Monday, March 24, 2014

Factors Related to Success, Part 3

My personal research has focused on the use of the ESPRI in a High School Science blended learning setting (Siko, 2014). In my final year in the K-12 classroom, I conducted a pilot study with an advanced biology course where the first semester was face-to-face and the second semester was in a blended format. That is, a large majority of the course was offered online and students were required to come in for labs, exams, and additional activities. They were not required to attend class everyday (the class was first hour). I found similar success with the ESPRI in accurately predicting success in the blended course (~88% accuracy rate in predicting pass or fail, where passing was a grade of A-C and failing was a grade of D or F).

However, all of the authors of the ESPRI studies mentioned in the previous article cautioned that this instrument should not be used as a selection tool. In other words, this research suggests that we should not steer students away from taking online or blended courses if they do not score well on the ESPRI. The authors argue that the survey should be used to develop targeted supports for students who are predicted to fail by the instrument in an online or blended course. For example, if a student is predicted to fail a course, and that student scored particularly low in the area of organization, the student could be provided with special support (i.e., additional instruction, mentoring, etc.) in organizational skills.

Therefore, I would encourage readers of this blog who teach in online or blended settings to participate in my ongoing research in this domain. I am looking for research sites to collaborate with to continue exploring this concept of developing support systems based on results of the ESPRI. If you are interested in participating, please contact me at:

Siko, J.P. (2014 – in press). Applying the ESPRI to K-12 blended learning. Proceedings of the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Norfolk, VA: AACE.

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