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Regional Educational Laboratory Program


Online Course Use in Iowa and Wisconsin Public High Schools: The Results of Two Statewide Surveys

Region:
Midwest
Description:

What's Happening: The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance was to develop and administer a survey to describe online course use in Iowa and Wisconsin brick-and-mortar public high schools during the 2012–13 school year. The Iowa Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administered the survey to representative random samples of 168 public high schools in each state at the start of the 2013–14 school year. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 117 schools in Iowa and 96 schools in Wisconsin to produce statewide estimates of online course use. Results indicate that the primary uses of online courses in both states were to provide students with opportunities for credit recovery and opportunities to complete core requirements for courses covering the primary academic subjects. Schools cited concerns about the educational experiences of students taking online courses, including the lack of teacher training in Iowa and online course quality in Wisconsin. Further research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term academic outcomes for students enrolled in online courses.

Stated Briefly: This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The purpose of the study conducted by REL Midwest in partnership with the Midwest Virtual Education Research Alliance was to develop and administer a survey to describe online course use in Iowa and Wisconsin brick-and-mortar public high schools during the 2012–13 school year. The Iowa Department of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction administered the survey to representative random samples of 168 public high schools in each state at the start of the 2013–14 school year. Researchers analyzed survey data collected from 117 schools in Iowa and 96 schools in Wisconsin to produce statewide estimates of online course use. Results indicate that the primary uses of online courses in both states were to provide students with opportunities for credit recovery and opportunities to complete core requirements for courses covering the primary academic subjects. Schools cited concerns about the educational experiences of students taking online courses, including the lack of teacher training in Iowa and online course quality in Wisconsin. Further research is needed to examine the short-term and long-term academic outcomes for students enrolled in online courses.

Publication Type:
What's Happening
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
January 2015