February. The course standards work has begun and is tentatively scheduled for release in fall 2019. Upon their release, Michigan Virtual will promote the updated standards on its website, in presentations and newsletters, and in meetings with the many partnerships it maintains within and beyond Michigan. Michigan Virtual has also worked closely with MDE to coordinate and clarify communications to the field about online learning. An example of this has been collaboration about the messaging and raising awareness of the Early Literacy Essential Practices online modules. Michigan Virtual and MDE will also be meeting soon to discuss the findings of the latest Effectiveness Report and strategize about mechanisms to improve student performance. Another spring meeting with MDE will be to share information with the department about Michigan Virtual’s program reviews. Michigan Virtual offers supplemental online program reviews to Michigan school districts for the purpose of reviewing their programs in the areas of: content procurement and monitoring practices, instructor training and communication, mentor training and student support techniques, student selection processes, parent communication and support, and overall program evaluation. Reviews collect survey and interview data from online programs and culminate in reports that include written feedback on the strengths and opportunities for further development in each of the focus areas as well as more than 60 resources schools may utilize to increase program effectiveness. A rubric is included as a resource for school leaders to reflect on the structure and implementation of online courses in their schools. Michigan Virtual invites schools to participate through Michigan’s education organizations’ newsletters, at presentations, on its website and through individual invitations to participate.

Effectiveness Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(iv) – Based on pupil completion and performance data reported to the department or the center for educational performance and information from cyber schools and other virtual course providers operating in this state, analyze the effectiveness of virtual learning delivery models in preparing pupils to be college- and career-ready and publish a report that highlights enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact on pupils. The report shall be submitted to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, the department, districts, and intermediate districts not later than March 31 of each year.

Update

Work is currently underway for the 2017-18 Effectiveness Report. A presentation will be given to MDE and CEPI in March to gather feedback and receive their permission to release the report. The report will be made publically available through the MVLRI website in March. We have recently updated the 2016-17 Effectiveness Report webpage to contain all of the information for the report directly inside the webpage rather than in a .pdf format. This change will help users find the content more easily by improving search engines’ abilities to review the findings. Putting the content directly into the website also helps meet web accessibility standards as well as providing a mobile-friendly version. We expect to use this new format for the upcoming report. Information about the report and how to view it online will be provided to the required subcommittee personnel and other government staff identified under this section. A summary infographic and cover letter will be mailed to superintendents and high school and middle school principals in April providing easy-to-consume key findings and communicating how to access the full report. A free webinar in April will be recorded and posted on the website for on-demand viewing.

Deliver PD and Submit PD Report

Organizational Priority

2(a)(v) – Provide an extensive professional development program to at least 30,000 educational personnel, including teachers, school administrators, and school board members, that focuses the effective integration of virtual learning into curricula and instruction. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute is encouraged to work with the MiSTEM advisory council created under section 99s to coordinate professional development of teachers in applicable fields. In addition, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and external stakeholders are encouraged to coordinate with the department for professional development in this state. Not later than December 1 of each year, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute shall submit a report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on state school aid, the state budget director, the house and senate fiscal agencies, and the department on the number of teachers, school administrators, and school board members who have received professional development services from the Michigan Virtual University. The report shall also identify barriers and other opportunities to encourage the adoption of virtual learning in the public education system.

Update

In the first five months of the fiscal year, Michigan Virtual has had over 19,000 online professional learning enrollments in its Professional Learning Portal. We are on pace to surpass the 30,000 enrollment target. Michigan Virtual continues to host and support the website to support the dissemination of the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy. Each of the Literacy Essentials courses, spanning pre-K, K-3, and schoolwide, are currently live on the Professional Learning Portal. As of mid-February, there have been 9,354 enrollments in the Early Literacy courses since October 1, 2018. Michigan Virtual has also been active training teachers in our Collaborative model. Currently, Michigan Virtual has developed a Collaborative Partnership model with four different unique school districts / Intermediate School Districts throughout the state. Thirty-three teachers have been trained and coached over the duration of the agreements. We have provided a total of 11 face-to-face professional development opportunities between all partnerships; developed, provided, and facilitated online onboarding courses for all teachers; and provided individual coaches for each teacher to act as a means of direct support and mentorship. We’ve also offered bi-monthly professional development webinars directly aligned with national standards for quality online teaching, with topics including, but not limited to: academic integrity, online accessibility and student accommodations, differentiation, automated communication, effective feedback, quality announcements, formative assessment, student engagement, and learning management system efficiencies as well. Michigan Virtual’s annual Collaboration of the Minds professional learning conference is scheduled for July 31-August 1, 2019, and its theme will be personalization. This event brings together all Michigan Virtual instructors for two full days of training, team building, learning and collaboration. This year, the Professional Learning Services team will join us in opening the second day of the event up to all teachers across the state. In addition, we will host mentors for their own version of Collaboration of the Minds. This effort is designed to help foster the spirit of collaboration, learning together and developing a greater understanding of personalization to support students across the State. The 2017-18 professional development report was published as part of Michigan Virtual’s Annual Report, and the 2018-19 report is on track to be submitted no later than December 1, 2019.

Identify/Share Best Practices

Organizational Priority

2(a)(vi) – Identify and share best practices for planning, implementing, and evaluating virtual and blended education delivery models with intermediate districts, districts, and public school academies to accelerate the adoption of innovative education delivery models statewide.

Update

Michigan Virtual’s Guides to Online Learning provide key definitions, research findings and practical strategies for what kind of preparations and support systems are necessary to ensure students succeed in their online courses. They are free and downloadable on our website. Most recent is the Administrator Guide to Online Learning which was supported and promoted by MASA, MASSP, MEMSPA, and MAISA. The guides are used by other states and countries and can be customized. Michigan’s education organizations promote the guides to their memberships and provide presentation opportunities for Michigan Virtual staff at their member functions. The guides are reviewed annually and updates are published as research is expanded and new tools and resources are produced in the field. Alternative formats are being explored, such as a mobile application, for the purpose of expanding use of the best practices published in the guides. The National Standards for Quality Online Learning programs and teaching were released on March 1, 2019. The National Standards for Quality Online Learning Course Standards review began in February 2019 and are expected to be released in the fall of 2019. Michigan Virtual has been heavily involved in the creation of each of these standards, including having members on the leadership and working groups. Michigan Virtual promotes the standards on its website, in presentations and newsletters and in meetings with the many partnerships it maintains within and beyond Michigan. Offers to conduct Supplemental Online Program Reviews for Michigan schools free-of-charge are published on our website, in our newsletters and via publication announcements distributed monthly. Several of Michigan’s education organizations communicate to their memberships about the opportunity. The Michigan Department of Education also recommends the reviews to schools. Invitations to 194 individual schools in Michigan were sent in January 2019. All Michigan schools were sent a letter in fall 2018 enclosing Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report 2016-17 and included information about the Supplemental Online Program Reviews. Michigan Virtual will be delivering seven presentations at the annual MACUL (Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning) conference in March. The MACUL conference has approximately 5,000 attendees and is the state’s premier educational technology professional learning conference. Session titles include: 10 Innovative Tech Tools You Can Bring into Your Classroom Tomorrow, Expectations vs. Reality of Online Teaching, High School Online Learners Share Their Stories, You Get Three Wishes from the PD Genie: What Are They?, Unlocking Personalized Learning for Students, Social-Emotional Learning Enters the Digital World, and How the G Suite for Education Can Help You Personalize Your Classroom. A lab session entitled It’s Time to Get Smart: Bringing PD to Your Smartphone will also be presented. Michigan Virtual delivered presentations to 6 different groups in Michigan covering a range of topics. For example, Erin Luckhardt presented “Tech Tools: Find the Right Fit for your Classroom” at the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS) Education Conference. Ken Dirkin presented “The MASA Micro-Credential: Crafting Your District’s Communications Plan” at the MASA Midwinter Conference. Presentations were also provided at MASB and MEMSPA annual conferences. Online and blended learning presentations were given at Alpena Schools and Cabrini High School. Our Blended Learning Live! two-day program supports school-based or district-wide teams as they develop an implementation plan for virtual and personalized learning models at the systems-level. An event is scheduled for April 9-10 at Kent ISD. A face-to-face training on personalized learning is being planned for the summer at an ISD.

(b) Provide leadership for this state’s system of virtual learning education by doing the following activities:

Policy Recommendations to Gov. / Legislature

Organizational Priority

2(b)(i) – Develop and report policy recommendations to the governor and the legislature that accelerate the expansion of effective virtual learning in this state’s schools.

Update

Our virtual learning recommendations were enclosed with this report. They included three areas of opportunity. The first was to coordinate with the Department to create a one-hour or less training for mentor teachers and look for ways to encourage and promote the training. The second was to assist MDE in creating examples on how to collect parental consent in line with requirements of Section 21f of the State School Aid Act. The final recommendation was to explore with the Department and CEPI the possibility of modifying an existing virtual learning field that schools are required to report to the State. The focus would be on making the item easier to report accurate data on, reduce the number of potential responses from four to three, and increase the usefulness of the data received.

Research Clearinghouse

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ii) – Provide a clearinghouse for research reports, academic studies, evaluations, and other information related to virtual learning.

Update

Because the Clearinghouse is always archiving new research-based resources, MVLRI creates and sends out a quarterly newsletter that highlights five new resources and documents progress toward the 100 newly-added resources. The Institute sent out its quarterly newsletter December 2018 which highlights select resources. Each newsletter is sent out with links to sign up for information on how to stay up to date with our latest publications, guides, blogs and research for online and blended learning. As of February 22nd, the Clearinghouse contains information on 968 items.

Promote/Distribute Instructional Design Guidelines and Standards

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iii) – Promote and distribute the most current instructional design standards and guidelines for virtual teaching.

Update

Research on instructional design guidelines and standards is key to the meaningful design of online and blended learning environments for K-12 students. Because of this, Michigan Virtual adds relevant articles and reports in the Clearinghouse and continues to tag with keywords including “instructional design” and “standards” to highlight continued work being done in the field regarding these two topics. To date, there are 60 resources tagged with these keywords. Michigan Virtual has also been active in the National Standards for Quality Online Learning updates. One aspect of our participation has been to help conduct the literature review of existing research pertaining to the design of quality online courses. This literature review has helped to inform the standards with research-based principles. Another effort, to create an online course on instructional design, is in the planning and early design stages. Two instructional designers have been assigned to the project, and they are working on the initial design of the course including writing the course objectives and outline. It is anticipated that the design phase of the project will be completed by March 30, with development taking place in April and May and deployment of the course in the PLP by June 30, 2019.

Work with Teacher Preparation Institutions on Digital Learning

Organizational Priority

2(b)(iv) – In collaboration with the department and interested colleges and universities in this state, support implementation and improvements related to effective virtual learning instruction.

Update

In spring 2019, Michigan Virtual is planning to send a communication to the deans at each of the teacher preparation programs at Michigan public universities on how they can use Michigan Virtual professional learning content and courses in their college courses to help teachers learn how to teach in online and blended environments. Opportunities to collaborate on Literacy Essentials, online and blended learning, leadership micro-credential courses and classroom practices, and courses focusing on the use of open educational resources developed in partnership with Michigan Department of Education and the #GoOpen initiative will be available. Michigan Virtual will also offer to coordinate access to the content as well as provide technical support materials for self-hosting by the college or university. Michigan Virtual is also working on teacher effectiveness challenges that impact online instructors, particularly those working with Michigan Virtual related to the current reporting system for teacher effectiveness. Currently, local schools are required to identify the Michigan Virtual teacher as the teacher of record for their local ‘count day’ reporting. Due to this requirement, Michigan Virtual teachers appear to have taught at dozens upon dozens of schools across the State in a single year. In addition, each of those local schools is required to provide an effectiveness rating for the teacher. While Michigan Virtual currently conducts annual evaluations of its teachers and reports them to the local school, there is nothing currently preventing a school from assigning its own rating. An additional challenge is in the multiple ratings that a teacher can receive in one year when they work for a local school and Michigan Virtual (or other similar service provider). A local school may rate a teacher lower than Michigan Virtual leading to potential issues when removing the teacher due to effectiveness. Likewise, Michigan Virtual may rate a teacher lower than the local school leading to a group of alternative problems. Neither of these scenarios is ideal for the State or the teacher. The possible identification of a ‘virtual’ rating and a ‘traditional’ rating may be a resolution.

Public/Private Partnerships

Organizational Priority

2(b)(v) – Pursue public/private partnerships that include districts to study and implement competency-based technology-rich virtual learning models.

Update

Michigan Virtual partnered with the development firm Wondercert to create and invest in a micro-credential platform that will meet the needs of Michigan stakeholders through management of learners, issuers, and reviewers. A design sprint to identify user personae and desired feature sets took place during the week of January 21, 2019. Development of the platform is currently in early stages; once the platform has been launched, Michigan Virtual will initiate a promotional effort to encourage issuers and earners to explore and use the platform. Platform requirements will be delivered to Michigan Virtual late 2nd quarter, and prototype developed by September 30, 2019. In the fall of 2018, Michigan Virtual met with key stakeholders including representatives from Michigan Data Hubs to discover and learn what connections currently exist and validate the concept and approach to developing a connection between our systems and theirs using the Ed-Fi standards. We are currently reviewing agreements with Ed-Fi to begin development work this spring.

Mentor Network

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vi) – Create a statewide network of school-based mentors serving as liaisons between pupils, virtual instructors, parents, and school staff, as provided by the department or the center, and provide mentors with research-based training and technical assistance designed to help more pupils be successful virtual learners.

Update

In February, Michigan Virtual mailed postcards to over 2,000 Michigan mentors that shared five ways mentors could take their mentoring skills to the next level. One of the five ways is to join our online community of mentors which has over 250 members. Michigan Virtual staff are currently scheduling face-to-face trainings for mentors for spring and fall of 2019, including introductory-level trainings to be hosted at ISDs, as well as “Site Institute” trainings to be hosted at schools to showcase their online learning programs and share and gain insights with attendees. Attendees at previous trainings overwhelmingly requested trainings be available at the beginning of the academic year. Updates to online training materials included review and updates to the Online Mentor Community ensuring reports and other assets reflect the most recent information available. The Online Mentor Training course and resources have also been reviewed and modified to include up-to-date information. Michigan Virtual, through its Outreach Coordinator – Mentors and Outreach Coordinator – Special Populations, provides training, resources, and consultations to mentors throughout the school year specifically focused on increasing student achievement in online learning.

Focus Groups / Annual Surveys

Organizational Priority

2(b)(vii) – Convene focus groups and conduct annual surveys of teachers, administrators, pupils, parents, and others to identify barriers and opportunities related to virtual learning.

Update

Michigan Virtual is currently working with Public Sector Consultants to collect data from 600 adults and 400 college students to publish its annual findings on the attitudes and awareness of online learning. The survey instruments were finalized, and data collection occurred in mid-February. Data are currently being analyzed, and it is expected that the publication will be posted on the MVLRI website in early March. Efforts are also underway to collect end of course data for students. A survey tool was updated by a committee this year to ensure the feedback collected could be applied to course development, instructor practices and overall customer care. As of the end of semester one, we have over 360 student responses. Over 50% of respondents have only taken one online course. When asked about their experience, 86% shared they were highly satisfied. The majority of students prefer communication in the form of email and 99% of students reported their instructor was respectful and caring. We anticipate more responses at the end of the year and will be further promoting the survey to encourage greater participation. Michigan Virtual staff have completed two student focus groups, one at Northville High School and the other at Chelsea High School. Two more focus group sessions are planned in the spring. Michigan Virtual also distributes an end-of-course survey to its adult learners each time they successfully complete a course enrollment through the Professional Learning Portal. Survey question topics include learner satisfaction with the course, likelihood of recommending the PLP to a colleague, and general qualitative feedback collected through open text entry. For the current fiscal year, we have received over 1,700 responses to the survey; 92.49% of responses indicate a satisfying experience. Each response is associated with a specific course within the portal, and course feedback is reviewed by the Professional Learning Services and Instructional Product Development teams on a weekly basis to inform improvements and enhancements to the course catalog. Michigan Virtual has also updated an instrument last used in 2012 to collect information from the Michigan Association for Secondary School Principals. The survey, which we plan to disseminate in coordination with one or more educational organizations, collects feedback from schools on their satisfaction with online course vendors, their criteria for selecting among online providers, and their anticipated needs and use of online learning in the near future. It is expected that the survey will go out to respondents in the next couple of months and be published in the summer or early fall.

Consumer Awareness Report

Organizational Priority

2(b)(viii) – Produce an annual consumer awareness report for schools and parents about effective virtual education providers and education delivery models, performance data, cost structures, and research trends.

Update

Michigan Virtual continues to host and update the Consumer Awareness Report twice annually. The fall update is complete, and the spring update is forthcoming. In addition to updating the report with the spring data, the spring report will also include data from the upcoming Effectiveness Report for the 2017-18 school year. The purpose of this resource is to make consumers aware of the status of online learning in Michigan. It is specifically designed to inform parents, school personnel, and school board members of the nature of online learning options, their effectiveness for Michigan students, the cost of these programs, and current trends.

Internet-Based Platform

Organizational Priority

2(b)(ix) – Provide an internet-based platform that educators can use to create student-centric learning tools and resources for sharing in the state’s open educational resource repository and facilitate a user network that assists educators in using the content creation platform and state repository for open educational resources. As part of this initiative, the Michigan Virtual University shall work collaboratively with districts and intermediate districts to establish a plan to make available virtual resources that align to Michigan’s K-12 curriculum standards for use by students, educators, and parents.

Update

Michigan Virtua