Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



K-12 online learning or virtual schooling has seen substantial growth in the United States over the past two decades. While the practice of virtual schooling has exploded, the availability of research-based best practices to guide teachers working in these environments is lacking. This chapter presents four cases from Michigan Virtual School (MVS) teachers that examine a variety of issues that virtual school teachers face when facilitating K-12 student learning in the online environment, including strategies to provide substantive feedback in English Language Arts, methods for addressing the demonstration of mathematical computations, using Web 2.0 tools to increase interaction in an online environment, and a five-step process for incorporating reading and writing to increase science literacy. Each case follows a similar format, outlining why the problem exists in the virtual school environment, followed by what strategies each MVS teacher uses, and how that strategy is implemented in virtual schooling.


ISBN 9781623965273 (hc); 9781623965266 (pbk.); 9781623965280 (ebook)

Version posted is the final author draft.

Published in its final version as: Barbour, M. K., & Unger, K. L. (2014). Strategies for overcoming common obstacles in the online environment: Issues in virtual school teaching. In A. A. Piña & A. P. Mizell (Eds.) Real life distance education: Case studies in practice (21-40). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.