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1 AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THE ROLE OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE I N MOTIVATION AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN A VIRTUAL NINTH GRADE ENGLISH I COURSE By JULIA KATHRYN CARPENTER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVER SITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Julia Kathryn Carpenter
3 To my husband, Bob, and children, Alex and William
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my husband, Bob, for his unwavering support, patience, kindness, and love. Whenever I felt frustrated or stressed, you were always there to encourage and inspire me to keep moving forward. To my children, Alex and William, I thank you, too, for your patience, und erstanding, encouragement and hugs. When I needed you most, your arms embraced me and your supportive you can do it Mommy we believe in you kept me going. I thank Dr. Cathy Cavanaugh, mentor, instructor, and chair of my committee, for her expertise, encouragement, guidance and mentorship during this journey. Dr. Cavanaughs status as one of, if not the, foremost researcher in K 12 virtual schooling has inspired and challenged me throughout this process. Her dedication to research has both promoted and accelerated my achievement and served as an inspiration. She is a role model of each of the characteristics of a motivational instructor identified in this study as essential for the success and achievement of students. I appreciate all that she has done to make this dream of earning a doctoral degree come true. I thank each and every member of my committee, Drs. Jeri Benson, Wendy Drexler, and Dorene Ross, for their guidance, encouragement, and expertise during this doctoral journey. Your commitment to my success made success possible and achievable. Thanks to Dr. Cynthia Garvan, my statistics professor and mentor, for providing her expertise and assistance throughout this study. My appreciation to Florida Virtual School for allowing me to conduct research and collect data for this study. This research could not have been conducted without the assistance and dedication of Florida Virtual School Research Specialist, Dr. Rhonda McPherson. Dr. McPherson was responsible for relaying all requests and
5 com munication between me and English I instructors and English I students, as well as obtaining data from the Virtual School database. It was clear with each phone call and each email that she was dedicated to my success. She followed through on each and ever y request for information and guidance with patience, optimism, and care. Her diligent efforts on my behalf, her professionalism, her guidance, and her words of encouragement are deeply appreciated.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 13 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 16 Profes sional Background ........................................................................................ 16 Niche ....................................................................................................................... 23 Foundational Research ........................................................................................... 24 Context of the Problem ........................................................................................... 30 Conceptual Framework ........................................................................................... 33 What is Motivation? .......................................................................................... 33 Why Study Motivation? ..................................................................................... 34 Why Study the Virtual K 12 Environment? ....................................................... 35 Why Study the Ninth Grade? ............................................................................ 40 Why Should Florida Virtual School (FLVS) be the Research Venue? .............. 44 Purpose of the Study .............................................................................................. 52 Ass umptions ........................................................................................................... 53 Research Questions ............................................................................................... 53 Significance of Study .............................................................................................. 54 Operational Definitions ............................................................................................ 56 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 58 Distance Education in the U.S. ............................................................................... 58 Challenges in Distance Education. ......................................................................... 60 Motivation ............................................................................................................... 62 Motivation in Distance Learning .............................................................................. 73 Differences in Motivational Needs of K 12 and Adult Learners. .............................. 79 The Role of Teacher Presence in Motivating Online Learners ................................ 82 Experience and Expertise ................................................................................. 84 Supporting Autonomy ....................................................................................... 85 Showing Empathy ............................................................................................ 86 Demonstrating Enthusiasm .............................................................................. 87 Providing Instructional Clarity ........................................................................... 87
7 Influencing Students Mindset ........................................................................... 88 Are Characteristics of Motivating Teaching Teachable? .................................. 89 Role of Teaching Experience in Effectiveness ........................................................ 90 Impact of Quality Course Design ............................................................................ 97 Best Practices and Lessons Learned about Distance Education Course Design 100 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................. 123 Research Design .................................................................................................. 124 Population ............................................................................................................. 126 Instructors ....................................................................................................... 126 Students ......................................................................................................... 126 Sample Size .......................................................................................................... 127 Quantitative Methods ............................................................................................ 128 Research Question 1 ...................................................................................... 128 Research Question 2 ...................................................................................... 128 Research Question 3 ...................................................................................... 129 Research Question 4 ...................................................................................... 129 Research Question 5 ...................................................................................... 130 Analysis Justification ............................................................................................. 130 MannWhitney U Test ..................................................................................... 130 Qualitative Methods ........................................................................................ 131 Justification for Online Survey Approach ........................................................ 132 Course Interest Survey ................................................................................... 135 Reliability of s urvey .................................................................................. 136 Validity of s urvey ...................................................................................... 137 Instructor Survey ............................................................................................ 138 Data Analysis Plan ................................................................................................ 139 Preliminary Tests to Assess Normality .................................................................. 139 4 RESULTS ............................................................................................................. 141 Sample .................................................................................................................. 141 Instructor Population ...................................................................................... 142 Teaching Experience and Environment .......................................................... 143 Student Population ......................................................................................... 144 Analysis of Characteristics of Target Audience ..................................................... 144 Descriptive Statistics ............................................................................................. 145 Preliminary Analysis .............................................................................................. 146 Correlations .......................................................................................................... 146 Assumptions ......................................................................................................... 148 Analysis of Research Questions ........................................................................... 148 Research Question 1 ...................................................................................... 149 Research Question 2 ...................................................................................... 149 Research Question 3 ...................................................................................... 149 Research Question 4 ...................................................................................... 150
8 Motivating Cour se Design Factors Identified on Student Survey .................... 151 Research Question 5 ...................................................................................... 152 Motivational Course Design Features ................................................................... 153 Variety of Interesting Reading Activities ......................................................... 154 Creative Projects ............................................................................................ 155 Organizat ional Features ........................................................................................ 155 Progress Reports and Pace Charts ................................................................ 155 Flexibility ......................................................................................................... 156 Motivational Instructor Practices ........................................................................... 159 High Expectations for Success ....................................................................... 160 Frequent Communication and Consistently Availabl e .................................... 160 Encouraging ................................................................................................... 161 Invested in Students Success ........................................................................ 161 Demonstr ates Expertise in Subject ................................................................ 162 Gives Constructive, Positive Feedback .......................................................... 162 Positive Attitude .............................................................................................. 162 Offers Choices and Supports Autonomy ........................................................ 163 Makes Things Relevant .................................................................................. 163 Surprising Findings ............................................................................................... 166 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS ..................................................................... 176 Analysis of Research Questions ........................................................................... 178 Re search Question 1 ...................................................................................... 178 Research Question 2 ...................................................................................... 183 Research Question 3 ...................................................................................... 188 Research Question 4 ...................................................................................... 192 Research Question 5 ...................................................................................... 194 Outcomes ............................................................................................................. 195 Outcomes Related to Instructor Training ........................................................ 195 Outcomes Related to Course Design and Policy ............................................ 201 Implications ........................................................................................................... 203 Limitations ............................................................................................................. 213 Low Response Rate ....................................................................................... 213 Differences in Sample and Target Audience .................................................. 215 Sample Represents Only Students who Persist ............................................. 217 Study Focuses only on ARCS ........................................................................ 217 Incentives offered in Survey ........................................................................... 217 6 CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 219 APPENDIX A PARENTAL WAIVER OF CONSENT ................................................................... 224 B INSTRUCTOR ASSENT ....................................................................................... 227
9 C STUDENT SURVEY ............................................................................................. 228 D FIRST EMAIL TO STUDENTS WITH SURVEY LINK ........................................... 232 E SECOND REMINDER TO ENGLISH I STUDENTS ............................................. 233 F FINAL REMINDER TO ENGLISH I STUDENTS ................................................... 234 G INSTRUCTOR SURVEY ....................................................................................... 235 H FLVS ENGLISH I COURSE DESCRIPTION ........................................................ 240 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 243 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 267
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Literature on challenges faced by distance educators ...................................... 105 2 2 Kellers motivational design models .................................................................. 108 2 3 Literature review of motivation in distance learning .......................................... 109 2 4 Five Cs of dropping out and how virtual schools address them ........................ 115 2 5 Comparison of characteristics of adult and younger learners ........................... 116 2 6 Conditions that have a positive adolescent learning impact ............................. 117 2 7 Comparison of ARCS motivational variables with elements of adolescent learning ............................................................................................................. 118 2 8 Mixed results of role of experience on achievement ......................................... 119 2 9 Research supporting the premise that the role of experience on achievement matters in years 15 .......................................................................................... 120 2 10 Research supporting the premise that experience matters after 5 years of teaching ............................................................................................................ 121 2 11 Comparison of Gagnes nine events and Kellers arcs constructs .................... 122 3 1 Scoring guidance for the Course Interest Survey (CIS) .................................... 140 4 1 Characteristics of teachers ............................................................................... 168 4 2 Characteristics of students ............................................................................... 169 4 3 Descriptive statistics on attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction by years of language arts teaching experience ..................................................... 170 4 4 Reliability and internal consistency for attention, relevance, confidence, and satis faction........................................................................................................ 1 70 4 5 Pearson correlation for all students between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction ................................................................................................. 170 4 6 Pearson correlation for all students with novice instructors between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction ............................................................ 170 4 7 Pearson correlation for all students with experienced instructors between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction ............................................ 171
11 4 8 MannWhitney U tests for attention scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) .................................................. 171 4 9 MannWhitney U tests for relevance scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) .................................................. 171 4 10 M annWhitney U tests for confidence scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) ................................... 171 4 11 MannWhitney U tests for satisfaction scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) ................................... 172 4 12 Means and standard deviations for motivation scores on 12 course components by years of language arts teaching experience ............................ 172 4 13 Novice teacher data code sheet ....................................................................... 172 4 14 Experienced teacher data code sheet .............................................................. 173 4 15 Ranking of most frequently referenced English I course factors in each ARCS category ............................................................................................................ 174
1 2 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Where students are taking classes: 2009 v. 2014 .......................................... 104 2 2 Motivational design as a subset of instructional and learning environment design. ............................................................................................................ 107 4 1 Bar graph of median Course Interest Survey scores for students with novice and experienced instructors ............................................................................. 175
13 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ADDIE Four phases of a specific instructional design process : A nalysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation ARCS John Kellers four ARCS motivational constructs include Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction CIS Course Interest Survey, a validated survey developed by John Keller to assess s tudents perceptions of the levels of ARCS motivational constructs within a course. FLVS Florida Virtual School ISD Instructional Systems Designer SDL Self directed learning TPSS Training and Performance Support System VBA Veterans Benefits Administration
14 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF THE ROLE OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE I N MOTIVA TION AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN A VIRTUAL NINTH GRADE ENGLISH I COURSE By Julia Kathryn Carpenter August 2011 Chair: Cathy Cavanaugh Major: Curriculum and Instruction Virtual K 12 schools are growing rapidly in the U.S., providing students the opportuni ty to learn at their own pace. Lack of motivation has been cited as a major cause of failure to succeed by distance education students (Kim & Keller, 2008; Moore & Kearsley, 1996). To address this issue, distance educators need to identify what specific fa ctors motivate learners in a virtual environment to perform. Because instructors are crucial to the success of virtual students, distance educators also need to identify characteristics of virtual instructors which effectively motivate students. There are two main purposes of this study The first is to identify whether or not there are significant differences in John Kellers ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) motivational constructs in virtual ninth grade English I students based on instructor experience. The second is to investigate the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation. Virtual ninth grade students who had completed 6599% of the English I course were surveyed using Kellers Course Interest Survey to measure which ARCS constructs motivated them to perform. The response rate was 18% (n=78). English I
15 instructors were also surveyed to obtain ARCS perceptions. Quantitative statistical procedures were utilized to analyze data. Qualitative data was also gathered and organized in themes. Outcomes indicated that both novice and experienced teachers were effective in motivating students. While there were no differences in Attention and Relevance scores based on instructor experience, students who had experienced instructors had statistically higher Confidence and Satisfaction scores than students with novice instructors. It was posited that Attention and Relevance may be driven by course design, while Confidence and Satisfaction may be instructor driven. Students perceived the most motivating factors were instructional practices including timely, constructive feedback flexibility, and frequent instructor student communication. Distance educators can use the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced educators to design effective facilitator training focused on strategies for building student confidence and satisfaction. The skill of feedback should be modeled and practiced. Educators may increase motivation by considering Kellers ARCS constructs whe n designing and facilitating virtual curriculum.
16 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This capstone project is divided into five chapters: introduction, a liter ature review, methodology, results, and discussion and implications The first section, the introduction, includes my professional background, a literature based description of my welldefined niche, where the niche fits within the broader field of educational technology, the purpose and significance of my project and the conceptual framework under which this pr oject was developed. The second section, the literature review, is a critical and comprehensive evaluation of previous research on my capstone topic. It establishes the reasons why I selected my research topic and how the project will contribute to the field of educational technology. The methodology section covers the methods which will be used to conduct the capstone research. Results of capstone research are presented in the next section. The final section of the capstone discusses implications, suggests directions for the future, and raises questions based on the capstone research. Professional Background My professional background includes diverse experience in a variety of learning environments: faceto face, blended, and virtual. In my fifteen years as an educator, I have had the opportunity to teach both adult and adolescent learners in these three very different learning environments Entering my career as a traditional faceto face classroom teacher in a public high school, I instructed tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade learners in language arts. In this role, I designed and facilitated curriculum for a variety of instructional levels ranging from regular to Advanced Placement. Specialized courses I developed during this time frame included a cour se in eleventh grade
17 Environmental Literature partnering with Rollins College and a twocredit American Studies course. During this development phase as an educator, my focus was on the design of learner centered, project based curriculum centered on engaging students in the learning process. Rather than simply reading about nature, for example, I took students on field trips to nature areas, greenhouses, and state parks so they could experience nature for themselves. Students created journal entries, poet ry, and short stories based on their own observations; these activities made the content meaningful to their own lives. After analyzing Walt Whitmans Song of Myself, learners were challenged to create individual songs of their own lives and experiences in the literary style of the poet. My goal in these early years of my teaching career was to increase learner motivation by incorporating specific strategies based on constructivist learning theory. In 1998, I was invited to join a group of core subject a rea teachers who were designing the first statewide distancelearning curriculum for secondary students. Funded by grant money, this fledgling organization, formerly the Florida Online High School, now the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), sought creative, fl exible, teachers willing to develop online curriculum to be distributed via the Internet to students across the state of Florida. I was hired to develop both the language arts curriculum for eleventh grade and to develop an online American Studies course. At FLVS, this core group of educators was breaking new ground. Most had no background in instructional systems design or online course development. A common goal of the organization was to create a learner centered online curriculum based on state and nati onal standards, using the wealth of resources on the Internet to engage and motivate students at a distance to
18 succeed. The motto was, and remains, Any time, any place, any path, any pace, stressing the benefits of flexibility and convenience that distance learning offers. This organization was founded to meet a range of student needs: from credit recovery to Advanced Placement. Having knowledge of effective teaching in a traditional situation does not automatically translate to effective online instructi on (Zhao, 1998). A new set of skills is required and FLVS core developers recognized this. Developers and administrators in the organization anticipated a variety of variables as we planned to modify our traditional classroom knowledge into best practices for the virtual environment. We considered the following challenges presented by Bellon & Oates (2002): The individual nature of online learning has the potential to depersonalize the teacher student relationship. Given the social nature of learning, t his issue could adversely affect student attention. The choices involved in instructional decisionmaking are also constrained by the nature of online courses. Without choice, students will be less likely to find relevance in the information to be learned. The absence of a physical classroom challenges the online teacher to provide a climate that supports learning. Courses that lack identifiable structure and organization could damage the development of student confidence. The lack of faceto face meetings in online courses impedes the teachers ability to understand and encourage their students based upon their personality types. This introduces questions about the nature of student satisfaction while involved in cyber learning. The administration developed a list of guiding policies to address these challenges. For example, to personalize the teacher student relationship, a policy was set requiring facilitators to make an initial welcome call to each enrolled student, followed up with regular email and phone communication. To give students choice,
19 designers integrated alternative assessments so that students could select a variety of multimedia options for projects and assignments. Attention was paid to developing curriculum that addressed a variety of learning styles by integrating a variety of audio, visual, and textual formats. Once pilot courses were launched, I began to experience what it was like to facilitate online instruction. This required a shift from my traditional instructor led approach to a new virtual paradigm. Since content was online, my role as a facilitator was not as content expert but to support, encourage, and guide students in their learning. Without daily faceto face interaction with students, it was necessary for me to acquire new sk ills to communicate, monitor, and motivate students online. As I faced the challenges in motivating online students, I began to develop a growing interest in ways I could build, sustain, and improve motivation in students in this new virtual environment. One concern that grew during this time was attrition rate. Reasons for attrition were investigated by the FLVS organization through surveys, phone calls, and email. Strengths and motivating factors for success were also investigated through similar methods Based on this information, a consensus of best practices was developed. An understanding that timely, detailed feedback and consistent communication was crucial to motivating students resulted in policies for teachers. These policies include a preferred 24 hour response to emails and a 48hour time frame for grading assignments. Frequent progress reports and parent phone calls were established to increase communication. Specific design standards such as gaining students attention through incorporating Gagnes nine events, and integrating interaction became codified.
20 Thr oughout my time at FLVS, the issues of how to effectively design and facilitate motivation continued to challenge and interest me. Inexplicably, on occasion, even if a course was well desig ned, effectively facilitated, and frequent communication occurred, a student dropped the course anyway. Taking into account transfers, illness, and other causes, it became clear that sometimes, no matter how well a course was designed, if a student was not motivated to learn, retention was unlikely. How to motivate unmotivated students became a key interest at this phase of my career. While motivational issues at FLVS centered on adolescent learners, the motivational issues at my next job, Anteon (subseque ntly acquired by General Dynamics Information Technology), focused on adult learners. As an instructional systems designer (ISD) for this government subcontractor, I used my experience as an online developer and facilitator to build onthejob webbased tr aining for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Army, and other government agencies. My major focus as an ISD was the design and development of Training and Performance Support System TPSS products built on the ADDIE mode of instructional design: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and E valuation. In order to understand how motivation relates to the design of this product, some background on TPSS is required. TPSS is a jobtraining package that provides assistance to the graduate of the training once actual onthejob performance begins. There are three elements that make up a typical TPSS: 1. Webbased training 2. Performancebased assessment 3. Cooperative learning methodology
21 The performancebased assessment in TPSS is a test that mirrors what the employee will actually do on the job. For example, when designing performancebased assessment for the Veterans Service Representative (VSR) training position, VSRs would have to show that they can properl y develop a claim. While some TPSSs are individually structured, many are built on cooperative learning methodology. When a TPSS is built cooperatively, small groups of two or three trainees sit at one computer, working through the webbased lessons and pr actice exercises together. They take module posttests individually. The strength of this idea is that trainees learn the material together so that they can perform better individually. In their metaanalysis, Johnson & Johnson (2000) cite numerous research studies showing that small group cooperative learning is effective in promoting greater achievement, more favorable attitudes toward learning, and increased longer term retention than other forms of learning (e.g., competitive or individual). Adult learn ers are motivated differently than adolescent learners (Knowles, 1984; Wlodkowski, 1993). Analysis and review of literature built my knowledge of designing motivation for adult learners. As I designed webbased curriculum, I kept the following assumptions about adult learning theory (Knowles, 1996) in mind: Adults need to know why they need to learn something. Adults need to learn experientially. Adults approach learning as problem solving. Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. My knowle dge of motivational design at this stage was limited to literature review, especially Wlodkowskis Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn (1999) and the Malcolm Knowles work on adult learning theory According to Knowles (1984), as a person
22 matures the motiv ation to learn is internal Adult learners are motivated by a need to know (Knowles, 1995, p. 23), especially as it relates to solving problems in their lives. One of my roles at General Dynamics Information Technology is facilitator for instructor led Trainthe Trainer sessions for training coordinators in charge of facilitating TPSS in their VBA regional offices. During this training, my cofacilitator and I prepare these training coordinators to motivate their new VBA employees before they begin their TPSS training. We stress to these training coordinators that they should include, as part of their initial briefing, Whats in it for me? information in order to motivate potential trainees. Here is a sample script of a training coordinator conversat ion with a new employee that I model as a TraintheTrainer course facilitator. This script was created by me for the purpose of this course: As a trainee, you are probably wondering Whats in this TPSS training for me? Is this going to help me actually do my job at the VBA? Id like to address your concerns directly by letting you know how TPSS is going to help you: First, this is performancebased training, which means that youll get practice actually doing what youll need to do on the job. Youll be looking at VA Forms and evidence taken from real Veterans claims and asked to make important decisions about those claims. Second, this TPSS uses cooperative learning, which means youll be working together in this small group as you go through the webb ased courseware. Youll be learning more because youll be able to build on the knowledge and experience of each other. I can tell you from my own personal experience as an RVSR that TPSS has helped me tremendously. When I was first promoted, I felt competent with the claims process but had NO idea how to begin determining service connection.or evaluating evidenceor identifying ancillary benefits. After I completed the first TPSS, I was able to rate simple claims without error. And the more practice I got, the better I became at handling even the more complex cases. Note that, in this script, the training coordinator is being taught to emphasize the content relevance of the webbased courseware and supporting materials in TPSS to the students' personal and career goals. This supports the assumptions by Knowles
23 (1984) that adults need to know why they need to learn something and that adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. An American Productivity Center study supports the concept stating, "Since motivation comes from within, a worker (student) is more motivated to perform well if he or she understands what is going on. The more I understand what is going on, why it is going on, how it affects me, and what's in it for me, the more I will te nd to support... its goals" (Etzioni & Hogan, 1980). Research supports the importance of content relevance to motivation. In a study by Frymier and Shulman (1995), the researchers administered a validated survey measuring content relevance in course. Making content relevant to students' personal and career goals was hypothesized to be a factor, in addition to immediacy, that increased students' state of motivation. Based on the results of their research, relevance was found to be associated with state motiv ation. Niche As an ISD and TraintheTrainer course facilitator, I have developed a niche in the area of instructional systems design, distance learning, and cooperative learning methodology. The current target audience for my work is adult distance learn ers, but my experience builds on an understanding of what motivates virtual Kindergarten through 12th grade (K 12) learners. After attending foundation leadership training at the University of Minnesota with Drs. David and Roger Johnson, I became an adjunc t instructor with the Cooperative Learning Center. I have continued to develop expertise in cooperative learning through continued study and research and frequently train adult learners on cooperative learning methodology. Because the target audience for m y work as an ISD is adult learners, I have studied, researched, and designed web based training based on adult learning theory, including what motivates adult learners. This
24 capstone is designed to fill a gap in the literature on what motivates distance le arners in the virtual K 12 environment. Foundational Research The focus of this capstone on concepts of motivation in a distance learning environment grew from a review of literature on learning theory, instructional strategies, and best practices as I prepared for written and oral sections of my scholarly projects. The findings of this research, in addition to my annotated bibliography, became the building blocks for an initial exploration of potential motivating factors for learners. Scholarly project 1. My first scholarly project was based on research showing that the incorporation of interaction and different levels of interactivity in the design of web based courseware was important in motivating learners. Several elements discovered in this scholarly activity relate to an understanding of motivation. Although there are a variety of definitions for interactivity, the central focus of interactivity is that it involves the active engagement of learner with people or technology that leads directly to meaningful learning. Research analyzing the role of interactivity and interaction within web based courseware demonstrates a positive effect of student interactivity on learning outcomes. Berge (1999) observed that, for learning to occur, either alone or in a group, the student must interact with, and process, the content of the course (p. 6). Sims (1997) stated that interactivity plays a crucial role in knowledge acquisition and the development of cognitive skills as well as retention. Evans and Gibbons (2007) concluded that interactive systems facilitate deep learning by actively engaging the learner in the learning process. Jones (2008) supports this view, indicating that interaction is central to deep learning (p. 223). A primary factor in determining online
25 course quality is students perceptions of the degree of interaction. (Klesius, Homan, & Thompson, 1997; Roblyer & Ekhami, 2000; Smith, 1996; Zhang & Fulford, 1994; Zheng & Smaldino, 2009). Several studies explore the effects of different levels of interaction on achievement. Gao and Lehman (2003) explored the effects of different levels of interaction on achievement and motivational perceptions of college students in a webbased learning environment. There were three groups in the study: a control group, a reactive interaction group, and a proactive interaction group. The control group received a treatment with hyperlinks to link all the learning content together, the reactive interaction group received a treatment that was implemented with elaborate d immediate feedback strategy, and the proactive interaction group received a treatment that was implemented with generative activity strategy. The results indicated that students in both the reactive and proactive interactive groups outperformed those in the control group in the achievement test. The students in the reactive interaction group demonstrated significantly higher motivation than those in the control group. Brady (2004) analyzed the results of learners using three educational websites with the same content areas and varying levels of interactivity to determine the effect of interactivity. On the reactive website, users were required to simply press the space bar or click on Next to view each lesson page. The coactive website allowed users to make more choices as to how to traverse the lesson; users clicked on the links at the top of the page to view each portion of the lesson. The proactive website allowed users to engage in an interactive way for each portion of the lesson. The results of thi s study, mirroring those of Gao and Lehman (2003), showed that students in the most interactive
26 group (proactive) made significantly larger learning gains, were more satisfied, and spent more time with the site than the least interactive group (reactive). In a comprehensive metaanalysis, Zhao, Lei, Yan, Lai, and Tan (2005) found that interaction is a key component in deciding the effectiveness of distance learning compared to faceto face instruction. Specifically, they found that distancelearning programs providing opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous interactions reported more positive outcomes than programs with a single mode of interaction. Research performed in the last two years also supports the link between high levels of interactiv ity and achievement. M. Neo and T. Neo (2008) investigated the impact of interactivity on achievement and satisfaction. Their results showed that high levels of interactivity, seen in the design of visual and auditory media elements, were effective in enhancing students understanding of the subject matter and motivated them to learn more about the subject. According to their research, high levels of interactivity increased motivation, satisfaction, and learning for students who completed the webbased cour se. Scholarly project 2. The second scholarly project was based on research showing that webbased training using situated learning, experiential learning, and cooperative learning was linked to positive learning outcomes; leading to the assumption that online courseware built on these theories motivates and engages learners. Several elements discovered in this scholarly activity relate to an understanding of motivation. Situated learning. Lave (1988), a major figure in the theory of situated learning, conducted ethnographic studies of learning and everyday activity that revealed how
27 different schooling is from the activities and culture that give meaning and purpose to what students learned elsewhere. In these studies, Lave focused on the behavior of just plain folks (JPFs) and recorded that the ways they learned were different from what students were asked to do. Lave discovered that when JPFs aspired to learn a set of practices, they had two options. First, they could enculturate through apprenticeship. The second option was to enter school as a student. Lave found that, while becoming an apprentice did not involve a qualitative change from what JPFs normally do, schools demanded a qualitative change in behavior. Lave (1988) and other researchers in the field found that many didactic teaching practices assume that conceptual knowledge can be abstracted from the situations in which it is used and learned. This assumption means that, in this approach, there is a separation between knowing and doing and that knowledge is an integral, self sufficient substance, independent of the situations in which it is learned and used. For example, teaching from dictionaries assumes the definitions are self contained pieces of knowledge. However, experienced readers understand that words are situated and often ask for the rest of the sentence or the context before interpreting the word. This example illustrates the idea of situated learning; knowledge is situated, being in part a product of the activity, context, and cult ure in which it is developed and used (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989, p.32). Dabbagh and Bannan Ritland (2005) summarize the underlying principles of situated learning theory as including the following principles: 1. Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context, i.e., settings and applications that would normally involve that knowledge. 2. Learning requires social interaction and collaboration.
28 Experiential learning The concept of experiential learning originated with Rogers in 1969 and was later expanded on by Kolb and Fry (1975). According to Kolb, knowledge is continuously gained through both personal and environmental experiences. This experiential learning model can be simplified to Do (experience it), Reflect (share and process it), and Appl y. Kolb states that in order to gain genuine knowledge from an experience, certain abilities are required: Experience the activity: perform, do it: The learner must be willing to be actively involved in the experience. Share and process reactions, observat ions about the experience: The learner must be able to reflect on the experience. Generalize by connecting the experience to real world examples: The learner must possess and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience. Apply what was learned to a similar or different situation: The learner must possess decision making and problem solving skills in order to use the new ideas gained from the experience (Merriam, Caffarella & Baumgartner, 2007). According to Merriam and Caffarella, "experiences that provide learning are never just isolated events in time. Rather, learners must connect what they have learned from current experiences to those in the past as well as see possible future implications" (1999, p. 223). Cooperative learning. I n their metaa nalysis, Johnson & Johnson (2000) cite numerous research studies showing that small group cooperative learning is effective in promoting greater achievement, more favorable attitudes toward learning, and increased longer term retention than other forms of learning, such as, competitive or individual. The preponderance of research studies involving cooperative learning demonstrate that use of formal and informal cooperative learning, which uses cognitive
29 and experiential techniques for training of complex cognitive skills and objectives, ensures that training is meaningful, indepth, and retainable, ensuring that the skills and knowledge gained is transferable across many different situations (Johnson & Johnson, p. 4). Conclusions. As a result of research and review of existing literature through scholarly projects 1 and 2, several potential sources of motivation in distance education environments were discovered. The role of interactivity and levels of interaction (learner learner, learner content, learner i nstructor) were identified as a potential motivational design factors in scholarly activity 1. In scholarly activity 2, instructional strategies using situated, experiential, and cooperative learning methodologies were identified as possible motivators for online learners. However, since the target audience for these studies was adult learners, it was necessary for me to extend my review of literature into specific factors that may motivate distance learners in a K 12 environment. Annotated bibliography I began building my annotated bibliography by first establishing the current status of distance learning in the U.S. in both higher education and in virtual K 12 environments. Current studies showed rapid growth as well as challenges faced by distance learning organizations. From this base, I began investigating the various definitions and theories of motivation in a variety of learning environments. This built my knowledge of the experts, theories, and research in the area. Because my niche was in distance learning environments, I began to narrow my search to peer reviewed articles and research on motivation in distance learning
30 environments. Through an analysis and organization of this literature, it became clear that most research in the area was being done in distance learning environments in higher education. Since my niche also encompasses instructional systems design, I became particularly interested in John Kellers motivational design models. Kellers development of the ARCS model of motivational desi gn ( A ttention, R elevance, Confidence, S atisfaction) spurred me to explore literature and research based on the ARCS model. In addition to research studies built on Kellers design theory, I found numerous studies referencing two instruments Keller developed to measure motivation the Course Interest Survey (CIS) and the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS). Research continues into studies that have used the CIS to measure motivation. A variety of studies have used the ARCS motivational design m ethod (Gabrielle, 2003; Huett, Kalinowski, & Moller, 2008; TalvitieSiple, 2007). The findings of these studies support the use of the ARCS motivational design method in improving motivation in distance learning environments. Context of the Problem Carro ts and sticks are so last century. For the 21st century we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Daniel H. Pink. ( Drive 2009, p. 203) The effort to put courses online is ubiquitous in education and training. Offering online courses has been growing rapidly in higher education and K 12 education as well as business and government organizations. The military has also increased its development of online training. Because of frequent deployments, for example, the Army has focused energy on devel oping distance learning courses to replace or
31 supplement courses formerly offered as faceto face or paper based courses (TRADOC, 2010). Distance, or virtual, learning education environments provide the opportunity for students to learn at their own pace and at their own convenience. However, distance education offers challenges for students, instructional designers, and online facilitators. The learner centered focus of distance education courses requires learners to be motivated and self directed (Lee, 2000). These requirements mean that distance educators need to identify what motivates learners in a virtual environment and then how to integrate specific motivational strategies into the design and implementation of online courses. Motivation has long been a concern of educators, especially by distance educators (Cornell & Martin, 1997; Keller, 1999; Lin, 1999). Lack of motivation has been cited as a major cause of failure to succeed by distance education students (Kim & Keller, 2008; Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Students motivation to learn may contribute significantly to their success or failure in a distance learning or virtual environment. Business and training organizations recognize that motivation is key to the success or failure of employees. Leadership and organizational literature has explored the issue of how to motivate employees to be productive and satisfied in the workplace. Evaluation procedures such as performance appraisals, promotions, and stock options have been implemented based on assumptions about what motivates people. In Bringing Out the Best in People, Daniels (2000), a performance management expert, explains how to apply scientifically based behavioral stimuli to the workplace through positive reinforcers, ideas that are based on the work of B. F. Skinner.
32 However, new thinking about the concept raises questions about how we should think about what motivates not only adults but also the adolescent learners we seek to prepare for the 21st century. In Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us Pink (2009) challenges us to think about what motives us at work, at school, and at home in a different way. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink demonstrates that while the carrot andstick appr oach worked successfully in the twentieth century, it is the wrong way to motivate people for todays challenges. Pink examines three elements of true motivation: Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives Mastery: the urge to get better at something that matters Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves Pink then offers techniques for putting these into action and describes motivational elements which should make us question how we prepare K 12 learners for the 21st century world of work and life. When considering elements that contribute to successful distance learning, factors such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose prompt us to examine the issue of motivation in virtual settings with renewed interest and p erspective. Although there are numerous research studies on distance education in higher education institutions, the research at the secondary level is in its infancy. There are several case studies available describing specific virtual high schools, as well as articles reporting the overall trend in the implementation of virtual high schools (Bradley, 2004; Cavanaugh, Gillan, Kromley, Hess, & Blomeyer, 2004; Clark, 2001). However, unlike
33 higher education research, there are few research studies that addres s motivational constructs that underlie virtual secondary school experience and students perception of these constructs. There are a variety of studies which investigate the relationship between motivation and achievement in higher education settings (Angelino, Williams, & Natvig, 2007; Bocchi, Eastman, & Swift, 2004; Hara & Kling, 2001; Huett, Kalinowski, & Moller, 2008; Sperry, 2009), but there is a gap in the existing research on what motivates virtual secondary students to perform. This research seeks to contribute to existing research on motivation in virtual secondary students. Conceptual Framework What is M otivation? Motivation is a broad topic with a variety of definitions. This capstone focuses on the definition of motivation in the context of education. An analysis of various definitions of motivation will be presented in the literature review section of this capstone document. For the purpose of this study, motivation will be defined as an individuals demonstrated effort to learn course cont ent. One purpose of this capstone is to explore the specific strategies and design techniques we can we use to motivate students. With the help of motivation design theory, instructional strategies, and the results of the research outlined in this capstone, I believe we can create the circumstances that influence students to want to engage in learning. We do have the power, in other words, to design and facilitate online courses that sustain and improve motivation. Improved motivation, as the review of lit erature will demonstrate, may lead to positive outcomes such as increased academic performance
34 and satisfaction. This work supports the longterm student persistence in courses and education, resulting in potentially higher levels of academic performance. The literature review of this capstone proposal will outline why the focus of this capstone is valuable for the field of educational technology. The section will begin with the rationale for studying motivation in a virtual K 12 environment. It will then discuss the reasons the ninth grade is an important target audience. The section will end by outlining the reasons why Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an appropriate venue for study. Why Study M otivation? There are two compelling reasons why motivation is a worthwhile topic for investigation. First, motivation is positively linked to academic performance (Wlodkowski, 1993). Even without agreement on the specific definition of motivation, we know motivation is important. We know from personal experience and observation that if two people with the same exact ability are given the same opportunity, the motivated person will surpass the unmotivated person in performance. Research supports this premise. When there is no motivation to learn, there is no learni ng (Walgerg & Uguroglu, 1980; Wlodkowski, 1993). There are numerous studies that show motivation is positively related to educational achievement (Kim & Keller, 2008; Levin & Long, 1981; Uguroglu & Walgerg, 1979; Wlodkowski). People work longer, harder, and with more intensity when they are motivated than when they are not motivated (Wlodkowski, 1993). In addition, while some elements of student motivation are not within the control of an instructor, educators can stimulate motivation in specific ways. Two concepts of motivation intrinsic and extrinsic are commonly referenced in a review of the
35 literature on motivation. According to Deci (1975), intrinsically motivated activities are ones for which there is no apparent reward except the activity itself (p.23). Alternatively, extrinsically motivated individuals engage in tasks for the rewards that follow from completing them, not for the pleasure that comes from them (Keller, 2010, p.17). For example, many successful students take advanced courses to increase their chances of getting into a desired college, not because of intrinsic motivation. Likewise, most students do not attend school because they are intrinsically motivated to do so However, a common goal educators have for our students is intrins ic; we seek to create in our students lifelong learners and spark a passion in students to enjoy learning. The issue of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is complex. Keller (2010) points out that it is a challenge to build intrinsic interest without necessarily expecting all learners to become totally motivated by intrinsic interests and to respect the motivational orientations of students, while, at the same time, trying to encourage positive growth (p.19). While it is true that we cannot control another persons motivation, educators can influence the motivation of students by either stimulating their motivation to learn or not. This supports the need to investigate the relationship between specific ARCS motivational variables and performance. By devel oping an understanding of specific motivational elements we can, as educators, use this knowledge to effectively integrate motivation in virtual K 12 courses. Why Study the Virtual K 12 E nvironment? Virtual K12 environments are expanding rapidl y. Picciano and Seamans August 2010 survey of K 12 onl ine learning estimated that the number of students enrolled in at least one online or blended course was 1,030,000, which represents 2% o f the total K -
36 12 population. Of these estimates, 70% of the students were enrolled at the secondary level. A March 2010 study survey of public school and district level administrators by Simba Information indicates that about onethird of schools have some kind of online program in 20092010, and another 20% expect a program w ill be started by 20112012. The anticipated expansion of the implementation of online learning is spurred not only by the economy and education budget constraints but by the increasing recognition of the need to engage students as individuals and the rapid proliferation of computer technologies, said Kathy Mickey, senior analyst/managing editor of Simbas Education Group. Growth in K 12 distance education is likely to increase in the coming years as a result of Investing in Innovation (i3) funding, Race to the Top projects, and the new Elementary and Secondary Education Acts. These federal funding projects emphasize raising standards for all students and improving learning and achievement. According to the fact sheet for i3 funding posted on the U.S. Department of Education website, the proposed 2010, budget for i3 funding is 100 million dollars. The purpose of this project is to provide competitive grants that expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative and evidencebased practices, programs and strategies that significantly (a) improve K 12 achievement and close achievement gaps, (b) decrease dropout rates, (c) increase high school graduation rates, (d) improve teacher and school leader effectiveness, and (e) accelerate the creation of an education sector that supports the rapid development and adoption of effective solutions. In order to be eligible to apply, school district applicants must:
37 Have significantly closed the achievement gaps between groups of students Have demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement for all groups of students Have made significant improvement in other areas, such as graduation rates, highquality teachers and school leaders Demonstrate that they have partnerships with the pr ivate sector that will provide matching funds Increasing enrollments in distance virtual K 12 courses is one way to meet these requirements. The Race to the Top federal funding project aims to promote what the Department of Education calls comprehensive, coherent, statewide education reform across four key areas: standards and assessments, teacher quality, data systems, and turning around low performing schools (Robelen, 2010). In addition, the Department of Education included STEM S cience, T echnology, E n gineering, and M athematics education as a competitive preference priority in evaluating state applications, with an emphasis on ensuring the topic was integrated throughout the states plans (Robelen, page number because of phrase in quotes). This compet itive preference priority on technology supports the increase of innovative learning environments such as virtual k 12 programs. Nebraska Governor Heineman, for example, proposed during the January 2010, State of the State address to apply for funding to develop a 20 million dollar virtual high school with Race to the Top money (Dejka, 2010). Although Nebraska was unsuccessful in being awarded Race to the Top money, the governor has pledged commitment for the virtual school because it would give students i n remote areas of the state access to more rigorous curriculum in foreign languages, math, other subjects, and it could serve as a resource to help struggling urban youths (Dejka, 2010).
38 The new Elementary and Secondary Education Acts replaces the No Chil d Left Behind Act of 2001. According to the U.S. Department of Educations Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (March 2010), a major priority of the act is that: Every student should graduate from high s chool ready for college and a career, regardless of their income, race, ethnic or language background, or disability status. Following the lead of the nations governors, were calling on all states to develop and adopt standards in English language arts and mathematics that build toward collegeand career readiness by the time students graduate from high school (p.3). The blueprint replaces No Child Left Behinds requirement that every American child reach proficiency in reading and math with the goal that all students should graduate from high school collegeready by 2020. To this end, it provides incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace (Blueprint for Reform, 2010). Because it broadens the range of students served and expands the goals of education, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, like i3 and Race to the Top projects, supports the increase of virtual K 12 education programs. Virtual K12 environments have unique challenges, such as higher attrition rates than faceto face environments, which must be addressed. According to Angelino et al. (2007), attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 1020% higher than classes taught in a faceto face setting. The higher attrition rate of distance education is supported by other studies (Dagger & Wade, 2004; Flood, 2002; Nash, 2005). The rates vary widely and questions about the validity of these reports have been argued (Tyler Smith, 2006). Flood, for example, reports attrition from e Learning as high as 7080% while Diaz (2002) puts the figure at between 2050%. Regardless of
39 the exact figure, drop rates for distance classes have been consistently higher than those of traditional classes (Diaz, 2000; Phipps & Meri sotis, 1999; Ridley & Sammour, 1996). Thus, it is important to investigate the relationship between specific motivational constructs and performance in virtual K 12 environments to increase our understanding of what motivates virtual students to persist i n completing courses, thus lowering attrition. Distance educators, designers, and facilitators may be able to use the results of studies such as this capstone to design and facilitate online courses that increase motivation. Although there are many studies on motivation in distance higher education environments, there are few studies that study motivation in virtual K 12 environments. There are a variety of studies that investigate the relationship between motivation and achievement in higher education set tings. Bocchi et al. (2004), for example, studied an online MBA program in order to investigate ways of retaining learners. The researchers used a cohort learning experience with extensive faculty feedback and interaction to address isolation concerns, pro viding applicationbased content and activities. The researchers found that interactions with other students were motivational, supporting the use of student student interaction in online courses. Studies by Angelino (2007) and Hara and Kling (2001) explored what motivates students, causing stress and attrition in higher education distance education courses. Both studies suggested practical strategies such as prompt, clear feedback, and clear expectations from instructors to increase motivation. Huett, (2008) investigated motivation in an online, undergraduate computer course by using Kellers (2010) ARCS method. These researchers designed motivational email messages and compared a
40 treatment group using these messages with a control group. Finding increased motivation in the treatment group, they concluded that online instructors could increase motivation with specific strategies such as these. Sperrys (2009) doctoral dissertation on motivation in rural community college students concluded that timely inst ructor feedback and clear course expectations were essential to keeping students motivated. Although many studies on motivation in distance education environments have been conducted in higher education, few studies focus on motivation in secondary virtua l students. TalvitieSiple (2007) did focus on this target audience; studying student motivation in a secondary webbased algebra course. TalvitieSiple found that there were specific elements which motivated students in this environment such as effective, consistent, timely instructor feedback. More studies need to be done in virtual K 12 environments to fill the gap in existing literature. Why Study the Ninth G rade? Entering ninth grade can be one of the most emotionally difficult and academically chall enging times in a students life (Rourke, 2001). Ninth graders are a unique group of individuals who are searching for their own identities. Rourke identifies ninth grade as the most critical point for intervention to prevent students from losing motivatio n, failing, and dropping out of school. Up to 40% of ninth grade students in cities with the highest dropout rates repeat ninth grade; only 10 to 15% of those repeaters go on to graduate (Balfanz & Legters, 2006). In addition to the academic challenges ninth graders face there are other issues. For example, entering high school has the tendency to make ninth grade students feel more isolated and anonymous in the larger high school setting (Cotton, 1997).
41 Researchers target ninth grade as the make or break y ear for completing high school. One reason given is that students may not be academically prepared for the rigor of high school coursework. It is during the ninthgrade year that many students for the first time have to earn passing grades in core courses (Fulk, 2003). Satisfactory completion of core courses is often required for graduation from high school, and these core courses are typically some of the toughest and most rigorous academic classes a student has to take in high school (Smith, Akos, Lim, & Wiley, 2008). The target course for this capstone project, ninth grade language arts, is a core course required for high school graduation. Academic success in ninth grade course work is highly predictive of eventual graduation; it is even more telling than demographic characteristics or prior academic achievement (Allensworth & Easton, 2007). Ninth grade success rates in Florida mirror the statistics of other U.S. states. According to 2010, Weber (2010, p. 1), ninth grade remains the most failure prone in Fl oridas K12 public school system. Florida peaked in 2004, when 52,355 ninthgraders nearly one out of every four could not meet requirements for promotion to 10th grade (Weber, 2010). While educators continue to analyze why freshmen fail transitio nal programs for ninth graders have been proposed as one way to address the issue. Moving from the traditional high school program is of great interest among educators as many transitional high school program models are currently being implemented across t he nation (Hertzog & Morgan, 2001). An expert in research on transitional programs for individuals with disabilities, Repetto (2003) defines transition into the postsecondary setting as a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming adult roles in the community. These
42 roles include employment, participating in postsecondary education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal and social relationships (Halpern, 1994). After reviewing the principles guiding transition programs, Repetto (2003) identifies a variety of foundational skill areas that are needed by students to transition into, and maintain, the various roles they will assume as adults. These skill areas fall i nto five categories: self determination, academic performance, relationship building, consumerism, and self maintenance (Repetto, 2003, p.81). Repetto suggests that the teaching of transition to life skills should be part of the mindset of all teachers; i t should be why they teach math, English, reading, history, and other subjects. As many educators would agree, teaching students to make this connection and to use the skills being taught in their life roles is what education should be about (Repetto, 2003). Repetto (2003) poses a series of questions teachers might consider when planning to teach transition; questions such as How can I help my students be self determined? Am I connecting academics to real life situations and needs? Have I spoken with my st udents about their dreams for their futures and helped them prepare for these dreams? (p.85). By effectively addressing and engaging students with these types of topics during transitional periods, such as ninth grade, facilitators may motivate students t oward positive performance. Repettos identification of foundational skills needed for effective transition have common characteristics with the motivational constructs identified in Kellers ARCS model. For example, like Repetto, Keller identifies Relevance (the R in ARCS) as an important element of the model. Building Confidence (the C in ARCS) is a key motivational construct in Kellers model. Like
43 Kellers Confidence construct, Repetto describes the importance of self determination, self maintenance, and relationship building for learners to effectively transition. These commonalities support the need for further research into how key elements of transitional and motivational models can be used to increase motivation and performance in ninth graders. Another reason further research is needed relates to existing models of transitional programs. These transitional models in traditional schools vary. There are two common types of transitional models targeted for ninth graders: the School within a School model, and the Ninth Grade School model. Both transitional program models require restructuring of the traditional high school. Because this study focuses on a virtual school environment, further investigation is needed into effective ways to build transi tional programs for the unique virtual K 12 learning environment. Why investigate elements of transitional programs for ninth graders in a virtual environment? Studies have found that transitional programs have positive results. J. Smith (1997) collected data from approximately 8,000 middle grade students nationwide and later collected data after their completion of high school. In this study, J. Smith investigated the longterm effects that middle school transition programs have on students high school performance as measured by their grades throughout high school. The study was prepared as an analysis of covariance. J. Smith established that the students who had access to a transitional program in middle school showed an average GPA of 2.43 in high school whereas those students who did not have a transitional program in place in their middle school showed an average GPA of 2.01. While this
44 study focused on the impact of transition in a traditional school, the results hold promise for integrating transitional program elements in a virtual environment. Since academic success in ninth grade course work is highly predictive of eventual graduation (Weber, 2010), it is essential that educators understand specific motivational constructs that may motivate students. This understanding can be used by distance educators and designers to develop and implement best practices in the construction and facilitation of online curriculum. In addition to its applicability to virtual K 12 environments, this study has possible applications across content areas and learning environments. Why S hould Florida Virtual School (FLVS) be the Research V enue? FLVS is the largest K 12 virtual school in U.S. According to the 2009 Keeping Pace report on online learning, FLVS is the largest K 12 online learning program in the nation with more than 150,000 half credit course completions, and more than 120,000 physical students (Watson et.al, 2009, p. 54). FLVS is approximately five times larger than any other stateled program, and ten times larger than most, with 154,125 course registrations in 200809 (Watson et al p. 46). FLVS is a pioneer in K 12 virtual school education in the U.S. FLVS has a unique place in K 12 virtual education because of its position as a pioneer in distance learni ng. FLVS, originally the Florida Online High School, was begun in 1996 as a cooperative effort between two Florida school districts funded through a state grant. Because it was breaking new ground in offering distancelearning courses to secondary students it has a rich history of developing best practices, conventions, policies, and procedures which have been used by other virtual schools which followed. FLVS has
45 also given researchers and educators the ability and accessibility to trace the history, grow th and success of the organization from pilot phase to present. FLVS has a reputation for excellence in the field of distance education. FLVS holds an important place in virtual U.S. education for quality and excellence. This excellence is supported by its accreditation as well the numerous awards it has received for excellence in distance learning, including the 2009 Codie Award (Watson et al 2009). FLVS is funded through public FTE dollars, with full funding contingent upon student success. FLVS success fully serves a wide spectrum of students, including academically advanced, average, learning recovery, and struggling learners (Watson et al., 2009). Because it is one of the oldest and largest virtual schools in the U.S., and because of its success as measured by internal and external evaluations on satisfaction, completion rates, and learning outcomes, FLVS school is important as educators and researchers study trends, best practices, and policies in effective K 12 online learning environments. The impac t FLVS has had on the study and practice of K 12 virtual learning becomes clear from a review of literature on K 12 virtual schools, which frequently profiles, discusses, or examines FLVS. Some important areas of study in K 12 virtual studies which reference FLVS include best practices of virtual schools, such as literature providing personal accounts of strategies that FLVS online instructors use that are effective. Other researchers have used FLVS to study how to categorize types of virtual schools (Clark 2001), benefits of virtual schooling (Barbour & Reeves, 2009), and challenges of virtual schools (Barbour & Reeves, 2009).
46 The International Association for K 12 Online Learning (2007) includes FLVS as an example of an effective stateled online learning program. It observes that FLVS has shown the popularity of online learning when students are given the choice of taking online courses, and has demonstrated the ability of a program to grow rapidly (Watson, 2007, p.2) It also observes that FLVS offers projects similar to the real world, where companies often have employees from different offices collaborating on projects, and in fact may effectively prepare students for the 21st century workplace (Watson, p.18). FLVS reputation for excellence in the field of distance education is supported by internal and external evaluations. External sources, such as the Center for Educational Performance and Accountability (CEPA), a Florida TaxWatch Center of Excellence, and the Innosight Institute, a not for prof it think tank, have assessed the performance of students at FLVS with positive results. According to Florida TaxWatch (2007), during the 200405 and 200506 school years FLVS students consistently outperformed their counterparts in Floridas traditional mi ddle and high schools on such measures as grades, Advanced Placement scores, and FCAT scores. In their October 2009 case study of FLVS, Mackey and Horn evaluated the performance of students at the virtual school concluding students who completed AP cours es at FLVS received higher scores on 2008 AP exams than did Florida students overall and outscored the nation in several subjects (p. 25). FLVS conducts regular student and parent surveys at the end of courses to elicit feedback on its curriculum and prac tices. Annual evaluations are posted on its website including results of exit, district, parent, school, and student surveys. For the 200910 school year, FLVS contracted with Optimal Performance, Inc., to conduct a Student
47 Survey, an Exit Survey (for students who withdraw), a Parent Survey, a School Survey, and a District Survey in order to gather data about the quality of FLVS services. According to their report, Florida Virtual School Stakeholder Survey 20092010, when asked about teacher communication and quality of services, the data reveal a consistent level of satisfaction among parents and students over the course of several years. Satisfaction levels for students who exit their course prior to completion, while high, are lower than the ratings prov ided by FLVS parents and students who finish their course. The percentage of students rating the teacher/student communication as either excellent or good has remained around 90% since 2003 and has continued to slowly move upwards, with 93% of this years students giving teacher or student communication positive ratings. The percentage of parents rating communication as excellent rose from 49% in 2007 08 to 54% in 200809 and 57% in 200910. All other items pertaining to communication have remained hi gh. For instance, the majority of students (those who complete and who withdraw) and parents agree that FLVS teachers show a special interest in their students. Also, the majority from all three groups indicates that teachers respond to content questions w ithin 24 hours (Watson, 2007). FLVS provides quality online curriculum. Cavanaugh (2009) observes that a successful online distance organization will have consensus about standards for quality courses, teaching, and programs. FLVS defines quality in speci fic ways using detailed criteria based on best practices and learning theory. In addition to consistency, adherence to conventions, accuracy, clarity, and integration of interactivity, additional requirements define quality for this organization. These inc lude interactive, engaging
48 curriculum promoting critical thinking skills, opportunities for student student interaction and collaboration, and preparation of students for the 21st century. Project based and multimedia assessments, wikis and other web 2.0 t ools, discussion threads, and real life examples are also part of the design and implementation of quality online courses at FLVS (Arnott, 2010). An extensive ninepage checklist (a confidential FLVS work product) is used when creating, assessing and revi sing online courses. Some important features of this checklist are listed here. Content is designed with the FLVS Symphony of Skills in mind. (21st Century Skills, Working on the Work, Prisoners of Time, Literacy Skills, and Quantum Learning) Lessons incor porate Gagnes Nine Events of Instruction (Gagne, 1965) Activities are linked to real world problems and issues Dynamic presentation of content is present According to FLVS curriculum director (Arnott, 2010), FLVS redevelops or enhances 1520 courses per y ear using a specific checklist, ensuring curriculum is accurate, current, and reliable. There is a dedication to continuous improvement to ensure quality. The Quality Mat ters Program collaborated with Florida Virtual School (FLVS) to create a Quality Matters G6 23 rubric The G612 rubric has been created to address the need for a set of standards that is specific enough to guide the development, enhancement, and evaluation of online and blended courses for middle and high school students. In addition to collaborating with FLVS, the G6 12 Rubric integrates existing national standards for K 12 online education promulgated by the Southern Regional
49 Education Board, The International Association for K 12 Online Learning, and the Partnership for 21st century Sk ills. The Quality Matters program mission is t o promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning through: Development of researchsupported, best practicebased quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures. Rec ognition as experts in online education quality assurance and evaluation. Fostering institutional acceptance and integration of QM standards and processes into organizational improvement efforts focused on improving the quality of online education. Provision of faculty development training in the use of QM rubric(s) and other quality practices to improve the quality of online/hybrid courses. Provision of quality assurance through the recogniti on of quality in online education. According to the awards section of the FLVS website, Florida Virtual School is fully accredited by two major agencies: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and The Commission on International and Trans Regional Accreditation. The curriculum, learning outcomes, and practices of FLVS have received numerous awards for excellence such as the CODIE Award for Best Virtual School (2009), Ednet Pioneer Award (2007), and USDLA 21st Century Best Practices in Dist ance Learning Award (2005 and 2007). FLVS provides quality instructors. FLVS instructors have complex, dynamic roles in t he organization. FLVS understands the importance of selecting candidates who exhibit not only the highest caliber of academic and professional accomplishment, but also match the student -
50 centered philosophy of the virtual school. The job description for credit producing instructors below captures the responsibilities of this position, as defined by FLVS: The Instructor is responsible f or providing an educational atmosphere where students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, and psychological growth. This person is responsible for organizing and implementing an instructional program that results in students achieving academic success in accordance with FLVS and state policies and laws. (FLVS Instructor Job Description, 2011) The essential position functions of FLVS instructors are complex, including the following major responsibilities: P lans, prepares, and implements instructional activities that contribute to a climate where students are actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences. Implements instructional activities that contribute to a climate where students are actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences. Identifies, selects, creates and modifies instructional resources to meet the needs of the students with varying backgrounds, learning styles, and special needs. Assists in assessing changing curricular needs and of fers plans for improvement. Maintains effective and efficient record keeping procedures. Provides a positive environment in which students are encouraged to be actively engaged in the learning process. Communicates effectively, both orally and in writing, with students, parents, and other professionals on a regular basis. (FLVS Instructor Job Description, 2011) According to Jennifer Locke (personal communication, May 23, 2011), department manager of employment services at FLVS, on average, within one week of opening an English posting to general a candidate pool for general consideration, FLVS easily receives 500700 applicants. This is a tremendous pool, allowing FLVS to be highly selective of its instructors.
51 T he teacher selection process involves a t hree part process (online profiler, phone screening and panel interview), working in conjunction to gauge the candidates student centeredness and alignment with the organizations vision, mission and core competencies for success. Review of recent perfor mance evaluations, reference and employment verifications are used to determine the candidates teaching performance. The final selection is determined by the Panel in the final interview, with is a combination of current teachers and our Instructional Le aders. The instructor training is five days with ongoing mentoring and training support through the first year. Part of the training is face to face and part of it is online/virtual. Some parts are asynchronous and some are synchronous. According to Mar y Mitchell, (personal communication, May 23, 2011), Professional Learning Team Department manager at FLVS, training focuses on: relationships with students and parents e ffective communication modes of communication how 2 way communication looks types of c alls to make what the calls look and feel like meaningful purposeful goal setting conversations Positive feedback Responsiveness to engage students in the learning process Synchronous tools for webinars Web 2.0 tool FLVS has an effective model of virtual schooling. There are different models of virtual schooling. This study occurred within the Florida Virtual School model. At FLVS courses are designed and reviewed in compliance with a specific FLVS course design checklist. Once a course has been desi gned, the same course shell is assigned to qualified instructors in the subject.
52 Thus, all English I instructors in this study taught the same course shell. Instructors personal ized the course through their interaction and communication with students, t heir specific feedback, and their participation and postings in discussion boards. The results of this study apply only to this model of virtual schooling. Purpose of the Study There are two main purposes of this study The first is to identify whether or not there are significant differences in John Kellers ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) motivational constructs in virtual ninth grade English I students based on instructor experience. The second is to investigate the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation. I nstructor experience will be defined in this study by the number of years an instructor has spent teaching language arts. Instructor experience will be categorized in two groups. Group 1 will be Eng lish I instructors who have 15 years experience teaching language arts. Group 2 will be English I instructors who have 6 years or more experience teaching language arts. This study will ex amine whether the students median sco res on each subscale of the CIS are the same or differ, depending on the experience of students assigned instructor. For example, if the analysis for Attention is significant the researcher will be able to determine if students who have teachers with more experience have, statistic ally, significantly higher Attention scores. The results of this study may be used to inform best practices and design considerations for virtual K 12 distance educators to increase motivation and performance. It may also apply to a variety of content areas and learning environments.
53 Assumptions Students taking English I at Flori da Virtual School are assigned to different instructors, but the main shell of the English I course (lessons, topics, assignments) are identical. This study makes several assumptions. First, the study assumes that the basic course design structure of all sections of the English I course are identical. This study also assumes that all students who complete 65% 99% of the course are successful performer s. The study assumes that the FLVS instructors facilitating the English I course follow the grading and communication policies set up by Florida Virtual School. The study will explore the extent of personalization instructors can make in the English I course, but it is assumed that the facilitating of the course, including all lessons, activities, assignments, and scoring rubrics are consistent. The results of this study may be used to inform best practices and design considerations for virtual K 12 distance educators to increase mot ivation and performance. It may also apply to a variety of content areas and learning environments. Research Questions The following research questions will be examined during this capstone project: RQ1: For completers only, is there a statistically signi ficant difference in Attention scores by instructor experience? RQ2: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Relevance scores by instructor experience? RQ3: For completers only, is there a statistically significant differenc e in Confidence scores by instructor experience? RQ4: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in satisfaction scores by instructor experience? RQ5: For completers only, what are the perceived instructional practices that contri bute to motivation?
54 Significance of Study A careful review of the existing literature reveals a wealth of discussion and theories about the concept of motivation. The popularity of recent publications such as Pinks Drive (2009) support s the relevance and importance of motivation for workers of the 21st century. According to Pink, the idea of business operating systems built around external motivators (carrots and sticks) does not work. Pink urges us to upgrade our approach to motivating 21st century work ers to autonomy, mastery and purpose. Because the mission of K 12 education is to give students the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to be successful in the world of 21st century work and life, it is important that we, as educators, build effect ive motivating strategies into education to instill these elements. Although there have been studies on motivation in distance education environments in higher education there is little empirical data on motivation in virtual K12 environments. Research is also lacking on how to positively affect motivation of virtual K 12 students. Motivation is essential to all learning (Dick & Carey, 1996); consequently, this study benefits the fields of general K 12 education and virtual K 12 learning since it addresses the motivational aspects of self directed learning. Perraton (2000) argues that existing research is seldom grounded in theory and is instead typically descriptive, stressing the need for additional empirical development of the literature. Likewise, Viss er and Keller (1990) point out that the literature often neglects the motivational needs of learners. Motivation has been the topic of research for decades in pedagogy; however, there is little formal research on the topic as it relates to virtual K 12 learning. Studies such as Keeping Pace (2009) and K 12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow up (2009) clearly show that the number of virtual K 12 schools and learners are
55 growing. As the offering of virtual K 12 learning environments continues to expand, the tran sformation in education from an instructor centered approach to a learner centered focus requires learners to be self directed and motivated (Fischer & Scharff, 1998). The increase in virtual K 12 schools across the nation further necessitates these traits in adolescent learners. Despite this transformation to a learner centered focus, the question of how to positively affect motivation has not been adequately examined in the existing literature. While the concept of motivation in distance learning higher education environments has been explored, there is little research on the motivational needs of virtual K12 learners. This research study will build on Kellers (2010) ARCS motivational design model for learning and achievement. Since the literature suggests that motivation plays a critical role in performance (Song & Keller, 2001), Kellers Course Interest Survey (CIS) will be used to assess the relationship between specific ARCS motivational constructs and performance in a virtual K 12 environment. Once these relationships are identified, this knowledge about what motivates virtual K 12 learners may benefit instructional designers and facilitators of virtual K 12 virtual environments as they develop and implement best practices to sustain and improve moti vation. This study will also build on existing research on the role of an instructors teaching experience in student performance, and motivation to perform. Some studies of the effects of teacher experience on student learning have found a relationship b etween teachers' effectiveness and their years of experience (Murnane & Phillips, 1981; Klitgaard & Hall, 1974). While many studies have established that inexperienced teachers (those with less than three years of experience) are typically less effective than
56 more senior teachers, the benefits of experience appear to level off after about five years, especially in noncollegial work settings (Rosenholtz, 1986). There is very little literature exploring the relationship between teacher experience and achiev ement in virtual environments. This study will seek to add to the literature about the effect teacher experience may have on motivation in virtual secondary students. Operational Definitions Review of existing research and literature led to the following operational definition of terms: ARCS MODEL: Refers to John Kellers ARCS Motivational Design Model. Each letter of the acronym ARCS stands for a motivational factor of learning (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction). DISTANCE EDUCATION: "Dista nce Education is instructional delivery that does not constrain the student to be physically present in the same location as the instructor. Historically, Distance Education meant correspondence study. Today, audio, video, and computer technologies are mor e common delivery modes" (Steiner, 1995). EXPERIENCED: a teacher with 6 or more years teaching experience in the subject area he or she teaches. EXPERT TEACHER: a teacher with possession of an organized body of conceptual and procedural knowledge that can be both readily accessed and used with superior metacognitive skill. An expert teacher may be an experienced teacher. FACETO FACE: Traditional classrooms or schools where students meet in the same physical location as their teacher and fellow classmates. Also referred to as brick and mortar classrooms or schools. INSTRUCTOR: For the purposes of this study, an instructor at Florida Virtual School is one responsible for providing an educational atmosphere where students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, and psychological growth. This person is responsible for organizing and implementing an instructional program that results in students achieving academic success in accordance with FLVS and state policies and laws. MOTIVATION : For the purpose of this study, motivation will be defined as an individuals demonstrated effort to learn course content.
57 MOTIVATIONAL DESIGN : The process of arranging resources and procedures to bring about changes in motivation. Acc ording to Keller, motivational design focuses on the motivation to learn and refers specifically to strategies, principles, and processes for making instruction appealing (Keller, 2010, p.23). NOVICE TEACHER: a teacher with 15 years teaching experience in the subject area he or she teaches. PERFORMANCE: For the purpose of this capstone, performance by English I students includes both completion of 65% 99% of the English I course and mastery of course objectives in the English I course, as measured by earning a passing grade at the 65% 99% completion point in the course. SAMPLE: The sample is the English I students who responded to the survey. Out of 432 in the target audience, 78 were in the sample. TARGET AUDIENCE: For the purpose of this capstone, the target audience is the 432 English I students who met the criteria for this study. TEACHING EXPERIENCE: Teaching experience will be defined as the number of years an instructor has taught in any environment whether faceto face, virtual, or blend ed. VIRTUAL SCHOOL: As defined by Clark (2001) virtual schools are educational organizations that offer K 12 courses through the Internet or webbased methods (p.1). VIRTUAL K12 SCHOOL: The use of K 12 when discussing virtual schools is an industry st andard and will be used in this capstone when there is a discussion of virtual schools and students in general. However, to date, according to Keeping Pace (2009) very few stateled programs offered elementary school in 200809; exceptions include the Miss ouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP) and FLVS (in conjunction with Connections Academy) (p.46).
58 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW There are two main purposes of this study. The first is to identify whether or not there are significant differences in John Kellers ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) motivational constructs in virtual ninth grade English I students based on instructor experience. The second is to investigate the perceived instructional practices that contribute to mot ivation. This literature review begins with studies supporting the rapid growth of distance learning in both higher education and Kindergarten through the 12th grade (K 12). The review describes research on the current trends and challenges in distance education for both learning groups. Following this discussion of distance education, the review focuses on the concept of motivation. After defining motivation, the review focuses on motivational design models as categorized by Keller (2010). After describing these models, an analysis of research on motivation in distance learning reviews the findings of studies performed in higher education and virtual K 12 learning environments. After establishing the gap in research in the area of motivation in virtual K 12 environments, this review addresses the role of teaching experience in motivating students to perform successfully. The review concludes with a description of how this capstone seeks to contribute to an understanding of what sustains and improves motivat ion in virtual K 12 learners. Distance Education in the U.S. Distance education has been growing steadily in higher education. In 2007, nearly two thirds of the 4,200 colleges and universities in the United States reported offering online, hybrid, or other distance education courses (Parsad & Lewis, 2008).
59 Currently there are approximately 164 accredited online colleges (eLearners.com, 2009). Online courses can clearly be seen as dominating in distance learning with 61% of institutions reporting offering online courses (Parsad & Lewis, 2008). Carr (2000) points out that many institutions are using online courses to increase enrollment. Aligning with the growth of online higher education, recent studies support the rapid growth of distance education in virt ual K 12 environments. More than 2 million preK 12 students take some form of schooling online right now whether attending a virtual school for all their classes or just taking one or more courses via the Internet. But while the vast majority of student s will continue to take all of their courses in physical classrooms over the next five years, the number of students taking courses online will jump to more than 10 million by 2014, according to data released recently by research firm Ambient Insight (Nage l, 2009). According to Ambient Insights Chief Research Officer, already about 450,000 K 12 students attend virtual schools or "cyber" charter schools, full time, while another 1.75 million take some of their classes online. The two groups are still outnum bered by students who take all of their courses in physical classrooms, which Ambient Insight indicates is 50.03 million as of 2009 (Nagel). A recent Sloan Consortium report indicates that threequarters of public school districts responding to a survey of K 12 online learning offered online or blended courses (Picciano & Seaman, 2009). The overall number of K 12 students engaged in online courses had increased 47% from 20052006 to 20072008. The 2009 Keeping Pace with K12 Online Learning review reports that 45 out of 50 states have state virtual schools or online full time online schools or both (Watson et al., 2009). Keeping Pace
60 2009 concludes that students demand for online learning options is higher than the opportunities that students have in many states. (Watson et al.). As indicated in Figure 21, this situation will change somewhat by 2014, at which time, forecasts of the number of students taking all of their courses in physical classrooms will drop to 40.49 million, while 3.78 million will tak e all of their classes online, and 6.68 million will take some of their classes online (Nagel, 2009). According to the Sloan survey, online learning is meeting the specific needs of a range of students from those who need extra help and credit recovery to those who want to take Advanced Placement and collegelevel courses. (Picciano & Seaman, 2009). A more detailed discussion of these ranges of students and their needs will be presented in the next section of this review. Challenges in Distance E ducation. Various studies indicate a variety of challenges facing distance educators in the U.S. These include high attrition rates, isolation, and the needs of a widening range of students. According to Angelino et al. (2007), attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 1020% higher than classes taught in a face to face setting. The higher attrition rate of distance education is supported by other studies (Dagger & Wade, 2004; Flood 2002; Nash, 2005). Attrition is also an issue in corporate t raining. Recent statistics from the corporate training arena found that attrition rates are as high as 80% in elearning training courses (MIT, 2001). Studies have investigated the issue of isolation experienced by distance learners, developing strategies such as building a sense of community to address the concern (Rovai, 2001; Sperry, 2009). A review of virtual K12 learners shows that the range of students these schools serve is growing. This is supported by literature describing the history and progres s of
61 virtual K12 programs. Online K 12 education programs known as virtual schools began in the 1990s with programs developed to meet the specialized needs for enrichment experiences and accelerated high school courses such as honors, Advanced Placement, world languages, and International Baccalaureate in smaller schools or schools where qualified teachers were not available (Repetto, Cavanaugh, Wayer, & Liu 2010). Currently, in response to mandates to close achievement gaps and raise graduation rates, v irtual schools have recently added credit recovery and remediation to their mission (Repetto et al., 2010). As a result, the mission of virtual schools has expanded to include online courses for at risk students and students with disabilities. Because this mission is recent for most virtual school, the research base on online courses for at risk students and students with disabilities is still developing (Repetto et al., 2010). Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is one example of an organization that has exp anded the age and range of students it serves. While FLVS began the pilot program as Florida Online High School focusing on grades nine through twelve, the organization has now expanded to offer online courses for middle school and elementary grades. FLVS has also seen growth in the diverse types of students it serves. Much of the schools recent growth has been driven by minority enrollments. During the 2008 09 school year, AfricanAmerican enrollments grew by 45% Hispanic enrollments by 36% and Native American enrollments by 18% (Mackey & Horn, 2009). Online schools are seeking effective ways to reach out to struggling students to help ensure their success and are well positioned to directly address the needs of at -
62 risk learners (Repetto et al., 2010; Rose & Blomeyer, 2007). Scherer (2006) indicates that as the range of students enrolled in virtual K 12 expands, research is required to ensure that online learning is realistic and accessible. Table 21 summarizes the results of current literature addressi ng some of the challenges faced by educators in the distancelearning environment. The literature cited in this table indicates that a majority of literature focuses on distance education in the higher education environment. As the next section of this capstone demonstrates, this trend toward research conducted in higher education is also true for the issue of motivation in distance education environments. This supports the need for additional research on the challenges faced by virtual K 12 educators. Mo tivation Motivation defined. As indicated in the introduction to this capstone, there are varying definitions of motivation. Biehler and Snowman (1997) define motivation as the forces that account for the arousal, selection, direction, and continuation of behavior (p.399). Another definition is a persons willingness the act toward a goal ( University of Kentucky 2006). In an early work, Keller (1987) defines motivation as the magnitude and direction of behavior and the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid and to the degree of effort they will exert in that respect (p.5). In the latest work, Motivational Design for Learning and Performance, Keller (2010) refines this definition as that which explains the direction and magnitude of behavior, or in other words, it explains what goals people choose to pursue and how actively or intensely they pursue them (p.4). This definition describes the elements of motivation
63 magnitude and direction but does not expl ain how or why people identify and choose their goals. For the purpose of this study, motivation will be defined as an individuals demonstrated effort to learn course content. This demonstrated effort will be measured by the individuals completion of 65% 99% of English I course and mastery of course objectives at the 65% 99% completion point in the English I course. There is a large body of knowledge related to student motivation in the traditional classroom (Ames, C. & Archer, J., 1988; ChanLin, 1994; Deci & Ryan, 1995; Graham & Golan, 1991; Keller, 1987, 1999, 2010). There are also a growing number of studies on student motivation as it relates to distance learning (Angelino et al., 2007; Gabrielle, 2003; Hara & Kling, 2001; Keller, 2010; Sperry, 2009; Swan, 2001; TalvitieSiple, 2007). This knowledge includes a variety of theories regarding how and why students are motivated. What educators try to achieve when developing instruction for all types of learning environments is the incorporation of theoretical frameworks to engage and motivate students. Keeping this in mind, how do educators and instructional designers effectively design motivation? What conditions or elements must be present for students to be motivated to learn in an online course? H ow does motivational design relate to instructional systems design? This section addresses these questions as a building block for my capstone. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Two concepts of motivation intrinsic and extrinsic are commonly referenc ed in a review of the literature on motivation. According to Deci (1975), intrinsically motivated activities are ones for which there is no apparent reward except the activity itself (p.23). Intrinsically motivated people tend to
64 follow a deep learning approach, which is associated with better retention, application, and reflection (Jordan, 2006). In a case study on motivational influences in self directed learning, Vallerand, Blais, Briere, and Pelletiers (1989) identified three types of intrinsic motiva tion: (a) the intrinsic motivation to know, (b) the intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments (process, not outcome), and (c) the intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation. Alternatively, extrinsically motivated individuals engage in tasks for the rewards that follow from completing them, not for the pleasure that comes from them (Keller, 2010, p.17). Jordan (2006) argues that extrinsically motivated people tend to follow a surface learning approach, which is associated with lower comprehension, w eaker academics, and overload. They want to attain the reward without necessarily having to master the content (Kawachi, 2002). The descriptions support the value of intrinsically motivating students since this type of motivation fosters deep learning. Ho wever, as Keller (2010) observes, intrinsic motivation is a complex issue and a challenge is to build intrinsic interest in ones subject without expecting all learners to become totally motivated by intrinsic interests (p.19). Self directed learning. C arolus (2005, p.25) observes, "No matter how good teaching may be, each student must take the responsibility for his own education." Particularly in a distancelearning environment, learners must take this sense of responsibility for learning; a concept al so called self directed learning. It is important to examine the issue of self directed learning as it relates to motivation.
65 Self directed learning (SDL) originated as an off shoot of andragogys first assumption: that adult learners can direct their ow n learning (Merriam, 2008). SDL is another model that helped define adult learners as different from children (Merriam, 2008). Although Knowles is an expert in adult learners, the concept of SDL applies to K 12 students since distance learners of all ages must be able to initiate their own learning in order to succeed in a virtual environment. According to Knowles (1975) SDL is a process: In which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formul ating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes (p.18). Knowles puts forward three compelling reasons why SDL is important. First, ther e is convincing evidence that people who take the initiative in learning (proactive learners) learn more things, and learn better, than do people who passively wait to be taught (reactive learners). Knowles explains that self directed learners enter into learning more purposefully and with greater motivation. They also tend to retain and make use of what they learn better and longer than do the reactive learners. (1975, p. 14) The second reason is SDL is more in tune with our natural processes of psycholo gical development. An essential aspect of maturing is developing the ability to take increasing responsibility for our own lives to become increasingly self directed (Knowles, 1975, p.15). Knowles third reason is many of the new developments in educat ion, especially distance learning, put a heavy responsibility on the learners to take a most of the initiative in their own learning. Students entering into these programs without having
66 learned the skills of self directed inquiry will experience anxiety, frustration, and often failure, and so will their teachers (1975, p.15). Since a major goal of educators is to encourage lifelong learning, fostering a sense of SDL is important. Self directed learners are continual learners who use a multitude of think ing strategies to maximize their own learning. Because SDL is essential in a distancelearning environment, students must learn the skill of SDL. Educators have a responsibility to teach, practice, and model the skill for students. Increasing student motiv ation requires quality instructional strategies and consistent implementation of those strategies. McGuiness (2005) suggests that the teacher can be a key to motivating unmotivated students by using the following strategies: Establish a supportive learni ng environment Engage students in the learning process Provide students with timely feedback on their performance Recognize students for their effort and performance (Slide 45) Research exploring online learning has indicated that SDL skills may assist th e learner with the learning process in a distance learning environment (Hartley & Bendixen, 2001). Lee, Hong, and Ling (2002) found that certain aspects of SDL, such as self efficacy, were positively related to students attitudes and performance in online learning. Other researchers have supported the importance of SDL to learners in a distancelearning environment. To succeed in online learning context, Chizmar and Walbert (1999) contend that learners need to take control in planning their learning pace a nd monitoring their learning comprehension. Shapley (2000) and Petrides (2002) point out the importance of SDL as distance learners make judgments on various aspects in
67 their learning process. Online learners need to become motivated to overcome procrastination (Elvers, Polzella, & Graetz, 2003), and to actively engage in online communication opportunities to create meaningful interaction (King, 2002). Many studies of the relationship between motivation and learning performance confirm that when students ar e more engaged in learning, they will more fully understand new knowledge and be more flexible in their use of it (Rigby, Deci, Patrick, & Ryan, 1992; Wang & Reeves, 2006). Keller (1999) notes that instructional designers are faced with even greater chall enges in self directed learning environments than with traditional instruction, especially with regard to satisfying the motivational needs of learners. What is motivational design? Keller (2010) defines motivational design as the process of arranging res ources and procedures to bring about changes in motivation. Motivational design focuses on the motivation to learn and refers specifically to strategies, principles, and processes for making instruction appealing. As illustrated in Figure 21, motivational design is a distinct process but does not occur in isolation from other influences such as the learning environment. Motivational design is used in conjunction with the systematic approach to instructional design. The concept of motivational design compl ements instructional systems design (ISD). Like motivational design, ISD is a systematic approach. The goal of ISD is to produce accurate, efficient, and effective instruction. An understanding of how to select specific instructional strategies to improve motivation is essential to the effectiveness of distance learning courseware.
68 An understanding of motivational design adds an important dimension to instructional systems design. For example, instructional designers seem to have an assumption that effecti veness refers to how well people can learn from an instructional event given that they want to learn. As Keller (2010) points out, it is assumed instruction will be effective if the instruction is presented to the defined target audience, something is done to get the audiences attention as in Gagnes first event of instruction (Gagne, 1965), and they are reinforced for correct responses (Skinner, 1954). However, none of these elements provides a sufficient explanation of motivation to learn. Motivational design is focused on improving the appeal of instruction or a work environment for people who fall within reasonable boundaries of readiness to learn or to work (Keller, 2010, p.23). Designing instruction for those who do not want to learn remains challe nging. Kellers motivational design models. Based on this survey of the literature on motivation, Keller (2010) categorized motivational design models into four groups: Personcentered models Environmentally centered models Interactioncentered models Omn ibus models Table 21 summarizes these motivational design models along with researchers who have contributed to the theories. The first three are grounded in psychological theories of human behavior. They can be classified as personcentered theories, environmentally centered theories, and interaction theories. The fourth group has a more pragmatic, or pedagogical, origin and includes omnibus models that incorporate both instructional design and motivational design strategies.
69 This capstone will focus i n on two of these motivational design models: omnibus and interactioncentered models. The omnibus model is of particular interest from an ISD and distance learning perspective because the model incorporates both ISD and motivational design strategies. Bec ause it is practical in nature, it is valuable in giving distance educators specific motivational strategies for improving and sustaining motivation. Malone and Lepper (1987) identified four major factors that make a multimedia learning environment motivating: challenge, curiosity, control, and fantasy. Other studies have shown that use of these strategies enhance motivation (Cordova & Lepper, 1996; Lepper & Hodell, 1989; Parker & Lepper, 1992). Wang and Reeves (2007) collaborated with a tenth grade scienc e teacher to integrate challenge, curiosity, control, and fantasy into the ISD of a webbased course. A table provided in the study results shows specific ISD strategies that were integrated in an online course that elicited positive learning outcomes (Wang & Reeves, p.173). In the study, in order to understand the subject, learners had to interact with the online program the researchers studied and combine all factors to observe results. This study revealed multiple forms of evidence that the webbased course improved students motivation by incorporating specific instructional strategies built on identified motivational constructs. According to Astleitner and Wiesner (2004), however, the approach by Malone and Lepper (1987) summarizes and categorizes moti vationally relevant factors but is not a comprehensive theory. This supports the need for interactioncentered motivational models as described by both Wlodkowski (1993) and Keller (1987, 2010).
70 In the past, it was assumed that effective ISD and provision of suitable learning activities would guarantee engagement of all learners. However, many educators and institutions are beginning to realize that there is more to motivation than design. It is not always the case that if the instruction is of good qualit y, motivation will follow (Smith, 2008). Wlodkowskis Time Continuum Model of Motivation. Wlodkowskis (1993) Time Continuum Model of Motivation draws on approaches from linguistics, cognitive psychology, and motivation research. It has many similarities t o Kellers ARCS model, but the focus of the model is on the role motivation plays in different stages of the learning process. It divides the learning process up into three critical stages: the beginning of the learning process, during the learning process and the end of the learning process. The beginning of the learning process should focus on attitudes and needs (Wlodkowski, 1993). Motivational strategies that may be used during this stage include icebreaker activities, stating clear objectives for the course, and various strategies to help learners develop a clear understanding of what will be required to be successful in the course. It suggests that when possible, the instruction should focus on the physiological needs of the learners and experiences familiar or relevant to the learners. The instruction should allow for choice and self direction in assignments. A key ingredient of this phase is the needs assessment, which should be performed prior to developing the instruction (Hodges, 2004). During the learning process, emphasis should be placed on stimulation and effect (Wlodkowski, 1993). Motivational strategies that may be used during this stage
71 include learner participation via questions, humor, varying of presentation style, or the use of different modes of instruction from lecture to group work to class discussion. At the same time, it should be as personalized and relevant to the learner as possible (Hodges, 2004). The end of the learning experience should focus on competence and reinforcement (W lodkowski, 1993). Motivational strategies that may be used during this stage include frequent feedback and communicating learner progress (Hodges, 2004). Keller's ARCS Model for Motivation Keller synthesized existing research on psychological motivation and created the ARCS model (Keller, 1987). ARCS stands for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction: Attention Attention involves engaging the learner and keeping the learner's attention. This factor coincides with the first step in Gagne's model of instruction (Gagne, 195). Keller's strategies for Attention include sensory stimuli inquiry arousal in the form of thought provoking questions, and variability in the form of variance in exercises and use of media (Keller & Suzuki, 2004). Relevance. R elevance involves ensuring that the learners understand how the content is related to their lives. If the student has a good feeling about the personal meaningfulness of the material, or consciously recognizes its importance, then the student will be motiv ated to learn it (Keller, 2010) Relevance also involves providing consistent goals, which are ideally intrinsic in nature, that are connected to the learners past experiences and future goals and are compatible with their individual learning styles. This factor has links to the Edwin Lockes (1968) Goal Theory, which assumes that establishing goals to be obtained motivates behavior (Hodges, 2004).
72 Confidence. Confidence involves helping students establish positive expectancies for success. This factor has links to Banduras (1977) Self Efficacy Theory Self efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals. Self efficacy has been show n to predict school achievement. Schunk (1966) found that students with self efficacy perform better than students with low self efficacy. Bandura (1977) points out that, in general, repeated successes at a given task lead to positive self efficacy and repeated failures lead to lowered self efficacy. The Confidence factor al so has links to Attribution Theory (Jones et al., 1971). Attribution is concerned with how a learner explains successes and failures. Learner may attribute the success or failure on an assignment to themselves (I can do that ) or to reasons external to t hem (No matter how hard I try, I wont be able to do that ). The ARCS model argues that instruction should make an effort to help learners attribute their learning outcomes to that which is controllable (Smith, 2008). Satisfaction Satisfaction involves d esigning instruction so that learners gain positive feelings about their learning experiences. This factor can be linked to Fishbeins (1967) Expectancy Value Theory which argues that learners expect certain outcomes from behaviors and the more valued the outcomes, the more likely the learner is to perform the necessary behavior. Also, students must feel that the amount of work required was appropriate and that there was no favoritism at play. Motivational strategies used to increase learner satisfaction ar e verbal reinforcement, rewards, personal attention, feedback, and deliberate avoidance of negative influences (Keller & Suzuki, 2004).
73 ARCS Model summary. Keller (1979) summarizes the ARCS model as follows: In brief, we can say that in order to have moti vated students, their curiosity must be aroused and sustained; the instruction must be perceived to be relevant to personal values or instrumental to accomplishing desired goals; they must have the personal conviction that they will be able to succeed; and the consequences of the learning experience must be consistent with the personal incentives of the learner (p.6 7). The principles of the ARCS model have been proven to be valid and stable over the years at all levels of education even though there are m any differences in the practices used to achieve them (Keller, 1999, 2008, 2010). There are many examples of empirical studies that support the validity of the model, and many were done in a distance learning setting. Chyung, Winecki, and Fenner (1999) us ed the ARCS model in combination with a systematic needs assessment process to design and implement interventions that would decrease the dropout rate in a distance learning program. The results indicated that there were improvements in both learning and m otivational reactions in all four motivational categories ( Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction ). In addition to these results, there was a significant reduction in the dropout rate, from 44% to 22% (Keller, 2008). Chang and Lehman (2002) used the ARCS model to guide the development of strategies in a distancelearning environment. The researchers found a significant improvement in learner perceptions of motivation in scores on a comprehensive test. Motivation in Distance Learning Even thoug h motivational models and theories have been around for several decades, distancelearning organizations business, higher education, and K 12 still find it challenging to integrate them into their online courses. Literature about online
74 training environments in business offers some potential ways to integrate motivating variables into online courses. Some positive ways of influencing motivation in online courses are provided in the 2002 research of Bonk in Online Training in an Online World. In this re search study, Bonk surveyed 201 corporate trainers, instructional designers, training managers, and Chief Learning Officers, 80% of whom had training departments in their organizations, to find out what motivational principles they valued the most. In the study, respondents were asked about the importance of thirteen different webbased principles or characteristics when creating or delivering a webbased course. Twelve of these characteristics are primarily related to intrinsic motivation while the other c oncerned extrinsic motivation. The respondents favored intrinsic motivational principles related to content relevancy, timely feedback, goals and product based activities, personal growth, choice, flexibility, interaction, collaboration, fun, and variety i n course materials and activities (Bonk, 2002). There are differing opinions on what motivates employees in the private and public sectors. The first and most traditional method is based on external motivators. Daniels, a clinical psychologist by training, was one of the first to make extensive use of the science of behavior analysis in business (Johnson, Redmon, & Mawhinney, 2001). As a young clinical psychologist, Daniels became convinced that the work of B.F. Skinner and other behavioral scientists best enabled patients to change their own behaviors. With this conviction, Daniels began to consider the impact of applying behavioral science to the workplace.
75 Daniels ground breaking impact in the workplace spawned the phrase performance management (Danie ls, 2000) In Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Apply the Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement (2000), Daniels describes how to apply scientifically based behavioral stimuli to the workplace. Daniels methods, used at major companies such as X erox, 3M, and Kodak, includes finding reinforcers that work because they are tailored to meet individual employees needs, setting fair performance measurement standards, and providing continual feedback so employees always know how to improve performance and when they have achieved it. Pink (2009) challenges readers to change their method of motivating workers from the carrotandstick approach suggested by behavioral psychologist Daniels to a new paradigm based on intrinsic motivation. Reviewing scientif ic and organizational studies, Pink examines three elements of true motivation, (a) autonomy, the desire to direct our own lives; (b) mastery, the urge to get better at something that matters; and (c) purpose, the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves and offers techniques for putting these into action. Other research, such as that of Malone and Lepper (1987) and McClesky (2009), supports the idea that intrinsic motivation is much more successful than extrinsic moti vation. Pinks description of intrinsic motivational elements, along with evidence from other researchers, should make educators question how they prepare and motivate K 12 learners for the 21st century world of work and life. Intrinsic motivation is most relevant to ISD because designers often have no control over extrinsic factors, with the exception of the occasional word of praise or passing grade. Intrinsic motivation,
76 according to McClesky (2009) is what makes people do the things that they normally would do on their own, whether or not you coerce them with external motivators. So how can distance educators and designers tap into their audiences intrinsic motivation when they create and facilitate online cour ses? A review of literature ( Table 2 3) on the issue of motivation in distance education offers some practical strategies and potential motivators. A review of Table 2 3 shows a variety of potential motivating factors including learner instructor, learner learner, and learner content interactions. While the majority of literature focuses on distance education higher education environments, the findings of this research are valuable starting points for an investigation of motivators in virtual K 12 learning environments. One potential motivating fac tor in distance learning seen consistently in the literature is high quality learner instructor interaction. Feedback impacts motivation (Jordan, 2006). This is supported by survey data collected from online student s. Universities and colleges that offer online courses typically conduct student surveys to assess programs, including levels of interaction. In one survey of online courses at the University of Kentucky, students indicated that their motivation to do well in class was strongly influenced by the level of their instructors engagement and interest (Bhavsar, Burke, Carter, & Jensen, 2006). Other surveys, both national and local, show that student satisfaction and success is positively affected by faculty who take a personal interest in individual st udents and promote positive faculty student interaction (Jordan). Specific guidelines for effective learner instructor interaction, collected from various studies, include clear, prompt, consistent feedback on assignments from the instructor, timely and f requent communication from the instructor, and clear instructions
77 on assignments. (Angelino et al., 2007; Hara & Kling, 2001; Sperry, 2009; Swan, 2001; Talvitie Siple, 2007). A number of studies have shown that effective learner learner interaction can al so positively affect motivation. Rovai (2001) found that building a sense of community among distance learners is positively related to learning. Bocchi et al. (2004) found that a team based, cohort approach was the main reason for the success of the higher education distance education program they studied. One of the ways to build a sense of community is through online discussions. Shroff et al. (2008) found a positive relationship between online discussions and individual perceived competence, increasing individuals intrinsic motivation. Sperry (2009) found that t he greater the percentage of the course grade that was based on discussion, the more satisfied the students were, the more they thought they learned from the course, and the more interaction they thought they had with the instructor and with their peers. ChanLin (2009) found a positive correlation between students final scores and the number of discussion postings, concluding that students who were more involved in class discussions performed better in the course. Some literature points out the motivational impact of course design. McConnell, Hoover, and Sassed (2001) found that designing motivational instruction using the ARCS model, can increase learning outcomes while Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, and Jones (2009) opine that incorporating mechanisms that promote student reflection motivates students toward increased learning outcomes. Fischer and Sharff (1998) concluded that interactivity and supported self directed learning are essential in te chnology mediated environments. Beatty (2002) found that choosing appropriate
78 instructional methods helped engage learners and improved motivation in online learning. Research suggests that using Kellers ARCS model of motivational design has a positive i mpact on motivation. Gabrielle (2003) designed instructional strategies using Kellers ARCS model of motivation delivered through online course s to undergraduate students. An experimental group received the motivational design strategies while the control group did not. Surveys measuring motivation, including Kellers Course Interest Survey (CIS), were administered to both groups. Gabrielle found that those students who received ARCS motivational strategies had significantly higher levels of academic perfor mance than control group students. There were also significant differences in motivation and proclivity to be self directed learners, with higher levels for treatment group students than control group students (Gabrielle, 2003). These results show that systematically designed technology mediated instructional strategies can positively affect motivation, performance, and SDL. Huett et al. (2008) integrated ARCS design elements in online courses for university students. The treatment group not only outperformed the control group but also increased the Confidence subscale on the motivational survey. The authors concluded that integrated ARCS design methods in online courses increases both motivation and performance. The literature, as illustrated in Table 2 3 consistently indicates that when ARCS motivational design strategies are integrated in distance learning environments, moti vation and performance increase (ChanLin, 2009; Gabrielle, 2003; Huett et al., 2008; Song & Keller, 2001; Visser, 1990; Visser, 1998).
79 Recent literature on motivation in the virtual K 12 environment also provides support for ARCS motivational design strategies. As indicated earlier in this review, the range of students virtual schools are now serving has broadened to include at risk students and students with disabilities providing new challenges for virtual schools to motivate these learners. Reppetto et al. (2010) describe the five Cs in schools that influence a students risk of dropping out and then profiles virtual schools that have adopted elements in their programs. The five Cs are shown in Table 24 (Repetto et al.). When adding Kellers ARCS elements to Table 24, it becomes clear that there are similarities between the elements that influence student risk for dropping out and specific motivational constructs. Because virtual schools have become the school of choice for increasing number of at risk students including students with disabilities, it is important that virtual schools design and facilitate online curriculum that m eets the needs of these students (Repetto, et al., 2010). The parallels between ARCS elements and elements which may influence at risk students in virtual schools to succeed in this environment supports the need for further investigation. This capstone project will build on an understanding of the relationship between specific motivational variables in the ARCS model and performance. Since common features exist between ARCS variables and at risk elements this research will add to the literature and understanding of what motivates virtual K 12 students to succeed in this learning environment. Differences in Motivational N eeds of K 12 and Adult Learners. As indicated in the review of research on motivation in distance education, the majority of studies have been on adult learners in higher education settings. Because of the small numbers of studies done on motivation in distance learning environments for younger learners, it is challenging to consider their motivational needs. While there may
80 be similarities between motivating factors in both groups, literature shows that the overall factors which motivate adult learners in online courses differ from what motivates adolescent or child learners in a virtual K 12 environment. This difference is based on physical cognitive, and social differences between adults and younger learners. This gap in literature supports the need for additional research on how K 12 learners are motivated in virtual environments. An analysis of the existing literature on motivation in distance learning supports the importance of reviewing the cognitive differences between motivation in adults and younger learners. Adult learners, according to Knowles theory of andragogy, are motivated by a need to know, especially as it relates to sol ving problems in their lives (Knowles, 1998). According to Knowles (1984) as a person matures the motivation to learn is internal. Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning (Knowles, 1998): Adults need to know why they need to learn something Adults need to learn experientially Adults approach learning as problem solving Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value Zemke and Zemke (1981) observe that increasing or maintaining ones sense of self esteem and pleasure are strong secondary motivators for engaging in learning experiences for adult learners. Adult learners build on a rich background of prior experience and knowledge as a starting point for their learning. As they pursue higher education or career training, adult learners may be motivated by subject areas or career choices of interest, as well as the opportunity to learn specific knowledge, skills, or abilities they will need in the
81 workplace. Adult learners typically have a well defined locus of control and sense of autonomy, well developed metacognitive and cognitive abilities, and are experi enced at working independently (Cavanaugh et al., 2004). These characteristics distinguish adults from younger learners and influence how and why these adult learners are motivated. K 12 students, prompted by parents and administrators, may be motivated to take online classes for a variety of needs including credit recovery, graduation requirements, or advanced placement (Nagel, 2009). Both adults and younger audiences may be motivated to take distance education courses for flexibility and convenience. However, once enrolled in online courses, the specific factors that motivate adult and K 12 learners to succeed may differ. While research exists to assess how specific A RCS motivational factors affect adult learners in distance learning environments, there is insufficient research to make conclusions on which specific ARCS motivational factors have relationships to increased motivation or performance in K 12 learners. Suc h a lack of research makes it difficult to establish best practices for integrating motivational design in virtual K 12 courses. Literature on adult and adolescent learning theory supports the differences between the two audiences. In a metaanalysis of t he effects of distance education on K 12 student outcomes Cavanaugh et al. (2004) identify these differences, providing recommendations for virtual school teachers to effectively address these needs. Table 5 compares characteristics of adult and younger learners, along with recommendations for effectively addressing these in a virtual K 12 environment.
82 Adolescent learning is complex, yet research is clear about the conditions that support it (Lambert & McCombs 1998; McCombs & Whisler, 1997; Resnick, 1987). In an article on how to support and motivate adolescent learners, Beamon (2001) Table 2 5 summarizes research on the conditions that have a positive impact adolescent learning. Many of these conditions identified as supporting and motivating for adolescent learners are also found in Kellers ARCS motivational model. Table 26 reflects a comparison of the two. The Role of Teacher Presence in Motivating Online Learners Research supports the importance of teaching presence for successful online learning (Swa n & Shih, 2005; Meyer, 2003; Murphy, 2004). The consensus is that teaching presence is a significant determinate of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community. Teaching presence includes a variety of elements, including the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social process for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes, (Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001, p. 5). In online learning environment, the teachers presence is essential for student success. This includes the teacher s use of strategies promoting the feeling of connectedness and belonging (Hara, Bonk, & Angeli, 2000; Harasim, 1993; Kitchen & McDougall, 1998; So & Kim, 2005). Gunawardena and Mclsaa c (2004) observe that teacher presence is critical to distance learners perception of psychological distance with their instructor and other learners. In facilitating and directing student learning, teaching presence includes the responsibility of motivat ing students to succeed in the online learning environment However, the specific strategies that are most effective in motivating students, as well
83 as the characteristics of a motivating instructor, especially in a virtual environment, are still being studied. One potential characteristic of a motivating instructor to consider is the level of experience a teacher has. To better understand the determinants of teacher quality, this study considers the relationship between specific motivational constructs and teaching experience in order to investigate effective ways to motivate virtual learners to perform. According to Lorenzo and Moore (2002), who coauthored a report for the Sloan Consortium about the five pillars of quality online education, one of the goals of a quality online program is that all learners who are qualified and motivated are enabled to succeed and complete a course through online access to learning in any discipline. One of the key factors enabling learners to succeed is the facilitator or instructor In an article titled What Works, for example, Reisetter and Boris (2011) indicate that, according to students comments, the teacher was the most important factor in motivating them to learn in online courses. McGuiness (2005) suggests that the teacher can be a key to motivating students by using the following strategies: Establish a supportive learning environment Engage students in the learning process Provide students with timely feedback on their performance Recognize students for their effort and performance (Slide 45) Wlodkowski identifies four cornerstones of a motivating instructor: expertise, empathy, enthusiasm, and clarity. Supporting a learners autonomy and influencing student mindset are also essential to motivating students i n a virtual environment.
84 Experience and Expertise Glaser and Chi (1988) define expertise as the possession of an organized body of conceptual and procedural knowledge that can be both readily accessed and used with superior metacognitive skill. Wlodkowski (1993) observes there is no substitute for thoroughly knowing our topicnothing beats it. Whatever experience, reviewing, or practice it takes its payoff far outweighs its cost (p.19). Expertise is often linked with experience. Siedentop and Eldar (1989), who conducted a study of expertise, experience, and effectiveness, indicate experience is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for expertise. This is because expertise is probably developed over long periods of time in a specific context. Although inexperienced teachers (beginning and first year teachers) can be effective, Siedentop and Eldar note that the effectiveness of the experienced teachers is different than that of the intermediate and first year teachers. The more experienced teachers pa ced events more smoothly, followed up more deliberately on important specifications, and utilized content more imaginatively. Shulman (1987), citing additional studies, reports what these studies show is that the knowledge, understanding, and skill we see displayed haltingly, and occasionally masterfully, among beginners are often demonstrated with ease by the expert (p.5). Siedentop and Eldar, in their study of beginning and experienced teachers, observe that first year teachers and expert or experienced teachers accomplished the same goals, so both are effective. They call the automaticity and ease of expert teachers experienced effectiveness. There is a great deal to be learned from studying experienced effectiveness, especially in terms of how mor e experienced teachers motivate virtual learners. Are the characteristics of a motivating teacher related to the personality of a teacher? Do other
85 variables such as certification, degrees, professional development, contribute to motivation? Is it possible to teach beginning teachers motivation? These are important questions to consider when seeking motivating teachers. Supporting Autonomy Students benefit when teachers support their autonomy. Distance learners, by nature of the environment, must be self directed learners. The type of teaching style best suited to motivate students by supporting their autonomy is defined by Reeve (1998) as autonomy supportive. These are teachers who encourage students to pursue self determined agendas and then support s tudents initiatives and intrinsic motivation. Deci and Ryan (1991), in their explanation of self determination theory identifies three sources of influence on a persons interpersonal motivating style. First, motivating style is partly a matter of pers onality. Deci (1995) argues that some people have personalities oriented toward controlling others, and he cites the authoritarian personality as one example. He reasons that autonomy support is a personal orientation you take toward other people. This orientation flavors every aspect of your interactions with them (Deci, 1995, p. 142). Second, autonomy support is an interpersonal style composed of acquired skills. Just as behavior modification (a controlling style) requires practiced skill, supporting the autonomy of others also requires deliberate practice. Requisite skills include, for instance, taking the other persons perspective, acknowledging feelings, and using noncontrolling language, (Deci, 1995). Closely linked with autonomy support is self e fficacy. Self efficacy, as defined in this context, is t he extent to which teachers believe they are able to affect student
86 performance ( Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Efficacy is related to setting goals and to exercising effort and persistence in their attainment (Bandura, 1997). It has been linked to teachers instructional practices and attitudes toward students (Bender, Vail, & Scott, 1995; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Mi dgley, Anderman & Hicks, 1995; Midgley, Feldlaufer, & Eccles, 1989). Teachers with high self efficacy spend more time helping students persist in their efforts, support students ideas and give more help to students having difficulties (Ashton & Webb, 1986). Research has also established a relationship between teachers high level of efficacy and an increase in students achievement test scores (Ashton, Webb & Doda, 1983). Ashton and Webbs later study (1986) showed that teachers with high levels of teachi ng efficacy are more likely to expect that all students can learn, and to feel responsible for that learning, than are teachers with low efficacy levels. Showing Empathy Motivational theories such as Maslow (1970) are based on need gratification. Students learn in response to their own perceptions and needs, not those of their instructors. Empathy is an important characteristic of any instructor seeking to motivate students. Empathy, as defined by Rogers (1969, p.11) is when the teacher has the ability to understand the students reactions from the inside, a sensitive awareness of the way the process of education and learning seem to the student. Empathy seems to be both an attitude as well as a skill. Vlodkowski (1993), in a statement about adult motivat ion that applies readily to the virtual K 12 learner states the more we mechanize and objective the learning process through computers and electronic media, the more learners need to know we care about them as human beings (p.27). An instructor in a
87 virt ual course can use empathy to establish a supportive learning environment, as suggested by McGuiness (2005). Demonstrating Enthusiasm Enthusiasm is energy, and it is motivating as well as inspiring. In educational research, enthusiasm has been related to increased learner motivation as well as achievement (Rosenshine & Furst, 1971; Cruickshank, 1980). Gage (1979) sees enthusiasm as useful at all grade levels, in all subject areas, and for all types of students. When teachers are enthusiastic, students are more likely to pay attention and therefore understand what is said or demonstrated (Vlodkowski, 1993). Enthusiastic instructors inspire and motivate learners to want to learn. Vlodkowski (1993) describes two cornerstones of enthusiasm: 1) we care about and value what we teach for ourselves as well as our learners and 2) this commitment is expressed in our instruction with the appropriate degree of animation and energy. Providing Instructional Clarity There are many studies that reveal that instructional cl arity (teaching something in a manner that is easy for learners to understand) is positively associated with learning (Gephart, Strother, & Duckett, 1981). An instructional clarity checklist, developed by Gephart, Strother and Duckett, includes explaining things simply, staying with a topic until the learner understands, using examples to illustrate concepts, giving students enough time to practice, answering questions, and teaching things stepby step. If students are confused, they will become frustrated and motivation to learn will decrease. Having expertise in the subject area being taught, supporting learner autonomy, showing empathy, demonstrating enthusiasm, and providing instructional clarity are
88 several important characteristics of a motivating teacher which are supported by research. These are general qualities pertaining to a variety of learning environments. Virtual environments, because of the absence of a faceto face instructor, require modifications. Rather than showing enthusiasm through v oice quality or eye contact, for example, an instructor may show enthusiasm through discussion board texts, positive feedback, video lectures, emails or phone calls with students. Best practices and policies for frequent instructor student communication by schools such as Florida Virtual School seek to address the need for the instructor to motivate students in different ways, but with the same underlying philosophy of caring, empathy, passion, enthusiasm, and support for autonomy. Influencing Students M indset A motivating instructor has the knowledge, skills, and ability to influence student mindset, building students belief in their own ability to succeed. In her 2002 article Messages that Motivate: How Praise Molds Students Beliefs, Motivation, and Achievement, Carol Dweck argues that students beliefs about themselves and their learning profoundly affect their behavior. For example, do students believe intelligence is a fixed trait or an expandable quality? Do they believe that failure is a lack of ability or a lack of effort? How students explain their success or failure is key to what they achieve, regardless of intellectual ability. As Dweck observers, the exciting thing about student mindset is that instructors have the power to help student s change their beliefs in their ability to learn and perform and when you change their beliefs you change their motivation and achievement (p.38).
89 Dwecks recommends practical strategies to influence student mindset. One strategy is for instructors to carefully design messages, comments, and feedback on assignments to teach students a different view of intelligence. For example, comments praising a students intelligence seems like a great thing to do, but supports the view that intelligence is a fixed trait. Praising effort, which Dwyer observes sounds like a consolation prize instead fosters a malleable view of intelligence. The quality and nature of feedback, Dweck argues, can have a real effect on students motivation and achievement. John Kellers specific strategies for building confidence and satisfaction through positive and constructive feedback give instructors specific ways to change students beliefs and improve motivation. Are Characteristics of Motivating Teaching Teachable? Once characteristics of a motivating teacher such as these are identified, can these characteristics be taught to other teachers? Or are many motivating factors simply personality traits? One researcher addressed one characteristic, supporting student autonomy an essential skill needed for facilitators of virtual K 12 learning. Reeve (1998) performed a study examined the motivating styles of beginning preservice teachers by studying two issues. The first issue was whether personality characteristics orient preserv ice teachers toward either an autonomy supportive or controlling motivating style. The second was whether the autonomy supportive style was t eachable to preservice teachers. Study 1, which addressed the first question, relied on self determination theory t o identify and confirm causality orientation as one personality characteristic related to motivating style. Study 2, which addressed the second question, randomly assigned preservice teachers to receive training in either autonomy supportive, controlling, or neutral instructional strategies. Results showed that the
90 autonomy supportive style was teachable. Autonomy oriented preservice teachers (as measured by causality orientation) assimilated the information rather easily, while control oriented preservice teachers accommodated the information only in proportion to the extent that they perceived it to be highly plausible and classroom applicable. Role of Teaching Experience in Effectiveness Because one of the goals of current presidential, state, and local administrations is to ensure highly qualified teachers are in every classroom, including virtual ones, it is important to define the factors that contribute to quality. What are the characteristics of a highly qualified teacher? Educational background, certification, professional development, and experience have been cited as some characteristics of an effective or qualified teacher. In education, a teachers experience is probably the key factor in personnel policies that affect current employees: it i s a corner stone of traditional singlesalary schedules. Ballou and Pod gursky (2002) estimated that 17% (average) of teacher salary is paid as the additional costs for teaching experience. Issues in the current merit teacher debate in the state of Florida focus on the role of seniority, based on number of years teaching in the district, in pay and tenure. This prompts and investigation of the underlying assumption i s that experience promotes effec tiveness and, in turn, student achievement It also requires administrators, legislators, and virtual leaders to distinguish the impact of experienced and less experienced, or novice teachers, in motivating students to achieve. There are a variety of studies that address the issue of teaching experience and quality in traditional schools. Many studies report that teacher experience has a positive effect on student test scores (Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2006; Goldhaber & Anthony,
91 2007; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1997; Jepsen, 2005; Krueger, 1999; Noell, 2005, 2001; R ivkin et al., 2005; Rockoff, 2004; Sanders, Ashton & Wright, 2005). There is, however, complexity when trying to pinpoint the exact number of years this positive effect occurs. A review of literature on the role of teaching experience on achievement highl ights sometimes conflicting viewpoints on when teaching experience has a significant impact on achievement and learning. Table 28 summarizes mixed reviews of the role of experience while Table 29 focuses on research supporting the view that teacher exper ience has impact on achievement in the first five years. Table 210 identifies research that shows that teaching experience beyond 5 years has a positive effect on achievement. The first perspective is that t he positive effect of experience appears to be nonlinear in nature as demonstrated by substantial improvements in teaching skill during the first 3 5 years in the classroom with the effects generally tapering off around the fifth year (Rivkin et al., 2005). This view is also supported by Rice (2010) who conducted an analysis of the impact of teacher experience on quality for the National Center for Analysis of Longitud inal Data in Education Research. Citing over 40 years of teacher productivity research, Rice et al. conclude that the impact of exper ience is strongest during the first few years of teaching; after that, marginal returns diminish. A study using New York City data illus trates the diminishing marginal returns to experience (Boyd, Rockoff & Wyckoff, 2007). According to this study t he lar gest gain in math achievement attributable to teacher experience is associated with teachers progression from their first year of teaching to having one full year of experience (Boyd, et al., 2007) Specifically, the first year of experience accounted for almost half the
92 cumulative experience effect in grades 4 5 (.06 standard deviation [SD]) and more than half the cumulative effect in grades 6 8 (.04 SD) (Rice, 2010). A number of studies support the positive effect of more than five years of experience on achievement. This research is summarized in Table 210. Murnane and Phillips (1981), for example, found the experience had a significant positive effect on elementary student achievement among teachers during their first seven years of teaching. Fergus on (1991) found that, at the high school level, Texas students taught by teachers with more than nine years of experience had significantly higher test scores than students whose teachers had five to nine years of experience. Rivers and Sanders (2002) concluded that teachers effectiveness increases dramatically each year during the first ten years of teaching. A review of these studies supports the complexity of attempting to assign exact numbers to quality. A review of studies with mixed results, summ arized in Table 28, also points out contrasting views of the effect of experience. For example, one researcher found that, on average, teachers with more than 20 years of experience are more effective than teachers with no experience, but are not much more effective than those with 5 years of experience (Ladd, 2008). Studies have also documented some evidence that effectiveness declines after some point, particularly among high school teachers. In fact, evidence suggests that the most experienced high school mathematics teachers, defined as more than 25 years experience, may be less effective than their less experienced counterparts (Ladd, 2008) and even their inexperienced colleagues (Harris & Sass 2007).
93 Rice (2010) concludes that while less experi enc ed teachers tend to be less effective than more experienced teachers as a whole (evidenced by the performance distributions of teachers with no experience and one to two years of experience shifted to the left of the performance distribution of more experi enced teachers), many less experi enced teachers have value added scores comparable to or exceeding those of their more experi enced counterparts (evidenced by the substantial overlap among the three distributions). Research has shown that other policy re levant factors such as a teachers academic training and prepa ration program may equal or even outweigh the impact of early career experience (Rice, 2010). Findings on the impact of teacher experience at the high school level are less definitive. A study using North Carolina high school data estimates the effect of early career experience as .05 SD, with the largest effects observed for student achievement in mathematics and biology. In contrast, a study using data from Florida finds little evidence of an impact of early career experience among high school teachers, and no effect (or even a negative effect) of teaching experience beyond the first several years on high school student achievement in mathematics and reading (Harris & Sass, 2007). There are a f ew global studies on the role of teacher experience, as part of overall teacher quality, and effectiveness. For example, in 2011, a total of 2460 teachers and 4860 students in Pakistan participated in a study examining the impact of teacher quality on the academic achievement of secondary science and arts students. One of the factors examined by the researchers was teaching experience, defined as the time spent by a teacher in the teaching profession (Dahar, Dahar, & Faize, 2011). The study found that teac hing experience had negatively insignificant relationship with
94 academic achievement for both types of students. However, its impact is negatively significant for science students and negatively insignificant for arts students. The authors of this study used the findings to support the need for more intensive professional development of teachers in Pakistan. Some studies of the effects of teacher experience on student learning have found a relationship between teachers' effectiveness and their years of experience (Murnane & Phillips, 1981; Klitgaard & Hall, 1974), but not always a significant one or an entirely linear one. While many studies have established that inexperienced teachers (those with less than three years of experience) are typically less effec tive than more senior teachers, the benefits of experience appear to level off after about five years, especially in noncollegial work settings (Rosenholtz, 1986). Other studies point out that attributing teacher experience to effectiveness is difficult due to the number of variables that can be attributed to quality. Darling Hammond (2000) for example, linked surveys of 65,000 teachers (52,000 public and 13,000 private); 13,000 school principals (9,500 public and 3,500 private); and 5,600 school distr icts to examine the relative contributions of teaching policies and student characteristics to student achievement. Her analysis uses data on public school teacher qualifications and other school inputs. Among variables assessing teacher "quality," Darlin g Hammond found the percentage of teachers with full certification and a major in the field was a more powerful predictor of student achievement than teachers' education levels (e.g., master's degrees) or teaching experience. As the research of DarlingH ammond points out experience teaching is only one of many factor s in a teachers effectiveness on learning outcomes. However, since it
95 has been found to be one indicator, and is the subject of the current debate on how to assess the pay and merit of teachers in the state of Florida and other states, it is an important one to consider. How to measure teacher quality is a hot topic of debate at a national and state level as legislative bodies, teachers, principals, teacher unions, and the community considers how to define terms such as quality and effectiveness. Haycok and Hanushek (2010) recommend that measures of teacher quality should be based primarily on teachers effectiveness in promoting student learning as well as evidence of teaching practices known to contribute to greater student learning. These researchers argue that while experience in no way equals effectiveness, experience does matter for inexperienced teachers. As a group, first year teachers tend to be less effective than those with even a little more experience, and effectiveness tends to climb steeply for any given cohort of teachers until it begins to plateau at about year five (Hay cok & Hanushek ). According to research by Eric Hanushek and others, disproportionate exposure to inexperienced teachers contributes to the achievement gap (Rivkin, Hanushek & Kain, 2005) A review of literature on the role of teachers in quality and achievement supports the differences in the ways inexperienced (less than 5 years teaching experience) and ex perienced or expert teachers (with 6 years or more teaching experience) impact student learning. While inexperienced or novice teachers have been defined by some studies as less than 3 years experience (Rosenholtz, 1986), other studies have grouped diff erences in effectiveness of teachers between two groups, experienced ( experienced) and inexperienced (novice) at 5 years of experience (Ladd, 2008). For the purposes of this capstone, and in order to evaluate the different ways levels of experience impact
96 motivation, teachers in this study have been grouped by years of teaching experience in the subject area of language arts. Inexperienced, or novice, teachers are defined as those with 15 years experience, while experienced teachers are defined as those wi th 6 or more years teaching experience in the subject area of language arts. There are few studies examining the role of teaching experience on quality or achievement in a virtual environment. Face to face teaching and online teaching have different skill sets that impact teachers effectiveness. Since most of the research on the impact of teaching experience has been done in a faceto face environment, more research needs to be done in order to understand how teaching experience relates to effectiveness in the online environment. There are also policy considerations for hiring virtual teachers that may be impacted by increased knowledge. When making decisions about hiring an inexperienced or experienced teacher as a virtual instructor what criteri on is best? What factors and variables may or may not impact a potential teachers effectiveness in motivating students in an online or virtual secondary environment? When considering policy issues such as how much to pay online instructor s, should teacher experience be the primary factor? What research would support such decisions? The current research will contribute to knowledge in the field that may be used in such policy considerations and professional development recommendations. Creating a quality l earning experience is a central concern for administrators and educators building virtual environments. One important element of quality is the characteristics of instructors who facilitate virtual curriculum. Because of the increased attrition rates in vi rtual environments, it is crucial that these instructors possess the
97 ability to motivate students to complete virtual curriculum. However, there is little research on the role of teaching experience on motivation and achievement in a virtual environment. This research will investigate the role of teaching experience on motivation. Lessons learned may be used to improve professional development and best practices not only for virtual instructors, but for instructors in faceto face and blended environments. Impact of Quality Course Design Creating quality online courses includes creating a motivating learning environment. Typically, even though many instructors can identify motivating versus demotivating experiences, they do not have a reasoned, systematic approach with dealing with the motivational aspects of instructional design and teaching. The specific aim of the ARCS motivational model (Keller, 1987, 2008, 2010) is to provide guidance for the design of courses to address questions about specific motivational variables and strategies that can be used to motivate students. Research supports the effectiveness of Kellers recommended strategies for integrating ARCS motivational constructs in curriculum. Huett et al. (2008) determined there were signific ant increases in Confidence levels of online learners when Confidence strategies (ARCS) were used. In the Huett et al. study, the t reatment group outperformed the control group on the posttest Song (1998) used Kellers ARCS model of motivation to develop computer based instruction for middle school students. One control and two experimental groups received different levels of motivation in instruction. The results indicated s ignificantly higher levels of Attention, Relevance, motivation and effectiveness in the experimental group (Song, 1998) Naime Diefenbach (1991) found that students who completed lessons with Attention strategies
98 recommended in Kellers research (1987) acquired higher success points than the control group. Relevance strategies have been effective in increasing the students motivational perceptions (Nwagbara, 1993) Some virtual schools, such as Florida Virtual School, have developed detailed Course Development Checklists based on specific learning theories, such as Gagnes nine events of instruction to ensure the quality and effective design of each course. As Table 211 indicates, Gagne and Kellers ARCS constructs address the same type of instructional strategies. The following items on the FLVS checklist address the importanc e of specific ARCS constructs. These three items, for example, require Relevance to be integrated in course design: Lessons and activities are clearly linked to real world problems, issues, products, performances, and exhibitions that students consider r elevant and significant to their lives. Students are presented with opportunities to move from hands on work to abstract thinking by solving real world problems. (Problem Based Learning) Vertical Motif employed that relates content to real world circumst ances. (WOW Authenticity) Elements of choice, recommended as strategies for Attention, Relevance, and Confidence are also specified on the FLVS Course Development Checklist: Multiple modalities are integrated into the design of the lessons meeting the needs of learners from a sensory, perceptual, and/or information processing perspective. ( WOW: Choice) Equitable a ssessment choices focused on a variety of learning styles are offered for demonstration of content mastery. Specific rubrics are provided to address each choice. ( WOW: Choice Novelty and Variety) Clear learning objectives and prerequisites, identified as strategies for building Confidence are also specified on the FLVS Course Development Checklist:
99 Clear e xpectations are stated through use of items such as rubrics, examples, and prototypes. Standards for assessing student product or performance are clear and specific. (WOW: Content and Substance) What is the impact of meaningful quality assurance, such as the type represented by the FLVS C ourse Development Checklist? The Quality Matters Program, focusing on quality standards for online course design and peer based, course review process, is one manifestation of the response to the demands for quality online curriculum (Legon & Runyon, 2007) Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses. QM is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer based approach and continuous improvement in online education and student learning. QM subscribers include community and technical colleges, colleges and universities, K 12 schools and systems, and other academic institutions The Grades 612 Edition (G612) of t he Quality Matters Rubric developed in collaboration with Florida Virtual School, is specifically tailored for middle school and high school online and blended courses. The result of a review by Quality Matters is a score, based on 40 standards, and a series of comments and recommendations for the course to meet the standards. According to Executive Director Ron Legon, this is not an evaluation process, but rather a collegial process to enhance the instructional design of a course. The goal of the proc ess is to stimulate the refinement of online and hybrid courses, not to pass judgment on courses or instructors (p.12). Research, based on survey results of Quality Matters reviewed courses, found the positive impact of the QM standards and the process itself. 91% of faculty respondents (n=47) whose course was reviewed made revisions to the course as a result of the review (Legon & Runyon, 2007). Eighty nine percent of faculty respondents whose
100 course was reviewed felt that the quality of course design i mproved as a result of the review and would recommend the QM review process to others. The survey of peer reviewers indicates that peer reviews indicate that participation in the course review process benefited them as well. Seventy five of respondent peers (n=240) indicated they made revisions to their own online course as a result of the process (Legon & Runyon). Best Practices and Lessons Learned about Distance Education Course Design There is a variety of research published on the issue of best practic es in technology and teaching which can be used to identify what works in distance education. One publication, entitled The Perfect Online Course: Best Practices for Designing and Teaching, editors Anymir Orellano, Terry Hudgins, and Michael Simonson from Nova Southeastern University compile a series of journal articles published in Quarterly Review of Distance Education and Distance Learning. The book begins by covering literature related to general approaches and guidelines, continues with proposed met hods approaches and guidelines, continues with proposed methods and models for designing and instruction and ends with instructional strategies to achieve engagement through interaction. Orellano et al. indicate that when designing an online course, there are three organizational categories to consider: course structure, course content, and artifacts of learning. The editors define artifacts of learning as evidence of student learning. The editors conclude that there is no perfect online course but ther e are keys to an effective course. The key to an effective course is the direct, purposeful involvement of a knowledgeable teacher; one with content knowledge, teaching skills, and design experience (p.550).
101 Principles and guidelines for effective di stance learning su pported by theory and research, are identified by a variety of experts in the field of distance education. Research support s, for example, the importance of interaction as a crucial element of successful online learning (Bates, 2000; Ful ford & Zhang, 1993, Moore, 1998). One model which captures the fundamentals of interaction, the Rubric for Assessing Interactive Quali ties in Distance Courses (RAIQ) was developed by Roblyer and Wiencke (2004). This rubric includes five elements or indic ators for interactive qualities of distance courses. These include: 1. Social rapport building designs for interaction. 2. Instructional designs for interaction which encourage and support interaction among students 3. Interactivity of technology resources 4. Evide nce of learner engagement 5. Evidence of instructor engagement Roblyer and Wienckes (2004) rubric describes the specific ways in which each of these can be measured. For example, instructor engagement is measured by the consistent, timely and useful feedbac k to students from the instructor (p.89) Rubrics such as these can be useful in helping design and measure interaction in distance education courses. Since term interaction is vag ue and can be measured in a variety of ways, rubrics such as this one can help define quality more in a more practical way for designers and distance educators. High expectations are also an important principle of online learning. Chickering and Gamson (2003) stated expect more and you will get it. Sorenson and Baylen (2009) observe that students seem to need more detailed information in an online class
102 than in a faceto face class. They recommend the use of course objectives, assignment information, performance expectations, and sample grad ing rubrics. Sorenson and Baylen (2009) conclude that using criterionreferenced grading communicates high expectations for students, as does allowing for revision of assignments in order to reach higher levels of performance. S tudent satisfaction, along with increased learning outcomes, is a major goal of distance learning organizations This supports the need to identify the nature and characteristics of student satisfaction. Moore (1998) has noted that technology is not a critical element in shaping students satisfaction with their distance courses. Rather satisfaction is determined by the attention they receive from their teachers and from the system they work in to meet their needs (p.4). Those needs what all distant learners want, and deserve include: 1. Content that they feel is r elevant to their needs; 2. Clear directions for what they should do at every stage of the course 3. As much control of the pace or learning as possible 4. A means of drawing attention to individual concerns 5. A way of testing their progress and getting feedback from their instructors; and 6. Materials that are useful, active, and interesting (p.4). One can recognize Kellers ARCS constructs within this l ist of student needs. Attention, for example is addressed in number 4, Relevance in numbers1 and 6, Con fidence in num bers 2 and 3 and Sat isfaction in number 5. One can also learn from the best practices recommended by Graham, Cagiltay, Lim, Craner, and Duffy (2001) who offer seven lessons for online instruction:
103 1. Instructors should provide clear guidelines for interact ion with students 2. Welldesigned discussion assignments facilitate meaningful cooperation among students 3. Students should present course projects 4. Instructors need to provide two types of feedback: information feedback and acknowledgement feedback 5. Online cour ses need deadlines 6. Challenging tasks, sample cases, and praise for quality work communicate high expectations 7. Allowing students to choose project topics incorporates diverse views in online courses As with the distance learning needs identified by Moore (1998), these seven lessons offered by Graham et al. overlap with Kellers ARCS motivational constructs as well as specific strategies to implement them. Many instructional systems designers and distance educators identify Gagnes nine events of instruction as a framework for the design of instruction. As seen in Table 2 11, a comparison of Gagnes events and Kellers ARCS constructs shows that the events parallel Kellers ARCS constructs.
104 Figure 21 Where students are t aking classes: 2009 v. 2014 R eprinted with permission from Nagel, D. (2009, October 28). 10.5 Million PreK 12 Students Will Attend Classes Online by 2014. Transforming Education through Technology Journal. Retrieved August 30, 2010, from http://thejournal.com/articles/2009/10/28/10.5million preK 12students willattendclassesonline by 2014.aspx
105 Table 21. Literature on challenges faced by distance educators Issue Researcher(s) Audience Focus Applicable Findings Attrition Angelino et al. (2007) H Strategies for decreasing attrition in distance education courses Developed table of strategies to reduce attrition (based on integrative literatu re review): Engagement Learner centered approach Learning communities Accessibility to online services Attrition Bocchi et al. (2004) H Discusses program with a high retention rate (MBA program at University of Georgia) and approaches that have been su ccessful Approaches highlighted; Cohort and team based approaches; Extensive faculty feedback and interaction; Attrition Hara and Kling (2001) H Found two sources of stress: technological problems and lack of communication Recommended practical strategies for increasing student motivation clear course expectations, clear communication, support services Attrition Huett et al. (2008) (distinguish which Huett study) H Seek to address how to improve retention and motivation Experimented with use of moti vational messages using ARCS model to increase retention Results show greater retention rate as well as lower student failure rate for treatment group (receiving motivational messages). Increases in motivation can translate into increased performance A ttrition Nash (2005) H Surveyed community college students to determine factors for retention Results showed that students who dropped were more likely to say they expected the course would be easier, supporting the need to have clear course expectations
106 Table 21 Continued Issue Researcher(s) Audience Focus Applicable Findings Isolation Rovai (2001) Schroff, Vogel, and Coombes (2008) Sperry (2009) H Explores value of classroom community to achievement Concluded sense of community is positively related to motivation and performance Isolation Bocchi et al. (2004) H Discuss approaches that have been successful Extensive faculty feedback and interaction are important to motivate students Quality DiPietro, Ferdig, Black, and Preston (2008) K 12 Best practices in teaching K 12 online Potential motivating factors: Teacher presence Organizing and structuring content Teachers encouraging and communicating frequently with students Timely, detailed feedback and encouragement Quality Cavanaugh (200 8) K 12 Analyzes literature and research Identifies core group of successful online teaching practices Potential motivating factors: Qualified online teachers Knowledge about characteristics of successful online learners Online interactivity Frequent, qu ality instructor communication and feedback Content requiring application of content Satisfaction and Learning Swan (2001) H Researchers analyzed surveys of 73 online university courses to determine what factors were important to satisfaction and percei ved learning. Survey showed positive satisfaction and perceived learning from: Clear course design, Quality interaction with instructors, and Active discussion among course participants.
107 Figure 22 Motivational design as a subset of instructional and learning environment design. Reprinted with permission from Keller, J.M. (2010). Motivational Design for Learning and Performance. New York: Springer.
108 Table 22. Kellers motivational design models Model Examp l es Description PersonCentered Als chuler (1973), McClelland (1965), Bandura (1977) Postulate that people have drives, potentials, values, and motives that influence personal motivation and development. Assume that the primary impetus for psychological growth comes from within the individual Environmentally Centered Skinner (1968), F.S. Keller (1968), Sloane and Jackson (1974) Assume that behavior can be explained in terms of environmental influences on human volition. Interaction Centered DeCharms (1976), Hunt and Sullivan (1974), W lodkowski (1993), J.M. Keller (1987) Assume that neither the personal nor the environmental assumptions provide an adequate basis for understanding or explaining motivation. Sometimes called social learning theory or expectancy value theory (Keller, 1993) Human values and innate abilities are seen to both influence and be influenced by environmental circumstances. Examples: Wlodkowskis Time Continuum Model Kellers ARCS Model Omnibus Models Duffy, Lowyck, and Jonassen (1993); Joyce and Weil (1972); Mal one and Lepper (1987) Described by Keller (2010) as complete solutions to given instructional goals; not motivational design models but motivational strategies (p.34).
109 Table 23. Literature review of motivation in distance learning Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Bellon and Oates (2002) H Three year collection of survey data from graduate students taking online courses. Researchers administered the Jung Typology Test to determine individual personality styles. They also c ollected survey data concerning students preferences for online course components. The goal was to determine the relationship between personality styles and course components as well as inform best practices for developing online curriculum to motivate le arners. Descriptive article based on survey data, no rigorous method used The results of this study suggest that despite signing up for online courses based on individual needs, student personalities do play a part in motivating the online learner onc e the course begins. Preferences for particular course components were marginally predictable based on personality types. Interaction with the instructor is necessary to motivate all students Carliner (2000), N Defines a three part framework for designing online information that is motivating including physical design, cognitive design, and affective design. Descriptive article based on literature review Motivating factors include: Clear course design (more visuals/ less text, making layout appeal ing, consistent navigation) Determining learner goals and developing solutions to help learners understand information Making learners comfortable and encouraging them to perform
110 Table 23 Continued Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Gabrielle (2003) H Dissertation study conducted during one semester with 784 students (20% of population) on undergraduate students in a tuitionfree public military school. Strategies were designed using Kellers ARCS model of motivation delivered through online course. Experimental group received strategies; control group did not. Surveys administered to both groups Mixed method four surveys used to measure motivation and self directed learning (Kellers Course Interest Survey, Kellers Instruction al Materials Motivation Survey, Guglielminos Self Directed Learning Readiness Scale, and Self directed Learning survey Those students who received ARCS motivational strategies had significantly higher levels of academic performance than control group students. There were also significant differences in motivation and proclivity to be self directed learners, with higher levels for treatment group students than control group students. Systematically designed technology mediated instructional strategies ca n positively affect motivation, performance and self directed learning Horton (1990) N Provides course design guidelines for developing online courses which motivate learners. Descriptive article based on literature review Recommendations: Information should fit screen size Recommends directories and search engines Clearly marked selectable options, consistent navigation ChanLin (2009) H Kellers ARCS model used to examine problems within a web based environment at a university in Taiwan. Attention a nd Relevance strategies used when designing content. Mixed method (# of postings, textual information from discussion forums, assignments, reflections); Sample size (n=40) Positive correlation between students final scores and the number of discussion postings. Conclusion: students who were more involved in class discussions performed better in course
111 Table 23 Continued Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Chyung, et al.(1999) Used the ARCS model in combination with a systematic n eeds assessment process to design and implement interventions that would decrease the dropout rate in a distance learning program. Study cited by Keller (2010) indicating rigor of methods. The results indicated that there were improvements in both lear ning and motivational reactions in all four motivational categories ( Attention Relevancee, Confidence, and satisfaction). Also, there was a significant reduction in the dropout rate, from 44% to 22% Huett, Kalinowski, & Moller (2008) H Determined effec t of ARCS based motivational email messages on motivation and retention. Treatment group received motivational messages, control group did not; CIS used; 78% response rate to survey (n=119); strong response rate supports results. Greater retention as wel l as lower student failure rate for treatment rate. Statistically significant difference in every measure of motivation except Relevance in treatment group Huett, J., Young, Huett, K., Moller, and Bray (2008) H Determined if there were significantly significant increases in Confidence levels of online learners when Confidence strategies (ARCS) were used. Determined if there was also an increase or change in academic performance Treatment and control group used, IMMS administered Sample size 81 (treatment n=41, control n=40) Treatment group outperformed control group on the posttest. Conclusion: increases in motivation can increase performance or performance
112 Table 23 Continued Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Little (2008) K 1 2 (high school) Relationship between students motivational strategies and achievement. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) administered at beginning and end of course to see if there were changes. Validity issues include small sample size (n =28) and short time frame (5 week summer online course) Intrinsic goal orientation and self efficacy for learning were useful predictors of final course grade. Only one measure, effort regulation, changed significantly McClesky (2009) N Offer s practical strategies, based on research literature, for building intrinsic motivation in E learning Descriptive article based on literature review Recommendations: Strategies for stimulating and sustaining motivation in online courses include: Learn the basics of motivation Think structure a well organized structure builds Confidence (the C in the ARCS model) Be aware of session length (online sessions should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete) Increase visual interest through photographs, vi deo, graphics, animations Incorporate emotion by incorporating images that have a mild emotional impact Tell a story with anecdotes, examples Incorporate interactivity to engage learners Nash (2005) H Investigating motivation (and reasons for success) in online students Quantitative (n=478) respondents were 14.7% of population Surveys show online tutoring, clear course expectations are potential motivators
113 Table 23 Continued Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Rovai, Ponton, We ighting, and Baker (2007) H Multivariate analysis used to determine if there were differences in seven measures of motivation between students enrolled in 12 elearning and 12 traditional university courses (N=353); strong sample size; study cited by Keller (2010) indicating rigor of methods. E learning students possess stronger intrinsic motivation than face to face course students on three intrinsic motivation measures. Graduate students reported stronger intrinsic motivation than undergraduate students in both elearning and traditional courses. Shroff et al. (2008) H Dissertation investigating factors supporting intrinsic motivation in online discussions Qualitative research methodology (n =7); small sample size, limited application Researchers conc lude that positive relationship between online discussions and individual perceived competence could result in an increase in an individuals intrinsic motivation Song (1998) K 12 Used Kellers ARCS model of motivation to develop computer based instructi on for middle school students. One control and two experimental groups received different levels of motivation in instruction. study cited by Keller (2010) indicating rigor of methods Significantly higher levels of Attention Relevance, motivation and effectiveness in the experimental group. Sperry (2009) H Dissertation investigating rural community college student experiences of elements/strategies they found motivational in online courses. Qualitative method consisting of in depth interviews (n=8); s mall sample size Participants reported the importance of timely, constructive feedback, clear course expectations, and flexibility to motivation
114 Table 23 Continued Researcher(s) Audience Purpose Applicable Findings Talvitie Siple (2007) K 12 (high school) Dissertation investigated secondary students motivation to learn, mathematics attitudes, and perceptions of transactional distance in a virtual high school. Sample size started with 41. High dropout rate resulted in only 10 students participating in study. 4 surveys administered, including CIS. For students who passed the course, there were lower perceptions of transactional distance, supporting the importance of instructor student interaction. Surveys also showed that timely, effective, consi stent instructor feedback was essential to motivating students Visser, Plomp, Amirault and Kuiper (1999) H Used instructional strategies (motivational messages) using the ARCS model with distance learners; study cited by Keller (2010) indicating rigor of methods. Motivational messages were found to improve learner motivation, retention, satisfaction, and performance
115 Table 24. Five C s of dropping out and how virtual schools address them Element influencing student risk Keller ARCS variable Des cription Application in virtual schools Connect Relevance Making the connection between school and ones future Rigorous and relevant instruction; Transition-based effective practices (e.g. career development, community experiences, self-deter mination, interagency collaboration, vocational/technical education). Emphasis on life skills and work readiness. Climate Confidence Satisfaction Providing a safe and caring learning environment Opportunities to be successful while setting reasonable academic and social expectations Climate that emphasizes safety, caring, support, and data-driven instruction. Control Confidence Teaching evidence based strategies to students to assist them in controlling their learning and behaviors Give attentio n to behavioral and affective needs of students with specific programs and interventions designed to promote independence Review causes of issues (absence, truancy) and develop action plans to correct them. Life skills program to meet behavioral and emotional needs of students Curriculum Attention Effective teaching strategies and academic support Varied student groupings depending on learning activity, scaffolded learning moving students toward independence Provide a range of scaffolds and grouping str ategies to foster independence in learners Caring Community Confidence Personalized learning environment letting students know they are valued Ask students what they think of school experience and consider this when planning lessons and interacting with s tudents Positive, proactive communication Mentoring
116 Table 25. Comparison of characteristics of adult and younger learners Characteristic of Successful Distance Learners Characteristics of Adult Learners Characteristics of Younger Learners Recommendat ion for Virtual School Facilitators (Cavanaugh et al., 2004) Autonomy (Keegan, 1996) Have acquired a degree of autonomy by the time they reach higher education. (Cavanaugh, et.al, 2004) Need to be scaffolded as part of distance education experience (Cavanaugh, et al., 2004) Assist children in acquiring the skills of autonomous learning, including self regulation Increased student responsibility (Wedemeyer 1981) Experts in subjects they study (Bransford, Brown & Cocking 1999) Novices (Cavanaugh, et al., 2004) Help the learner develop this cognitive skill Metacognitive ability Well developed metacognition (Cavanaugh, et.al, 2004) Gradually developing metacognition (Cavanaugh, et al., 2004) Help the learner develop this cognitive skill Internal lo cus of control, leading to persistence in educational endeavors (Rotter, 1998) Well developed internal locus of control Older children have more internal locus of control than younger children (Gershaw, 1989) Help the learner develop this cognitive skill Refined cognitive development Adults have progressed through Piagets stages of cognitive development At various stages of cognitive development (based on Piagets stages) Each stage is characterized by the emergence of new abilities and ways of processin g information (Slavin, 2003, p. 30) Web based instruction for students in their formative years must include age appropriate developmental activities, building on the students accomplishments in and through the cognitive stages Independent learners Work independently Vygotsky believed that learning takes place when children are working within their zone of proximal development Offer students activities that make use of the webs powerful tools for collaborative learning, and are within their zone of prox imal development
117 Table 26. Conditions that have a positive adolescent learning impact Adolescents learn better when: Encounter learning that is appropriate to their developmental level and is presented in multiple ways and in an enjoyable and interes ting manner. Are intellectually intrigued by tasks that are authentic and perceived as challenging, novel, and relevant to their own lives. Are allowed to share and discuss ideas, and to work together on tasks, projects, and problems. Are afforded mul tiple strategies to acquire, integrate and interpret knowledge meaningfully, to demonstrate understanding, and to apply knowledge to new situations. Are provided opportunities to develop and use strategic thinking skills, such as reasoning and problem sol ving. Are given guidance and feedback about their work, yet are permitted to monitor personal progress and understanding. Are in a safe, supportive environment where value is given to personal ideas and negative emotions, such as fear of punishment and e mbarrassment, are minimized.
118 Table 27. Comparison of ARCS motivational variables with elements of adolescent learning Motivational Variables in Kellers ARCS model (Keller, 2010) Elements which motivate and support adolescent learning (Beamon, 2001) Attention : involves engaging the learner and keeping the learner's attention. A successful instructor will assist in building Confidence with strategies in these areas: Perceptual Arousal : What can I do to capture their interest? Inquiry Arousal : How c an I stimulate an attitude of inquiry? Variability : How can I maintain their attention? (Keller, 2010, p.47) Encounter learning that is appropriate to their developmental level and is presented in multiple ways and in an enjoyable and interesting manner Relevance does this material relate to my life? If the student has a good feeling about the personal meaningfulness of the material, or consciously recognizes its importance, then the student will be motivated to learn it (Keller, 2010, p.48).; A su ccessful instructor is able to build bridges between the subject matter and learners needs in various subcategories of relevance: Goal orientation: how can I best meet my learners needs? Motive Matching : how and when can I provide my learners with appropriate choices, responsibilities and influences? Familiarity: how can I tie the instruction to the learned experiences? (Keller, 2010, p.48) Are intellectually intrigued by tasks that are authentic and perceived as challenging, novel, and relevant to their own lives; are afforded multiple strategies to acquire, integrate, and interpret knowledge meaningfully, to demonstrate understanding, and to apply knowledge to new situations; are provided opportunities to develop and use strategic thinking skills such as reasoning and problem solving. Confidence involves helping students to establish positive expectancies for success. It includes assisting students reach develop self efficacy; the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to atta in certain goals. A successful instructor will assist in building Confidence with strategies in these areas: Learning requirements : How can I assist in building a positive expectation for success? Success opportunities : How will the learning experience support the students belief in their competence? Personal Control : How will learners clearly know their success is based upon their efforts and abilities? (Keller, 2010, p.51) Are in a safe, supportive environment where value is given to personal ideas.
119 T able 27. Continued Motivational Variables in Kellers ARCS model (Keller, 2010) Elements which motivate and support adolescent learning (Beamon, 2001) Satisfaction involves designing instruction so that learners gain positive feelings about their learning experiences. A successful instructor will assist in building Confidence with strategies in these areas: Natural consequences : How can I provide meaningful opportunities for learners to use their newly acquired knowledge/skills? Positive consequences : What will provide reinforcement to the learners successes? Equity: How can I assist the students in anchoring a positive feeling about their accomplishments? (Keller, 2010, p.51 52) Are given guidance and feedback about their work, yet are permitted to monitor personal progress and understanding Table 28 Mixed results of role of experience on achievement Researcher s Findings Siedentop & Eldar (1989), This study of elementary P.E. first year and experienced teachers concluded that both groups accomplished the same goals, so both are effective. Researchers concluded that the effectiveness of the experienced teachers is different than that of the intermediate and first year teachers. For example, t he more experienced teachers paced events more s moothly, followed up more deliberately on important specifications, and utilized content more imaginatively. They call the automaticity and ease of expert teachers experienced effectiveness. Harris & Sass, 2007 This study found little evidence of an i mpact of early career experience among high school teachers, and no effect (or even a negative effect) of teaching experience beyond the first several years on high school student achievement in mathematics and reading. Dahar, M., Dahar, R., & Faize,, 2011 The study found that teaching experience had negatively insignificant relationship with academic achievement for secondary math and science students i n Pakistan. Fetler, 1999; Murnane & Phillips, 1981. Researchers concluded teachers with less teachi ng experience typically produce smaller learning gains in their students compared with more experienced teachers Aaronson, Barrow, & Sander (2007) Researchers found that 90 % of the variance in teacher effects on student learning was not explained by teacher characteristics such as highest level of education, experience, credentials, and selectivity of the college that the teacher attended.
120 Table 29 Research supporting the premise that the role of experience on achievement matters in years 15 Rese archers Findings Hanushek et al. (2005), Researchers conclude that e xperience matters only in the first year of teaching. By their estimates, having a first year teacher on average is roughly equivalent to having a teacher a half standard deviation down i n the quality distribution. Boyd, Rockoff & Wyckoff, 2007. Study concludes that th e largest gain in math achievement attributable to teacher experience is associated with teachers progression from their first year of teaching to having one full year of experience. Grissmer (2000) This analysis of state data on the National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed positive effects on student achievement in states with large proportions of teachers who had at least two years of experience, but no evidence that additional years of experience were associated with higher achievement. Gordon, Kane, and Staiger (2006) Researchers found large gains in teacher effectiveness between the first and second year of teaching, much smaller gains between the second and third year, and no substantial improvement after the third year in the classroom. Murnane (1975) Researchers found that teacher effectiveness improves rapidly over the first three years of teaching and reaches its highest point between the third and fifth year but found no substantial improvement after year five. Ferguson (1991) and Ferguson and Ladd (1996) Researchers found no experience effects for elementary teachers beyond the first five years in the classroom Hanushek & Rivkin, 2007, Rockoff, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005; Boyd et al., 2005). teacher experience effects are largely concentrated in the early years Rice (2010)
121 Table 2 10. Research supporting the premise that experience matters after 5 years of teaching Researchers F indings Murnane and Phillips ( 1981) Researchers conclude that experience had a significant positive effect on elementary student achievement among teachers during their first seven years of teaching. Ferguson (1991) A t the high school level, study concludes that Texas students taught by teachers with more than nine years of experience had significantly higher test scores than students whose teachers had five to nine years of experience. Rivers & Sanders (2002) Researchers concluded that curre nt TVAAS research suggests that teachers effectiveness increases dramatically each year during the first ten years of teaching (p. 22). Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor (2006, 2007a) Researchers found e vidence of growing teacher effectiveness out to 20 or more years in their analyses of North Carolina teacher data, although more than half of the gains in teacher effectiveness occurred during the first few years of teaching. Ladd, 2008 Researcher concluded that t eachers with more than 20 years of experienc e are more effective than teachers with no experience, but are not much more effective than those with 5 years of experience
122 Table 2 11. Comparison of G agnes nine events and K ellers arcs constructs Gagne Kellers ARCS constructs Gaining Attention Attention Informing learners of the objective Relevance Stimulating recall prior knowledge Relevance Presenting the content Relevance Providing learning guidance Confidence Satisfaction Eliciting performance Confidence, Satisfaction Providing feedba ck Confidence Satisfaction Assessing Performance Confidence Satisfaction Enhancing retention and transfer Confidence Satisfaction
123 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter describes the research design, methodology, data collection, and the data analysis procedures in this study. The researcher also delineates the sampling procedures and instrument validation. The chapter is divided into six sections. Section one provides the introduction; section two describes the research design plan, section three descr ibes the instrumentation used for this study, including its reliability and validity, section four describes the data collection and analysis for the study, section five describes the data analysis techniques employed, and section six describes the limitat ions of the study. There are two main purposes of this study. The first is to identify whether or not there are significant differences in John Kellers ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) motivational constructs in virtual ninth gr ade English I students who have completed 65% 99% of the course based on instructor experience. The second is to investigate the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation. Instructor experience is defined in this study by the number of years an instructor has spent teaching language arts. Instructor experience is categorized in two groups. Group 1 is English I instructors who have 15 years experience teaching language arts. Group 2 is English I instructors who have 6 years or more ex perience teaching language arts. These groups were formed based on research suggesting there is no significant positive impact on achievement beyond five years of experience (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2007, Rockoff, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005; Boyd et al., 2005). Although there is disagreement among researchers about the exact number of years
124 experience matters in increasing or improving achievement, the five year mark is being used in order to assess the impact of experience on motivation. This study ex amines whether the students median scores on each subscale of the CIS are the same or differ, depending on the experience of students assigned instructor. The results of this study may be used to inform best practices for training virtual instructors as well as assist in the design and facilitation of effective virtual K12 distance curriculum. E ducators administrators and policy makers seeking to increase motivation and performance may find the results of this study useful as they consider policies and procedures governing the design, review, facilitation and implementation of virtual curriculum It may also apply to a variety of content areas and learning environments Research Design This study gathered both quantitative and qualitative data. English I students were asked to select responses to the Course Interest Survey from a series of Likert scale choices. They were also asked to rank a series of twelve course design and facilitation features from extremely motivating to not motivating . These were analyzed using quantitative methods. Student responses to a vari ety of openended questions designed to assess their perceptions of ARCS constructs in the course were analyzed using qualitative methods Appendix C is a complete copy of the student survey. In addition to gathering student data, t he study also obtained quantitative and qualitative data from English I instructors through an instructor survey This survey was designed to collect information about the professional background, education, and years of experience each instructor had teaching language arts. This information about instructors years experience teaching language arts made it possible to identify novice
125 and experienced instructors based on the studys criteria. Englis h I inst ructors responses to the openended questions on the survey assessed t he instructional strategies used by instructors to f acilitate the English I course as well as the instructors perceptions of the ARCS motivational constructs in the English I course. Open ended questions also allowed instructors to discuss how they added their own personal presence to the course and specific ways they gave feedback to students. Instructor s openended responses were analyzed qualitatively Appendix G is a complete copy of the instructor survey. Qualitative information from student and instructor surveys was used to support the quantitative data as well as to identify derivative outcomes outside of the research questions. These outcomes include instructional practices and course design features related to motivation for the virtual secondary school target audience. The target audience was ninth grade language arts students in the English I course at Florida Virtual School (FLVS) who were active in the course and had com pleted 65% 99% of one segment of the course. According to Florida Virtual School research specialist Rhonda McPherson, Florida Virtual School had 8,445 enrollments and 8,445 completers in the English I course in 20092010 (personal communication, January 21, 2011) As of January 21, 2011 there were 3,803 active enrollments and 5,555 completed enrollments for the 20102011 school year. Since this study targets students who have completed 65% 99% of one segment of the course, there was a potential target audience of 432 English I students.
126 According to Dr. McPherson there were 35 instructors for English I in the 20102011 school year (personal communication, January 21, 2011) Population Instructors Dr. McPherson identified 35 instructors teaching En glish I in the 20102011 school year (personal communication, January 21, 2011) Dr. McPherson created this list from internal sources at FLVS in a two tiered fashion. First, she received a list of instructors assigned to teach the English I course from human resources at FLVS. Second, she emailed each of these instructors to verify that each was teaching English I in the 20102011 school year. The instructor survey was distributed only to the 19 instructors teachi ng English I who had students who had completed 6599% of the course as of January 21, 2011. 19 of the 1 9 instructors who had students who completed 65% 99% of the course by January 2011 responded to the survey, for a total response rate of 100%. Students To obtain a proportional sample of st udents from the institution, all Florida Virtual School English I students who met the following criteria were contacted: 1) were active in the English I course during the 20102011 school year and at the time of the survey period 2) had completed between 65% and 99% of one segment of the English I course and 3) demonstrated mastery of the course objectives by earning a passing grade at the time of the survey. On January 21st, 2011, Dr. McPherson pulled a progress report of all students in the target audience from the Virtual School Administrator (VSA) database. This progress report identified a target population of 432 students taking the English I course
127 from 19 English I instructors. Each of the 432 students met the requirements of completing between 65% and 99% of at least one segment of the English I course and mastering the course objectives by earning a passing grade at the time of the survey. A total of 91 English I students in the target audience started the survey and responded to portions of the survey. 78 completed the quantitative portions of the survey, including the Course Interest Survey. 66 English I students in the target audience completed the entire survey, including the openended questions. All of the 19 instructors corresponding to these respondents had completed the instructor survey, making grouping of data by instructor experience possible. Sample Size The study used nonparametric statistics to assess group differences. G*Power 3.1.0 was used to calculate the sample size for a t test, parametric equivalent to MannWhitney. Lehmann (2006) recommends adding 15% to the computed sample size when planning for a nonparametric analysis. Considering this large effect size of 0.80, a generally accepted power of 0.80, a 0.05 level of significance, and an allocation ratio of 1, the desired sample size to achieve empirical validity for a t test with two tails is a total of 52 participants. The addition of 15% for the nonparametric equivalent brings the desired sample size to a total of 60 participants (Faul, Erdfelder, Buchner, & Lang, 2008). Research questions were divided into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. Research questions 14 were examined using quantitative methods. Research question 5 was examined using qualitative methods.
128 Quantitative Methods Research Question 1 RQ1: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Attention scores by instructor experience? To examine research question 1, one MannWhitney U test was conducted to assess whether differences exist on Attention scores by years of experience teaching language arts (1 5 years vs. 6 or more years). Only students who had completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course were included in the study. Attention scores was the dependent variable in the analysis. To measure Attention scores, Kellers Course Interest Survey was used (questions 1, 4, 10, 15, 21, 24, 26, 29). Questions 4 and 26 were reverse coded. Responses ranged from 1 = not true, 2 = slightly true, 3 = moderately true, 4 = mostly true, and 5 = very true. The independent variable in the analyses was years of experience teaching language arts (1 5 years vs. 6 or more years). Research Question 2 RQ2: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Relevance scores by instructor experience? To examine research question 2, one MannWhitney U test was conducted to assess whether or not differences exist on Relevance scores years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Only students who had completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course were included in the study. Relevance scores were the dependent variable in the analysis. To measure Relevance scores, Kellers Course Interest Survey was used (questions 2, 5, 8, 13, 20, 22, 23, 25, and 28). Questions 8 and 25 were reverse coded. Responses ranged from 1 = not true, 2 = slightly true, 3 = moderately true, 4 = mostly
129 true, and 5 = very true. The independent variable in the analyses was years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Research Question 3 RQ3: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Confidence scores by instructor experience? To examine research question 3, one MannWhitney U test was conducted to assess whether or not differences exist on Confidence scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Only students who completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course were included in the study. Confidence scores were the dependent variable in the analysis. To measure Confidence scores, Kellers Course Interest Survey was used (questions 3, 6, 9, 11, 17, 27, 30, and 34). Questions 6, 11, and 17 were reverse coded. Responses ranged from 1 = not t rue, 2 = slightly true, 3 = moderately true, 4 = mostly true, and 5 = very true. The independent variable in the analyses was years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Research Question 4 RQ4: For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Satisfaction scores by instructor experience? To examine research question 4, one MannWhitney U test was conducted to assess whether or not differences exist on Satisfaction scores by years of experience teac hing language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Only students who had completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course were included in the study. Satisfaction scores were the dependent variable in the analysis. To measure Satisfaction scores Kellers Course Interest Survey was used (questions 7, 21, 14, 16, 18, 19, 31, 32, and 33). Questions 7 and 31 were reverse coded. Responses ranged from 1 = not true, 2 = slightly true 3 =
130 moderately true, 4 = mostly true and 5 = very true. The independent variable in the analyses was years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) Research Question 5 RQ5: For completers only, what are the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation? To examine research question 5, responses to openended questions related to each of the ARCS categories were coded into tables following t he guidelines recommended in Saldanas Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers For exam ple, questions 16 in the openended quest ion section of Appendix C first asked students whether or not they perceived the course or instructor captured their attention, was relevant to their lives, built confidence or satisfaction. If the course or instructor motivated them through the use of these ARCS constructs, students were asked to share the specific ways the course or instructor contributed to their motivation. Responses were coded according to key words, organized in tables and emerging themes were analyzed. Analysis Justification MannWhitney U Test The MannWhitney U test is the nonparametric equivalent to the independent t test and the appropriate analysis to compare differences that come from the same population when the dependent variable is ordinal (Leech, Barrett & Morgan, 2008). The MannWhitney U test compares the number of times a score from one sample is ranked higher than a score from another sample. The scores from both samples will be ranked together; rank 1 is used for the lowest score, rank 2 for the next lowest score, and so on. When scores have the same value, a tie is determined. The scores are
131 ranked and those ranks are added together and then divided by the number of scores. Each of the tied scores is then assigned the same ranking (Cramer, 1998). Once the data is r anked, calculations will be carried out on the ranks. Given the nonparametric nature of this statistical analysis, there are fewer assumptions to assess. The assumptions include: the two samples have independent observations; and the measure of the two sa mples have at least an ordinal scale of measurement (Brace, Kemp & Sneglar, 2006). Qualitative Methods Qualitative methods are a useful complement to quantitative methods. They can increase the understanding of quanti tative information by eliciting respons es to more probing questions which expand the knowledge of the researcher about the issues According to Linda Mayoux (2010), qualitative methods can increase understanding of what is happening, contribute to an understanding of who is affected in which ways, and analyze why particular impacts are occurring. Qualitative methods recognize the multiple realities of the sample and enable a more indepth understanding of individuals as well as groups (Mayoux). In order to facilitate references to participant r esponses in the student survey and in order to protect the privacy of both students and instructors, two tables were created. Table 413 provides a data code sheet of novice teachers and their corresponding students. Table 414 provides a similar data code sheet of experienced teachers and their corresponding students. These tables assign an instructor number to each instructor. The students of each instructor were assigned participant numbers to enable the research to discuss comments from participants of each instructor.
132 T he guidelines recommended in Saldanas Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers were followed in the analysis of responses to openended questions in both the student and instructor surveys (Appendices C and G ) The coding process i nvolved recognizing (seeing) an important moment and encoding it (seeing it as something) prior to a process of interpretation (Boyatzis, 1998). A good code is one that captures the qualitative richness of the phenomenon (Boyatzis, 1998, p. 1). Encoding the information organizes the data to identify and develop themes from them. Boyatzis defined a theme as a pattern in the information that at minimum describes and organizes the possible observations and at maximum interprets aspects of the phenomenon (p. 161). The themes or patterns which emerged during analysis of the responses to openended questions were analyzed and synthesized into two main groups: motivational course design and instructional practices The researcher used best practices recommended by Mayoux (2010) including validating findings by cross checking with other questions and respondents, quoting an individuals exact words, carefully documenting responses, and continually examining the researchers own biases. Justification for Online Survey Approach For decades, paper andpencil administration of questionnaires or survey instruments dominated research and evaluation efforts. In recent years, web surveys have become increasingly popular, as manifested in the growing research on Web surv ey methodology (Couper 2000; Couper, Traugott, & Lamias 2001; Crawford, Couper, & Lamias 2001; Dillman & Bowker 2001; Dillman, Tortora, Conradt, & Bowker, 1998; Tourangeau, Couper, & Steiger 2001). Web surveys have been used by researchers in a variety of fields, such as medicine (Eysenbach & Diepgen, 1998;
133 Raziano, Jayadevappa, Valenzula, Weiner, & LavizzoMourey, 2001; VanDenKerkhof, Parlow, Goldstein, & Mine, 2004), program evaluation (Morrel Samuels, 2003; Watt, 1999), social science (Babbie, 1998; Fral ey, 2004; Sell, 1997), education (Carini, Hayek, Kuh, Kennedy, & Ouimet, 2003; Kennedy, Kuh, & Carini, 2000; Kwak & Radler 2002; McCabe, 2004; Shannon & Bradshaw, 2002; Sax, Gilmartin, & Bryant 2003), and business (Roberts, Konczak, & Macan, 2004; Shu, 2005; Truell, Bartlett, & Alexander, 2002). Underlying this popularity may be the advantages some researchers find in using Internet based tools for collecting their data (Bebell, ODwyer, Russell, & Hoffman, 2010; Shapley, 2008; Silvernail, 2008). Virtual s chools, such as FLVS, routinely collect data from online surveys for use in annual evaluations such as the Florida Virtual School Stakeholder Survey 2009 2010 (2010). Webbased research provides many advantages such as access to specific, sometimes difficult to find populations, speed of data access, and decreased costs for data collection and data entry (Duffy, 2002). Compared to traditional mail surveys, the normal data collection period in web based surveys is dramatically reduced from 46 weeks for mail surveys and 23 weeks for telephone surveys to a 23 day data collection period for webbased surveys (Duffy, 2002). Linking a webbased survey directly to a database or spreadsheet application eliminates manual data entry as well as errors that might be made while entering data (Lazar & Preece, 1999; Schmidt, 1997). Webbased surveys are particularly advantageous in settings where technology is easily accessible and the target audience is comfortable using the Internet. Aoki and Elasmar (2000) state that the Internet will present advantages over traditional modes of
134 data collection if it is used for specific populations that are known to be Internet savvy (p. 3). Because virtual K 12 learners routinely use the Internet to access online courses and posses s a high level of comfort with technology, an online survey is ideal for students in a virtual school environment. Some studies show that another advantage of webbased surveys, under specific conditions, is a higher response rate than other methods, such as paper based surveys. Cobanoglu, Warde, and Moreo (2001) compared the response rates of mail, fax, and web based surveys in a university setting for response speed, response rate, and costs. On average, the response rate was 28.91%: 26.27% for mail, 17. 0% for fax, and 44.21% for web surveys. Since this study was done nine years ago, the expectation is that individuals in educational settings have increased their use and comfort level with technology and similar, if not greater results, would follow. According to Shih and Fans (2008) metaanalysis comparing response rates from web and mail surveys, higher response rates seem to be related to a variety of factors, including the length of the survey, the age and technological expertise of the respondent, and the format of the survey. The survey being used in this study is short (34 items) and being administered to young students who are effectively using technology in their daily lives. The purpose of these choices is to increase the response rate of this st udy. Another advantage of webbased surveys is that they reduce the time and effort required to collect and analyze information. Data collected from computer based surveys can be accessed easily and analyzed nearly instantly, streamlining the entire data collection process.
135 Surveys and questionnaires remain widespread and dominant tools across nearly all studies of educational technology (Bebell et al., 2010). To measure technology use appropriately, researchers must invest time and effort to develop inst ruments that are both reliable and valid for the inferences that are made (Bebell et al.). Kellers Course Interest Survey meets these standards of reliability and validity. Course Interest Survey Keller (1987, 2010) designed the Course Interest Survey (C IS) to correspond with the theoretical foundation represented by the motivational concepts and theories comprising the ARCS Model. The CIS was designed to measure students reactions to instruction. According to Keller (2010) the CIS can be used in both sy nchronous and asynchronous online courses that are instructor facilitated. The goal with this instrument is to measure how motivated students are with respect to a particular course (Keller, 2010). The CIS has 34 items in each of the four ARCS categories with approximately equal numbers in each of the ARCS categories (Attention items = 8, Relevance items= 9, Confidence items = 8, and Satisfaction items = 9) or the total scale score. The response score ranges from 1 (Not True) to 5 (Very True). T he minimum score on the 34 item survey is 34, and the maximum is 170 with a midpoint of 102. The minimums, maximums, and midpoints for each subscale vary because they do not all have the same number of items. Scores are determined by summing the responses for eac h subscale and the total scale. The items marked reverse are stated in a negative manner. The responses have to be reversed before they can be added into the response total. That is, for the reversed items, 5=1, 4=2, 3=3, 2=4, and 1=5 (Keller, 2010). Ther e are no norms for the
136 survey. As it is a situationspecific measure there is no expectation of a normal distribution of responses. Reliability of survey This instrument has been found reliable and valid for college aged students in 4 studies outlined in Keller (2010), including both faceto face and online. The survey was first administered to a class of 45 university undergraduates, and the internal consistency estimates were satisfactorily high (Keller, 2010). A pretest version was prepared by rewrit ing items in the future tense and was administered to an undergraduate class of 65 students. The internal consistency estimates were high, but further revisions were made to improve the instrument. The standard version of this instrument was then administ ered to 200 undergraduates estimates, based on Cronbachs alpha, were satisfactory (Keller, 2010). Reliability estimates based on Cronbachs alpha coefficient for the total C IS based on the above study was .95. Alpha coefficient values for the subscales w ere: .84 for Attention, .84 for Relevance, .81 for Confidence and .88 for Satisfaction Based on these results, the CIS was seen as a reliable tool for measuring college student motivation in a specific classroom setting (Keller & Subhiyah, 1993). CIS sco res from 200 university undergraduates and graduates used for internal consistency estimation were correlated with their course grades and grade point averages (Keller, 2010). All the correlations with course grade are significant at or beyond the 0.05 level. This supports the validity of the CIS as a situationspecific measure of motivation, and not as a generalized motivation measure, or construct measure, for school learning (Keller, 2010).
137 Prior reliability testing of the CIS instrument using Cronbach's alpha measure resulted in all five components (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction subscores and ARCS total score) greater than .80 (Keller & Subhiyah, 1993) This study, consisting of 101 undergraduate students, investigated what kind of supportive information can be effective in improving the situation where there were severe motivational challenges. Validity of s urvey In her dissertation, NaimeDiefenbach (1991) notes that the ARCS Model and the survey instruments designed by John Kel ler to measure the ARCS constructs, including the Course Interest Survey and the Instructional Materials Motivational Survey, have been empirically validated in a course context (Bickford, 1989) but the individual scales had not been validated under controlled conditions. In her study, NaimeDiefenbac h (1991) conducted an experimental investigation of the causal validity of two components of the ARCS Model: Attention and Confidence. Using a sample size of 111 undergraduate and graduate students, three sets of instructional materials were used to test for influences on Attention and Confidence. One set enhanced Attention, the second enhanced Confidence, and the third was neutral. There were three groups of subjects, each receiving one of the three sets of materials. The sample size of 111 students was distributed as follows: 34 students in the control group, 39 students in the Attention treatment group and 38 students in the Confidence treatment group (NaimeDiefenbach, 1991). Upon completion of the less on, students in all three treatment groups took the motivational survey, as well as the posttest. The results showed that students who completed the revised lesson with enhanced Attention had a higher score
138 on the Attention subscale than the control group and the Confidence treatment group which both had similar scores on that subscale. Since the current study is exploratory using 9th grade students in an online learning environment, Coefficient alpha w as computed and reported to see if the CIS was equall y reliable for this aged student as was found in prior studies. Instructor Survey In order to collect data from English I instructors at FLVS, the researcher developed a survey based on instructor perceptions of the Kellers ARCS in the English I course. In addition to questions about education, certification, and instructor training, the survey asked the number of years each instructor taught in the subject area of language arts as well as the number of years each instructor taught in a virtual environment. The entire survey can be reviewed in detail in Appendix G This survey was also designed to elicit English I instructors perceptions of how they felt each of the ARCS constructs was integrated in the course. To decrease any confusion about the definition or strategies associated with each of the ARCS strategies, the survey first presented John Kellers (2010) definition of the construct. The survey then asked the instructor if they felt that construct was present in the design or facilitation of the English I course. If it was not, the instructor was asked why. If they perceived the construct was present, the instructor was asked to describe specific activities or features of the course that elicited this construct of motivation. Openended questions also asked instructors what they perceived was most motivating about the course and how they felt motivation could be improved.
139 Data Analysis Plan Data was entered into Predictive Analytic SoftWare (PASW) version 18.0 for Windows for analysis. Descripti ve statistics was conducted to describe the sample characteristics and the research variables. Frequencies and percentages were calculated for categorical or nominal data and means and standard deviations were calculated for interval/ratio data (Howell, 20 10). Teacher demographic data gathered from instructor surveys were analyzed descriptively. Preliminary Tests to Assess Normality A preliminary Kolmogorov Smirnov (KS) test was conducted to assess normality. The KS test was significant on the independent variable. For parametric techniques, it is assumed that the populations from which the samples are taken are normally distributed; the independent variable has violated this assumption. The assumption of equality of variance was assessed with the Levenes test for equality of variances. It was found to be significant on Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction For these variables equal variances could not be assumed. The F statistic is robust against violations of normality and in situations where the variance is unequal provided group sizes are similar (Stevens, 2009). However, in this case, the ratio of largest to smallest group was >1.5 (63/15 = 4.20). The assumptions for a t test were not met; the nonparametric equivalent of a t test, MannWhitney U tests, will be used to analyze the data.
140 Table 31. Scoring gu idance for the C ourse I nterest S urvey ( CIS) Attention Relevance Confidence Satisfaction 1 4 (reverse) 10 15 21 24 26 (reverse) 29 2 5 8 (reverse) 13 20 22 23 25 (reverse) 28 3 6 (reverse) 9 11 (reverse) 17 (reverse) 27 30 34 7 (reverse) 12 14 16 18 19 31 (reverse) 32 33
141 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter will report results obtained through the investigation of the role of teaching experience on motivation in Florida Virtual students who have completed 65% 99% of at least one segment of the English I course. The chapter will: a) describe the sample and report findings associated with research questions described in Chapter 1 and b) examine the impact of teaching experience on specific ARCS motivational constructs. Sample Utilizing a list provide by the virtual school, 432 English I students who completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course at Florida Virtual School during 20102011 school year were contacted via email with a request to take part in the study. These students in the target audience had 19 corresponding English I instructors. These 19 English I instructors who had students meeting this criteri on were also contacted via email. In order to expedite the contact and data collection, an online survey application, Survey Monkey, was utilized. The respondent population can be divided into two distinct groups: Students and Instructors. The student group can also be divided into two groups. The first group, Student Group A consists of all student respondents who completed the Course Interest Survey (n=78, a 18% survey response rate). Student Group B consists of all student respondents who completed the entire survey, including both the Course Interest Survey and the openended questions on the survey. (n=66, a 16% response rate). These individuals represent students who completed 65% 99% of one segment of the English I course at FLVS during the 2010-
142 2011 school year. The second group, instructors, consisted of all instruc tor respondents to the instructor survey (n=19, 100% survey response rate). According to the G*Power 3.1.0 used to calculate the sample size for a t test, parametric equivalent to MannWhitney, with addition of 15% for the nonparametric equivalent, the desired sample size was 60 participants (Faul, Erdfelder, Buchner, & Lang, 2008). Since 78 students participated in this survey empirical validity was achieved. Instructor Population Nineteen teachers participated in the study to examine differences in students ARCS construct scores by teachers experience in teaching language arts. Not all of the teachers responded to all of the demographic items. All of the teachers that participated in the study were female. The descriptive statistics were analyzed by y ears of experience teaching language arts. Teachers were grouped in either one to five years of experience (novice) or six or more years of experience teaching language arts (experienced) Of the four teachers who reported one to five years of language ar ts experience, two (50.0%) had an undergraduate degree and two (50.0%) had a graduate degree. The majority (3, 75.0%) of the teachers reported three to five years of faceto face teaching. Teachers reported either one to two years (3, 75.0%) or six to ei ght years (1, 25.0%) of teaching experience in a virtual classroom. The majority (3, 75.0%) reported three to five years of language arts teaching experience. The majority of teachers (12, 63.2%) had between one and two years of virtual classroom teaching experience. Half (2, 50.0%) of the teachers reported one to two years of English 1 teaching experience while the other half (2, 50.0%) reported three to five years. The majority (2, 50.0%) of
143 participants have been a facilitator at FLVS for three to fi ve years. All teachers (4, 100.0%) reported fulltime positions. Of the 15 teachers who reported six or more years of language arts experience, the majority (11, 84.6%) had an undergraduate degree and two (15.4%) had a graduate degree. Many (6, 40.0%) of the teachers reported six to eight years of faceto face teaching. The majority (9, 60.0%) of teachers reported one to two years of experience teaching in a virtual classroom. Many (6, 40.0%) reported six to eight years of language arts teaching experi ence and many of the teachers (6, 40.0%) had between three and five years of English 1 teaching experience. Many (5, 35.7%) of the participants have been a facilitator at FLVS for one to two years. All teachers (12, 100.0%) reported fulltime positions. Frequencies and percentages of the characteristics of teachers are presented in Table 41. Teaching Experience and Environment Because teaching experience is a critical factor in distinguishing between novice and experienced instructors, it is important to consider the environment where most experience was obtained. As indicated by Table 41, both novice and experienced instructors gained the majority of their teaching experience in the faceto face classroom. 75% of novice teachers, for example, have 35 years experience teaching language arts in a faceto fa ce classroom while the 40% of experienced teachers have 6 8 years experience teaching language arts in a faceto face classroom The majority of both novice and experienced instructors have only 12 years experience teaching in the virtual classroom. 75% of the novice teachers had only 12 years experience in the virtual classroom while 60% of the experience teachers had only 12 years experience in the virtual classroom.
144 Student Population Sevent yeight students participated in the study. Fifteen of these students had novice instructors while sixty three students had experienced instructors. For those students with instructors who had one to five years of experience teaching language arts, 9 (60.0%) were male and 6(40.0%) were female. The students were between the ages of 12 16. A large number of students were either age 14 (5, 33.3%) or age 15 (5, 33.3%), and only one (6.7%) student was age 12. Most of the students in this study had either As (5, 35.7%) or Bs (6, 42.9%) in the course. Of the students participating in the study, only 2 (13.3%) were taking the course to make up credit for a previous English I course. The majority (10, 66.7%) of the students participating have not taken an online course before. For those students with instructors who had six or more years of experience teaching language arts, 43 (68.3%) were male and 20 (31.7%) were female. The students were between the ages of 13 18. A large number of students were eit her age 14 (26, 41.3%) or age 15 (18, 28.6%), and only two (3.2%) students were age 18. The majority of the students have As (33, 54.1%) while a large number have Bs (21, 34.4%) in the course. Of the students participating in the study, only 9 (14.3%) w ere taking the course to make up credit for a previous English I course. The majority (38, 60.3%) of the students participating have taken an online course before. Frequencies and percentages for student demographic data are presented in Table 42. Ana lysis of Characteristics of Target Audience An analysis was conducted of the entire target population of 432 English I students who had completed 65 99% of the course with a passing grade using a spreadsheet
145 generated by Florida Virtual Schools Virtual Sc hool Administrator (VSA) database on January 21, 2011. The spreadsheet provided demographic information, including gender, age, and course grade. Also included was whether or not each student was taking the course for credit recovery. Data showed that of the 432 students, 53% (228) were female and 47% (204) were male. 35% were age 15, 24% were age 16, 21% were 14, 13% were age 17, 4% were age 18 and only 1% were age 12. The majority of students (70%) had taken an online course with FLVS before. Data showed that 99 students or 23% of the target audience were taking English I for credit recovery. At the 6599% point in the course, according to the VSA Florida Virtual School database, 37% of English I students in the target audience had As, 28% had Bs, 21% had Cs, and 14% had Ds. Descriptive S tatistics Descriptive statistics were calculated for the Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction scores on the Course Interest Survey. Each student who responded to the survey was matched with his or her corresponding English I instructor. Student scores were categorized into two groups: Group 1: Novice and Group 2: Experienced. Group 1 consists of students whose instructor had one to five years of language arts teaching experience (novice) while Group 2 includes students whose teachers had six or more years of experience (experienced). For students with teachers who had one to five years of experience, Relevance scores ranged from 2.22 5.00 ( M = 4.02, SD = 0.82) and Confidence scores ranged from 1.8 8 4.75 ( M = 4.03, SD = 0.82). For students with teachers who had six or more years of experience, Confidence scores ranged from 3.00 5.00 ( M = 4.59, SD = 0.38)
146 and Satisfaction scores ranged from 2.67 5.00 ( M = 4.37, SD = 0.55). Descriptive statisti cs for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction scores by years of experience are presented in Table 43 Figure 41 show comparisons of median ARCS scores based on instructor experience. Preliminary Analysis To examine the internal consistency reliability of the survey subscales Cronbachs alpha was run for each subscale: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. The alpha coefficients for each subscale was found to be reliable, and ranged from acceptable to good, according to the rules of thumb recommended by George and Mallery (2003) whereby, > .9 Excellent, > .8 Good, > .7 Acceptable, > .6 Questionable, > .5 Poor, < .5 Unacceptable. The Cronbachs alpha tests of reliabilit y are presented in Table 44 Correlations Cohens standard (Cohen, 1988) was used to determine the strength of the relationship between ARCS constructs. Three Pearson product moment correlations were conducted : 1) all students for the ARCS motivation constructs, 2) all students with novice instructors and 3) all students with experienced instructors. Pearson product moment correlation (r) is a bivariate measure of association (strength) of the relationship between two variables. Given that all variables are continuous (interval/ratio data) when seeking to assess the relationships, or how the distribution of the z scores vary, Pearson correlations are the appropriate bivariate statistic (Pagano, 2010). Correlation coefficients can vary from 0 (no relationship) to +1 (perfect positive linear relationship) or 1 (perfect negative linear relationship) (Cohen, 1988). Positive coefficients indicate a direct relationship, as one variable increases, the
147 other variable also increases. Negative correlation coefficients indicate an inverse relationship, as one var iable increases, the other variable decreases. Six Pearson product moment correlations were conducted among all students for the ARCS motivation constructs. All constructs were found to be significant with one another. According to Cohens standard (1988), where less than .30 represents a small association, .30 .49 represents a medium association, and .50 or larger correlations represent a large size effect or correlation between the two variables. The correlation coefficients of > .50 represents a l arge association between the two variables. The results of the correlations among all students are presented in Table 45 Six Pearson product moment correlations were conducted for the ARCS motivation constructs among students who had teachers with one to five years of language arts teaching experience. All constructs were found to be significant with one another. According to Cohens standard (1988), where less than .30 represents a small association, .30 .49 represents a medium association, and .50 or larger correlations represent a large size effect or correlation between the two variables. The correlation coefficients of > .50 represents a large association between the two variables. The results of the correlations among all students are presented in Table 46 Six Pearson product moment correlations were conducted for the ARCS motivation constructs among students with teachers who had six or more years of language arts teaching experience. All constructs were found to be significant wi th one another. According to Cohens standard (1988), where less than .30 represents a small association, .30 .49 represents a medium association, and .50 or larger correlations represent a large size effect or correlation between the two variables. The correlation
148 coefficients of > .50 represents a large association between the two variables. The results of the correlations among all students are presented in Table 47 The subscales (ARCS) are positively and highly correlated indicating a strong rel ationship among the subscales. As one subscale score increases, another increases; as one subscale score decreases, another decreases. Assumptions The assumptions of a t test were examined prior to analysis. For parametric techniques, it is assumed that the populations from which the samples are taken are normally distributed. A preliminary Kolmogorov Smirnov (KS) test was conducted to assess normality, the results of which were statistically significant, indicating a violation of this assumption. The assumption of equality of variance was assessed with the Levenes test for equality of variances, which was statistically significant on Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction For these variables equal variances could not be assumed. While Stevens (2009) reported t he F statistic is robust against violations of normality and in situations where the variance is unequal provided group sizes are similar in this case, the ratio of largest to smallest group was >1.5 (63/15 = 4.20). The assumptions for a t t est were not met; the nonparametric equivalent of a t test, MannWhitney U tests, was used to analyze the data. Analysis of Research Questions Research questions were divided into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. Research questions 14 were examined using quantitative methods. Research question 5 was examined using qualitative methods.
149 Research Question 1 RQ1: For completers only, i s there a statistically significant difference in Attention scores by instructor experience? To test hypothesis 1, and to determine if differences exist in Attention scores by instructor experience, one MannWhitney analysi s was conducted. The MannWhitney U test revealed no significant differences in Attention scores between students of novice teachers ( Md = 3.75, n = 1 5 ) and students of experienced teachers ( Md = 3.88, n = 63), U = 385.00, z = 1.11 p = .266. The null hypothesis cannot be rejected; there is not a statistical difference in A ttention scores by instructor experience ( 1 5 years vs. 6 or more years ). The results of the Mann Whitney U tests are summarized in Table 4 8 Research Question 2 RQ2: For completers only, i s there a statistically significant difference in Relevance scores by instructor experience? To test hypothesis 2 and to determine if di fferences exist in Relevance scores by instructor experience, one MannWhitney analysi s was conducted. The MannWhitney U test revealed no significant differences in Relevance scores between students of novice teachers ( Md = 4.22 n = 1 5 ) and students of experienced teachers ( Md = 4.44 n = 63), U = 387.00, z = 1.09 p = .277. The null hypothesis cannot be rejected; there is not a statistical difference in R elevance scores by instructor experience ( 1 5 years vs. 6 or more years ). The results of the Mann Wh itney U tests are summarized in Table 4 9 Research Question 3 RQ3: For completers only, i s there a statistically significant difference in Confidence scores by instructor experience? To test hypothesis 3 and to determine if differences exist in Confide nce scores by instructor experience, one MannWhitney
150 analysi s was conducted. The MannWhitney U test revealed significant differences in Confidence scores between students with novice teachers ( Md = 4.25 n = 1 5 ) and students of experienced teachers ( Md = 4.62 n = 63), U = 226.50, z = 3.14 p = 002. Student who had teachers with six or more years of experience teaching language arts had statistically higher Confidence scores than students with teacher s who had one to five years of experience. The nul l hypothesis is rejected; there is a statistical difference in Confidence scores by instructor experience (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Students whose teachers had more experience in teaching language arts had higher Confidence scores than students whose teachers had less experience. The results of the Mann Whitney U tests are summarized in Table 4 10. Research Question 4 RQ4: For completers only, is there a statistic ally significant difference in S atisfaction scores by instructor experience? To test h ypothesis 4, and to determine i f differences exist in Satisfaction scores by instructor experience, one MannWhitney analysis was conducted. The MannWhitney U test revealed significant differences in Satisfaction scores between students with novice teachers (Md = 4.00, n= 15) and students with experienced teachers (Md= 4.56, n = 63), U = 318.50, z = 2.00, p = .050. A p value of .05 is considered statistically significant. The null hypothesis is rejected; there is a statistical difference in S atisfaction scores by instructor experience (15 years vs. 6 or more years). Students who had more experienced instructors had higher Satisfaction scores than students whose teachers had less experience. The results of the Mann Whitney U tests are summarized in Tabl e 4 11.
151 Motivating Course Design Factors Identified on Student Survey In addition to the survey questions relating to the ARCS motivation constructs, students were asked to rate 12 select components of the online course. These components included the foll owing: 1. Assigned readings 2. Choice of reading assignments 3. Ability to search internet for ideas 4. Cartoons, pictures, or quotes 5. Flexibility of assignments 6. Email communication from instructor 7. Feedback on assignments 8. Target due dates set 9. Email communication from students 10. Link to internet site from instructor 11. Projects 12. Assignments and activities The scale ranged from one (not motivating) to five (extremely motivating). The maximum score reported for all course components at both levels of teaching experience was fi ve. For both students of instructors with one to five years of experience and six or more years of experience, feedback on assignments from the instructor received the highest mean score. Students with novice instructors had a mean score of 4.60 ( SD = 0.63) while students with experienced instructors had a mean score of 4.61 ( SD = 0.64). Students with instructors that had one to five years of language arts experience reported the
152 lowest mean scores on assigned readings ( M = 3.33, SD = 0.90) and email communications from other students ( M = 3.33, SD = 1.34). Stu dents of experienced instructors reported the lowest mean scores on email communications from other students ( M = 2.72, SD = 1.39). Means and standard deviations for the 12 course components are reported in Table 412 Research Question 5 RQ5: For completers only, what are the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation? To examine research question 5, responses to openended questions related to each of the ARCS categori es were coded into tables following t he guidelines recommended in Saldanas Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers Written responses to openended survey questions on the student survey provided a rich amount of detail regarding student and instructor perspectives of Kellers ARCS constructs wi thin the English I course. Sixty six p articipants responded to these openended questions. The openended questi ons are documented in Appendix C In order to facilitate references to participant responses, two tables were created. Table 413 provides a data code sheet of novice teachers and their cor responding students. Table 414 provides a similar data code sheet of experienced teachers and their corresponding students. These tables assign an instructor number to each instructor. The students of each instructor were assigned participant numbers to enable the researcher to discuss comments from the participants of each instructor. The responses to openended questions were coded to identify and develop themes from them. Boyatzis defined a theme as a pattern in the information that at minimum describes and organizes the possible observations and at maximum interprets aspects of the phenomenon (p. 161). Themes were developed based on the frequency
153 of referenc es to specific features and characteristics. For example, each time a student referred to inst ructor feedback, that reference was counted. Based on frequency, tables identified these features and characteristics from most frequently cited references to l east. The themes or patterns which emerged during analysis of the qualitative data were organized into two main categories or themes: motivational course design features and motivational instructional practices Motivational Course Design Features Students responding to the openended questions were first asked if a specific ARCS construct motivated them in the English I course. For each construct, if a student indicated that the ARCS construct was present in the course, the student was asked to describe specific factors, either from the course design or the instructor, they felt motivated them. This openended question allowed the researcher to probe more deeply into details about specific features, practices, and strategies which motivated students to perform. Instructors were also asked to describe, from their own perspective, what they believed students found motivating about the course design or facilitation for each of the ARCS constructs. Based on these written comments from instructors the re searcher created a table ranking the most frequently referenced English I course lessons and activities in each ARCS category based on perspective. This allowed the researcher to compare student and instructor perspectives of motivating factors. Table 415 documents these results. Both instructors and students identified project based activities most frequently in motivating students by capturing their Attention. While some projects were referenced
154 more frequently by instructors than students, the type of assignment which captured student attention was consistent. These assignments gave students opportunities to choose a variety of ways to present their understanding of content creatively through technology, audio, visual, or written methods. For exampl e, for the Attention construct both instructors and students most frequently mentioned projects that gave students the opportunity to organize a fictional class trip, illustrate their own book cover, create an avatar that fits the protagonists perspective and create a future city. Creating a personal resume, selecting a favorite verse from a favorite song, and writing an I essay were cited most frequently as course factors that motivated students through the Relevanc e motivational construct. The student and instructor identification of these activities along with the descriptions of activities, allowed the researcher to compare instructional practices and strategies to Kellers ARCS constructs. The activities most frequently referenced by students and i nstructors as motivating integrate Kellers recommended strategies for Relevance: present worth and future usefulness. Themes also emerged from a qualitative analysis of written comments. These themes related to specific characteristics of a motivating c ourse. Students referenced features such as interesting reading activities and creative projects as motivating them. Students also referenced a variety of organizational and program features such as progress reports, pace charts, and flexibility. The fol lowing comments from students provide specific details on how and why these features motivated them. Variety of Interesting Reading Activities The Story I had to read for Module 3. I chose to read Animal Farm, which was one of the choices, and it was an aw esome, motivating book. The entire thing made me really think about the meaning of society. (Instructor 16, Participant 66)
155 believe this course captured my attention by offering interesting material and detailed lessons. (Instructor 8, Participant 61) The English 1 course isn't a boring course it is actually an exciting course. What makes it exciting is the questions they ask, and the articles they have you read. It strengthens your reading skills and thinking skills. (Instructor 12, Participant 30) The course is very interesting and kept my attention because of all of the stories we read and the thought provoking questions asked. (Instructor 2, Participant 3) Creative Projects I would have to say that the projects which you can draw or create with were the most motivating. For example when I read "The house on mango street" i wasn't looking forward to reading it and I would rather get a shot than read an assigned book, but when Ms. XX gave the assessment for us to make our own cover and back for the book I w as extremely motivated! I was so happy that we could create something that would in turn show who we are. I ripped the book of f my desk and highlighted what I wanted to use for the covers. (Instructor 12, Participant 31) by doing a lot of fun activities li ke "planning a class trip" and stuff like that, that we normally wouldnt do in school (Instructor 16, Participant 66) the projects that were assigned to do were creative and fun and not boring like regular book reports I was motivated when we were able to do power point s and posters and those were a l ot of fun for me. (Instructor 13, Participant 64) What motivated me most about the English I course is the fun projects and creative assignments throughout the course. I am very creative and love doing them, they help me express myself because sometimes its too hard with words. These assignments allow me to show whats important to me and how I feel. (Instructor 8, Participant 58) Organizational Features Progress Reports and Pace Charts one of things I found help full is that she sends a weekly progress report out every week. This helps me know what I have to get done. None of my other courses did that. (Instructor 18, Participant 49) one of things i found help full is that she sends a weekly progress repor t out every week. This helps me know what i have to get done. None of my other courses did that (Instructor 12, Participant 32)
156 Flexibility I am most motivated by the flexibility in application and completion of assignments. (Instructor 19, Participant 53) When I moved into virtual English I, I was astounded by all of the different options I had to learn from. Also, I like that fact that you work on your own pace, The flexibility of the English I course motivates me to do more and strive harder. Also, I enjoy the fact that I can email my instructor as well as text and or call him/her. It motivates me to do harder and makes me feel more confident, because if i ever have a question, my instructor is just a phone call away! (Instructor 10, Participant 24) I think what motivated me most is the flexibility I have of completing the assignments so I can take the time to really understand what I'm learning. (Instructor 3, Participant 7) Students of both novice and experienced teachers frequently commented on the motivational aspect of the courses policy of opportunities to resubmit assignments. This feature overlaps with instructor and course design features and correlates with the Satisfaction construct on Kellers ARCS model: The thing that really motivated me during my English 1 course was when my teacher would leave feedback on how well I did on an assignment also on what I did wrong on an assignment so that I was able to correct it and get a better grade on the assignment .. for example she would first tell me what I did right and how I did good on it then she would tell me what I did wrong so that i was able to fix it. It was encouraging because even though I received a 75% on a assignment she still told me what I did right. (Instructor 13, Participant 64) the feedback did motivate me. If I got it wrong it motivated me to correct it and turn it in again to get a better grade. If I did it right her feedback motivated me to keep going further in my course and try harder on my work. I believe this is all becaus e she is very encouraging and willing to help. (Instructor 11, Participant 62) she is always complimenting me on my work, and if I need to fix something she'll tell me how I can fix it in order to get a better grade. She also keeps in contact with me, so t hat if i'm not submitting work she can call me to make sure everything is okay. (Instructor 17, Participant 45) I felt most motivated by the opportunities that this course gave me to get better grades (Instructor 19, Participant 54)
157 By allowing students t o resubmit assignments, and giving them a choice to do so, students perceived increased Satisfaction As defined by Keller, Satisfaction involves designing instruction so that learners gain positive feelings about their learning experiences. Motivational strategies used to increase learner satisfaction are verbal reinforcement, rewards, personal attention, feedback, and deliberate avoidance of negative influences (Keller & Suzuki, 2004). An overall review of student comments on each of the ARCS construct based on teaching experience demonstrates that students felt both teachers with 15 years of experience and those teachers with 6 or more years experience were effective in motivating them. Students with teachers who had 15 years teaching experience, for example, support students perceptions of the effectiveness of Attention in the design and facilitation of the English I course: Hypothetical questions that were asked during the course helped capture my attention. They made me think more widely and openl y about the topics I was learning at that point. Also they put more ideas in my head about that topic to give me a bigger and greater imagination. (Instructor 11, Participant 62) My English 1 course always captured and maintained my attention because the projects that were assigned to do were creative and fun and not boring like regular book reports W e were able to do power point s and posters and those were a l ot of fun for me. (Instructor 13, Participant 64) My teacher captured my attention by having us do a lot of fun activities like "planning a class trip" and stuff like that, that we normally wouldnt do in school (Instructor 16, Participant 65) Students with teachers who had 6 or more years teaching experience also support students perceptions of the effectiveness of Attention in the design and facilitation of the English I course. For example, the strategy of inquiry referenced by the student of a novice teacher (I nstructor 11) was also noted by a student of an experienced teacher
158 (Instructor 2). T he project based course design captured the attention of students of novice teachers (I nstructors 13, 16) as well as those of experienced teachers (Instructors 10, 17) The course is very interesting and kept my attention because of all of the stories we read and the thought provoking questions asked. ( Instructor 2, Participant 3) The instructor assigns fun projects for us to do on our novel that we currently read. We got to design our own book cover which I think is a great idea to let students express t heir own artistic style on the way they imagine the book to look like inside their head when their reading. ( Instructor 10, Participant 24). The course captured my attention with the creative and hands on projects I had to do. The course maintained my att ention by me receiving feedback from every assignment I did. I was excited to read how I did. ( Instructor 17 Participant 44). Students with teachers who had 15 years teaching experienc e support the effectiveness of R elevance in the design and facilitatio n of the English I course: my instructor did make it relevant to me because we were given a lot of real life scenarios. For example we had to do a book report and we had to think if you were in this book what would your life be like and that interested me because I would think about if I was in that time fr ame what would I be like. ( Instructor 13 Participant 64) My instructor constantly reminds me to make the assignments my own, to think of what I feel, therefore I can input my opinion or my voice into t hem. (Instructor 8 Participant 58) Create a Resum" as well as the "letter to the editor" were relevant to me..I can see that she is trying to prepare us to look for a job and tell our opinions to an editor in a professional way which is important ( Ins tructor 16, Participant 65) Students with teachers who had 6 years or more teaching experience also supported the effectiveness of R elevance in the design and facilitation of the English I course with comments to openended questions about R elevance:
159 Beca use I'm homeschooled, there are very few things that I'm involved in. One of these things is a program called Horses 'N' Heroes. Knowing this, my teacher has no problem with letting me tie parts of my work into that. Such as using girls from the farm as examples in my assignments. She also has openly embraced my love for writing poetry. By this, I mean that not only has she shown open interest in the poetry I write for school, she has also shown her interest in the poetry I write for fun. (Instructor 1 P articipant 2) There are certain projects that are really fun to do. For instance we were asked to develop a Class Trip to anywhere in the USA. I've never been to Hawaii, so that's where I planned this fictitious trip. I had a blast doing this project. Now I can't wait to visit with my family! (Instructor 18 Participant 49) Motivational Instructor Practices While course design features were most frequently referenced in Attention and Relevance constructs, instructor practices were most often cited by students in motivating them by building Confidence and Satisfaction. Confidence building activities mentioned most often by instructors were opportunities to build research or essays piece by piece toward a final draft. Students, on the other hand, most frequently referenced the instructors personal feedback, phone calls, and emails as most motivating in building their Confidence. Both groups ranked instructor feedback, as well as the opportunity to resubmit assignments for a higher grade, as building student S atisfaction. According to both students and instructors, the most motivating part of the English I course overall was personal feedback. An analysis of instructor themes made it possible to identify a list of characteristics of a motivating teacher, from the perspective of a virtual English I student. According to student comments, a motivating teacher possesses the following qualities: high expectations for success, frequent communication and availability, expertise in subject area, encouragement and pos itive attitude, investment in student success, gives
160 positive and constructive feedback, offers choices, and makes things relevant. These characteristics support McGuiness (2005) recommendations for motivating students by establishing a supportive learni ng environment, engaging students in the learning process, providing students with timely feedback on their performance, and recognizing students for their effort and performance. Comments representing these emerging themes were selected to reflect a vari ety of different students and instructors, both experienced and novice. Although there may be more comments in each category than documented here, the examples here have been limited to 34 in each category. These selections are most reflective of the ov erall student sample, which remained consistently positive for all characteristics: High Expectations for Success My course instructor would pose a question or problem and ask me to answer it or solve it, which made me actually have to think about it inst ead of her just giving me the answer. (Instructor 5, Participant 13) I think that she really tried to make it capture my attention. and that is important to me, as I am not generally motivated life. S he just really motivated me to try and succeed in this c lass, and i think caring alone captures my attention. (Instructor 4, 9) The thing that motivated me the most is my teacher she is alway s telling me I could do better than I am doing. (Instructor 10, Participant 26) She is an amazing and very helpful teacher and always has some sort of positive feedback and praise for me. At the same time, she doesn't hesitate to tell me that I have to go back and fix or change something. (Instructor 1, Participant 2) Frequent Communication and Consistently A vailable I enjoy the fact that I can email my instructor as well as text and or call him/her. It motivates me to do harder and makes me feel more confident, because if i ever have a question, my instructor is just a phone call away! If
161 she were to not help me, I probably would have been lost and gi ve n up (Instructor 13, Participant 64) She made me feel comfortable and able to be on my own pace. My monthly calls or emails really helped me. If i ever had questions she was an email or phone call away. If she were to not help me, i probably would have been lost and gave up. Ms. XX definitely helped. (Instructor 12, Participant 28) she shows that she cares about her students by keeping in touch with her students and the parents of the household. She regularly stays in contact and replies the emails and phone calls. She wants all of her students to succeed in life/ or in the course she is presenting to her students (Instructor 10, Participant 23) Encouraging my instructor was very encouraging to me and helped me go beyond what I thought I could do on my own. (Instructor 8, Participant 61) I believe my instructor has a very encouraging and helpful teaching style. She is always reaching out with either encouraging comments and feedback or helpful hints and tips. My instructor is always willing to talk as long as she has to to help you understand the work you are doing. While explaining work she always throws in an encouraging comment like "I know you can do this", or "Keep trying you are doing great." (Instructor 11, Participant 62) had a l ot of courage and faith in me, and every time I completed something, I got great feedback. She expressed to me how much faith she had in me, and that made me want to work hard on all my assignments. She was extremely motivating. (Instructor 17, P articipant 43) Invested in Students Success It is so wonderful to get on the phone and talk to someone genuinely interested in my success and in the things I do--as a student, it makes me feel appreciated. It also places a certain importance on my work, like it really matters to the person who's reading it. (Instructor 17, Participant 43) She captured and maintained my attention by showing that she cared about me. For i nstance, when she sends me feedback for my assignments, she is alway so positive about my work. That alone motivates me. (Instructor 12, Participant 27) She is always there if I need her and is very willing to help me if I don't understand something. She is always nice to me, and I can tell that she wants me to succeed in this course. That is why she was what motivated me the most in this course. (Instructor 6, Participant 15)
162 Demonstrates Expertise in Subject What motivated me the most in my E nglish 1 course was when we read Romeo and Juliet, I could never comprehend the work of S hakespeare until this course helped me. Now I've become more motivated to read more work from the author. (Instructor 14, Participant 33) I love poems, and I love to read, so in the past module I was working on, it really captured my attention. Then when I talked t o her for the DBA, we went over a poem, and being able to talk about it with someone who shared the same passion is really cool. (Instructor 17, Participant 45) Gives Constructive, Positive Feedback I would have to say that my teac her does a fine job of gi ving me feedback Fine enough that I will run around the house to tell all my family members my grade and read them the emails and feedback that my teacher sends -she is so awesome! I am most definitely satisfied in this course! (Instructor 17, Participant 43) The thing that motivates me most in this course is the feedback I get and knowing that my teacher is pleased with the work I have submitted. It makes me want to submit more and more work that I have completed to the best of my ability. When she tell s me good job and awards me a good grade on an assignment it makes me super excited and willing to work harder and longer to get everything done. My teachers feedback is very important to me, and to get positive feedback makes me feel great! (Instructor 1 1, Participant 62) I am motivated most by my teacher who is very confident that I will do well in the course. She doesn't let me turn in work that is any less than the best I can do.I really admire her for that. (Instructor 5, Participant 14) Positive Atti tude She took her time and explain ed many things about the course with me. She always had a great attitude, and that made everything easier and interesting .she showed me that there w as nothing I could not do. (Instructor 14, Participant 33) the instructor kept my attention by having the phone calls once a month and always staying positive making me want to go on and pass the class. (Instructor 7, Participant 16) Every time I'm on the phone or afterwards with her i feel more confident in my ability to striv e for gold. Because she's such a happy and just nice person, makes it easier to work for her. Pure psychology. (Instructor 19, Participant 56)
163 She makes this exciting by putting a lot of energy and emphasis into what she is teaching and saying and that alw ays helps me. My attention is never spotty when she is talking or explaining something. During the module 3 book project she made things very clear after I would pose a question or problem so I went from literally not understanding anything about my questi on, to understanding all of it within a matter of minutes. (Instructor 17, Participant 48) My teacher is always telling me how well I am doing and that seems to make me work harder in all of my lessons. She's a very optimistic person and that's a good way to change a student's attitude for the better (Instructor 10, Participant 25) Offers Choices and Supports Autonomy She gave me multiple options for solving problems when I encountered them during a project I did on my city. (Instructor 7, Participant 17) The most motivating thing about the course is t hat we get to choose different stories or books that we can read through the course and doing projects I Love doing projects :) (Instructor 19, Participant 55) Makes Things Relevant She always made a point to tie me into what I was learning about. Like when I read one of my novels she asked what me and the main character had in common and things that we didn't. (Instructor 8, Participant 59) M y teacher wants to know what I am up to, for instance when I began m y soccer season. My teacher coached soccer at one time, so she used some soccer analogies to teach me things I didn't understand. In my opinion she really tied my interests in to this course. (Instructor 12, Participant 27) she always asked us our opinions or to compare it with somebody. This is important because it lets you know that the teacher wants you feed back and actually cares what you think. (Instructor 2, Participant 3) my instructor often ties things she knows I'm interested in such as church and music into what we are discussing. (Instructor 5, Participant 14) Students of novice instructors demonstrate that they felt their instructors built their Confidence effectively : My instructor has always encouraged me to keep going further into my work and to do my best. She is always applauding the work I submit and helping me out with anything I have a problem with. (Student, Instructor 11)
164 My instructor is so supportive it makes me feel confident. If I don't understand something I can just email or call her and she'll explain it to me and then I can go back and complete the assignment and receive a great grade. (Student, Instructor 8) if I had a question or if I needed help my teacher was a call or email away so that would build up my Confidence because I knew that if I needed help I could turn to her. (Student, Instructor 13). R esponses of students whose instructor had 20 years experience also show the positive nature of her skill in building Confidence: My teacher is extremely positive in her feedback and positive affirmation relating both to my work, and to my extracurricular involvements. It is so wonderful to get on the phone and talk to someone genuinely interested in my success and in the things I do--as a student, it makes me feel appreciated. It also places a certain importance on my work, like it really matters to the person who's reading it. At least for me, this makes me want to keep it topnotch so that their Confidence will not be misplaced. (Instructor 17, Participant 43) my English 1 in structor built my Confidence by saying motivating and inspiring things to me each time we spoke. She would give me pep talks and talk to me in a nice way, almost like a friend. She had faith in me, and that made me want to excel in her class and make her p roud. (Instructor 17, Participant 44) I have never had a teacher who makes me feel good about my work and what I have accomplished until now. If I have a problem with something she doesnt push it aside or downplay it, she puts all her effort into making m e understand the problem that I am faced with. She is very encouraging and always says very nice things to me if I have done something good in terms of work or assignments. On one occasion I had to draw a cover for a book and she liked it so much that she asked if she could use it on her announcement page later on; that really motivated me to keep turning in work to that standard. (Instructor 17, Participant 48) Finally, students of both novice and experienced instructors documented positive comments of th e effectiveness of their instructors in building Satisfaction Samples of student responses who had a novice instructor reflect how students perceive instructor feedback:
165 My instructor always puts very positive and supportive feedback. She always really acknowledges my hard work with great comments, which satisfies me. (Instructor 8 Participant 58) My instructor is constantly building my satisfaction with all the positive feedback she gives me. It makes me feel good to know she enjoys the work I have submitted and wants to read more. After working hard on a long or even short assignment it is nice to know that she liked it and is giving me a good grade on it ( Instructor 11, Participant 62) My English 1 instructor built my satisfaction because any time I did anything wrong on a assignment she would always leave me good, helpful feedback and give me a chance to improve my work. When I got a good grade or even when I received bad grades on assignments she still told me things I did good as well as how I could make it better. ( Instructor 13 Participant 64) Student responses of those with experienced instructors also indicate the effectiveness of their instructors in building S atisfaction: I am very satisfied after I read Mrs. A's comments on "Gradebook," or w hen I speak to her on the phone for monthly calls or oral components. She always gives me praise when I have done well, and always steers me in the right direction when my work needs improvement. (Instructor 18, Participant 49) My teacher does a fine job of giving me feedback. Fine enough that I will run around the house to tell all my family members my grade and read them the emails and feedback that my teacher sends --she is so awesome! (Instructor 17 Participant 43) I always am satisfied when my teacher sends me an email with positive feedback about my assignments. It makes me work harder on my following assignments.( Instructor 10, Participant 25). The importance of feedback to students is not only supported by these written comments but by the quant itative data. For both students of instructors with one to five years of experience and six or more years of experience, feedback on assignments from instructor received the highest mean score. ( Table 412). Overall these student comments to openended questions support the effectiveness of both experienced and novice teacher in each of the ARCS motivational constructs.
166 Surprising Findings Openended questions allowed students in the course to respond to questions about what motivated them least in the course as well as giving students the opportunity to give suggestions for making the course more motivating. There were several surprising outcomes of these responses The first was student perceptions of the motivational effect of student student interaction. A second was a perceived desire for more structure in the context of an online env ironment while, at the same time, seeking more choice. One expectation for improving motivation in the course was that students would recommend increasing interaction wi th other students This expectation is based on research suggesting that learning community has positive effects on learning in online environments Liu (2007), for example, conducted a study of participants perceptions of building learning communities in online courses in an online MBA program. His findings suggested that students felt a sense of belonging to a learning community when they took online courses in this program. The study found positive relationships between this sense of belonging and per ceived learning engagement, course satisfaction, and learning outcomes. However, in this study, students ranked email communication with other students as the least motiv ating factor in the course ( Table 412). Students with both novice and experienced teachers ranked student student interaction as the lowest motivational factor (novice, M = 3.33; experienced, M = 2.72). Participant 45 (Instructor 17) stated that getting emails from other students motivated me the least while another student indicated frustration at working with other students on projects : Sometimes when I am doing collaboration projects with other students I am unmotivated because the other students don't always take their work
167 seriously and procrastinate which frustrates me because I like to stay ahead of pace. (Instructor 5, Participant 14) Participant 14s comments hold open the possibility that interaction with other students could be motivating if structured more cooperatively, with individual accountability or other elements of cooperative learning. Several student s voiced the desire to interact with other students under specific circumstances, such as shared motivation and mutual desire to share opinions : I wish other students shared my motivation so that projects would be more enjoyable when working with a partner. (Instructor 4, Participant11) What would motivate me better is to talk to other students that take this course, and get their feedback/ opinions. (Instructor 10, Participant 23) While students frequently mentioned they were motivated by the flexibi lity of FLVS, more than a dozen students also expressed the desire for more structured deadlines. This students comm ents identified this as the least motivating factor of the course: The lack of due dates motivated me the least. I kept pushing assignments back because in my head I didn't have a due date. I think that there should be some more solid due dates for people like me who aren't very good at keeping up with things that don't have a definite due date. There could be a penalty for not completing work by a certain time period, or a reward for completing it. (Instructor 7, Participant 16) From responses to openended questions, s tudents seem to desire a firm deadline but flexibility during a specific number of days or weeks to meet that deadline.
168 Table 41 Characteristics of teachers 1 5 years 6 or more years Characteristic n % n % Highest degree Undergraduate 2 50.0 11 84.6 Graduate 2 50.0 2 15.4 Years of experience in face to face classroom 1 2 0 0.0 0 0.0 3 5 3 75.0 2 13.3 6 8 0 0.0 6 40.0 9 12 0 0.0 4 26.7 16 20 1 25.0 0 0.0 More than 20 0 0.0 3 20.0 Years of experience in virtual classroom 1 2 3 75.0 9 60.0 3 5 0 0.0 5 33.3 6 8 1 25.0 0 0.0 9 12 0 0.0 1 6.7 Years of experience teaching language arts 1 2 1 25.0 0 0.0 3 5 3 75.0 0 0.0 6 8 0 0.0 6 40.0 9 12 0 0.0 5 33.3 13 15 0 0.0 0 0.0 16 20 0 0.0 1 6.7 More than 20 0 0.0 3 20.0 Years of experience teaching English I 1 2 2 50.0 3 20.0 3 5 2 50.0 6 40.0 6 8 0 0.0 1 6.7 9 12 0 0.0 3 20.0 13 15 0 0.0 0 0.0 16 20 0 0.0 0 0.0 More than 20 0 0.0 2 13.3 Years as facilitator at FLVS 1 2 1 25.0 5 35.7 3 5 2 50.0 4 28.6 6 8 0 0.0 3 21.4 9 12 0 0.0 1 7.1 13 15 1 25.0 1 7.1 Type of positi on Full time 4 100.0 12 100.0 Part time 0 0.0 0 0.0
169 Table 42 Characteristics of students 1 5 years 6 or more years Characteristic n % n % Gender Male 9 60.0 43 68.3 Female 6 40.0 20 31.7 Age 12 1 6.7 0 0.0 13 1 6. 7 4 6.3 14 5 33.3 26 41.3 15 5 33.3 18 28.6 16 3 20.0 9 14.3 17 0 0.0 4 6.3 18 0 0.0 2 3.2 Current grade in the course A 5 35.7 33 54.1 B 6 42.9 21 34.4 C 2 14.3 5 8.2 D 0 0.0 2 3.3 F 1 7.3 0 0.0 Taking English I to make up credit Yes 2 13.3 9 14.3 No 13 86.7 54 85.7 Taken online course prior Yes 5 33.3 38 60.3 No 10 66.7 25 39.7
170 Table 43 Descriptive statistics on attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction by years of language arts teaching experience n Attention Relevance Confidence Satisfaction Years Experience M SD Md M SD Md M SD Md M SD Md 1 5 15 3.48 0.87 3.75 4.02 0.82 4.22 4.03 0.82 4.25 3.78 1.08 4.00 6 or more 63 3.79 0.62 3.88 4.31 0.56 4.44 4.59 0.38 4.62 4.37 0.55 4.56 Table 4 4 Reliability and internal consistency for attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction Subscale Items Attention 8 0.77 Relevance 9 0.84 Confidence 8 0.77 Satisfaction 9 0.85 Table 45 Pearson correlation for all students between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction Variable Attention Relevance Confidence Relevance .81** Confidence .61** .73** Satisfaction .73** .76** .77** Note. p < .05, ** p < .01. Table 46 Pearson correlation for all students with novice instructors between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction Variable Attention Relevance Confidence Relevance .87** Confidence .67** .86** Satisfaction .83** .87** .86** Note. p < .05, ** p < .01.
171 Table 47 Pearson correlation for all students with experienced instructors between attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction Variable Attention Relevance Confidence Relevance .77** Confidence .57** .67** Satisfaction .68** .70** .61** Note. p < .05, ** p < .01. Table 48 MannWhitney U tests for attention scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years vs. 6 or more years) Attention U Test U p Mean Rank Sum of Ranks 1 5 years 385.00 .266 33.67 505.00 6 or more years 40.89 2576.00 Table 49 MannWhitney U tests for relevance scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 years v s. 6 or more years) Relevance U Test U p Mean Rank Sum of Ranks 1 5 years 387.00 .277 33.80 507.00 6 or more years 40.86 2574.00 Table 410. MannWhitney U tests for confidence scores by years of experience teaching language arts (15 y ears vs. 6 or more years) Confidence U Test U p Mean Rank Sum of Ranks 1 5 years 226.50 .002 23.10 346.50 6 or more years 43.40 2734.50
172 Table 411. MannW hitney U tests for satisfaction scores by years of experience teaching language ar ts (1 5 years vs. 6 or more years) Satisfaction U Test U p Mean Rank Sum of Ranks 1 5 years 318.50 .050 29.23 438.5 6 or more years 41.94 2642.5 Table 412. Means and standard deviations for motivation scores on 12 course components by years of language arts teaching experience Course component 1 5 years of experience 6 or more years of experience M SD M SD Assigned readings 3.33 0.90 3.35 1.13 Choice of reading assignments 3.67 0.90 4.13 1.02 Ability to search internet for ideas 4.40 0.83 4.32 0.90 Cartoons, pictures, or quotes 4.20 1.08 4.22 0.95 Flexibility of assignments 4.47 0.64 4.44 0.88 Email communication from instructor 4.33 0.82 4.40 0.80 Feedback on assignments 4.60 0.63 4.61 0.64 Target due dates set 3.93 1.33 3.84 1. 19 Email communication from students 3.33 1.34 2.72 1.39 Link to internet site from instructor 4.07 1.16 4.02 1.00 Projects 3.93 1.22 3.64 1.24 Assignments and activities 4.20 0.86 4.05 1.02 Table 413. Novice teacher data code sheet Instructor Numb er Participant Number(s) 8 58 61 11 62 13 63, 64 16 65, 66
173 Table 414. Experienced teacher data code sheet Instructor Number Participant Number(s) 1 1, 2 2 3, 4 3 5 -8 4 9, 10 5 11 14 6 15 7 16 20 9 21, 22 10 23 26 12 27 32 14 33 15 34 41 17 42-48 18 49 51 19 52 57
174 Table 415. Ranking of most frequently referenced English I course factors in each ARCS category ARCS Instructor Survey Student Survey Attention 1. Project: Create an Avatar that fits Protagonists Perspective 2. Projec t: Create a Future City 3. Project : Illustrate your own book cover of novel 4. Project : Organize Fictional Class Trip 1. Project: Organize Fictional Class Trip 2. Project : Illustrate your own book cover of novel 3. Project: Create an Avatar that fits Protagonists Perspective 4. Project: Create a Future City Relevance 1. I essay about student interests, goals and experiences 2. Create a resume 3. Write down a favorite verse from a favorite song and explain why the verse is important to you 4. Write a letter to the editor about issue: teenage curfew 5. Project: Research your city 1. Create a resume 2. Write down a favorite verse from a favorite song and explain why the verse is important to you 3. I essay about student interests, goals and experiences 4. Write a letter to the editor about issue: teenage c urfew Confidence 1. Module 2: Steps in Writing Process. Students complete pieces of a formal writing assignment, building it piece by piece. They have freedom to choose a topic that relates to them 2. Module 3: Reflection guide for novel. Students explain their opinions about specific issues in the novel. 3. Frequent communication with students 4. Positive feedback 1. Frequent communication with instructor (email, phone calls) 2. Positive feedback on assignments and activities 3. Ability to resubmit assignments for higher gr ade Satisfaction 1. Positive feedback on all assignments even ones that need revisions, plus allowing for revisions so students can truly strive or achieve their level of mastery. Offering a chance for ongoing progress and for them to excel 2. Final Draft Es say This assignment requires the student to write an essay and label all the parts, thesis, main points, transitions, clincher or summary of each paragraph. Students often tell me they really feel like they understand the process of writing more because they can easily see that they can identify each part of their essay. Positive feedback on assignments and activities
175 Figure 41. Bar graph of median Course Interest Survey scores for student s with novice and experienced instructors
176 CHAPTER 5 DI SCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS In an effort to understand the impact of teachers experience upon motivation and achievement, this study employed an onli ne survey adapted from research by John Keller called the Course Interest Survey, sampling all Florida Virtual School students who were active in the English I course, completing 65% 99% of the English I at the time of this study. Although there are published studies about factors motivating virtual college students, as well as studies which discuss the role of teaching experience on achievement in elementary and secondary faceto face environments there are no published studies that empirically investigate the impact of teaching experience on motivation for ninth grade virtual students. There are also no empirical studies on the role of teaching experience on each of the four ARCS motivational constructs. There are two main purposes of this study. The first is to identify whether or not there are significant differences in John Kellers ARCS (Attention, Rel evance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) motivational constructs in virtual ninth grade English I students based on instructor experience. The second is to investigate the perceived instruct ional practices that contribute to motivation. A better understandin g of motivational factors related to online student achievement is of critical importance to K 12 online education (NCREL, 2002). Virtual K 12 education is rapidly expanding in the U.S. (Watson, et al.; Picciano & Seaman) Growth in K 12 distance education is likely to increase in the coming years as a result of Investing in Innovation (i3) funding, Race to the Top projects, and the new Elementary and Secondary Education Acts. These federal funding projects emphasize raising standards for all students and i mproving learning and achievement. Along with rapid
177 expansion, distance educators and administrators face a variety of challenges, including attrition. Drop out rates for distance classes have been consistently higher than those of traditional classes (Dia z, 2000; Phipps & Merisotis, 1999; Ridley & Sammour, 1996) supporting the need to understand the specific factors which motivate virtual students to persist in completing online courses and achieving course objectives. Creating a quality learning experience is a central concern for administrators and educators building virtual environments. One important element of quality is the characteristics of instructors who facilitate virtual curriculum. Because of the increased attrition rates in virtual environments, it is crucial that these instructors possess the ability to motivate students to complete virtual curriculum. There are a variety of studies that address the issue of teaching experience and quality in traditional schools. Many studies report that teacher experience has a positive effect on student test scores (Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2006; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2007; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1997; Jepsen, 2005; Krueger, 1999; Noell, 2005, 2001; Rivkin et al., 2005; Rockoff, 2004; Sanders, Ashton & Wright, 2005). However, the issue of the number of years this effect impacts achievement, effectiveness and/or quality is in debate. While the largest number of studies indicate that the positive impact of experience on achievement is mainly limited to the fi rst five years (Hanushek et al., 2005; Boyd et al 2007; Murnane, 1975), other studies conclude that teachers with more than five years experience have a significant positive impact on achievement and quality (Murnane and Phillips,1981; Ferguson, 1991; R ivers & Sanders, 2002). These studies indicate that the role of teaching experience on achievement is complex. Because of this debate, and
178 because there are no specific studies on the role of experience on motivation in virtual environments, further resear ch is needed. In order to explore the relationship between teaching experience and motivation, data were collected in two tiered fashion: Tier one targeted English I students at Florida Virtual School who completed 65% 99% of at least one segment of the English I course demonstrating mastery of course objectives by earning a passing grade at this pivotal point in the course. It is assumed that if a student reaches 65% 99% of the course they will more than likely complete the course and have demonstrated that they are motivated to achieve. Tier two targeted instructors who were actively teaching the English I course during the survey period (20102011) Among other data collected, each English I instructor reported the number of years he or she had taught language arts. Instructors with 1 5 years teaching experience were grouped as novices while those with 6 years or more teaching experience were grouped as experienced. Students scores on the Course Interest Survey were organized based on the exp erience of assigned instructor. This chapter will discuss the outcomes and review the i mplications associated with five research questions providing foundation to this study. Research questions were analyzed using two methods: quantitative and qualitativ e. Research questions 14 were examined using quantitative methods. Research question 5 was examined using qualitative methods. Analysis of Research Questions Research Question 1 For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Atte ntion scores by instructor experience? Kellers first ARCS motivational construct, Attention,
179 involves engaging the learner and keeping the learner's attention. This factor coincides with the first step in Gagne's model of instruction (Gagne). Keller's st rategies for Attention include sensory stimuli inquiry arousal in the form of thought provoking questions, and variability in the form of variance in exercises and use of media. (Keller & Suzuki, 2004). Naime Diefenbach (1991) states that students who com pleted lessons with the specific Attention strategies recommended by Keller acquired higher success points than the control group. The results of this study indicate there were no significant differences in Attention scores between novice and experienced English I instructors. This may be explained by a variety of factors, including consistent course design, uniform instructor training, and Florida Virtual School policies and procedures. The data on Attention scores in this study indicates there is no s ignificant difference in Attention scores between novice and experienced teachers. This supports Darling Hammonds (2000) observation that attributing teacher experience to effectiveness and quality is complex. The findings also support the research of Siedentop and Eldar (1989), who found that since novice and experienced teachers accomplished the same goals in their study, both groups are effective. Since Attention scores for both novice and experienced groups in this study are both in the effective range on the Likert scale (novice = 3.75 Md, experienced = 3.88 Md), students in both groups perceived their instructors are effective in gaining and sustaining their Attention in the course. While the data of this study supports the effectiveness of both gr oups, the study seems to support Siedentop and Eldar s (1989) conclusion that the effectiveness of experienced teachers is different than that of the intermediate and first year teachers.
180 Although the Attention scores in this study for example, are not s tatistically different, the median Attention scores of experienced teachers are slightly higher than those of the less experienced teachers. In their study Siedentop and Eldar (1989) concluded more experienced teachers paced events more smoothly, followed up more deliberately on important specifications, and utilized content more imaginatively. They call the automaticity and ease of expert teachers experienced effectiveness. This type of experienced effectiveness could be one explanation for why both groups are effective in this construct, while Attention scores are slightly higher, although not significantly different between novice and experienced teachers Another reason there may have been no significant differences in Attention scores between inexper ienced and experienced teachers in this study may be the consistent, uniform course design of the English I course. Since all students taking English I take the same core online course with the same module and lesson structure, the same activities and the same grading rubrics, the results may study support the motivational impact of course design. McConnell, Hoover, and Sassed (2001) found that designing motivational i nstruction using the ARCS model can increase learning outcomes. The procedures followed by Florida Virtual School support the implementation of design and review processes following the ARCS motivational design model. For example, all courses at Florida Virtual School, including English I, go through extensive quality review during the desi gn and development process using a specific FLVS course development checklist This checklist requires the integration of Gagnes nine instructional events in course design. Gagnes nine events mirror those of Kellers ARCS construct, as
181 indicated in Table 4 10. Student responses to openended questions about the Attention construct support the facilitation of activities, projects, and instructional strategies that effectively gained student attention. Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, and Jones (2009) opine that incorporating mechanisms that promote student reflection motivates students toward increased learning outcomes. A variety of projects cited by students support the observations of Means, et al. by challenging students to use a variety of highorder critical thinking skills such as self assessment and reflection. Fischer and Sharff (1998) concluded that interactivity and supported self directed learning are essential in technology mediated environments. The create a profile of the protagonist acti vity, for example, exemplifies self directed learning as students use information from their reading and technology to create an avatar. The opportunity to make the avatar speak by recording their own voices or using text to speech translation is a creat ive opportunity which captures student attention. Another highly ranked activity for capturing students attention referenced in the student survey was an activity called Future City. In this activity s tudents are asked to create a future city with economic, environment, government, etc things in mind. Then they create a visual and present the visual and their ideas for a future city to an adult. Other activities students mentioned included the opportunity to create a book cover for a novel they read and organizing a class field trip. These activities integrate Kellers recommended strategies of providing choice, variability, and inquiry. Giving learners a choice so that they can select those that appeal most to their curiosity motivated many students i n this study. Participant 55, for example, indicated that the most motivating
182 thing about the course was the opportunity to choose different stories, books, and options for projects in the course. Participant 17, referencing the Future City project, was motivated by the instructor giving her multiple options for solving problems when I encountered them during a project I did on my city. The data collected in this study through written comments suppor ts the positive effects of Kellers strategies for ca pturing and maintaining students attention. The consistent references to students of course design elements, such as creative projects and thought provoking questions based on reading selections provides further support for the lack of significant differences between novice and experienced instruc tors on this specific construct since these course design elements were consistent in the English I course, regardless of the experience of the instructor. In her study, NaimeDiefenbach (1991) observed that st udents who completed lessons with Attention strategies acquired higher success points than the control group. This study provides evidence that Attention strategies motivate students when effectively integrated in the design and facilitation of virtual courses, such as English I. Another reason there may have been no significant difference between student perceptions of the Attention construct may be that novice and experienced instructors both are immersed in the culture of Florida Virtual School. FLVS consistently reinforces the philosophy of constructivist learning. Student centered learning, customer service, and a commitment to the success of every student is at the center of their goals and instructors who are hired are screened carefully to ensure their teaching philosophy matches that of Florida Virtual School. This may result in both novice and experienced
183 instructors both capturing their students attention effectively based on a uniform belief in the importance of this motivational construct. It may the case that gaining attention in the online environment is sufficiently distinct from the face to face environment that all FLVS teachers are effectively novices or are on a relatively level field in terms of experience. This is supported by the ch aracteristics i dentified on Table 411, where 67% of English I instructors reported teaching at FLVS for15 years. This number of years experience puts the majority of teachers in the novice category of experience teaching in the FLVS learning environment A well designed course, integrating ARCS motivational constructs such as Attention, can support less experienced instructors as they facilitate virtual courses. Since Attention is identified on the FLVS course development checklist and integrated in th e English I course, this may support the effectiveness perceived by students of both novice and experienced instructors for this construct. Research Question 2 For completers only, is there a statistically significant difference in Relevance scores by ins tructor experience? Keller defines Relevance, in the ARCS motivational model, as a persons perception(s) of attraction towards ones desired outcomes, ideas, or other people based upon their own goals, motives and values (Keller, 2009, p. 98) Six major strategies described by Keller (2009) include: 1. Experience Tell the learners how the new learning will use their existing skills. We best learn by building upon our preset knowledge or skills. 2. Present Worth What will the subject matter do for me today? 3. Future Usefulness What will the subject matter do for me tomorrow?
184 4. Needs Matching Take advantage of the dynamics of achievement, risk taking, power, and affiliation. 5. Modeling Model what you want your students to do. Other strategies include guest speakers, videos, and having the learners who finish their work first to serve as tutors. 6. Choice Allow the learners to use different methods to pursue their work or allowing s choice in how they organize it. Research supports the positive effects of these strategies. Relevance strategies for example, have been effective in increasing the students motivational perceptions (Nwagbara, 1993) The data on Relevance scores in this study indicates there is no significant difference in Relevance scores between novice and experienced teachers. The findings support the research of Siedentop and Eldar (1989), who found that novice and experienced teachers accomplished the same goals in their study so both groups are effective. Since Relevance scores for novice and experienced groups in this study are both in the effective range on a Likert scale (novice = 4.22 Md, experienced = 4.44 Md), students in both groups perceive their instructors in the English I course are effective in making the course relevant and thus may perceive no significant difference based on experience. Siedentop and Eldar s (1989) conclusion that the effectiveness of experienced teachers is different than that of the intermediate and first year teachers is also supported by the data from this study Although the Relevance scores in this study for example, are not statistically different, the Relevance scores of experienced teachers are slightly higher than those of the less experienced teachers (novice = 4.22 Md, experienced = 4.44 Md),
185 As indicated in a discussion of Attention scores, there may have been no significant differences in Relevance scores between inexperienced and experienced teachers in this study because of the consistent, uniform course design of the English I course. The data collected through the student survey on both the Course Interest Survey and openended responses supports the effectiveness of the course design. The consistency of Relevance in the English I course design may explain student perceptions that the cours e and instructors who are both experienced and inexperienced are effective in making the English I course relevant (novice = 4.22 Md, experienced = 4.44 Md). There may be no significant differences in Relevance scores on the Course Interest Survey due to t he uniform design of lessons, activities, and real world problems in the English I course. Both students of novice and experienced teachers, for example, ranked specific activities in the course, such as developing a personal resume and selecting a verse from a favorite song and explaining it, as relevant. Both activities use Kellers recommended strategies for increasing motivation, such as present worth and future usefulness. Strategies of choice are mentioned often in students responses to written ques tions about motivating features of the course. Students reflected on how being able to select novels, reading selections, or options for creative projects motivated them to succeed in the course. Like Attention, Relevance is referenced specifically on the FLVS Course Development Checklist, and course designers are required to integrate relevant and real world applications in the design of the English I course. A well designed course, integrating ARCS motivational constructs such as Relevance, can support less experienced instructors as they facilitate virtual courses. Since Relevance is identified
186 on the FLVS course development checklist and integrated in the English I course, this may support the effectiveness perceived by students of both novice and experienced instructors for this construct. Another reason why there may have been no significant differences in Relevance scores between novice and experienced teachers is the rigorous screening and hiring process of FLVS instructor s consistent instructor tr aining each FLVS instructor completes prior to facilitating courses, as well as immersion in the constructivist culture of Florida Virtual School. FLVS emphasizes student centered, discovery learning consistently in course design, policies and procedures, and instructor training. According to Jennifer Locke (personal communication, May 23, 2011) department manager of employment services at FLVS, on average, within one week of opening an English posting to general a candidate pool for general consideration, FLVS easily receives 500700 applicants. The teacher selection process involves a three part process (online profiler, phone screening and panel interview), working in conjunction to gauge the candidates student centeredness and alignment with the organizations vision, mission and core competencies for success. Review of recent performance evaluations, reference and em ployment verifications are used to determine the candidates teaching performance. The final selection is determined by the Panel in the final interview, with is a combination of current teachers and our Instructional Leaders. The instructor training is five days with ongoing mentoring and training support through the first year. Part of the training is face to face and part of it is online/virtual. Some parts are asynchronous and some are synchronous. According to Mary Mitchell,
187 (personal communication, May 23, 2011), Professional Learning Team Department manager at FLVS, training focuses on: relationships with students and parents e ffective communication modes of communication how 2 way communication looks types of calls to make what the calls look and feel like meaningful purposeful goal setting conversations Positive feedback Responsiveness to engage students in the learning proc ess Synchronous tools for webinars Web 2.0 tool The rigorous screening process of FLVS candidates, as well as the large pool of potential candidates for positions, may lead to the preselection of instructor s by FLVS who motivate students effectively usi ng ARCS strategies. The consistent instructor training may also lead to the implementation of consistent attitudes and instructional strategies of Relevance, regardless of the level of teaching experience. A review of written comments from students who had novice and experienced teachers shows that students from both groups had positive comments about the Relevance construct, indicating their belief that instructors made the course relevant. Other variance in teacher effects on student motivation may als o explain why there were no significant differences in Relevance scores based on instructor experience. Aaronson, Barrow, and Sander (2007) found that 90 % of the variance in teacher effects on student learning was not explained by teacher characteristics such as highest level of education, experience, credentials, and selectivity of the college that the teacher attended. It is possible that experience has no difference because other teacher characteristics are a more accurate indicator of motivation.
188 Res earch Question 3 For completers only, i s there a statistically significant difference in Confidence scores by instructor experience? The Confidence construct of the ARCS model focuses on establishing positive expectations for achieving success among lear ners. For the instructor, the key question for building Confidence is how can I help students succeed and believe in their ability to control their successes? The importance of students beliefs in their ability is echoed by Carol Dwyers work. In her 2002 article Messages that Motivate: How Praise Molds Students Beliefs, Motivation, and Achievement, Carol Dweck, like Keller, argues that students beliefs about themselves and their learning profoundly affect their behavior. Keller (1983) describes Confidence as expectancy. There are many psychological constructs and attitudinal concepts that help provide explanations for peoples expectancy beliefs regarding the degree to which they can predict the outcomes of their behavior (Keller, 2010). A centr al issue seems to be perceptions of control. Control is included in defining c onfidence which Keller describes as h elping the learners believe/feel that they will succeed and control their success (Keller, 1987a, p. 2). Confidence is the interplay betwe en learners desire for success, and their fear of failure. These opposing forces vie for control of the learning experience. Keller and Suzuki (1988) list the three most important dimensions to Confidence: perceived competence, perceived control, and expectancy for success. This concept of control may be particularly relevant to distance learning environments. Roblyer (1999), for example, found that students who chose distance education classes over faceto face classes often did so out of a greater desire or need for control over their own learning outcomes.
189 The Confidence level of learners is often correlated with motivation and the amount of effort put forth in reaching a performance objective. For this reason, its important that learning design provides students with a method for estimating their probability of success. This can be achieved, according to Keller, in the form of a syllabus and grading policy, rubrics, or a time estimate to complete tasks. Additionally, Confidence is built when positive reinforcement for personal achievements is given through timely, relevant feedback. Keller (2009) offers learning designers the following Confidence building strategies: Performance Requirements Provide learning standards and evaluative criteria to establ ish positive expectations and trust with learner. Success Opportunities Present multiple, varied challenges for learners to experience success. Personal Control Use techniques that allow learners to attribute success to personal ability or effort. In this study, t he MannWhitney U test revealed significant differences in Confidence scores between teachers with one and five years of experience teaching language arts ( Md = 4.25, n = 1 5 ) and those with six or more years of experience ( Md = 4.62, n = 63 ), U = 226.50, z = 3.14 p = 002. Student who had teachers with six or more years of experience teaching language arts had statistically higher Confidence scores than students with teacher that had one to five years of experience. The results of this study support the complexity of the role of teaching experience on achievement, and, in this case motivation. This study builds on existing research reporting the positive effect of teaching experience on student test scores (Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2006; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2007; Goldhaber & Brewer, 1997; Jepsen,
190 2005; Krueger, 1999; Noell, 2005, 2001; Rivkin et al., 2005; Rockoff, 2004; Sanders, Ashton & Wright, 2005) by providing evidence of the positive effects of experience on one essential component of motivation, Confidence. It challenges the results of Harris & Sass (2007) who found no effect (or even a negative effect) of teaching experience beyond the first several years on high school student achievement in mathematics and reading. Although Harris and Sass (2007) found no effect on high school teaching experience in achievement in mathematics and reading, this study found that experience did have a significant impact in motivating high school students by building Confidence in their ability t o succeed. The data from this study also supports the effectiveness of improving overall learner motivation and performance through external conditions such as systematically applied Confidence strategies. Although one strategy recommended by Keller to bui ld Confidence can be addressed through course design (developing performance standards), many aspects of Confidence are interpersonal which may account for the significant difference between novice and experienced teachers in Confidence scores. The links to self efficacy and attribution theories, as well as the psychological and attitudinal aspects of the personal control aspect of the construct, may make the Confidence motivati onal construct challenging for novice instructors to implement. Simply telling a teacher to assume a group of people can improve and teach them accordingly is not sufficient (Schrank, 1970) and the research (Bandura, 1977; Jones et al 1971) does not offer specific guidance for developing these expectancies in students. The skill of building a learners sense of personal control may require the type of superior metacognitive skill set that Glaser and Chi (1988) link with experience. Novice teachers who are building
191 their own skill level and Confidence in the profession, may not y et have developed superior metacognitive skill levels in building Confidence in their students. Another reason why students with teachers who had more experience may have had significantly higher Confidence scores than those with novice teachers may be students knowledge of the teaching background and experience of their instructors. As part of the introduction to the course, FLVS teachers are encouraged to share their own professional background, including years of teaching experience, with students as part of the personalization of the course. Wlodkowski (1993) indicates that knowing the subject matter well enhances an instructors confidence, flexibility and creativity. This knowledge alone may create a sense of confidence in those learners with more experienced teachers. Although students of both experienced and novice teacher rated their instructors effective in building Confidence (novice Md = 4.25; experienced Md. 4.62), students with more experienced teachers perceived their instructors were significantly better at building Confidence. Although students of novice instructors rated the Confidence construct the highest of all ARCS constructs for novice teachers, indicating they felt their instructor did effectively build their confidence, there are skill sets that experienced teachers may possess or strategies they may employ which build Confidence even more effectively than novices. The significant difference between Confidence scores of novice and experienced teachers may be attributed to what Siedentop and Eldar (1989) describe as experienced effectiveness in experienced teachers. Experienced teachers, or those with 6 years or more teaching experience, may possess an ease and automaticity in building Confidence that novice teachers do not yet possess. Although
192 experience does not always lead to expertise, it may be that the experienced teachers in this study are, indeed, experts in their craft. This expertise may account for their stronger skills in building confidence in students. Additional support for the differences in Confidence scores between experienced and novice instructors comes from John Kellers observations about the role of expertise. According to Keller (2010) the level of subject matter expertise can be important when trying to make a unit of instruction more motivating. Keller (2010) opines that teachers with a high level of knowledge and experience are usually better able to think of a variety of possible motivational tactics (p.201). Another reason for the significant di fferences in Confidence scores may be that addressing the personal control aspect of the construct rests within the skill level of the instructor rather than course design or quality assurance factors. While the FLVS Course Development Checklist addresses Kellers recommended strategy of providing learning st andards and evaluative criteria, there are no specific guidelines documented for allowing learners to attribute success to personal ability or effort. FLVS instructor training teaches newly hired instru ctors specific techniques for developing effective communication, developing positive feedback, and engaging students in learning. Once these skills are introduced, time and practice are needed to strengthen and perfect these skills as novice instructors i nteract with virtual students. The differences in the amount of time, practice, and skill level may account for the differences in Confidence scores between novice and experienced instructors. Research Question 4 For completers only, is there a statistic ally significant difference in Satisfaction scores by instructor experience? Like Confidence, the S atisfaction construct of Kellers
193 ARCS motivational model has an interpersonal component According to Keller (2010), the key question for instructors seeki ng to build Satisfaction in learners is this: What can I do to help my students feel good about their experience and desire to continue learning? Keller (2010) suggests a variety of strategies to support satisfying feelings of accomplishments in student s. These include using exercises that are authentic with an optimal challenge level, providing detailed and constructive feedback on results, and grading in a manner that is fair and consistent within a stated set of criteria. Satisfaction and Confidence a re linked with each other and are interdependent (Keller, 2010) Knowing this, it might be expected that, if there were significant differences in Confidence scores by instructor experience, there would also be significant differences in Satisfaction scor es by instructor experience. T he Mann Whitney U test confirmed that there were, indeed, sign ificant differences in Satisfaction scores between teachers with one to five years of experience teaching language arts (Md = 4.00, n= 15) and those with six or more years of experience (Md= 4.56, n = 63), U = 318.50, z = 2.00, p = .050. Students with experienced teachers had significantly higher Satisfaction scores than students with novice teachers. This support s the close relationship Keller suggested exists between Confidence and Satisfaction. The Pearson correlations among ARCS motivational constructs conducted in Chapter 4, documented in Table 47, 48, and 49 also support the strong relationships among the subscales. As indicated in these tables, t he subsc ales (ARCS) are positively and highly correlated indicating a strong relationship among the subscales. As one subscale score increases, another increases; as one subscale score decreases, another decreases.
194 Like the Confidence construct, building S atis faction is a skill which is instructor driven, rather than driven by course design. This may result in students perceiving no significant difference in the course design driven constructs of Attention and Relevance, while perceiving differences between novice and experienced instructors in Confidence and Satisfaction, which are more related to the expertise and level of skill of instructor s. Building satisfaction in students is also interpersonal, requiring skill and practice. Experience gives experienced teacher the opportunity to have more frequently practiced and refined the skill of building satisfaction in students. Additional support for the differences in Satisfaction scores between experienced and novice instructors comes from John Kellers observations about the role of expertise. According to Keller (2010) the level of subject matter expertise can be important when trying to make a unit of instruction more motivating. Keller (2010) opines that teachers with a high level of knowledge and experi ence are usually better able to think of a variety of possible motivational tactics (p.201). Experienced teachers in this study may possess a level of expertise in building Satisfaction that novice teachers have not yet developed. Research Question 5 R Q5: For completers only, what are the perceived instructional practices that contribute to motivation? The qualitative data analyzed in this study provided rich detail about students perceptions of specific instructional practices and course design feat ures which motivated them to persist in the English I course. The identification of these practices has implications for both instructor training and course development of online courses.
195 Outcomes Outcomes R elated to I nstructor Tr aining As discussed in the Chapter 2, research supports the importance of instructor presence for student success in a distance learning environment (Gunawardena & Mclsaac, 2004). Characteristics of instructor presence which motivate students include expertise in the subject area being taught, supporting learner autonomy, showing empathy, demonstrating enthusiasm and providing instructional clarity ( Wlodkowski, 1993). Influencing student mindset (Dwyer, 2002) is also a key motivator. Each of these characteristic s was supported and extended by the written feedback of secondary students in this study. Empathy and encouragement, for example, was a key to motivating Participant 44: My English 1 instructor built my confidence by saying motivating and inspiring things to me each time we spoke. She would give me pep talks and talk to me in a nice way, almost like a friend. She had faith in me, and that made me want to excel in her class and make her proud. (Instructor 17, Participant 44) Other students indicate enthusiasm can be sensed in different ways by students in virtual environments: What motivated me is my teacher, when I speak to her she is very happy and nice. Her voice motivates me to do well in her class. My instructor was incredibly enthusiastic, and always was happy to talk to me when a problem came up According to these comments, the tone and quality of an instructors voice as well as his or her positive attitude transmit enthusiasm through phone conversations with the virtual student. In addition to the characteristics identified by researchers in chapter 2, other characteristics emerged. This insight allows educators and policymakers of distance
196 learning organizations a student perspective of what is needed to motivate students in a virtual secondary environment. One of t he strongest motivating characteristics specific to the virtual environment is frequent communication and consistent availability to students. Participant 64 discussed the importance of this element of instruction: I enjoy the fact that I can email my ins tructor as well as text and or call h er It motivates me to do harder and makes me feel more confident, because if I ever have a question, my instructor is just a phone call away! If she were to not help me, I probably would have been lost and gi ve n up (In structor 13, Participant 64) Another participant explains the importance of this type of frequent communication, especially on the phone, with her instructor. Her words describe this communication as central to her feeling that her instructor is invested i n her success and cares about her: It is so wonderful to get on the phone and talk to someone genuinely interested in my success and in the things I do--as a student, it makes me feel appreciated. It also places a certain importance on my work, like it r eally matters to the person who's reading it. (Instructor 17, Participant 43) One participant indicated in his comment that this type of consistent communication and caring is what kept him from dropping the course: She made me feel comfortable and able to be on my own pace. My monthly calls or emails really helped me. If I ever had questions she was an email or phone call away. If she were to not help me, I probably would have been lost and gave up. Ms. XX definitely helped. (Instructor 12, Participant 2 8) Another student felt so strongly, he wanted to encourage other teachers to do what his teacher did to motivate him: I would make sure the instructors all did what my instructor did which is tell the student motivating things in messages or when they are on the phone with them, because it really makes a student more interested in the course. It makes us want to achieve things since we know someone believes in us.
197 These comments support the findings of numerous researchers that strong st udent instructor interaction, including timely and frequent communication between instructors and students is essential to motivating students in the distance learning environment (Angelino et al., 2007; Hara & Kling, 2001; Sperry, 2009; Swan, 2001; Talvitie Siple, 2007). It also reinforces Cavanaughs (2008) recommendation that f requent communication, feedback, and scheduled tutoring or skill checks is motivational. The quantitative ratings of 12 course factors in the course on Table 411 provide continued support for th e motivating value of frequent, encouraging communication between instructors and students. Both students of novice and experienced instructors rated email communication with their instructors as very motivating (novice = Md 4.33, experienced = Md 4.40). The scale for these factors ranged from one (not motivating) to five (extremely motivating). These findings support research by Bhavsar, Burke, Carter, and Jensen (2006) that motivation to do well in class was strongly influenced by the level of their instructors engagement and interest. Students had detailed comments about the importance of instructor feedback. Participant 43 recognizes the complexity of giving feedback effectively by noting how his instructor performed this skill well: Perhaps motivat ion can be based slightly on a person's temperament. In my one of my old classes (not English; it was also highschool level) the feedback I received was hardly encouraging; brief, usually only a couple of sentences and a line at the end saying, "Pleas e resubmit." May I briefly say that this is NOT motivation? However, the feedback in English is most definitely encouraging and motivating, with well thought responses to the student's work and highlights especially on the good aspect. I'm not saying it 's wrong to point out the bad in a person's assignment, but it's a delicate process to do so without crushing one's pride. My teacher does this
198 impeccably and keeps the student soaring higher, asking them to bring out the best in them for the best in thei r future. (Instructor 17, Participant 43) Not only was this student articulate in his reflections about his experienced instructors skill level, he offers insight into specific ways instructor training can be developed to teach this skill to other instruc tors, regardless of level of experience. Participant 43 points out the importance of feedback being specific, rather than general, as well as focused initially on the positive aspect of student work. He recognizes the skill involved, noting that it is a delicate process. Another student comment, this time for a novice instructor, reflects the importance of the ultimate goal of feedback: it should be written in a way that it energizes the learner to improve. Participant 58 felt his instructor was effectiv e in this way: The feedback defiantly motivates me because I feel more confident in my work after every comment. I feel as though I can complete any assignment well. (Instructor 8, Participant 58). An instructional design or developer of instructor traini ng can identify a list of effective strategies for giving feedback through a review of these student comments. The comments also suggest the efficacy of gathering samples of effective instructor feedback as a model for instructor training on this skill. E xperts in the area, such as Johnson and Johnson (2000) offer specific guidelines for giving effective feedback which can be utilized in instructor training. According to these researchers, when feedback is given skillfully, it generates energy, directs t he energy toward constructive action, and transforms the energy into action towards improving performance. This specific criteria can be valuable in designing instructor training about this essential skill. Skills, by their nature, are teachable. Giving feedback, encouraging participation, supporting learners autonomy, and other skills inherent in the characteristics of a
199 motivating instructor are teachable. Practice, which includes repetition, strengthens the ability of each instructor to be effective in using these skills with students. One implication of these student comments is the identification of specific skills that should be developed and reinforced through instructor training for instructors who teach this target audience. Training or reinforcing skills identified by virtual students as motivating could contribute to an increase in motivation and performance. In a brief prepared for the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), Davis and Rose (2009) argue it is a myth to believe that any regular classroom teacher is already qualified to teach online. The authors note that research has consistently shown that teachers teach the way they were taught. That is especially significant for teachers who were educated in a traditional faceto face classroom environment and then plan to move into virtual environments. Synchronous and asynchronous online courses require different pedagogy, communication, and pacing to be successful. Synchronous technologies, including videoconferencing, change t he nature of communication between the teacher and students more than if they were physically in the same classroom. Anyone who is working with virtual schooling needs to understand and experience these differences. Some key suggestions offered in this bri ef should be followed by distance educators, administrators and program administrators : 1. A tea cher adopting specific course content and institutional practices will need time to personalize it to his or her own pedagogic beliefs and knowledge, possibly inc luding minor revision of the content or technology. This is true even if the course is already designed. 2. Professional development should include five key behaviors that have been linked effective online teaching performance: Provide timely and meaningful f eedback
200 Create learning activities that engage students Keep students interested and motivated Get students to interact with each other Encourage students to be critical and reflective Knowledge about subject matter and traditional instructional approaches are as necessary for online teachers as they are for those teaching in traditional environments, but online teachers require additional knowledge in order to be able to successfully motivate and engage learners. Best practices in virtual schooling include well published case studies where student engagement and success is increased. Study of these awardwinning courses and coaching of best practices accompanied by mentoring are valuable approaches for all roles in online learning. The National Education A ssociations Guide to Teaching Online Courses provides a three part recommendation for preservice programs: 1) skills to use the Internet in teaching 2) taking an online course that models good practice, and 3) undertaking preservice online student teaching. It is also suggested that programs prepare all educators for virtual schooling, including principals, superintendents, school counselors, technology coordinators, and library media specialists. This study supports the need for virtual mentoring and internships for any novice or preservice teacher considering virtual instruction or facilitation. Kathryn Kennedys dissertation studied a partnership between University of Florida and Florida Virtual School where student teachers were paired with experienced virtual school teachers. The purpose of this study was to describe the essence of these virtual school experiences as expressed by three preservice teachers. Interns started by observing their supervising teachers placing phone calls with their students writing emails and launching class web conferences. Later, interns act more as teaching assistants and
201 participate in classroom discussions, grade assignments and create tutorials. The insights in this study support the value of this type of internship f or novices to learn from experienced virtual instructors the specific skills needed for effective facilitation of virtual curriculum. Outcomes Related to Course D esign and P olicy Course design and policy outcomes were identified from an analysis of student comments on the survey. Student perception of their autonomy was supported by course design factors, which were then reinforced by the instructor. Kellers strategies of variability and choice, recommended for the Attention and Relevance constructs, wer e effective in motivating students in this virtual secondary environment. Students were consistently positive about the opportunity to select creative projects and have choices in their learning. Research points out the motivational impact of course desi gn. McConnell, Hoover, and Sassed (2001) found that designing motivational instruction using the ARCS model, can increase learning outcomes while Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, and Jones (2009) opine that incorporating mechanisms that promote student reflec tion motivates students toward increased learning outcomes. Fischer and Sharff (1998) concluded that interactivity and supported self directed learning are essential in technology mediated environments. Course design implications can be identified through the written comments on student surveys in this study. Students identified creative projects and options to choose reading selections most frequently as examples of activities that motivated them most. These assignments gave students opportunities to c hoose a variety of ways to present their understanding of content creatively through technology, audio, visual, or written methods. For example, for the Attention construct both instructors and students most frequently
202 mentioned creative projects which gave students the opportunity to organize a fictional class trip, illustrate their own book cover, create an avatar that fits the protagonists perspective and create a future city. Other activities mentioned, such as creating a personal resume or selecting a verse from a favorite song, exemplify how course activities can be designed to motivate students through Relevance Table 411 ranked creative projects as between motivating and very motivating by both students of novice and experienced teachers (Md =3. 93, Novice; Md = 3.64, Experienced) Instructional designers developing courseware for virtual secondary students can use data from this survey, including quantitative data on motivating course factors (Table 411), written comments to openended questions, and median scores for each of the ARCS motivational constructs to reinforce existing understanding of the importance of designing using Gagnes nine events of instructions and Kellers ARCS motivational design model. Specific examples of motivating activi ties, through the lens of virtual secondary students, can lead designers to a better understanding of what types of activities and design features are best suited to the secondary virtual school audience. This understanding can and should lead to better design decisions that can then improve or enhance student motivation. Student comments support current understanding of the importance of specific policy decisions for virtual K 12 schools, such as the flexibility of students being able to work at their own pace. This Participant discusses the importance of flexibility in supporting his autonomy: I think what motivated me most is the flexibility I have of completing the assignments so I can take the time to really understand what I'm learning. (Instructor 3, Participant 7)
203 The importance of feedback is supported by student rankings of flexibility on 12 course factors ( Table 411). Students of both novice and experienced teachers ranked flexibility as very motivating (Md =4.47, Novice; Md =4.44, Experienced) Student comments indicated that the ability to receive feedback, implement the feedback, and submit an assignment for a higher grade, along with the encouragement from the instructor was motivating: the feedback did motivate me. If I got it wrong it motivated me to correct it and turn it in again to get a better grade. If I did it right her feedback motivated me to keep going further in my course and try harder on my work. I believe this is all because she is very encouraging and willing to help. (Instru ctor 11, Participant 62) I felt most motivated by the opportunities that this course gave me to get better grades (Instructor 19, Participant 54) This issue overlaps into the policy of the organization or the course through flexible pace charts and resubm ission policies. It is clear from student comments that policies to increase and improve student instructor interaction, such as frequent and consistent communication motivate students in this environment and should be continued and viewed by other virtual K 12 organizations as a best practice. The ability to receive constructive feedback and resubmit work for grades, have choices in activities and projects, and develop relationships with instructors is also motivating to virtual secondary students. Implic ations I n the process of collecting and analyzing the data produced in this study, several broadbased outcomes that could be applied in research, pol icy and practice became clear There are also implications for teacher education programs, instructional systems designers and programs, students, and parents.
204 The overwhelming body of research indicates that while motivation is an important aspect of learning, there is a noted lack of research concerning the motivational needs of learners (Astleitner & Kel ler, 1995; Gabrielle, 2003; Means, Jonassen & Dwyer, 1997; Shellnut, Knowlton & Savage, 1999; Visser & Keller, 1990) In addition, there is a lack of research on the specific motivational needs of virtual secondary students. There is also a gap in understanding the role of teaching experience as one of several characteristics of a motivating instructor. Research does show that overall motivation can be enhanced in distance learners through the application of specific ARCS strategies recommended by John Ke ller ( Gabrielle, 2003; ChanLin, 2009; Nwagbara, 1993) These strategies can be integrated in the development and facilitation of online course. One implication of this study is the recommendation that Kellers ARCS strategies be considered in the course design process of virtual secondary courses. Consistent application of these constructs can be increased by ensuring a course development checklist, such as the one Florida Virtual School uses in course design, or a rubric, such as the Quality Matters Rubri c is used by virtual organizations during course development. Experience matters in motivating students in a virtual secondary environment. The data in this study supports the positive effects of teaching experience on specific motivational constructs, especially Confidence and Satisfaction. Students with teachers with more experience had significantly higher Confidence and Satisfaction scores than those with less experience. Data showed students with experienced teachers were motivated to perform in the course in specific ways that were different than the effectiveness of novice teachers. There is a lot to learn from the experienced
205 effectiveness of teachers with 6 or more years experience. Internships pairing novice or preservice teachers with experien ced virtual instructors, as described in Kennedys 2009 dissertation, are valuable for effectively introducing, practicing, and learning these specific skills. Administrators and organizers of virtual K 12 schools seeking quality programs should underst and the value of experience as they select instructors to implement online programs. These distance educators should also find ways to utilize the skills, expertise, and practical strategies used by experienced teachers to benefit the organization in speci fic ways. The experienced effectiveness of experienced teachers in building Confidence and Satisfaction in students can be used by virtual school administrators and staff to develop instructor training for less experienced instructors. Since novice instructors in this study were also perceived as effective in building motivation, skills and strategies from this group should also be utilized in the design of instructor training. Experienced instructors can also be paired with novice teachers in the capacit y of mentorship during the initial year of their selection as a virtual instructor Since both groups are effective in slightly different ways both groups can learn from each other how best to motivate students. The Florida Virtual School model of mentorship is an effective practice for t h is type of training. According to the North American Council of Online Learnings October 2008 report on online teacher support programs, new online instructors at FLVS have an intricate support system comprised of six formal mentors and a myriad of individuals who collaborate to ensure the mentees success. The key features of this formalized mentoring program include :
206 New hires complete a training module prior to attending the initial faceto face training New hires are supported by a formal mentor for up to one year Faceto face and webbased follow up training sessions Mentors are experienced teachers who have a reduced student load Content buddies provide just in time content related support Extensive network of support through both formal and informal mentoring At FLVS, according to the NACOL report, new hires have the opportunity to build relationships with their training cohort, an Instructional Leader, a mentor and other staff by going out to dinner together, working in small groups, and practicing their new skills. For example, during one of the evenings, mentors help mentees make welcome calls to their newly assigned students. Mentors also assist mentees with new job skills. They role play different scenari os and practice decision making, as well as go over other important pieces such as academic integrity. The type of support system described in the FLVS mentoring model can be disseminated to other virtual schools seeking to develop quality programs with high levels of motivation. Teacher education programs can also benefit from the outcome of this study There is a need to develop a longterm, stable, highly skilled teaching force to meet the needs of 21st century learners in all learning environments An analysis of the Schools and Staffing Surveys showed that new teachers who lacked student teaching and teacher education coursework left teaching in their 1st year at rates double of those who had had student teaching and coursework (NCTAF, 2003). Da rling Hammond (2010) notes that although about 30% of new public school teachers leave the profession over their first 5 years of teaching, attrition rates are much lower for teachers with greater initial preparation. Preparation should include, according to the outcomes of this study, online internships for those instructors s eeking to teach in the virtual K 12
207 environment. Since experienced teachers in this study demonstrated significant differences in Confidence and Satisfaction compared with novice instructors, it is beneficial for preservice teachers to work under the mentorship of experienced virtual instructor to learn best practices for motivating virtual students. In addition to internships, this study supports a curriculum focused on teaching f uture teachers specific motivational strategies, such as the skill of giving effective feedback and building confidence and satisfaction in students. Potential instructors should not only learn about these strategies but practice them so that they can receive feedback, refine, and continue practicing these skills prior to becoming instructors in a virtual environment. An understanding and expertise in building these skills is useful in all learning environments, whether faceto face, virtual, or blended. For those who do want to specialize, t his study supports the development of specific cognate areas or specializations in online teaching and learning with specific curriculum designed to give potential instructors motivational strategies and best practices for facilitating in the virtual environment. College and universities offering programs in instructional systems design can also benefit from the outcomes of this study. Standard curriculum currently centers on instructional processes and/or models suc h as ADDIE, Dick and Carey, and rapid prototyping, as well as instructional theories and strategies. Educators seeking to train future instructional systems designers to develop effective online training should include motivational design models such as Kellers ARCS motivational model as well as give designers specific strategies for motivating virtual students in course design.
208 The outcomes of this study, including the characteristics of motivating instructors and motivating course design features can be used by administrators and organizers of emerging virtual K 12 programs developing policies and procedures for the program. Higher education leaders have expressed concern that published guidelines for distance education institutions appear more like s tatements of adequate rather than best practice (Twigg, 2001). In other words, published guidelines do not always specify the level at which distance educators, learners, or organizations are expected to perform. Two organizations the National Education A ssociation (NEA), the nations largest professional association of higher education faculty, and Blackboard Inc., a widely used platform provider for online educationjointly commissioned The Institute for Higher Education Policy to examine the benchmarks by studying active distance learning programs at several institutions The study guidelines which recognized the importance of factors such as feedback but were not specific about the nature of the factor. For example, The Institute for Higher Education Policy (2000) benchmark s state that distance organizations should ensure Feedback to student assignments and questions is constructive and provided in a timely manner. To develop effective guidelines, virtual K 12 organizations should specify what is meant by timely and appropriate feedback based on research, theory, and documented best practices. The comments support the importance of positive, constructive feedback as a powerful motivator of distance learners in secondary environments. Students co nsistently referenced the motivating quality of frequent, timely, consistent communication with instructors and often linked this communication with their willingness to persist in the course. The outcomes of this study provide further support
209 that f eedback is vital to e learning. At minimum, feedback is essential for closing message loops (Northrup & Ramussen, 2000; Yacci, 2000) and informing learners that communications are complete (Berge, 1999; Liaw & Huang, 200). Feedback may also increase response r ate or accuracy, reinforce correct responses and change erroneous responses (Kulhavy & Wager, 1993; Hirumi, 2005). According to Sorenson (2004) students often seek more and prompter feedback in an online environment than in a traditional classroom. Bas ed on outcomes of this study, establishing mechanisms for acknowledgement of assignments or assignment receipt protocols is important in enabling prompt feedback in online environments. Research by Hirumi (2005) found students demand immediate feedback i n an online course, often emailing repeated messages asking whether an assignment was received or whether the instructor feedback is completed. The current study shows policies developed by one effective organization, FLVS that work. These include: 1. Gu idelines provided to students indicating the instructor will acknowledge receipt of the assignment within 48 hours of submission. This is typically done in an email. 2. Students are provided guidelines on when to expect instructor feedback on an assignment typically a one week time period. Giving students guidance on the turnaround time to expect for assignments helps reduce their anxiety and decreases the number of individual emails to the instructor. Giving and receiving feedback is a skill that can be t aught, practiced, and reinforced. Distance learning administrators and educators can develop instructor training to teach the elements of giving feedback (being specific, constructive, positive) to increase the ability of virtual instructors to give feedback effectively. Teacher education programs should also include curriculum developed to refine specific
210 motivational strategies and skills. A study by Reeve (1998) shows that teaching learner autonomy is also teachable. Since supporting student autonomy is an essential skill needed for instructor s of virtual K 12 learning, this skill can and should be integrated as part of instructor training and teacher education programs for virtual schools. Sorenson and Baylen (2009) concluded that using criterionr eferenced grading communicates high expectations for students, as does allowing for revision of assignments in order to reach higher levels of performance. Data from this study support this conclusion. S tudents indicated on written responses to openended questions that they were motivated by opportunities to revise their work and resubmit it for a higher grade. This opportunity reinforces learner autonomy by giving learners choices to improve their work. The existing policies of Florida Virtual School for frequent, consistent, timely communication between instructors and students and the opportunity to revise and resubmit work motivates students. Providing specific, rather than general guidelines, are essential to communicating high expectations for distance education instructor s, students, and parents. For example, FLVS specifies timely communication in policy guidelines, requiring instructors to return emails and phone calls from students and parents within 24 hours. FLVS also specifies that assignments should be acknowledged within 24 hours and graded within 48 hours. The results of this study can and should be used to support specific and practical student instructor communication policies and submission and resubmission policies for existing and fu ture virtual K 12 schools. There are implications for students and parents from this study. This study supports the importance of intrinsic motivation as the most powerful type of motivation.
211 Parents can encourage intrinsic motivation. Students need to k now and, thus, need to experience that what they do in terms of studying and assignments will make a difference in their learning and success. Parents can assist students in making connections between what they are learning and real life. By reading book s for pleasure or relating past and current events, parents can model a love of learning and promote inquiry and critical thinking. By openly discussing causal attributions for success or lack of success on specific assignments in classes with their child parents can also build intrinsic motivation. One implication of this study is the importance of listening to the authentic, specific feedback of students as they reflect on their learning experience. For students, this supports the value of student feedback and evaluations on instructors and courses. Distance educators should encourage and acknowledge the feedback of students as valuable information for cont inued improvement. When instructor s model how to give effective, constructive feedback, students will become more effective at giving feedback on their own learning and learn to reflect more deeply on their experience. The written comments in this study were impressive in the level of honesty, detail, and thoughtfulness they exhibit. Instructors and d istance organizers should encourage honest feedback and set up mechanisms for this feedback to be given in a safe, anonymous way consistently throughout online coursework. Students are moti vated, as this study shows, by teachers who appear to be human and caring. Teachers can help produce these feelings by sharing parts of themselves with students, especiall y personal interests or mistakes they made. Such personalizing of the student/ instructor relationship helps students see teachers as
2 12 approachable human beings. Instructors should set up mechanisms for students to share personal interests by integrating discussion boards, online profiles, and reflection assignments. Students are then more likely to take the opportunity to share what motivates and inter ests them through the opportunities presented. The benefits of the personalization of the student/ instructor relationship are seen in this study. By sharing her love of soccer with her instructor for example, one student in this study gave her instructo r a framework for making the course more relevant to her interests. Other students in this study mentioned how their instructor made connections to their interests in football, horses, and poetry. This study demonstrates the value in using Kellers Cours e Interest Survey to explore students perceptions of motivation in virtual secondary courses. The data from the Course Interest Survey, in conjunction with students written comments, provides further support for the value of Kellers ARCS motivational model in identifying potential motivational needs and prescribing practical strategies to meet these needs to increase motivation. Once unmet motivational needs are identified, instructor s and course designers can use this information to revise and improve c ourses to increase motivation. Continued research should be done to identify learner characteristics, strengths and weaknesses in course design and unmet motivational needs in other virtual programs, courses and grade levels, in order to develop an under standing of unmet motivational needs. Data from further studies can be used to develop strategies to increase motivation and increase performance for a wide range of virtual K 12 students.
213 Limitations There are a variety of limitations to this study. These include the low response rate to the survey despite efforts to maximize response rate, and the differences between the sample and the target audience. Low Response Rate Though there is no literature that has established a benchmark for webbased surve y response, response rates associated with students for this survey were low as compared to rates discussed by Cook, Heath and Thompson (2000), but fall in line with those reported in Manfreda, Bosnjak, Berzelak, Haas and Vehovars 2008 metaanalysis. Co ok, Heath and Thompson found the mean response rate for the 68 surveys reported in 49 studies was 39.6% ( SD = 19.6%) in their metaanalysis of webbased surveys. Manfreda et al. study reviewed 45 different content nonspecific cases in which webbased surv eys were utilized, their findings detail a range of response rates, from 11% to 82%. There are few studies measuring the response rate of virtual secondary students making it difficult to determine a benchmark for this age group. One dissertation study on K 12 virtual schooling found a response rate of 36% (Black, 2009) A n investigation of secondary students motivation to learn mathematics in a virtual high school algebra 1 course, found a high degree of dropout rate for students in ninth and tenth grade. While Talvi tie Siple (2007) began her study with 41 virtual high school students, only 10 students completed the study. Although this study did not conduct a web based survey the response rate of this age group shows that participation is a challenge for this target audience. There were a variety of measures taken to increase response rate to the student survey in this study. Kittleson (1997) was assertive in emphasizing the effectiveness of
214 followup notices to electronic survey efforts, maintaining that one can expect between a 25 and 30% response rate from an email survey when no followup takes place. Followup reminders will approximately double the response rate for email surveys (p. 196). Two reminder notices were sent to students in this study. One reminder was sent seven days after the first notification (Appendix E ). The final reminder was sent the day before the survey w as closed (Appendix F). Cook, Heath and Thompson (2000) found that using personalized correspondence was associated with higher response rates for electronic surveys. In this study, the initial email with survey link and subsequent reminders to complete the survey were sent to students by their corresponding English I instructor. This process was used to lend credibility to the survey as students received the request to participate in the survey from an instructor they knew and trusted. Incentives, in the form of the potential to earn an ipod Touch, Universal or Gamestop tickets, were offered to students to increase response rate. Although researchers have had mixed results with the use of incentives to increase response rates (Cook, et al.) it was felt that with the age group of the target audience (1214 years) incentives may increase response rates. Even though numerous measures were taken to maximize response rate, the 18% response rate was lower than expected. There are several reasons that may have resulted in the relatively low level of participation by students comprising the study population. Due to Florida Virt ual School policy, all email communication is done through students assigned FLVS mail account, Thus, the email with the link to the survey for this study was sent to students FLVS mail accounts by their corresponding instructor. Students who do not check their FLVS account frequently may have missed
215 the email with the survey link, as well as the subsequent reminders. Due to the bombardment of requests for participation in other FLVS surveys and questionnaires, students may have become fatigued with requests for participation in surveys and decided not to respond to this one. Evidence indicates that many individuals experience email overload, characterized by overflowing email inboxes and the stress of attempting to respond to this deluge of communicat ions (Jackson, Burgess & Edwards, 2006). Additionally, research indicates that email users develop patterns of responsiveness based upon reciprocity and perceived communicative value. Over time, the perception that an email senders communications have lit tle value or are nonreciprocative will hinder participation (Tyler & Tang, 2003). Nonresponse to email can also be associated with poor email communications practices. It is possible that students get many requests from FLVS for participation in surveys and assessments leading students to develop a negative opinion of all communications from the organization, or a belief that all surveys are equal and they can ignore some surveys since others will follow Differences in Sample and Target Audience To as sess the extent to which those who responded to the survey are representative, an analysis was conducted of specific characteristics of each student in the overall target audience (432) with those in the sample (78). This comparison showed that although t here were similarities in the academic grades and online experience of the sample with the target audience, there were differences in the gender, age, and reason for taking the English I course. Because the characteristics of the sample do not match the target audience, the sample is not representative. Therefore, caution should be taken when generalizing the results.
216 An analysis showed differences between the gender and age between the English I students in the overall target audience and the sample surveyed While a higher percentage of females in the overall target audience completed the course (53%), for example, the sample of students who completed the survey reflected a higher percentage of males completing the course (66%). While the majority of students were age 15 in the target audience (35%), the majority of students who completed the survey (40%) were 14 years old while 35% were 15 years old. According to the sample, 14% of students were taking English I for credit recovery. This is much less than the percentage of students in the target audience taking the course for credit recovery (23%). There were some similarities between the sample size and the target audience. Like the target audience, the majority of students in the sample who had com pleted 65 99% of the course had As and Bs. The sample showed the majority of students (55%) had taken an online course. This is representative of the overall target audience of 70% completing 6599% of the course who had taken an online course before. The comparison of the sample to the overall target audience shows that the gender and age of the sample differs from the overall target audience. While the majority of students who responded to the survey were male, the majority of students who actually completed 6599% of the course with a passing grade were female. A larger number of younger students (age 14) completed the survey compared with the target audience. This may mean that the motivational constructs reflected in the survey results are not repres entative of the older students in the actual target audience. Because less students in the sample were taking the course for credit recovery, the ARCS constructs which motivate at risk students are not representative of the target
217 audience as a whole. Thi s is further exemplified by the data indicating that 21% of the target audience earned Cs and 14% earned Ds. Of the sample student respondents to the survey, only 9% reported earning Cs and 3% reported earning Ds. This discrepancy demonstrates that student s taking the course for credit recovery, as well as students earning Cs and Ds were underrepresented in the sample, compared with the target audience. Sample Represents Only Students who Persist When examining the implications of the results of this study one must keep in mind that the findings are limited only to those students who persisted to complete 65% 99% of the course. The factors which motivate ninth grade students in the English I course, therefore, do not represent the students who did not r each the 65% completion mark in the course, nor did it represent those who completed 100% of the course. Study Focuses only on ARCS S ince the s tudy focused only on AR CS motivational constructs, other factors which may have motivated students were not cons idered. Some students may have been motivated by other factors such as a desire to graduate, pleasing parents or teachers, or personal reasons. Further research is in a variety of factors which motivate students in order to get a complete picture of all motivational constructs. Incentives offered in Survey One limitation of this study may be the incentives offered to students to motivate them to take the survey. Although the prizes themselves were deemed by the researcher to be gender neutral, the nature of the prizes (ipod Touch, Universal Studios Tickets, gift card to Gamestop) may have appealed more to boys than girls. This may
218 explain why the majority of respondents to the survey were males, while the majority of students in the target audience were f emales. Offering incentives such as those offered in this study may have resulted in a smaller number of more detailed written responses to openended questions due to the award criteria, but may also have kept a larger number of students from responding due to the extended length of the survey.
219 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION This dissertation explored the impact of teaching experience upon virtual secondary school motivation utilizing a sample of students and instructors from Florida Virtual School. Outcomes of this study have specific implications for researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Through its Virtual School Administrator (VSA) database, Florida Virtual School w as able to provide this researcher with the ability to collect a wide range of demogr aphic information about students, as well as the ability to identify those who completed 65% 99% of the course. This type of database has the ability, among other things, to track students longitudinally and to generate, through its program, email communi cation to groups and subgroups of a population within a course or program Programs such as VSA allow the organization to update student information and communicate through FLVS email accounts. Florida Virtual School is a pioneer in the ability to access information for research. Data infrastructures in other virtual schools should be improved to provide seamless access to comprehensive student information as well as the ability to verify student contact information on a regular basis to prevent instances in which a student or parent is unable to be contacted. Educational policymakers, either at the state or federal level, may ultimately be the impetus for the integration of the multiple educational data systems that exist in some states in the U.S. Result s indicate that the effect of teaching experience on motivation is complex, but positive. There were significant differences in the perceptions of students with teachers who have 6 or more years experience and those with 15 years experience on two ARCS mo tivational construct s While novice and experienced teachers in this
220 study were both perceived by students to effectively motivate them, there are some differences in specific ways experienced and novice teachers motivate students. In addition to quantit ative data, qualitative data, such as written responses to survey questions, is important information for researchers to collect to assess these complex differences. Experience matters. In a political environment where the value of experience is being cha llenged as an indicator of quality and merit, it is important to be cautious when compiling research on the issue. Politicians deciding there is no relationship between experience and achievement should recognize there are studies such as this one, which show that experience does motivate secondary virtual students in positive and different ways than less experienced. While both groups can be effective, the value of experience should not be minimized or dismissed as an indicator of quality or effectiveness. Since experience does make a difference in how ninth grade English I students are motivated, how can the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced instructors be used. Some potential uses include: mentorships between experienced and novice instructors facilitator training which focuses on skills such as giving feedback, developing relationships with students designed or facilitated by experienced instructors Opportunities for experienced instructors to share best practices, model, share samples of best practices. Results associated with this study indicate there are significant differences on two motivational construct s, Confidence and Satisfaction, between experienced and novice instructors. According to the data from this study, s tudents with t eachers who have 6 or
221 more years experience motivate students at higher levels in the area of building C onfidence and Satisfaction than novice teachers. Keeping in mind that the l ow response rate may not be indicative of entire sample of English I students. T hese results can be valuable in providing instruction to new and novice instructors on specific confidence and satisfaction building skills and strategies used by experienced instructors and to build mentorship programs pairing experienced and novic e teachers. The results of this study also indicate that course design, like experience, also matters in motivating students. A well designed course, based on sound instructional design and motivational design principles can ensure curriculum effectively meets the learning and motivational needs of students It can also support less experienced teachers while they develop skills which are specific to virtual instruction. P ractitioners seeking to encourage and improve motivation in the design and facilitat ion of virtual K 12 education should look to experienced instructors to identify best practices and strategies used to build specific ARCS motivational constructs, such as Confidence. Distance education administrators and organizers should take into account the experienced effectiveness of experienced teachers and be cautious in assessing the relationship between experience and achievement and in their hiring, training, and merit decisions. While some studies can be cited to support the lack of relationshi p between experience and positive outcomes, such as achievement and motivation, studies such as this one should open a dialogue on the complexity of dismissing the value of experience as an indicator of quality and effectiveness.
222 Future research should co ntinue to use the Course Interest Survey to measure ARCS motivational constructs with subsequent 9th grade English I courses to gather longitudinal data. This will allow distance educators to make assessments on how future 9th grade English I students perceive motivation in their courses, making it possible to compare multiple calendar years of students of the same course. Further studies should use the Course Interest Survey to survey what motivates 9th grade students in other virtual courses to assess similarities and differences between what motivates 9th grade English I students compared with what motivates 9th graders in other subjects. Further studies should also be conducted on what motivates students in other grade levels and other secondary virtual courses For example Are 10th grade English II students motivated in similar or different ways than 9th grade English I students? Are 12th grade physics students motivated differently or the same as 9th grade English I students These findings will allow distance educators to identify what works in motivating students to perform and what improvements can be made to address unmet motivational needs. This study supports the powerful voice of the target audience of this study: the virtual secondary student. The qualitative feedback received from this students in response to specific motivating factors of the virtual course and curriculum supports the value of conducting qualitative surveys to identify both what works and what needs to be done to motivate students to perform in a virtual environment. This dissertation should serve as the starting point for a more detailed and comprehensive c onversation regarding specific ways to motivate secondary virtual
223 students as well as continuing to research the role of experience on motivation in virtual secondary schools.
224 APPENDIX A PARENTAL WAIVER OF CONSENT Dear Parent/Guardian, You are receiving this email because your child has completed 65% of the English I course at Florida Virtual School. As a doctoral student at University of Florida, Id like to ask you for your permission to let your child participate in a short webbased survey that asks your child specific questions about what motivated them to succeed in the online course. For specific information about the study, please read this email carefully. Who am I ? I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Technology at the University of Florida, conducting research on the factors which motivate ninth grade students to com plete the online English I course at Florida Virtual School under the supervision of Dr. Cathy Cavanaugh. The purpose of this study is to identify specific motivational factors, such as Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction in the online cours e which motivate students to complete the English I course. The results of the study may help virtual instructors and designers to better understand the factors which motivate students and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. These res ults may not directly help your child today, but may benefit future students. What will my child have to do? This study would require your child to take a short multiple choice question webbased survey about the motivating factors in the English I cours e. They will also be asked to give their responses to a series of openended questions about what specific factors (course design, instructor) motivated them in the English I course. How long will it take? The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Notice: If you do NOT want your child to participate in this online survey, please email or fax me I do not w ant my child _____(fill in name) to participate in this study. Signed ____ as follows ____or email _______Please communicate this information within 10 days of receipt of this email.
225 How will my childs confidentiality be protected? Are there any risks/benefits? Although the student will be asked to write their name for matching purposes (so that students names can be matched with instructors), their identity will be kept conf idential to the extent provided by law. I will replace their names with code numbers. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my office. Once the study is completed the list linking student names and responses will be destroyed. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Participation or nonparticipation in this study will not affect the children's grades or placement in any programs. You child has the chance to win one of three awards for participating in this study. These awards are NOT a random drawing or lottery, but are based on how you respond to the survey as specified in the description for each award. The following awards are offered Gold Award ( IPOD Touch ) What your child has to do to win G old Award 1. All survey responses, including written responses, must be answered completely. 2. Among all written responses received, your childs answers to written responses are found to be the most detailed, comprehensive and useful to the study. 3. Activities and instructor practices are described in detail and explain specifically how the instruction motivated the student. 4. Written responses reflect a distinctive student voice 5. Responses are found to be the most creative and interesting of all respondents to survey. Silver Award (1 pass to Universal Studios) What your child has to do to win Silver Award 1. All survey responses, including written responses, are answered completely. 2. Among all written responses received, this students answers to written responses are found to be the second most detailed, comprehensive and useful to the study. 3. Activities and instructor practices are described in detail and explain specifically how the instruction motivated the student. Bronze Award( $40 gift certificate to Gam e Stop) What your child has to do to win Bronze Award 1. All survey responses, including written responses, are answered completely. 2. Among all written responses received, this students answers to written responses are found to be the third most detailed, com prehensive and useful to the study. 3. Activities and instructor practices are described in detail and explain specifically how the instruction motivated the student.
226 Note: These awards will be selected at the close of the survey window period (March 1, 2011). By April 2011, winners of the drawing will be notified by email and prizes will be distributed accordingly. Are there any risks/benefits to my child? You and your child have the right to withdraw consent for your child's participation at any time wi thout consequence. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. Results of this study will be available in August 2011 upon request. What if I have questions about the study? How do I reach you? If you have any questions about thi s research protocol, please contact me Questions or concerns about your child's rights as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 3920433. Julia Carpenter
227 APPENDIX B INSTRUCTOR ASSENT Assent for Participation in Survey: Instructors of English I Course at FLVS Dear Instructor, I am contacting you because of your success in motivating your English I students to complete 65% of the English I course. As a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Technology at the University of Florida, I am conducting research on the factors which motivate ninth grade students to complete the online English I course at Florida Virtual School under the supervision of Dr. Cath y Cavanaugh. Because you are a facilitator of the English I course, Ive received permission through the FLVS Research Request process to survey you to gain a better understanding of the structure of the course as well as your background and instructional strategies as a facilitator of the course. The purpose of this study is to identify specific motivational factors, such as Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction in the online course which motivate students to complete the English I course. The results of the study may help virtual instructors and designers to better understand the factors which motivate students and allow them to design instructional practices accordingly. This study would require you to take a short webbased survey about the motivating factors in the English I course as well as your background and strategies. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Although the survey will ask you to write your name, this will be used only for matching purposes (to match those students who respond to the survey to your section of the course). I will replace your name with an instructor number. The list connecting your name to this number will be kept in a locked file in my office. When the study is completed, the list linking y our name and responses will be destroyed. Results will only be reported in the form of group data. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. There are no known risks or immediate benefits to the participants. No compensation i s offered for participation. Results of this study will be available once the study has been completed upon request. You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me Questions or concerns about your rights as research participant may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611, (352) 3920433.
228 APPENDIX C STUDENT SURVEY Permission obtained for use of this survey by Dr. John Keller Name Email address (for notification of award) Gender Age Instructor Are you taking the English I course to make up credit for not passing a prior section of English I course? Have you taking an online course before? Grade at this point in English I course Directions: There are 34 statements in this questionnaire. Please think about each statement in relation to the class y ou have taken and indicate how true it is. 1 = Not True 2 =Slightly True 3 = Moderately True 4= Mostly True 5=Very True Course Interest Survey 1. The instructor knows how to make us feel enthusiastic about the subject matter of this course. 1 2 3 4 5 2. The things I am learning in this course will be useful to me. 1 2 3 4 5 3. I feel confident that I will do well in this course. 1 2 3 4 5 4. This class has very little in it that captures my attenti on. 1 2 3 4 5 5. The instructor makes the subject matter of this course seem important. 1 2 3 4 5 6. You have to be lucky to get good grades in this course. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I have to work too hard to succeed in this course. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I do NOT see how the content of this course relates to anything I already know. 1 2 3 4 5 9. Whether or not I succeed in this course is up to me. 1 2 3 4 5 10. The instructor creates suspense when building up to a point. 1 2 3 4 5 11. The subject matter of this course is just too difficult for me. 1 2 3 4 5 12. I feel that this course gives me a lot of satisfaction. 1 2 3 4 5
229 Course Interest Survey 13. In this class, I try to set and achieve high standards of excellence. 1 2 3 4 5 14. I feel that the grades or other recognition I receive are fair compared to other students. 1 2 3 4 5 15. The s tudents in this class seem curious about the subject matter. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I enjoy working for this course. 1 2 3 4 5 17. It is difficult to predict what grade the instructor will give my assignments. 1 2 3 4 5 18. I am pleased with the instructors evaluations of my work compared to how well I think I have done. 1 2 3 4 5 19. I feel satisfied with what I am getting from this course. 1 2 3 4 5 20. The content of t his course relates to my expectations and goals. 1 2 3 4 5 21. The instructor does unusual or surprising things that are interesting. 1 2 3 4 5 22. The students actively participate in this class. 1 2 3 4 5 23. To accomplish my goals, it is important that I do well in this course. 1 2 3 4 5 24. The instructor uses an interesting variety of teaching techniques. 1 2 3 4 5 25. I do NOT think I will benefit much from this course. 1 2 3 4 5 26. I often daydream while in this class. 1 2 3 4 5 27. As I am taking this class, I believe that I can succeed if I try hard enough. 1 2 3 4 5 28. The personal benefits of thi s course are clear to me. 1 2 3 4 5 29. My curiosity is often stimulated by the questions asked or the problems given on the subject matter in this class. 1 2 3 4 5 30. I find the challenge level in this course to be a bout right; neither too easy nor too hard. 1 2 3 4 5 31. I feel rather disappointed with this course. 1 2 3 4 5 32. I feel that I get enough recognition of my work in this course by means of grades, comments, or other feedback. 1 2 3 4 5 33. The amount of work I have to do is appropriate for this type of course. 1 2 3 4 5 34. I get enough feedback to know how well I am doing. 1 2 3 4 5
230 STUDENT SURVEY (CONT INUED) Please rate the following components of the online course from 1 (not motivating) to 5 (extremely motivating) 1. Assigned readings 2. Choice of reading assignments 3. Ability to search internet for ideas 4. Cartoons, pictures, or quotes 5. Flexibility of assign ments 6. Email communication from instructor 7. Feedback on assignments 8. Target due dates set 9. Email communication from students 10. Link to internet site from instructor 11. Projects 12. Assignments and activities OPENENDED QUESTIONS 1. What motivated you MOST about the Engl ish I course? 2. What motivated you LEAST in the English I course? 3. Did the English I course or instructor capture and maintain your attention? (for example: posing a problem or issue and asking you how to resolve it, use novelty or surprise, project enthusi asm for the subject) a. If yes, how did the course or instructor capture and maintain your attention? b. If no, how could the course or instructor have captured or maintained your attention? 4. Did the instructor make the English I course relevant to you (tie it into your interests, explain why the content is important)? a. If yes, how did the course or instructor make the English I course relevant? b. If no, how could the course or instructor have made the English I course more relevant to you? 5. Did the English I course or instructor build your Confidence in your ability to be successful in the course? a. If yes, how did the course or instructor build your Confidence? b. If no, how could the course or instructor have built your Confidence ?
231 STUDENT SURVEY (CONTINUED) 6. D id the English I course or instructor build your satisfaction? (for example, you felt satisfied after receiving positive feedback or praise from the instructor) a. If yes, h ow did the instructor build satisfaction? b. If no, how could the course or instructor have helped you feel more satisfied? 7. How would you describe your instructors teaching style (were they strict, flexible, encouraging, helpful, distant)? 8. Did your instructors teaching style motivate you? Why or why not? 9. Describe the type of feedback on assignments you received on your assignments? (was it brief, detailed, encouraging, discouraging) 10. Did the feedback your instructor give you motivate you? Why or why not? 11. List any suggestions you have for making the English I course more motivating. The C ourse Interest Survey is being used with written permission of the author, John Keller.
232 APPENDIX D FIRST EMAIL TO STUDE NTS WITH SURVEY LINK Hello FLVS English I students! Congratulations! You are receiving this survey link because you have completed at least 65% of the English I course here at FLVS and wed like to learn some of the secrets of your success through a brief survey. A University of Florida doctoral student in Educational Technology, Julia Carpenter, has received our authorization to conduct an online survey so that she might collect data for her dissertation research on what factors motivate virtual students like you to complete courses. This is an opportunity for you to contribute to the current body of research on virtual schools M rs. Carpenter is also offering several awards that you may earn, such as An I pod Touch A Ticket to the Wizarding Wor ld of Harry Potter at Universal A gift certificate to Game Stop We encourage you to participate in this survey by select ing the link belo w: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FVX8JG3 Thank you for your time and your participation!
233 APPENDIX E SECOND REMINDER TO ENGLISH I STUDENTS Hello FLVS English I students! Last week you received informati on about a survey were sending to students whove completed at least 65% of the English I course here at FLVS to find out what motivated you to be successful. If youve completed the survey THANK YOU. If you havent had a chance to give your feedback, please take a few minutes to complete the survey by going to the link below: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FVX8JG3 Wed like to get feedback from each English I student at FLVS to explore what motivates you to complete online courses. Here are some benefits for completing this short survey: 1. Youll help future virtual students. Your feedback may influence the way future online courses are developed and facilitated by increasing motivation. 2. Youll co ntribute to the current body of research on virtual schools. Your feedback, along with the feedback given by other English I students, will be analyzed and presented at the 2011 United Distance Learning Association Conference by the doctoral researcher authorized by FLVS to conduct this survey. 3. You have a chance to earn some great awards such as an ipod Touch, as described on the first page of the survey. Thank you for your time and your participation!
234 APPENDIX F FINAL REMINDER TO ENGLISH I STUDENTS Hello FLVS English I students! We need your feedback today! The English I student survey will close at 5 p.m. tomorrow If youve completed the survey THANK YOU. If you havent had a chance to give your feedback, please take a few minutes to complet e the survey by going to the link below: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FVX8JG3 Wed like to get feedback from each English I student at FLVS to explore what motivates you to complete online courses. Here are some benefits for completing this short survey: 1. Youll help future virtual students. Your feedback may influence the way future online courses are developed and facilitated by increasing motivation. 2. Youll contribute to the current body of res earch on virtual schools. Your feedback, along with the feedback given by other English I students, will be analyzed and presented at the 2011 United Distance Learning Association Conference by the doctoral research. 3. You have a chance to earn some great awards such as an ipod Touch, as described on the first page of the survey. Thank you for your time and your participation!
235 APPENDIX G INSTRUCTOR SURVEY Name (for matching purposes only): _____________ Gender: o Male o Female Highest Degree Obtained o Un dergraduate Degree o Graduate (Masters Degree of Specialist Degree) o Doctoral Degree Are you certified to teach English? o Yes o No Do you have National Board Certification? o Yes o No How many years experience do you have teaching in a faceto face classroom? o 1 2 o 3 5 o 6 8 o 9 12 o 1315 o 1620 o 20 and over How many years experience do you have teaching in a virtual classroom? o 1 2 o 3 5 o 6 8 o 9 12 o 1315 o 1620 o 20 and over
236 INSTRUCTOR SURVEY (CONTINUED) How many years experience do you have teaching language arts? o 1 2 o 3 5 o 6 8 o 9 12 o 1315 o 1620 o 20 and over How many years experience do you have teaching English I? o 1 2 o 3 5 o 6 8 o 9 12 o 1315 o 1620 o 20 and over Ho w long have you been a facilitator at FLVS? o 1 o 2 o 3 4 o 5 6 o 7 8 o 9 10 O 11 years and up A t FLVS are you? o Part time o Full time H ave you taught any other online courses at FLVS? o Yes o No If so, what other online course have you or do you teach? What training have you received to be an online facilitator? Why did you choose to teach online? What is your favorite part of teaching on line?
237 INSTRUCTOR SURVEY (CONTINUED) What is the hardest part of teaching online? This study focuses on motivating factors in the English I course. The students whove successfully completed 6599% of the English I course are being surveyed. Since these students have completed so much of the course, youve done a great job motivating them. Id like to get feedback from you about how you motivate your students and the specific assignments and activities in the English I course which work best to motivate students. Your feedback will help me do that! Keller (1979, 1983) has developed a four factor theory to explain motivation. the first is Attention, the Second is Relevance, the third Confidence, and the fourth Satisfactio. The model also contains strategies that can help an instructor stimulate each motivational element. Id like to see how you use each of these factors to motivate your students in this course. The first factor is ATTENTION. According to Keller (and Gagne) students attention has to be aroused and sustained to motivate them to learn. This category also includes things that relate to curiosity and sensation seeking. 1. Do you think the English I course captures students Attention? o If so, describe an activity (lesson, assignment) in the English I course that you think effectively maintains your students attention. o How or why do you think it maintains student attention? The second factor is Relevance. This refers to making the course relate to your students interests and goals. 2. Do you think the English I course effectively relates to your students interests and goals? o If so, describe an activity (lesson, assignment) in the English I course that you think effectively relates to your students interests and goals. o How or why do you think it relates to your students interests and goals? The third factor is Confidence. This relates to building a students feelings that he or she can succeed in the course, building their confidence.
238 3. Do you think the English I course effectively builds your students confidence? o If so, describe an activity (lesson, assignment) in the English I course that you think effectively builds your students confidence. o How or why do you think it built your students confidence? The fourth fac tor is Satisfaction. This relates to building a students satisfaction by giving them positive feedback and a satisfaction in their progress in the course. 4. Do you think the English I course effectively builds your students satisfaction? o If so, descri be an activity (lesson, assignment) in the English I course that you think effectively builds your students satisfaction. o How or why do you think it built your students satisfaction? 5. How do you think the English I course can be even more motivating tha n it is now? 6. How do you think your facilitation of the course can be even more motivating? 7. How do you define an at risk student? 8. Do you teach students who are at risk? 9. How do you motivate at risk students? 10. Are there lessons or activities you really like to teach because you feel they are interesting to students? If so, can you describe these? 11. When a student completes a writing assignment, which strategies do you use to give feedback? o Feedback sandwich (start with positive, end with positive, improvements in the middle) o Dialogue within text of the assignment o General feedback at end of assignment o Completed rubric o Emoticons o Automated
239 INSTRUCTOR SURVEY (CONTINUED) 12. How often do you give personalized feedback? o Very often o Often o Sometimes o Rarely 13. If a student does well on an assignment what are some examples of words or phrases you use to praise them? 14. If a student does NOT do well on an assignment, what are some words or phrases you use to help him/her improve? 15. Since the shell of the English I course is consistent, how do you add your own personal presence to the English I course? 16. Do you think there is a sense of community in the English I course? If so, why? If not, why not?
240 APPENDIX H FLVS ENGLISH I COURS E DESCRIPTION Course Name: English I Course Code: 1001310 Honors Course Code: 1001320 AP Course Code: Description: What can you see? Somebody (your teacher) really wants to know. This is one course in which what you see and what you say really matters. No two people experience books, plays, or community events in exactly the same way, and no two people describe their experiences with the same words. How clearly can you see what is happening before you? How compellingly can you describe what you saw to others? In this course, you will find out. Great books, short stories, poems and plays convey messages and feelings that make them great. In this course, you will learn how to look for the message. You will learn how to trust your feelings about that message. And you will learn how to expr ess clearly and convincingly what you think. The purpose of this course is to give you the tools to see and hear with real understanding, and to communicate with real conviction. Access the site link below to view the PDF of the course description from the Florida Course Code directory. http://data.fldoe.org/crsCode/912/Language%20Arts/English/pdf/1001310.pdf Prerequisites: None Estimated Completion Time: 2 segments/3236 weeks Major Topics and Concepts: Segment 1 Grammar/Syntax Concepts: Personal Pronoun, Quotation Marks, Slang, Tone Literary Terms: Antagonist, Author, Book Hook, Characterization, Climax, Conflict, Dynamic Character, Epilogue, Flashback, Flat Character, Foreshadowing, Irony, Minor Character, Mood, Narrator Novel Review (Honors), Personification, Plot Point Of View, Preface, Protagonist,
241 Round Character, Setting, Short Story, Static Character, Subplot, Symbolism, Theme Organizational Skills: Clustering, Listing, Mapping, Outline, Pro Con Chart, Self Evaluation, Timeline, Webbing Types of Sentences/Writing: Declarative Sentence, Exclamatory Sentence, Expository Writing, Free writing, I Composition, Imperative Sentence, Interrogative Senten ce, Interview, Persuasive Writing Writing Process: Body Paragraph, Brainstorming, Clich, Clincher Sentence, Conclusion, Contraction, Direct Quotation, Editing, Introduction, Keying, Leadin Sentence, Leadout Sentence, Main Idea, Peer Review, Prewriting, Proofreading, Punctuation, Revision, Sensory Language (Honors), Sentence variety, Summary, Supporting Details, Thesis Statement, Topic, Transition Words Segment 2 Persuasive Techniques: advertisement, bandwagon, connotation (Honors), glittering generali ties, namecalling, plain folks, propaganda, slogan, suspension of disbelief, testimonial, transfer Literary Terms: acknowledgement, act, alliteration, allusion, aside, characterization, chorus, climax, couplet, denouement, diamante, dramatic images, dra matic irony, dramatic structure, Elizabethan expressions, epic poetry, euphemism, exposition, falling action, fear, figurative language, foil, foresight, free verse, haiku, imagery, irony, metaphor, monologue, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, personification, poeti c form, poetic structure, poetry, preface, prologue, props, refrain, rising action, scene, Shakespeare, simile, situational irony, soliloquy, sonnet, sound device, stanza, symbolism, table of contents, theme, tone, turning point, verbal irony, visual aid Organizational Skills: brainstorm Real World Application: culture, data collection, directorial suggestions, driving directions, media Test Taking Terms: cause and effect, sequence of events Types of Writing: advice column, announcement, autobiography, ballad, biography, book review, brochure, columnist (honors), consumer complaint, contract, creative writing, descriptive writing, diary, editorial, employment application, essay, evaluation, film review, interview, introduction, invitation, itinerary, journal, legal will, letter, menu, music review, newsletter, nonfiction, obituary, oral presentation, organizational chart/model, paraphrase, policy,
242 poll, recipe, research, restaurant review, resume, speech, survey, synopsis, warning label, weather forecast Course Assessment and Participation Requirements: Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, FLVS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, peer review, projects, research papers, essays, oral assessments, and discussions. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.
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267 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Julia is an experienced educator with background as a cl assroom high school language arts teacher, a virtual secondary school curriculum designer and facilitator, and an instructional designer for adult distance learning courseware. She was invited to be part of the creative team at Florida Virtua l School, and designed and facilitated the first online language arts curriculum for English II and American Studies. She is currently a senior instructional systems designer at General Dynamics and is an experienced designer and facilitator of webbased and instructor led training. Julia has completed advanced cooperative learning training at The Cooperative Learning Institute (University of Minnesota) with Roger and David Johnson. She has undergraduate degrees in English and m usic from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rollins College.