Laura M. O’Dwyer, Rebecca Carey


Over the past decade online learning initiatives have shown tremendous potential for broadening educational opportunities and for addressing local and regional shortages of highly qualified K–12 teachers. The Louisiana Algebra I Online initiative represents one type of online model than can address both the need for improving course offerings and for addressing teacher shortages. The goal of the model is to improve educational opportunities for students by providing them with a high-quality, standards-based curriculum delivered online by a certified mathematics teacher and to support the professional development of teachers in hard-to-staff schools by partnering them with a highly qualified teachermentor who is available online. The innovation of this model for online learning is that it integrates classroom-based learning with virtual learning thereby providing students with the structure and
opportunities afforded by regular class meetings and supports the professional development of uncertified teachers through ongoing and embedded professional development opportunities.
This research suggests that the Louisiana Algebra I Online model is a viable online model for providing teachers with an effective model for authentic and embedded professional development that is relevant to their classroom experiences.


Online Learning,Algebra I,Virtual Learning,Distance Learning

Full Text:



Smith, R., T. Clark and R. L. Blomeyer. A Synthesis of New Research on K–12 Online Learning. 2005. Retrieved December 12, 2006 from

Perreault, H., L. Waldman and M. A. J. Zhao. Overcoming barriers to successful delivery of distance learning courses. Journal of Education for Business 77(6): 313–318, 2002.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Pub. L. 107-110, §1606, 115 Stat. 1425, 2002.

Setzer, J. C. and L. Lewis. Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2002–03 (NCES 2005–010). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, 2005.

National Education Association. Status of Public Education in Rural Areas and Small Towns: A Comparative Analysis. September 1998.

Beeson, E. and M. Strange. Why Rural Matters 2003: The Continuing Need for Every State to Take Action on Rural Education. Washington, DC: Poverty & Race Research Action Council, 2003. Retrieved September 13, 2005 from

Loomis, S. C. and M. L. Bourque (Eds.). National Assessment of Educational Progress Achievement Levels, 1992–1998 for Mathematics. Washington, D.C.: National Assessment Governing Board, 2001.

Kilpatrick, J., J. Swafford and B. Findell (Eds.). Adding it Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics. Mathematics Learning Study Committee, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.

National Center for Education Statistics. Distance Education Course for Public Education and Secondary School Students: 2002. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2002. Retrieved September 13, 2005 from

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). Evaluation of the Algebra I Online Pilot Project: 2002–2003, 2004.

Cavanaugh, C. The effectiveness of interactive distance education technologies in K–12 learning: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications 17(1): 73–88, 2001. Retrieved September 13, 2005 from

Ungerleider, C. S. and T. C. Burns. Information and communication technologies in elementary and secondary education: A state of the art review. Paper presented at the Pan-Canadian Education Research Agenda Symposium, Montreal, Quebec, 2002. Retrieved September 12, 2005 from

Cavanaugh, C., K. J. Gillan, J. Kromrey, M. Hess and R. Blomeyer. The Effects of Distance Education on K–12 Student Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates, 2004. Retrieved December 12, 2006 from

Stodel, E. J., T. L. Thompson and C. J. MacDonald. Learners’ perspectives on what is missing from online learning: Interpretations through the community of inquiry framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 7(3): 2006. Retrieved on January 16, 2007 from

Bernard, R. M., P. C. Abrami, Y. Lou, E. Borokhovski, A. Wade, L. Wozney, P. A. Wallet, M. Fiset and B. Huang. How does distance education compare to classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research 74(3): 379–439, 2004.

Peters, O. Learning with new media in distance education. In M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Distance Education, 87–112. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2003.

Paloff, R. M. and K. Pratt. Lessons From the Cyberspace Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Lally, V. and E. Barrett. Building a learning community online: Towards socio-academic interaction. Research Papers in Education 14(2): 147–163, 1999.

Bibeau, S. Social presence, isolation, and connectedness in online teaching and learning. From the literature to real life. Journal of Instruction Delivery Systems 15(3): 35–39, 2001.

Aragon, S. R. Creating social presence in online environments. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 100: 57–68, 2003.

Garrison, D. R. and M. Cleveland-Innes. Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. American Journal of Distance Education 19(3): 133–148, 2005.

Lockyer, L., J. Patterson and B. Harper. ICT in higher education: Evaluating outcomes for health education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 17: 275–283, 2001.

Neuhauser, C. Learning style and effectiveness of online and face-to-face instruction. American Journal of Distance Education 16(2): 99–113, 2002.

Thirunarayanan, M. O. and A. Peres-Prado. Comparing web-based and classroom based learning: A quantitative study. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 34(2): 131–137, Winter 2001–2002.

Allen, M., J. Bourhis, N. Burrell and E. Mabry. Comparing student satisfaction with distance education to traditional classrooms in higher education: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Distance Education 16(2): 83–97, 2002.

Sherry, A. C., C. P. Fulford and S. Zhang. Assessing distance learners’ satisfaction with instruction: A quantitative and qualitative measure. American Journal of Distance Education 12(3): 4–28, 1998.

Navarro, P. and J. Shoemaker. Performance and perceptions of distance learners in cyberspace. American Journal of Distance Education 14(2): 15–35, 2000.

Muilenburg, L. and Z. L. Berge. Barriers to distance education: A factor-analytic study. American Journal of Distance Education 15(2): 7–22, 2001.

Smith, P. L. and C. L. Dillion. Comparing distance learning and classroom learning: Conceptual considerations. American Journal of Distance Education 13(2): 6–23, 1999.

Cooper, L.W. A comparison of online and traditional computer applications classes. Technological Horizons in Education 28(8): 52–58, 2001.

O’Dwyer, L. M., R. Carey and G. Kleiman. A study of the effectiveness of the Louisiana Algebra I Online Course. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 39(3): 2007.

Sparks, D. and S. Hirsh. A National Plan for Improving Professional Development. National Staff Development Council, 2000. Retrieved April 19, 2006 from

Lock, J. V. A new image: Online communities to facilitate teacher professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 14(4): 663–678, p.669, 2006.

Cochran-Smith, M. and S. L. Lytle. Beyond certainty: Taking an inquiry stance on practice. In A. Lieberman and L. Miller (Eds.), Teachers Caught in the Action: Professional Development that Matters, 45–58. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2001.

Kleiman, G., R. Carey, E. Halsted and L. M. O’Dwyer. A Study of the Effectiveness of the Louisiana Algebra I Online Project Final Report. Boston, MA: Center for Online Professional Education, Educational Development Center, 2005.

O’Dwyer, L.M., M. Russell and D. J. Bebell. Identifying teacher, school and district characteristics associated with elementary teachers’ use of technology: A multilevel perspective. Education Policy Analysis Archives 12(48): September 14, 2004. Retrieved September 14, 2004 from


Copyright (c) 2019 Laura M. O’Dwyer, Rebecca Carey