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Online Learning Research Earns Top Award for COE Faculty

Dr. Kathryn Kennedy Dr. Kathryn Kennedy, Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development, has won the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Online Learning Innovator Award for Outstanding Research in K-12 Online Learning Award. Kennedy, and co-author Dr. Leanna Archambault, assistant professor at Arizona State University, conducted a national survey of teacher education programs to explore how preservice teachers are prepared for K-12 online and blended learning environments.

The study found that only 1.3 percent of teacher education programs prepare teachers for teaching online classes despite the increasing number of these classes being offered nation-wide. “We also found an interesting perception among teacher educators that online learning isn’t ‘real’ learning,” Kennedy said. Yet all 50 states and the District of Columbia have online learning opportunities for K-12 students, and a growing number of states now require high school students to take at least one online course before they graduate. Kennedy says the research shows that teacher educators need to “step up and create curriculum and field experiences designed to address and prepare teachers for K-12 online learning environments.”

Georgia Southern College of Education offers an endorsement program for in-service teachers called Online Teaching and Learning, and it’s provided by the Instructional Technology Program (ITEC) through the Department of Leadership, Technology and Human Development. It is approved as an endorsement program by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.  Kennedy and Archambault’s research was published in the Journal of Teacher Education, which has a 5% acceptance rate and is ranked 18th out of 184 Education and Education Research Journals.    Kathryn Kennedy and Leanna Archambault. Journal of Teacher Education, May/June 2012; vol. 63, 3: pp. 185-200.

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