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Disconnected Data: The Challenge of Matching Activities to Outcomes for Students with Disabilities in Online Learning

, , , , CAST, Inc., United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 3, Number 1, Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

Within blended learning environments, the availability and analysis of student data has emerged as a central issue. For struggling students, data generated by digital learning systems present new opportunities to investigate critical success factors. In reality, many seemingly basic questions about persistence, progress, and performance of these learners in online environments may not be readily answered using extant data. This research inquiry generated insight into the practical challenges related to data identification, acquisition, and analysis that are faced by stakeholders seeking to assess the impact of online learning environments on student outcomes. The intent was to investigate the feasibility of and identify barriers to creating a unified student record—that is, a single data set combining data on student demographics, activity, and academic performance drawn from different information systems—that might be used to identify salient factors associated with more or less successful student outcomes. This two-phase investigation highlighted key barriers that are important to address in future research efforts and engendered a series of recommendations that could eliminate some of the current challenges to data acquisition and analysis.

Citation

Connell, M.W., Johnston, S.C., Hall, T.E. & Stahl, W. (2017). Disconnected Data: The Challenge of Matching Activities to Outcomes for Students with Disabilities in Online Learning. Journal of Online Learning Research, 3(1), 31-54. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved September 20, 2017 from .