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Survey reveals that Michigan adults support online learning in schools

Lansing, MI – January 20, 2015 – A strong majority of Michigan adults – 79% – feel that it is important for middle and high school students to have the option of enrolling in an online course at their local school district, according to a recent survey of Michigan adults. However, only 27% know Michigan has had a high school online learning requirement since 2006.

The survey – the first of its kind in Michigan – was led by Michigan Virtual University® and conducted by Public Sector Consultants to gauge support for K-12 online learning and to determine adult awareness of current education policies.

Additional survey questions asked respondents for their level of agreement with seven statements about online learning in Michigan schools. There was strong agreement with each of the statements, with the strongest agreement among three statements:

    1. Local school districts should provide adult support staff to help students who take an online course (65% strongly agree)

    2. Any online teacher should be a certified teacher, even if they are certified in another state (64% strongly agree)

    3. A Michigan certified teacher should be assigned to teach online courses (63% strongly agree)

Increasingly, education, government and business leaders are recognizing the importance of K-12 students learning in online environments as they strive to become college and career ready. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed agree that knowing how to learn online is part of what it means to be college and career ready after high school.

The survey was taken at a time when the growth in online and blended learning in Michigan and across the nation appears to continue on the trajectory that has experts predicting that by 2019 over half of all enrollments will involve blended or online learning. An analysis of the 2013-14 school year data suggest that the number of virtual enrollments exceeded 300,000 in Michigan.

Public Sector Consultants conducted the public survey with 800 adult residents of Michigan in September to get their opinions about online learning opportunities for public school students in Michigan. The poll included 480 landline and 320 cell phone respondents and had an overall margin of error of +/- 3.5% at a 95% confidence level.

The complete survey report – Public Awareness and Views of K-12 Online Learning in Michigan – can be read at http://media.mivu.org/institute/pdf/publicsurvey14.pdf.

About MVU Michigan Virtual University® is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual School®, Michigan LearnPort®, and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute™. Visit www.mivu.org for more information.

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