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Call to Legislatively Enact eLearning for All of Arizona’s

Secondary Le vel (9-12) Students and Schools: Findings of


Stude nt Achieveme nt Research in C omparing eLearning to
Traditional, Face to Face Lea rning E nvironments

By

Jeffery F. Billings

Director of Technology (Paradise Valley Unified School District), and former Information
Technology Policy Advisor (Arizona Department of Education)

and

Timothy Baumgartner

Engineering Undergraduate (University of Arizona), and former High School Graduate


(North Canyon High School, Paradise Valley Unified School District)

January, 2007
Table of Contents

Secti on Descripti on Page No.

1.0 Int r od ucti o n a nd E xec utiv e S um ma ry 1

2.0 Ge ne ra l Ty pe s o f e Le ar ni ng 2
2.1 Knowledge Database 2
2.2 Online Support 2
2.3 Asynchronous Learning 2
2.4 Synchronous Learning 2

3.0 Ge ne ra l Adv a nta ge s a nd D is adv a nta ges o f


eLea r ni ng 3
3.1 Advantages of eLearning 3
3.2 Disadvantages of eLearning 4

4.0 eLea r ni ng T echnol o gi es 4


4.1 Course Management System 4
4.2 Wiki 5
4.3 Discussion boards/forums 5
4.4 Video and voice conferencing 6
4.5 Independent web sites 6

5.0 eLea r ni ng’s E ffect o n St ude nt Pa rtic ip ati on,


Attai nme nt, R ete nti o n, a nd Pr ogre s si o n 6
5.1 Definitions 6
5.2 Discussion 7

6.0 Effic acy of e Le ar ni ng V er s us E ffic acy o f


Tra diti o na l Le ar ni ng 8
6.1 Broad Scope 8
6.2 Efficacy of Peer Feedback 10
6.3 Efficacy of eLearning for Different Learning
Styles 12

7.0 Re fe re nc e s 12
1.0 Introducti on and Executive Sum mary

Electronic technology has ushered in a revolution of telecommunication methods over


the last two decades that has systemically changed lives in today's society. Nowhere
is this more evident than in the increasing tendency of youth below the age of twenty-
five years to collaborate and share information with others through the internet. Post-
secondary institutions have responded to this explosion in internet use by adapting
their instructional delivery methods to include both online courses and by
supplementing traditional “face to face” (f2f) courses with online communication and
curricular resources. Locally, Arizona State University currently offers over five-
hundred online courses and supplements over 5,000 traditional f2f courses with online
resources and virtual environments/shells (ASU, January 2007).

Online learning, or distance education, collectively referred to herein as “eLearning”, is


not only quickly gaining in post-secondary institutions but is also becoming a viable
choice of students and their guardians for high school (secondary) education. In
Arizona, eLearning in secondary education has started, but is not widespread, due in
part, to state legislative restrictions discussed later. Arizona entities providing
eLearning, while few in number, are diverse, ranging from the small Carpe Diem
Academy in Yuma (http://www.cdayuma.com), to the multi-campus Pinnacle Education
Inc. (Arizona Republic, November, 2005), to complete high school course offerings at
Mesa Unified School District (http://www.mdlp.org/), now offering sixty-nine high
school courses. This increase in eLearning at the secondary level is also occurring
across the nation as evidenced by one of the fastest growing high schools in the
country, Florida Virtual High School (http://www.flvs.net), enrolling over 31,000
students in 2005-2006. The Michigan state legislature now requires that every high
school graduate complete at least one course in eLearning (Watson and Ryan, October
2006). Post-secondary institutions such as Stanford University are now competing for
the high school market (http://epgy.stanford.edu), and entities such as the National
University Virtual High School (http://www.nuvhs.org) compete across the country.
Clearly the demand for online high school education is present, locally, on a state level,
and nationally. All of public education must, and must be allowed to, compete.

In 1998, the Arizona legislature passed a hybrid test model allowing only certain school
districts and charter schools (HB 2093, revised 2003) to receive full state enrollment
funding for eLearning of students. Known as TAPBI (Technology Assisted Project Based
Instruction Program), the legislative act has been modified over the years to include a
few other districts and charters. Currently, only seven school districts and seven charter
schools have the ability to receive full state funding for student enrollment in eLearning
courses (http://www.ade.state.az.us/stateboard/tapbi.asp). It is the intent of this
paper to help mobilize Arizona leaders, educators and consumers to consider full
adoption of the intent of TAPBI and move Arizona online education to the forefront of
secondary education in this country. In so doing, current legislative restraints would be
removed, allowing competitive online education and full enrollment funding to be enjoyed
by all, instead of currently only by a few. While the consumer demand and the 21st
century need to provide online secondary education is clear, this paper will attempt only
to address current research on the efficacy of student achievement in eLearning
compared to traditional face to face education.
Given that the field of instructional technology itself is new, movement and funding of
statistically-valid research on eLearning has lagged. Additionally, more research findings
are evident for post-secondary than for secondary, due in large part to the pool of
available research dollars and the earlier adoption of eLearning by post-secondary
institutions. However, the research that is available suggests that eLearning and
“blended” learning (the combination of online learning with traditional learning) has
yielded statistics concluding that eLearning is as good as, or better, than pure traditional
learning in terms of student achievement. Contradictions do abound on this research
topic, but none of the findings identified through this paper concluded that eLearning
(including blended learning) has a negative impact on student achievement. In fact, in
testing their hypothesis, many prominent education researchers are beginning to
consider that perhaps the paradigm has already shifted and face to face delivery should
be compared to the benchmark successes of eLearning on student achievement, rather
than the other way around.

2.0 Gene ral Types of eLearning

The following four types of eLearning are very general and are by no means mutually
exclusive. eLearning solutions often utilize some or all of the following types.

2.1 K no wle d ge D ata bas e

This is the most basic type of eLearning. Knowledge databases are simply a collection
of information that students can access. The interaction of the knowledge database
is generally limited to selecting a link on an alphabetized list or searching through the
database's records (Obringer). Online search engines are an example of a knowledge
database, as the user simply searches through the information of stored Web sites on
the search engine's servers.

2.2 O nli ne S up po rt

Online support is generally more interactive than the knowledge database and comes in
the form of “forums, chat rooms, online bulletin boards, e-mail, or live instant-messaging
support” (Obringer). Often times, questions can be answered more promptly and more
specifically through online support than through the use of a knowledge database.

2.3 As y nc hr o no us Le a rning

eLearning is typically associated with asynchronous learning. In this type of learning,


interaction does not happen in real time and students can learn at their own pace.
Examples of asynchronous learning include: discussion boards/forums, email, media on
a Web page, etc.

2.4 Sy nc hr o nous Lea r ni ng

Unlike asynchronous learning, synchronous learning utilizes real-time instructor/student


or student/student interactions. Synchronous learning can include streaming video
communication, instant messaging, VOIP/internet telephony, and chat rooms. Students'
questions can be answered directly in real time, just like what would be possible in a
physical classroom setting. For instance, if a student has a question about a math
problem, the instructor can simply write the problem on a board while being viewed by
the student via a Web cam.

3.0 Gene ral Advantages and Disadvantages of eLearning

3.1 Adv a nta ge s o f e Le ar ni ng


• Reinforces self-regulated learning (such as time management, study environment
management, etc).
• Everything from text readings and quizzes to interactive applets and multimedia
can be placed online for the student to access.
• Texts/graphics can be placed online for students to access, cutting down on
paper usage. For example, an instructor could place their course syllabus online
allowing students to print, if desired.
• Student collaboration and peer help is easier. For instance, students could post
drafts of an essay to a discussion board for other students from their course to
review and critique. Unlike scheduling a face-to-face meeting, the asynchronous
online posting method does not force students to adjust their schedules to be in
the same place at the same time.
• Self-paced learning. Students can digest the online information at their own
pace.
• Content that a student already has a strong grasp over can be skipped to allow
them to focus on content that may be newer. This applies more to courses that
make strong use of eLearning and online content.
• eLearning resources can be accessed any time.
• eLearning resources can be accessed anywhere with a computer and internet
connection.
• Different learning styles can be catered to with a variety of text, graphics,
interactive applets, and other multimedia.
• Blended eLearning courses increase the rate of students passing the course
because different delivery methods can be used to cater to different learning
styles.
• Encourages more student/instructor contact, depending on the size of classes.
This is more evident in large classes than in small classes.
• eLearning can offer resources that may never be available in the traditional
classroom, such as self-paced learning. This is especially true as eLearning
evolves and improves.
• Students will become more skilled with using technology and the internet.
• Instructors can more easily track the progress of their class and individual
students and tailor the class to their needs. For instance, if an instructor uses an
online multiple-choice/fill-in-the-blank quiz for homework or testing, he/she can
easily identify the most commonly missed questions so that he/she can correct
the students' misunderstanding of the concepts.
3.2 Di sa dva nta ge s of e Le a rning
• The cost to set up the system and the cost of training staff on how to use the
system.
• Sufficient hardware and software must be available and set up properly. For
instance, if a student is expected to regularly use an eLearning feature of a
course, a sufficiently capable computer (in terms of hardware, software, internet
connection, etc.) must be available.
• Students not effective in self-regulation (such as managing time) or not
motivated enough are more likely to do poorly in an eLearning course or drop out
of the course completely.
• Time investment for students can be greater than a pure face-to-face
environment as there are increased distractions for them to deal with outside of
the classroom.
• High quality eLearning content can require a lot of work to implement.
• Technology experience is required for students; a student struggling with
technology will do worse in a course employing eLearning than in a completely
face-to-face course. However, as a positive effect, the use of eLearning will give
students more experience and familiarity with technology.
• Pure distance learning results in social isolation from other students, forcing
students to use non-standard means of seeking help, such as using email,
discussion boards, instant messaging, etc. However, as students are becoming
more and more savvy with technology, such methods of communication are
becoming more familiar to them, lessening this disadvantage.

4.0 eLea rning Technologies

4.1 Co urs e Ma na gem e nt Sy ste m ( CM S)

Course Management Systems are systems that are used to facilitate eLearning, and are
often Web-based. Other names for Course Management Systems include Learning
Management System (LMS), Learning Content Management System (LCMS), Virtual
Learning Environment (VLE), Managed Learning Environment (MLE), Learning Support
System (LSS), and Learning Platform (LP).

CMSs provide the eLearning environment for students and the eLearning
administration services for instructors. Usually, CMSs provide ways of tracking the
progress of individual students to be monitored by instructors and/or the individual
students themselves. CMSs are generally made up of several components, often
including templates for content (such as text, multimedia, or documents), discussion
boards, a way for students to post files to their instructors, quizzes or exercises, and
chat. Instructors fill in the provided templates with the desired info and then post
them to the CMS for the students to utilize.

CMSs are the cornerstone to complete distance learning courses, where there are no
face-to-face meetings. However, it is also common for CMSs to be in a supporting role
to the main face-to-face meeting portion of the course. In this way the learning
environment becomes a blended environment, mixing both face-to-face and distance
learning techniques.

A few Course Management Systems include:


 Blackboard
 Desire2Learn (utilized by the University of Arizona)
 Scholar360
 WebCT
 Moodle (Open Source)
 Edumate
 ANGEL Learning
 LON-CAPA (Open Source)
 Sakai Project (Open Source and utilized by Arizona State University)
 ATutor (Open Source)
 Dokeos (Open Source)
 ILIAS (Open Source)

4.2 Wi ki ( oft en i nte grat ed i nto C MS s)

Wiki’s are systems (often Web sites) that allow for users to contribute their knowledge
to add to the collective knowledge already in a wiki. Generally, anyone can create, view,
edit, or delete wiki pages, however most wiki systems have access control features so
that only certain actions from certain people can be permitted.

Such a technology is useful in many aspects of secondary-level education. For


example, students can utilize a wiki to pool collective data for class projects. In this
manner, every group member would have access to the collective group knowledge at
any time and added information can be viewed by everyone in the group instantly.
Page access, a feature found in many wiki systems, can restrict students from viewing
the wiki pages of other groups.

As well as being standalone systems, wikis can also be found built into some
CMSs, such as Moodle.

A few standalone wiki software systems include:


 MediaWiki (free, Open Source, full-featured, used by Wikimedia projects such as
Wikipedia)
 Twiki (Open Source)
 PmWiki (Open Source)
 UseModWiki (Open Source)
 PhpWiki (Open Source)

4.3 Di sc us si o n boa rd s /fo r ums (o ft en i nte gr ated i nt o CM Ss)

Discussion boards, also known as forums, allow for the posting of user generated
content, including an original post and replies to it. Users can generally embed media
into their posts, but this can often be restricted by administrators. Unlike wikis, users
can often only (if at all) edit their own generated content and are barred from editing
the content of others, although administrators can moderate the board's content.
Boards can be split up into multiple sections and subsections and user access to these
sections and their permissions can usually be controlled.

Discussion boards can be used by students to share knowledge, get help, etc.

A few standalone discussion board systems include:


 phpBB (Open Source)
 Invision Power Board
 vBulletin

4.4 Vi de o and v oi ce co nfe re nc ing

Used for synchronous learning, video and voice conferencing can connect students to
instructors in real-time. This can be useful in situations where a student does not
understand a concept and the instructor cannot get the point across using other
internet technologies. For instance, an instructor could write out a math problem on a
board as the student watches from a Web cam. If the instructor is going too fast or if
the student does not understand what the instructor did, the student can interrupt the
instructor in real-time and ask a question, just as he/she could in a traditional classroom.

Video and voice conferencing can also be used to connect students to others that can
enhance their learning but are too far away or unable to make it into the classroom. For
instance, students could use video and/or voice conferencing to make contact with a
submersible at the bottom of the ocean and ask the on-board scientists questions
relating to their studies.

4.5 Inde pe nde nt we b site s

Independent Web sites should not be ignored as they have a great potential to aid in
student learning. Classes studying a certain topic can utilize Web sites both in and out
of the classroom to provide multimedia and interactive experiences. For instance, the
Smithsonian Education (http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/) has a multitude of
such content and can help students become more engaged in their studies.

5.0 eLea rning's Effect on Student Participati on,


Attainment, Re tenti on, and Progres sion

5.1 De fi niti o ns
The following terms used in the discussion are used as they are defined by the article
“Impact of e-learning on learner participation, attainment, retention, and progression in
Further Education: report of a scoping study”.

Pa rtic ip ati on - the percentage of the group of learners that take part in
education.
Attai nme nt- the percentage of students that successfully complete (and
pass) a course.
Ret ent ion - the percentage of students that complete a course,
irrespective of the students' final grades or passing status.
Progre ssion - the percentage of students that go on to take a higher
level course in the same subject area.

5.2 Di sc us si o n

Based on the UK study entitled “Impact of e-learning on learner participation,


attainment, retention, and progression in Further Education: report of a scoping
study” and multiple independent sources collaborating the study's findings,
eLearning is thought to have a positive effect on student participation, attainment,
retention (although not for secondary-level environments, as will be discussed
later), and progression. Students tend to have more engaged and exciting
experiences with eLearning over traditional teaching methods because eLearning
environments have the potential to be much more interactive than the physical
classroom with multimedia and interactive programs. Students also find it easier to
participate and ask questions in an eLearning environment because they do not fear
embarrassment in front of their peers. Student motivation can also be increased by
providing a more tailored learning environment through the use of new ways to
transfer information (multimedia, interactive programs, etc.), self-paced learning,
and more individualized help.

However, concrete numbers on eLearning's effect on the above student attributes are
impossible to come by using currently available methods. This is because of the
multitude of factors contributing to a student's behavior and achievements in classes
and because of the newness of eLearning. The study “The Effects of Distance Education
on K-12 Student Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis”, sponsored by the North Central Regional
Educational Laboratory (NCREL), puts completely distance based education using both
synchronous and asynchronous means on par with traditional academic learning as
measured mainly by state and federal tests. Additionally, a study from the University of
Zagreb Medical School in Zagreb, Croatia titled “Blending problem-based learning with
Web technology positively impacts student learning outcomes in acid-base physiology”
compared results of a final examination from distance learning (eLearning) students to
students partaking in a traditional classroom-based, face-to-face course. The study
found that eLearning students “scored significantly better on the final acid-base
physiology examination [than their traditionally taught peers] and expressed a positive
attitude to the new learning environment in the satisfaction survey” (Taradi, 2004).

The general consensus, such as that found in the aforementioned UK study, is that
eLearning offers positive effects for students. The extent of these effects on students,
like in traditional classrooms, is at least partly dependent upon the instructor
administering the eLearning portion of a course. Because of this, instructors utilizing
eLearning solutions should be trained on how to properly utilize the technology. Without
training, instructors could simply view eLearning as a new way to post text clippings that
would normally be handed out in class while ignoring the multimedia and interactive
experiences possible with the technology.
However, many of the studies done on eLearning focus on college and university level
students rather than primary and secondary-level students. These higher-level students
are generally more likely to be motivated about their schooling and are often more able
to self-regulate than K12 students. Because of this, pure distance learning classes at
this level have a higher retainment rate than that of K12 pure distance courses. To
counteract the often negative effect of pure eLearning on retainment in lower-level
classes (such as high school classes), blended learning can be used in place of a
completely distance learning oriented course. With blended learning, courses can offer
both the benefits of eLearning (such as self-paced learning and interactivity) with the
benefits of a traditional classroom that are helpful to secondary-level students (such as
a more structured environment). The paper “A hybrid course model: one solution to
the high online drop-out rate” by Thomas E. Oblender documents the transition of the
Manheim Township Virtual High School (MTVHS) from a completely virtual school to a
blended high school, offering both eLearning and face-to-face interaction. Before the
switch to a blended learning environment, the courses at MTVHS recorded a 75%
retention rate of students. After the switch to a blended environment, MTVHS courses
recorded a 99% retention rate of students. Blended courses at the school were a
minimum of 65% distance learning.

While eLearning's effect on college/university-level student participation, attainment,


retention, and progression is positive, the apparent key to success in these areas for
secondary-level students is the use of a combination of both traditional, face-to-face
learning and eLearning. Unlike higher-level students, secondary-level students require
the added structure of at least some face-to-face learning. Through the blended use of
traditional and distance learning, the positives of both techniques can be utilized,
enhancing secondary-level student participation, attainment, retention, and progression
in their courses.

6.0 Efficacy of eLearning Versus Efficacy of Traditi onal


Learning

6.1 B ro ad S co pe (G e ne ral Infor mat io n)

Currently, the efficacy of pure eLearning solutions is about the same as a pure traditional
learning solutions. A paper sponsored by Cisco Systems and Metiri Group entitled
“Technology in Schools: What the Research Says” found that students from pure
eLearning courses slightly outperformed their peers taking the same course by
traditional means. However, the paper also reported that pure eLearning classes also
have a slightly lower retention rate than traditional courses. Students that need the
greater structure provided by traditional classrooms have a harder time dealing with the
flexibility of an eLearning course, although this same flexibility offered by online courses
can also be a positive consequence for sufficiently motivated students able to cope with
the decreased structure.

Additionally, the study “Analysis of the Effectiveness of Online Learning in a Graduate


Engineering Math Course” examines the efficacy of a math course taught in three styles:
traditional, eLearning, and blended. The study found that there was little measurable
difference between the styles of learning but that this could be attributed to “the fact
that each group was taking the class using the mode of delivery with which they are
most accustomed to taking a class” (Karr, 2003). Nonetheless, each style of learning
was found to have its strengths. First, students enrolled in the traditional class were
found to have performed slightly better on in-class examinations, possibly because of in-
class hints given by the instructor as to the content of the examinations. Second,
students taking the eLearning course were found to have performed slightly better in
the analytical and problem-solving portions of the course, possibly attributable to the
fact that students had to learn and analyze the material on their own, giving them a
deeper understanding of the material. Third, students enrolled in the blended course
performed the best of the three groups because students had access to their preferred
mode of delivery: “students who desired the hands-on approach of the traditional mode
had it and students who desired the interactive learning experience of the online mode
of delivery could utilize it” (Karr, 2003). The drawback of the blended course was that
it required more time and effort from the instructor as the instructor had to come up
with material for both traditional and online mediums.

The study “Comparing the Effectiveness of a Supplemental Online Tutorial to Traditional


Instruction with Nutritional Science Students” also indicates that the efficacy of blended
learning is higher than the efficacy of pure traditional learning. The study recorded the
50 question pre-test and post-test scores of both students attending a lecture only and
of students participating in an online tutorial to supplement the lecture. Students
utilizing the online tutorial supplement showed a greater margin of improvement
between their pre-test and post-test scores (on average, improving by 10.7 correct
answers) compared with the improvements of students attending lecture only (on
average, improving by 8.6 correct answers). Also, students using the tutorial
supplement “indicated a favorable attitude toward computer supplemented instruction”
(Zubas, 2006).

The study "Learning Hands-on Skills in an Online Environment: The Effectiveness of


Streaming Demonstration Animation” finds the efficacy of online learning higher than
that of traditional classroom learning. The course studied focused on multimedia
authoring and compared the results of students in a purely online course to the results
of students taking the same course in a traditional classroom setting. The students in
the purely online class received more passing grades on projects (100% of participants)
than the students enrolled in the traditional class (80% of participants received passing
grades). The students in the purely eLearning course also reported a higher satisfaction
with the quality of their projects than their traditionally taught counterparts. The
eLearning course displayed a slightly higher project completion rate (88%) than the
traditional course (87.5%) and both had the same number of student withdrawals from
the respective courses.

Concerning eLearning students' motivation and satisfaction with online courses, the
study “Learner-Centered E-Learning: An Exploration of Learner-Centered Practices in
Online and Traditional Instruction in Higher Education” compares the results of a course
taught both online and traditionally and finds in both cases, “The degree to which the
students perceived the courses as learner-centered revealed a positive relationship
between the levels of learner-centered practices and the students’ motivation and
satisfaction with the courses” (Ware, 2006). Additionally, “The results showed that
there was no significant difference in the students’ perceptions of learner-centered
practices between the online and the traditional courses” (Ware, 2006). Students'
motivation and satisfaction can be the same for courses taught in both the traditional
and eLearning manner. The motivation of a student can directly affect his/her
performance in a course.

An exhaustive statistical study on the differences in academic achievement between


eLearning and f2f instruction was conducted by Shachar and Neumann in October 2003,
entitled, “Differences Between Traditional and Distance Education Academic
Performances: A meta-analytic approach”. Shachar and Neumann reviewed over 1,600
research studies, narrowing their analysis to 86 studies that had both a control group
and no methodological flaws. Their results showed a strong positive trend that not only
is eLearning an effective instructional delivery, but also that eLearning students actually
outperformed their f2f counterparts in objective academic achievement measures. So
strong were the findings of Shachar and Neumann that they pondered not whether
eLearning is suitable for all students, but whether traditional f2f learning is suitable for
all students, and that possibly a shift in the way education is pedagogically
conceptualized has begun.

6.2 E ffic acy o f Pee r Fe ed bac k

Peer feedback is not always strongly associated with eLearning although it is a highly
valuable component of traditional learning. However, like in a traditional setting, peer
feedback in an online setting also provides benefits for students, both those
receiving and giving the feedback.

The study “Efficacy of Peer Feedback in Online Learning Environments” looks at the
efficacy of peer feedback used in place of instructor feedback and the overall effect of
peer feedback on the students' learning. The findings show that peer feedback can be
just as effective as the instructor feedback that it replaced, although students would
have preferred instructor feedback in addition to the peer feedback. The findings also
show that the learning and understanding of students over their subject matter
increased by both giving and receiving peer feedback.

Peer interactions can also be successfully simulated in an eLearning environment to


mimic the effects of those in traditional learning environments. The paper
“Empathetic Virtual Peers Enhanced Learner Interest and Self-Efficacy” examines the
use of virtual peers in an online environment and finds that online interactions with
virtual peers seem to “be consistent with human relationships in traditional
classrooms” (Kim, 2005).

Just as in traditional classrooms, the efficacy of eLearning solutions can be increased


by peer interactions. This is because, in the same way as traditional classroom peer
interactions, online peer interactions can increase the learning and understanding of
students.
6.3 E ffic acy o f e Le ar ni ng fo r Di ffer e nt Le ar ni ng T yp es

The efficacy of eLearning is fairly consistent for students with different learning and
personality types. The study “Efficacy of Present e-learning Content to Student
Personality Types” looks at the results of test scores for eLearning students of different
personality types and found there to be “no significant difference in the e-learning
between personality-types” (Younis, 2004). Multiple forms of media (text, pictures,
video, etc.) and interactivity can allow eLearning solutions to cater towards multiple
personality types.

7.0 References

Arizona Department of Education, January 2007, Technology Assisted Project Based


Instruction Program, <http://www.ade.state.az.us/stateboard/tapbi.asp>.

Arizona House Bill 2093, revised 2003


(http://www.azleg.state.az.us/legtext/46leg/1r/bills/hb2093c.pdf)

Arizona Republic, November 14, 2005, “Tips for finding a virtual school”.

Arizona State University, January 2007, Personal Communication Instructional


Technology Department.

Carpe Diem e-Learning Community, January 2007, <http://www.cdayuma.com>.

Cavanaugh, Cathy, Kathy Jo Gillan, Jeff Kromrey, Melinda Hess, and Robert Blomeyer,
2004. “The Effects of Distance Education on K-12 Student Outcomes: A Meta-
Analysis”. Available at: <http://www.ncrel.org/tech/distance/k12distance.pdf>.

Comprehensive E-learning Tutorial. Available at:


<http://derekstockley.com.au/eindex2aa.html>.

Dillenbourg, Pierre, 2000. “Virtual Learning Environments”.

eLearners.com . Available at: <http://www.elearners.com/>.

Ertmer, Peggy A., Jennifer C. Richardson, Brian Belland, Denise Camin, Patrick Connolly,
Glen Coulthard, Kimfong Lei, and Christopher Mong, 2006. “Efficacy of Peer
Feedback in Online Learning Environments”. Available at:
<http://www.edci.purdue.edu/ertmer/docs/AERA06_fdbk.pdf>.

Fish, Shlomi. “Which Open SourceWiki Works For You?”. O'Reilly ONLamp.com. Available
at: <http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2004/11/04/which_wiki.html>.

Florida Virtual High School, (http://www.flvs.net/), January 2007.


Harris, Rachel , John Hall, and Alison Muirhead, 2004. “Impact of e-learning on learner
participation, attainment, retention, and progression in Further Education: report
of a scoping study”. Available at:
<http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RW15.pdf>.

Karr, Charles L., Barry Weck, Dennis W. Sunal, and Timothy M. Cook, 2003.
“Analysis of the Effectiveness of Online Learning in a Graduate Engineering Math
Course”. Available at: <http://ncolr.org/jiol/issues/PDF/1.3.3.pdf>.

Kim, Yanghee, 2005. “Empathetic Virtual Peers Enhanced Learner Interest and Self-
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