How do you know whether an online course is high quality or if it addresses your state's academic content standards? Are the instructors for your students' courses certificated and have they received professional development to address the very different learning experiences observed online? Can you be assured that the NCAA will accept courses taken by your school's athletes to qualify them for college sports? Are Advanced Placement courses rigorous and meet the expectations of the College Board? Will the University of California accept student transcripts listing the online courses taken by your students?
Just as your district keeps tabs on content and instruction for each course, the same expectations should exist for online courses. How can you know that a course addresses all the content standards for a subject so that your students are prepared for state-mandated testing? Do you and your staff pilot each course and participate in all the activities so that you can verify the content standards and guarantee that a course meets California's social content review?
Not everything you read on the Internet is true.Or why all educational resources should be vetted.
Virginia Textbook ScandalOur Virginia: Past and Present 4th grade history textBlack soldiers fought for the South6K died at the Battle of Bull Run Actually, 22KHundreds of factual errorsVirginia’s review committee did not include any trained historians
Online Course QualityContent standard/Common Core alignmentAre they approved by the: NCAA College BoardUC a-g requirements
Self- Reviewing ResourcesJust like you do now for high school textbooks.
Survey Class71 agencies45 districts20 county offices
Describe the SelectionProcessVendor demonstrationsCommittee reviewOpen bid to vendorsUC approvedCost
Standards for OnlineCoursesSouthern Regional Education BoardiNACOLTexas Virtual School NetworkCalifornia Learning Resource Network
California Online CourseReviews• Search for standards• CA stakeholder group selects and updates iNACOL’s standards• Collaboration with TxVSN & iNACOL• iNACOL national stakeholder group• iNACOL published, October 2012
iNACOL/TxVSN/CLRNOnline Course StandardsContentInstructional DesignStudent AssessmentTechnologyCourse Evaluation and Support
ContentContent depth and breadthInformation literacy skillsLearning resources and materialsCommunication process between teachers, parents, and studentsContent accuracy and bias
Instructional DesignCourse design and organizationActive learningMeaningful and authentic learning experiencesMultiple learning paths for students to master the contentHigher-order thinking skillsInstructor-student and student-student interactions; and supplemental tools and resources.
Student AssessmentAlignment between the course goals and activities and its assessment strategiesInsure that there are adequate and appropriate methods to assess studentsAssure that students are constantly aware of their progress.
Standard D10Course materials and activities are designed to provide appropriate access to all students. The course, developed with universal design principles in mind, conforms to the U.S. Sections 504 & 508 provisions for electronic and information technology as well as the W3Cs Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
Course Evaluation andSupportEvaluating course effectivenessAccreditationTeacher and Student preparation and support
Are Teachers and Students Prepared?Virtual courses are not f2fTeaching & learning differ
Online Vs. f2fThe Chronicle of Higher Education51K students from 2004-20098% gap in completion (f2f/virtual)Online students more likely to drop-out
Structure & isolation Navigating online interfaces (students & staff) Time management issues (students) Technical support needed Extensive training in online-teaching methods (teachers)
Instructor PreparationE5: Professional development about the online course delivery system is offered by the provider to assure effective use of the courseware and various instructional media available.
Instructor PreparationE7: Teachers have been provided professional development in the behavioral, social, and when necessary, emotional, aspects of the learning environment.
Instructor PreparationE8: Instructor professional development includes the support and use of a variety of communication modes to stimulate student engagement online.
Instructor SupportE9: The provider assures that instructors are provided support, as needed, to ensure their effectiveness and success in meeting the needs of online students.
Student PreparationE10: Students are offered an orientation for taking an online course before starting the coursework.
CLRN Online CourseReviewsHS ELA & Math coursesCommon Core and the original recipe standards.National standards for online coursesExpanding to HSS, Science, & VPA during spring, 2012
Feedback Questions:EducatorTo what extent does the online course need to be supplemented with face-to-face instruction and student support?To what extent was ongoing and periodic student performance assessment accessible online for you to monitor student progress?Please list the major strengths or specific improvements needed.
What was the reason fortaking this course?Course was taken for credit recovery.Course was a prerequisite for advanced level courses.Course was required for graduation.Course was not offered at school of attendance.Course at school was unavailable due to scheduled conflict. Other (explain)
Feedback: StudentsCourse procedures were clearly posted.Necessary information and materials were received on time.Instructions were clear for all materials and course activities.Assignment and test grades were provided in a timely manner.Instructor feedback was timely and frequent.Students are offered an orientation
Feedback: StudentsCourse was well organized.Activities supported course goals.Course provided opportunities for students to learn from each other.There were frequent tests and quizzes that reflected course content.Discussion groups were generally well organized.Course is appropriate for an online environment.