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Mission and Goals

The Challenge

To date, online learning reaches millions of K-12 learners, with its continued growth inevitably leading to dramatic changes in the educational landscape. While online learning holds great promise, there is a paucity of research addressing the pedagogical implications for students with disabilities. Researchers urgently need to conduct investigations that demonstrate how online instruction should be designed and delivered to improve student outcomes.
The challenge of the Center is to address learner variability by conducting research to make online learning more accessible, engaging, and effective for students with disabilities, for whom traditional forms of education have been only moderately successful and the precipitous growth in online instruction threatens to exclude. To address these issues, the Center will assume a leadership role in conducting research and building a network of research collaborators representing a wide array of disciplines whose expertise impacts learner outcomes.

Our Mission

To research how online learning can be made more accessible, engaging, and effective for K-12 learners with disabilities by investigating approaches that address learner variability within the range of conditions under which online learning occurs.

Our Goals

Our Activities

  1. Carrying out high-quality research and development that will result in validated practices that inform the design and development of new approaches and innovations.
  2. Establishing principles for the design, development, and validation of online instruction effective for all students, including K-12 learners with disabilities, via the application of learning analytics that take advantage of the inherent capabilities of online learning technologies to provide faster, more accurate, more informative assessment and progress monitoring, and impact learner outcomes.
  3. Highlighting and amplifying existing resources that have been validated as promising and developing new online learning solutions that support K-12 learners with disabilities.
  4. Developing a dynamic network of online learning stakeholders including but not limited to education agencies, business and industry, innovators, researchers, and parents for the purposes of validating and implementing online learning solutions that are appropriate and effective for K-12 learners with disabilities.
  5. Informing stakeholders (SEAs, LEAs, developers, and others) on how to identify and implement high-quality online learning solutions that are effective for K-12 learners with disabilities.
  6. Disseminating research findings and evidence-based principles for guiding the design, development, and use of online learning resources that address the needs of K-12 learners with disabilities.