July 28, 2022
Article Notice – Hospital homebound students and K-12 online schooling
An item that scrolled through one of my open scholarship networks over the past few days.
- Erik Wade Black
- Richard Ferdig
- April Fleetwood
- Lindsay A. Thompson
Abstract – The flexibility afforded by online education may provide opportunities for learners with disability who require absence from traditional learning environments. This study sought to describe how a subset of learners with disability, those with hospital-homebound designation, perform in K-12 online classes, particularly as compared to non-hospital homebound counterparts. A cross-sectional analysis was performed of all Florida Virtual School course enrollments from August 1, 2012 to July 31, 2018. Researchers analyzed 2,534 course enrollments associated with K-12 students who, at the time of their course enrollment, had hospital-homebound designation, and a comparison group of 5,470,591 enrollments from K-12 students without hospital-homebound status. Data analysis showed three important outcomes. First, hospital-homebound designated student academic performance was equivalent to their non-hospital homebound counterparts. Second, however, hospital-homebound course enrollments were 26% more likely to result in a withdrawal prior to grade generation. Third, these withdrawals were potentially mitigated when H/H designated students were enrolled in five or more classes or in classes with five or more students. The results of this study provided evidence that when they can remain enrolled, hospital-homebound learners experience equivalent academic outcomes in online learning environments. These findings suggest that healthcare professionals should be made aware of the potentially equivalent outcomes for their patients. Moreover, virtual schools should seek to identify and create supports for these students.
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