Online courses are defined as fully online, delivered entirely via the Internet, with no face-to-face component.
Based on an online survey of 20 questions sent to each district in the state
45% completion rate
District policies regarding student access to online courses, such as restrictions and policies to handle student requests to take one or more online course for credit
Perception of barriers to online courses and how students receive information about online courses
Types of course providers from which students take online courses for credit and which types of courses are likely to be approved for credit
Funding and tracking of online courses taken for credit
Practices to ensure online course quality
National Trends Districts reporting students enrolled in online learning
National Trends Number of students enrolled in online learning
In 2007-08, 665,871 students were enrolled in fully online courses
In 2005-06, 73% of online students were in grades 9-12. This percentage dropped to 64% by 2007-08.
Major barriers/issues in national surveys:
Concerns about course quality
Course development and/or purchasing costs
Concerns about FTE funding issues with online students
Need for teacher training
Student enrollment in 2007-08:
14,266 students taking at least one course
6,766 took just one
3,630 took two or more (but not full time)
3,827 took all courses online
301 schools had one or more secondary students enrolled in online courses
26 schools had 100 or more students enrolled in at least one online course
Three largest online schools in 2007-08:
WAVA in Steilacoom – 2,513 students
Insight School of Washington in Quillayute Valley – 991 students
Internet Academy in Federal Way – 609 students
Online Schools in Washington Advanced Academics Kent Full-time and part-time 8-12 Kent School District Kent Virtual High School www.highschoolontheweb.com/kent / Kaplan Virtual Education Statewide Full-time 7-12 Stevenson-Carson School District Kaplan Academy of Washington kaplanacademywa.com KC Distance Learning Statewide Full-time 7-12 Evergreen School District (Vancouver) iQ Academy Washington iqacademywa.net Insight Schools Statewide Full-time 9-12 Quillayute Valley School District Insight School of Washington www.insightwa.net Developed in-house Statewide Full-time and part-time K-12 Federal Way School District Federal Way Internet Academy iacademy.org / Digital Learning Commons, Apex Learning, Global Student Network, Calvert 10 member districts Full-time and part-time K-12 Valley School District Columbia Virtual Academy. www.columbiavirtualacademy.org Achieve Online Worldwide Full-time and part-time K-12 Private (located in Yakima) Christa McAuliffe Academy www.cmacademy.org Course Provider(s) Area Model Grades District School
Online Schools in Washington K12 Inc. Statewide Full-time K-8 Steilacoom Historical School District Washington Virtual Academy www.k12.com/wava/ Advanced Academics Centralia and Chehalis Full-time and part-time 7-12 Centralia School District and Chehalis School District Twin Cities Virtual Academy www.highschoolontheweb.com/twincities / Developed in-house Spokane Part-time 9-12 Spokane School District Spokane Virtual Learning www.spokaneschools.org/onlinelearning / In-house development, Apex Learning, Class.com Everett Full-time and part-time 9-12 Everett Public Schools OnlineHS online.everett.k12.wa.us OdysseyWare Statewide Full-time 6-12 Onalaska School District Onalaska Virtual School http://www.ov-school.com / Advanced Academics Statewide Full-time and part-time 9-12 Okanogan School District Okanogan Regional Learning Academy www.highschoolontheweb.com/okanogan / Advanced Academics Statewide Full-time and part-time 7-12 Marysville School District MOVE UP www.iwanttograduate.com / Course Provider(s) Area Model Grades District School
Survey Findings – March 2009
Purpose: Determine school district policies and practices related to online courses
Policies – Students Taking Online Courses for Credit
District Size Variation
Small (< 1,000)
Medium (1,000 – 9,999)
Large (> 10,000)
All small districts (15) making up 25% of small districts
11 of 15 are rural
11 of 15 don’t have a high school
No medium/large districts gave this response
Most common response – only HS students permitted
64% have no restriction on number of courses taken at a time
Those with restrictions: 1, 2, 3, 6 courses most common
Who decides whether/how much credit is granted?
Determining Whether Course Can Be Taken for Credit
29% consider all 5 factors
17% consider 4 of 5 factors
51% consider >3 factors
Online Courses Likely Approved
98% selected at least 2 course types
Other Credit Granting Policies and Procedures
17 urban/17 rural
7 large/16 medium/11 small)
Must be from accredited institutions
Follow ALE policies and procedures
Considers FTE status of student
Who is involved / How approval process happens
Online Course Providers
Note: 17 wrote in DLC, though it was meant to be in “Nonprofit or Commercial Provider” category
From which course providers do students take online courses for credit?
Districts Providing Own Courses
37 districts (27%)
8 provide internal courses exclusively
Rest have at least one other provider
76% - medium/large
Online Courses Helping At-Risk
74% of districts use as a tool
Alternative high schools/ALE programs
Funding for Online
Other responses: It depends, Grant, State, District 66 25 Courses beyond 1.0 FTE 54 71 Credit recovery 51 61 Electives 45 76 Required for graduation 38 58 College credit 47 61 Advanced Placement Student School Circumstance
Question: What actions, if any, do you take to ensure that online courses are aligned with WA GLEs and or CBAs?
71% take some action
9% take no action
Remainder – don’t know, NA
Review course curriculum, description, syllabus
Assured alignment by DLC
Same as with traditional courses
Researching programs and providers
Making sure instructor is Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT)
Who is Responsible?
Counselor and principal
High school curriculum team
High school department
Curriculum advisory committee
Assuring Quality: Teacher PD
Question: What kind of PD, if any, do you require for a teacher to be qualified to be an online instructor?
41% provided info on PD
Online course provider
Online learning conferences
Orientation for teacher mentor
Online program coordinator
64% cited more than one barrier
Others: student characteristics, misalignment of need and fit, district policies
Info Provided to Students about Online Courses
Students who have been schooled with online classes and then enroll at our school are usually behind our students.
My main concern is that someday most students will take their high school courses online and teachers will no longer be needed.
Completion rates drop off without a face-to-face component built in. I wonder how effective the funds used to support online classes are in terms of completion rates for courses without that support system built in.
I would love to see the state provide funding opportunities for online courses
Not for everyone. Only certain kinds of students are successful in this type of learning.
Online course participation should be a graduation requirement for all students in preparation for the work world or higher education.
Some regulation of all these online course providers and the basic education funding attached to various models seems like a good idea for the near future!
Variations in Policies
64% of districts do not restrict the number of online courses a student can take at a time.
Districts reported using 50 different kinds of online course providers.
Districts listed 54 unique factors that are considered in determining if an online course can be granted credit.