Researchers To Study Student Achievement at Virtual Schools
Researchers from University of
Michigan, Stanford and University of California, Davis have have been awarded a $1.6 million grant to conduct a three-year study of virtual schooling.
The researchers will examine data for both the Florida Virtual School — an online
public school serving K-12 students in Florida — and Miami Dade County Public Schools from
the 2003-04 through the 2013-14 school years, as well as data from surveys of
teachers and students. The researchers will use the data to identify "how
virtual schooling options affect students' course progression, academic
achievement and teacher effectiveness," according to information from the
University of Michigan.
"There are enormous gaps in the research literature on online schools," said
Brian Jacob, professor of economics and education at the University of
Michigan, in a prepared statement. "Policymakers have little evidence of
whether online courses boost achievement, which types of students flourish and
the conditions that promote positive student outcomes."
The results of the study are intended to help policymakers and educators
understand how virtual schooling affects student achievement, which students
are most likely to benefit from this method of education and how virtual
schooling can be improved.
The grant was provided by the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].