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ERIC Number: ED565838
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 75
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data. NFES 2016-095
National Forum on Education Statistics
When properly employed, technology may enhance and support learning opportunities available to any student, at any location, and at any time. Determining which instructional and delivery methods are best for a specific individual, group of students, community, or circumstance demands that high-quality data be available to students, parents, instructors, administrators, and policymakers. Despite widespread interest in enhancing and expanding virtual teaching and learning, many state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) do not yet have the ability to collect accurate, high-quality virtual education data. Some organizations have not yet specified the data they want to collect, while others have not developed reliable processes for gathering and managing data. The prevalence of virtual education, the increasing diversity in virtual education opportunities, and the rapid pace of technological change require new ways of thinking about how to modify data elements and systems to effectively identify, collect, and use virtual education data to inform and improve education. Education stakeholders such as policymakers and researchers need data on virtual education to understand its uses and its impact on teaching and learning. This document was developed to assist SEAs and (LEAs) as they: (1) consider the impact of virtual education on established data elements and methods of data collection; and (2) address the scope of changes, the rapid pace of new technology development, and the proliferation of resources in virtual education. Chapter 1 examines the role of virtual education in the changing world of elementary and secondary education, reviews commonly used virtual education terminology, discusses the importance of high-quality data for informing policy, identifies challenges to collecting virtual education data, and suggests methods for modifying traditional education data definitions. Chapter 2 identifies data elements commonly used in virtual education data systems. Chapter 3 provides SEAs and LEAs with: (1) a list of topic areas for consideration when collecting virtual education data or modifying existing data systems to accommodate virtual education data; (2) real world examples of the challenges involved in collecting quality virtual education data; (3) virtual education policy questions; (4) common practices for updating data systems and modifying data elements to encompass virtual education data; and (5) links to data elements in Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) that can be used to answer policy questions. Appendices include the following: (1) Examples of SEA and LEA Policies; (2) SEA Virtual and Distance Learning Websites; (3) Suggested Elements for Virtual Education Data Systems: and (4) References and Related Resources. [This publication was prepared with the assistance of Quality Information Partners, Inc.]
National Forum on Education Statistics. 1990 K Street NW Room 9095, Washington, DC 2006. Fax: 202-502-7475; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Students; Practitioners; Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Forum on Education Statistics (ED); National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDCFO10A01260002