Exploring Research Opportunities at Florida Virtual Schools - FERA


Exploring Research Opportunities at Florida Virtual Schools - FERA

Virtual Inquiries:

Exploring Research Opportunities at

Florida Virtual School

Christine Conidis, Instructional Program Manager

Terri Pope-Hellmund, Senior Manager, Marketing

Beth Miller, Senior Manager, Professional Learning

Research at FLVS

FLVS is committed to seeking out and providing

avenues for research that further the body of

knowledge and understanding of online learning.

• We currently focus on:

– White papers

– Efficacy studies

– General studies on virtual learning

Research studies by universities and think tanks

– Doctoral dissertations on a variety of topics

Research Samples

Previous research that focuses on FLVS or online

learning in general can be found at:



White Papers

Upcoming White Papers:

– Collaboration in the Online Learning


– Managing Teachers You Can't See

– Blended Learning: How It Works in the Virtual


– Serving Gifted Students With Virtual

Education in the Elementary School

– Implementing STEM

– Teaching Science Online

Game-based Learning


What kinds of research are we interested in

• Any of the research areas outlined in the annual

Keeping Pace study:

• http://tinyurl.com/KeepingPaceFLVS

• Curriculum

– The development of information literacy in the online


– Curriculum effectiveness strategies, all areas

What kinds of research are we interested in

• Professional Development

– Teacher development across the curriculum. What

have FLVS teachers gained from our training, and

how do we evaluate this

– Teacher Training and real time technical support

– What teaching techniques would work well with

middle school students

– Will Exceptional Student Education (ESE) techniques

work online with some types of students

What kinds of research are we interested in

• Interaction in the Online Course

– Studies that test "edge of technology" multimedia, such

as using Flash, Podcasts, Gaming, Blogs, Wikis, etc...

– Interactions within the course, whether student to

student or teacher to student

– Diagnostic assessments that direct or re-direct

students based on their understanding of content,

and/or initial systems that screen the student's ability to

achieve online, with follow-up tutorials for areas of


– Support and communication systems that keep student

persistence rates high

What kinds of research are we interested in

• Student Success

– Studies that look at motivation and varying ways of

assessing student achievement via performance

Research that shows online learning connections to

End-of-Course, FCAT, college success and success

in the home school environment

– Action research in the area of student assessments

and evaluation

– Post-FLVS course graduation, college participation

and careers

What kinds of research are we interested in

• Other

– Studies that overlap with the Keeping Pace Study.

– Digital Divide studies to ascertain how we are

reaching students in areas of poverty or rural pockets

– Effectiveness of blended learning models

– Effectiveness of instruction for ESE students in the

online learning environment

Our University Partnerships

Educational Practices and Backgrounds

Associated with Effective Online Instruction for a

Workforce of Critically Needed Algebra I and

Biology Teachers

Resident Teacher Professional Preparation

Program Research

How the University Partners Help FLVS

This study adds to the existing knowledge base for

how educational practices and backgrounds of a

workforce of critically needed distance teachers

relate to student and parent satisfaction and

course completion. It could be used to help guide

important policy decisions intended to address

improvements in this area.

How the University Partners Help FLVS

The Essence of the Virtual School Practicum:

A Phenomenological Study of Pre-Service

Teachers’ Experiences in A Virtual School

Lessons Learned from Virtual Schools:

Experiences and Recommendations from the


Research at FLVS

We actively seek partnerships with graduate

students/university faculty that are interested in

conducting research with FLVS as part of their


• Approval process for research proposals

• We take into consideration:

– Mutual interest in topic/research questions

– Potential impact to wider body of online research

– Availability of data

– Methodology

– Resource allocation/costs

• Demographic

Types of Data

– ESE, LEP, free/reduced lunch, etc… is self reported

• Course grades/completion rates

• Non-completions/withdrawals (NAc, WNG, WF, CF)

• Reason for w/d

• Dates of course start/finish (i.e. weeks to complete)

• Survey data about student/parent experience with course

• Contact logs (types of contact made with students)

• Final Exam scores

• EOC/FCAT data

• Plus more! Can be discussed at length during proposal


Conducting Your Study at FLVS

• Download the research proposal found at


• Complete the form in its entirety, have it

notarized, and submit it to FLVS (instructions to do so

are located in the above website).

• The FLVS Research Committee reviews the

proposals and approves and/or provides


• Upon approval, the FLVS Research Program

Manager will contact you to discuss plans to

implement your research.

FLVS Research Program Manager

• Supports you and your research (before and

after the proposal is submitted/accepted)

• Acts as a liaison between you and FLVS

– Connects you with FLVS employees for interviews,

surveys, etc…

• “Point” person for questions on research, ideas,

and any other “FLVS” related questions

– Be open and understand feedback

FLVS Research Program Manager

• Points to check – in:

– When gathering participants or data

– Throughout the data gathering process

– When you have completed gathering the data

– Update on accomplishments, timeline dates, and any

issues related to writing findings and conclusions (bimonthly


– Final dissertation approval

FLVS Research Committee

• Cross-Departmental

• Meets the last Friday of each month to review

research proposals

• Approves proposal/provides feedback as


• Reviews the first draft of your final research

manuscript and provides feedback/suggested


IRB Approval, Fingerprinting, & NDAs

• Please note:

Research proposals must have approval from your

institution’s human subjects review board prior to

FLVS review.

– If you need any access to student-level data, you

must be fingerprinted and clear a background check

according to Florida state law.

– We are able to grant you access to preview any of our

courses, but you will need a signed Non-Disclosure

Agreement (NDA) prior to obtaining access.


Answers to commonly asked questions about the FLVS

research program can be found at:


or contact me directly at

Christine Conidis: cconidis@flvs.net

• For further information, please go to our website:


Email general questions to:


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