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Cases	of	Quality:	Case	Studies	of	
the	Approval	and	Evalua8on	of	
K-12	Online	and	Blended	Providers	
Michael	Barbour	&	Tom...
Barbour,	M.	K.,	Clark,	T.,	DeBruler,	K.,	&	Bruno,	J.	A.	
(2014).	Evalua&on	and	approval	constructs	for	
online	and	blended...
•  Growth	in	K-12	online	&	blended	learning	programs	
&	enrollments,	in	MI	&	U.S.	
•  MI	Legislature	liUs	ban	on	cyber	cha...
•  MVU	tasked	to	develop	MVLRI	(PA	201,	2012)	
•  Provide	leadership	for	MI	online	&	blended	learning	
•  Key	MVLRI	task:	...
•  Purpose:	To	examine	exis8ng	policies	and	prac8ces	
related	to	the	evalua8on	and	approval	of	K-12	
online	learning	in	th...
Six	Dimensions	of	Considera8on	
Evalua&on	&	Approval:	
Level	
Provider	/	Course		
Evalua&on	&	Approval:	
Timeframe	
Front-...
•  Georgia	
o  Provider	Level	-	All	virtual	instrucGon	programs	must	
be	approved	by	DOE	
o  Course	Level	-	Established	a	...
•  California	
o  CLRN	Review	Process	-	Provide	online	courses	
evaluaGons	with	regard	to	their	alignment	with	
Common	Cor...
•  Washington	
o  originally	developed	approval	and	evaluaGon	criteria	
in	response	to	mulG-district	providers	and	has	
ad...
•  Refers	to	differenGal	approval	and	evaluaGon	procedures	
based	on	how	course	content	and	instrucGon	are	delivered	
o  A	...
•  Colorado	
o  Only	front-end	approval	aUer	removing	many	of	its	
on-going	monitoring	and	reporGng	requirements	
o  Autho...
•  EducaGon	of	students	parGcipaGng	in	full-Gme	
online	programs,	as	opposed	to	taking	1-2	courses	
online,	should	be	of	s...
•  Communicate	expected	quality	levels	in	instrucGonal	
services,	leadership	pracGces,	and	content	
o  Standards	for	K-12	...
•  Process	begins	with	a	DL	school’s	internal	review	
o  DocumentaGon	supporGng	the	internal	review	is	based	
on	the	stand...
•  The	report	serves	as	a	template	for	specific	acGons	
within	the	school,	but	also	idenGfies	promising	or	
exemplary	pracGc...
An	Interna8onal	Model	-	BC
•  Some	states	have	sought	to	limit	access	to	full-Gme	
online	learning	programs	(and	the	research	evidence	
suggests	that...
Thank	you!		
Michael	Barbour 	 	 	 						Tom	Clark	
MVLRI	Fellow 	 	 	 																				MVLRI	Fellow	 							
mkbarbour...
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AECT 2016 - Cases of Quality: Case Studies of the Approval and Evaluation of K-12 Online and Blended Providers

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Barbour, M. K., & Clark, T. (2016, October). Cases of quality: Case studies of the approval constructs for K-12 online and blended courses and providers. A paper presentation at the annual convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Las Vegas, NV.

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AECT 2016 - Cases of Quality: Case Studies of the Approval and Evaluation of K-12 Online and Blended Providers

  1. 1. Cases of Quality: Case Studies of the Approval and Evalua8on of K-12 Online and Blended Providers Michael Barbour & Tom Clark
  2. 2. Barbour, M. K., Clark, T., DeBruler, K., & Bruno, J. A. (2014). Evalua&on and approval constructs for online and blended courses and providers. Lansing, MI: Michigan Virtual Learning Research InsGtute at MVU. Retrieved from hMp://media.mivu.org/ insGtute/pdf/eval_constructs.pdf MVLRI Fellows
  3. 3. •  Growth in K-12 online & blended learning programs & enrollments, in MI & U.S. •  MI Legislature liUs ban on cyber charters (PA 227, 2010) •  Removes restricGons, creates pro-growth policies (PA 129, 2012) •  Growth is outpacing research on quality in K-12 OLL Overview
  4. 4. •  MVU tasked to develop MVLRI (PA 201, 2012) •  Provide leadership for MI online & blended learning •  Key MVLRI task: research, develop, and recommend annually to the department criteria by which cyber schools and online course providers should be monitored and evaluated to ensure a quality educa&on for their pupils (p.44). Overview
  5. 5. •  Purpose: To examine exis8ng policies and prac8ces related to the evalua8on and approval of K-12 online learning in the U.S. – RQ1: How do states evaluate the quality of online learning courses? – RQ2: How do states iniGally evaluate the quality of online learning programs? – RQ3: How do states ensure the quality of online learning programs on an on-going basis? Methodology
  6. 6. Six Dimensions of Considera8on Evalua&on & Approval: Level Provider / Course Evalua&on & Approval: Timeframe Front-End/Ongoing Approval Requirement OpGonal / Required Geographic Reach MulG-Dist / Single Dist Modes of Instruc&on Fully Online / Blended Instruc&on Full-Gme / Supplemental
  7. 7. •  Georgia o  Provider Level - All virtual instrucGon programs must be approved by DOE o  Course Level - Established a clearinghouse of courses that the DOE reviews the course content prior to including it •  Maryland o  Course Level - Reviewed either by a team of reviewers at the MSDE or local district, MSDE also recognizes courses reviewed and cerGfied by Quality MaMers Level of Evalua8on and Approval
  8. 8. •  California o  CLRN Review Process - Provide online courses evaluaGons with regard to their alignment with Common Core or state content standards and iNACOL quality standards Approval Requirements
  9. 9. •  Washington o  originally developed approval and evaluaGon criteria in response to mulG-district providers and has adapted the mulG-district process to single-district providers with limited success Geographic Reach
  10. 10. •  Refers to differenGal approval and evaluaGon procedures based on how course content and instrucGon are delivered o  A necessary pre-condiGon for this dimension is a clear definiGon of online course/learning & blended course/ learning, which specifies the delivery, communicaGon and contact expectaGons and sets a threshold for the disGncGon between online & blended •  Maryland online course review required for all courses in which 80% of the content & instruc&on is delivered online •  Minnesota requires provider approval in cases where more than 50% of instruc&on is delivered online Mode of Instruc8on
  11. 11. •  Colorado o  Only front-end approval aUer removing many of its on-going monitoring and reporGng requirements o  Authorizers must submit an applicaGon detailing evidence of adequate resources and capacity to oversee the online program Evalua8on & Approval Procedures
  12. 12. •  EducaGon of students parGcipaGng in full-Gme online programs, as opposed to taking 1-2 courses online, should be of special concern to states •  EffecGve processes for evaluaGng the quality of online programs are needed •  Periodic external program audits by dedicated teams of experts can play a valuable role in ensuring program quality, and can provide a mechanism for starGng program shutdown when absolutely needed Recommenda8ons
  13. 13. •  Communicate expected quality levels in instrucGonal services, leadership pracGces, and content o  Standards for K-12 Distributed Learning in BC o  Standards for Digital Learning Content in BC •  Each instrucGonal pracGce or leadership pracGce standard is a statement about a high-level expectaGon accompanied by several observable supporGng evidence statements that provide guidance without being specific An Interna8onal Model - BC
  14. 14. •  Process begins with a DL school’s internal review o  DocumentaGon supporGng the internal review is based on the standards, research and growing descripGons of emerging pracGce •  Each year, several DL schools are selected for an external review o  Using primarily qualitaGve methodologies, a small team visits the school to validate the internal review, observe instrucGonal and leadership pracGces o  The review team leader prepares a report with specific input from the DL school principal An Interna8onal Model - BC
  15. 15. •  The report serves as a template for specific acGons within the school, but also idenGfies promising or exemplary pracGces that can be shared with other DL schools •  AUer several months, the Ministry of EducaGon asks the school to provide a status report on the external team’s recommendaGons h3p://7nyurl.com/bc-dl-review An Interna8onal Model - BC
  16. 16. An Interna8onal Model - BC
  17. 17. •  Some states have sought to limit access to full-Gme online learning programs (and the research evidence suggests that there is some merit to this approach) •  Rigorous monitoring and performance requirements should allow states, over Gme, to ensure that full- Gme programs are of high quality. •  Rigorous state requirements may also provide an incenGve for full-Gme program providers to move to blended learning models, where it is easier to achieve quality learning results. Recommenda8ons
  18. 18. Thank you! Michael Barbour Tom Clark MVLRI Fellow MVLRI Fellow mkbarbour@gmail.com tom@taconsulGng.net Kristen DeBruler & MVRLI colleagues kdebruler@mivu.org

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