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ERIC Number: ED515457
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 114
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3978-0
Exploring a Professional Learning Community Model and Student Achievement in a Virtual Middle School
Terry, Karen A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Middle school online academies represent a new trend in distance education. The U. S. Department of Education reported that 25% of all public school districts now utilize some form of online or distance learning options. This action research study sought to discover if the implementation of formative benchmark assessments through a professional learning community (PLC) approach impacted achievement scores in math and reading in a virtual middle school academy. The purpose of this study was to determine if a new middle school model utilizing the theoretical framework of a PLC produced increases in student math and reading achievement. This study utilizing a dual concurrent quantitative approach was conducted by administering a pre- and post quantitative measurement tool, the Performance Series Test by the Scantron Corporation, to evaluate student gains in math and reading at the beginning and end of the school year. Secondly, the School Professional Staff as Learning Community Questionnaire (SPSLCQ) was administered to teachers to measure PLC components of the new model. The study showed statistically significant increases in math and reading scores and a significant presence of PLC elements within the new middle school model. The key recommendations for virtual middle schools were to place student achievement at the core of strategic planning efforts and to regularly monitor student learning through formative benchmark assessments. This study has implications for positive social change as it provides information for all shareholders charged with creating effective online education for middle school students. Furthermore, the study provides specific suggestions for developing an effective virtual middle school model in an effort to increase student achievement in distance learning environments for a new 21st-century teaching and learning paradigm. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States