What do we know about the effectiveness of e-schooling? How do student performance, satisfaction rates, cost-effectiveness, and funding in the virtual environment compare with conventional schools? Dr. Barker’s report contains the findings of a two-year study of pioneer virtual school programs in three provinces. Its purpose was to examine the effectiveness of on-line delivery compared to conventional approaches. Among the primary outcomes are six virtual school case studies, initial benchmarks and indicators for the continued evaluation of virtual schools, and the identification of key issues for the future development of on-line schooling.
Barker also examines important secondary issues such as which students benefit most from such programs, replicability, teacher training and skills, quality of software programs, differentiated staffing, flexible scheduling, assessment methods, and the ideal interface between home and school in such programs.
The report, published in 2000, provides valuable guidance for educators and policymakers regarding the expansion of virtual learning programs. The research was commissioned by SAEE with funding assistance from Max Bell Foundation.
Dr. Barker is the President of FuturEd Research Agency. She has authored numerous research and consultancy reports on workforce development and life long learning, quality assurance and designing learning systems for the future.