Research on K-12 blended learning is lagging behind its exponential growth in several areas (Barbour, Siko, Gross, & Waddell, 2013). As blended learning grows in primary and secondary education, the need for research with respect to the methods and strategies needs to increase to inform best practices for professional development and pre-service teacher education programs, as Kennedy and Archambault (2012) reported that less that 2 percent of teacher preparation programs address alternative settings in their curriculum. In addition to strategies, are students at this age prepared to handle the autonomy and freedom associated with non-traditional forms of learning? How can we assess this readiness before students commence with the coursework, since both teachers and counselors contribute more to the students’ choice of coursework at the K-12 level than at the post-secondary level?
The Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) is a validated instrument used to predict the likelihood that a student will pass or fail an online course (Roblyer & Marshall, 2003). Several studies using the ESPRI have shown that the instrument can predict student performance with an accuracy rate of approximately 90% in online courses (Roblyer, Davis, Mills, Marshall, & Pape, 2008; Roblyer & Marshall, 2003). Further, Siko (in press) found similar prediction rates in a blended high school science course. However, the authors in all of these studies have warned that the instrument should not be used as a selection tool for students who wish to take online or blended courses; rather, the authors suggested that the ESPRI should be used to identify areas of weakness in order to provide support to students in order to improve their chance of success in online and blended courses. Unfortunately, support tools for students based on responses to the ESPRI have yet to be developed. This is where I am beginning to focus my research efforts.
Barbour, M.K., Siko, J., Gross, E., & Waddell, K. (2013). Virtually unprepared: Examining the preparation of K-12 online teachers. In R. Hartshorne, T. Heafner & T. Petty (Eds.), Teacher education programs and online learning tools: Innovations in teacher preparation (pp. 60-81). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Kennedy, K., & Archambault, L. (2012). Offering preservice teachers field experiences in K-12 online learning: A national survey of teacher education programs. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(3), 185-200.
Roblyer, M.D., Davis, L., Mills, S.C., Marshall, J., & Pape, L. (2008). Toward practical procedures for predicting and promoting success in virtual school students. The American Journal of Distance Education, 22(2), 90-109.
Roblyer, M.D., & Marshall, J.C. (2003). Predicting success of virtual high school students: Preliminary results from an educational success prediction instrument. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 35(2), 241-255.
Research Agenda >