MVLRI’s research provides a foundation to examine, engage and explore educational practices in the industry.

MVLRI is dedicated to taking education techniques to the next level. We believe that with proper research, the ways we learn can continue to evolve to strengthen our futures.

Tailoring Learning for Teachers: The Power of Personalized Professional Development

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

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

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

Making Learning “Sticky” Through A Work- and Project-Based Program at Hamilton Community Schools

Hamilton Community Schools (HCS) in Michigan has developed an innovative work-based learning program to prepare students for future employment and expose them to in-demand career pathways. The program aims to close the skills gap and provide greater access to educational training opportunities. HCS collaborated with businesses and higher education institutions to create a multi-year program focused on experiential and project-based learning. Students have the chance to explore high-wage careers through site visits, job-shadowing, and apprenticeships, gaining the necessary skills for informed decisions about their futures.

The First Week in An Online Course: Differences Across Schools

This report investigates online course outcomes in high free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) schools vs. others. Students in high FRL schools had lower grades, delayed access, and fewer assignments submitted. Early engagement indicators significantly influenced final grades, highlighting the need for timely interventions to promote equity in online education.

From Seat Time to Mastery: Competency-Based Education at Fraser Public Schools

With their Portrait of a Graduate and Strategic Plan as guiding principles, Fraser Public Schools began a deliberate journey towards competency-based education. By prioritizing policies, pedagogy, structures, and culture, Fraser has taken steps towards making their vision for CBE a reality—empowering students to discover their passions and become lifelong learners.

Insights into the Effectiveness of Student-Centered Learning in K-12 Education

This report examines the impact of student-centered learning (SCL) on K-12 student achievement. Despite the high regard for SCL, there is a lack of research on its effect. A literature review reveals limited studies on student achievement, showing modest gains. Factors like demographics and SCL elements are explored, emphasizing the need for further research, particularly with high-quality experimental designs.

What Do We Mean When We Say Student-Centered Learning?

Student-centered learning, personalized learning, and competency-based education—terms widely recognized in the field of K-12 education. While we know they are related, do they mean the same thing? This report explores how each term is defined as well as what they look like in practice to gain a deeper understanding of what we really mean when we say student-centered learning.

Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2021-22

Based on pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to MDE or CEPI, this report highlights 2021-22 enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 pupils. Detailed findings are presented in sections on schools, courses, and students, as well as over 80 data tables.

Adult Perspectives of Online Learning: 2022 Michigan Virtual Survey Results

Respondent Type Number of Respondents Percentage Adult 810 61.1% College student 160 12.1% Parent 356 26.8% Total 1,326 100% Key Findings‌ Public opinions about online learning have remained fairly consistent among Michigan adults and college students since PSC began measuring these opinions. Although survey respondents reported the importance of access to and

Understanding Inequity in Michigan K-12 Online Education

Since legislation passed in the late 2000s requiring online experiences for Michigan K-12 students and establishing online charter schools, enrollment in online courses in Michigan has steadily increased. Depending on their race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, and special education status, students had markedly different outcomes in their online courses. This report is intended to understand K-12 online education from an equity perspective, and more thoroughly, to understand if all Michigan K-12 students are receiving equitable education online.

Educators’ Perceptions of Online SEL Professional Learning Courses

This study assesses educators’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the social-emotional learning (SEL) professional development courses they’ve completed online. Through a survey of 702 educators who completed at least one SEL professional learning course with Michigan Virtual in 2021, this report provides insights into what works well for educators in learning about SEL through online formats, what educators think about their own SEL competencies after completing online SEL training, and educators’ recommendations on how to adapt online SEL professional learning courses to make them more relevant and applicable to their work.

Programs, Pathways, and Proficiency Scales Anchor Student-Centered Learning at Berrien Springs Public Schools

Driven by their commitment to what they call “The Shamrock Way,” Berrien Springs Public Schools (BSPS) offers personalized learning opportunities where students can learn and grow in a caring environment. They are also committed to personalizing professional development for teachers so that they can experience personalized learning for themselves. This case study explores how through a variety of programs, pathways, and virtual learning options as well as a willingness to meet students where they are and a dedicated effort to encourage students to take ownership of their learning and develop agency, BSPS is making learning student-centered.

Recruitment and Retention of Online Teachers

Demand for online education has been on the rise for years and will only continue to increase, but will there be enough professionals willing to teach online given the broader declines in teacher recruitment and retention? What keeps online teachers from staying in their jobs? What keeps people from becoming online teachers in the first place? And what has been done and can be done to address these concerns? This study examines the recruitment and retention of online teachers with an eye toward effective practices in averting a shortage of online teachers.

Through Community and Culture, Oxford Community Schools Makes Learning Student-Centered

Driven by a culture of sustained improvement, support from the community, and a shared vision for student success (their Portrait of a Graduate), Oxford Community Schools is making learning student-centered. This case study details how through their K-12 International Baccalaureate program, well-developed career and technical education program, early college program that empowers students to take ownership of their education, and virtual academy that is customized to meet the needs of individual students, Oxford meets students at their point of need.

Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report, 2020-21

Based on pupil completion and performance data reported by public schools to MDE or CEPI, this report highlights 2020-21 enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 pupils. Detailed findings are presented in sections on schools, courses, and students, as well as over 80 data tables.

Empowering Teachers and Capturing Kids’ Hearts®: The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium, and Keweenaw’s Journey Toward Student-Centered Learning

This case study explores the motivations behind The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium, and Keweenaw’s shift towards making learning more student-centered. They are breaking the mold of traditional grade levels, spurring creativity and cross-curricular connections with makerspaces, personalizing learning with a multitude of programs and pathways, taking a “student first” approach, and meeting the diverse needs of students and their families. As a school district, they have made some intentional decisions, stepped outside of their comfort zone, harnessed their professional learning, and ultimately capitalized upon the constant state of change in education resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, realizing that they can’t afford to—and don’t want to—return to “normal.”

A Vision of Digital Learning in Michigan K-12 Schools

Schools and districts throughout Michigan continue to adopt educational technologies for the purposes of increasing student engagement and performance. This MVLRI research study explores how Michigan schools and districts are leveraging digital resources to meet the academic needs of students and their families both now and beyond pandemic learning. Specifically, the study focused on the instructional strategies schools are moving toward, what digital resources are being used, and the myriad factors that are accelerating or hindering the use of digital resources.

Competency-Based Education: A Path Towards Equitable Learning for Michigan Students

As school leaders across the nation are seeking to provide equitable learning opportunities for the students they serve, many are looking to design and implement competency-based learning models in their schools. While the process of shifting from a traditional education model to one that is competency-based can be challenging, school leaders are motivated by the model’s promise of equity and greater relevance for students and an increase in engagement and performance for all students.

Online Program Toolkit

The purpose of this document is to help you create and/or maintain a quality online learning program that fits the needs of your students, no matter where you are on this journey. Much of what is covered in this toolkit reflects best practices found in the National Online Standards (NSQ), which were developed by experts from across the country.

We have designed this toolkit with the intention of being brief, and to provide questions and actionable steps to help you support your students in online learning.

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