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National Quality Standards

Measuring Quality from Inputs to Outcomes: Creating Student Learning Performance Metrics and Quality Assurance for Online Schools cover

Measuring Quality from Inputs to Outcomes: Creating Student Learning Performance Metrics and Quality Assurance for Online Schools

Susan Patrick, David Edwards, John Watson, Matthew Wicks, October 2012

With the growth of U.S. K-12 online learning enrollments rising each year, this report outlines how policymakers and education leaders might thoughtfully approach...

With the growth of U.S. K-12 online learning enrollments rising each year, this report outlines how policymakers and education leaders might thoughtfully approach implementing new student learning performance metrics and quality assurance for these increasingly popular school environments.

Measuring Quality From Inputs to Outcomes underscores the need of the field to truly take advantage of innovative new learning tools and practices to personalize education for every student, and emphasizes that policy discussions must address measuring success toward outcomes-driven models.

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iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses (v2) cover

iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses (v2)

iNACOL, October 2011

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare...

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. National Standards for Quality Online Courses is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online course content, instructional design, technology, student assessment, and course management.

The original initiative in version one of the standards began with a thorough literature review of existing online course quality standards, followed by a survey offered to representatives of the iNACOL network to ensure the efficacy of the standards adopted. As a result of the research review, iNACOL had chosen to fully endorse the work of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Quality Online Course Standards as a comprehensive set of criteria.* The standards as identified by SREB, already in use by sixteen SREB states, proved to be the most comprehensive and included guidelines set forth in the other criteria from the literature review. A full cross-reference of standards is available, including the iNACOL-endorsed NEA Guide to Teaching Online Courses, which included the key fundamental criteria. We were and are still grateful for SREB's work and for their permission to distribute these standards on a national scale.

Since the original standards were released, other organizations have released quality standards for online courses. iNACOL organized a team of experts in the area of course development, instructional design, professional development, research, education, and administration to review these new standards and new literature around the topic and determined there was a need to refresh version one of the iNACOL standards. The same process was used in developing version two of the standards in addition to having version one as a starting point in the development of the new version.

Over the past three years, iNACOL has received feedback that several organizations are using these standards in the development and review of online courses. In this new version of the standards, reviewer considerations have been added for each indicator. Additionally, a rubric has been included to assist in the review of online courses based on this new version. iNACOL would like to thank the Texas Education Agency's Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) for developing and sharing this rubric.

These guidelines should be implemented and monitored by each district or organization, as they reserve the right to apply the guidelines according to the best interest of the population for which they serve.

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iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Teaching (v2) cover

iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Teaching (v2)

iNACOL, October 2011

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepar...

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. National Standards for Quality Online Teaching is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online teaching.

The original initiative in Version 1 of the standards began with a thorough literature review of the existing online teaching quality standards, then conducted a cross-reference of standards, followed by a survey completed by representatives of the iNACOL network to ensure the efficacy of the standards adopted. As a result of the research review, iNACOL chose to fully endorse the work of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Standards for Quality Online Teaching and Online Teaching Evaluation for State Virtual Schools as a comprehensive set of criteria. The standards as identified by SREB were already in use by sixteen SREB states; they proved to be the most comprehensive among those reviewed and included guidelines set forth in the other criteria from the literature review.

iNACOL organized a team of experts consisting of online teachers, professional developers, instructional designers, researchers, course developers, and administrators to review these new standards and the new literature on the topic. They determined that there was a need to refresh Version 1 of the iNACOL standards. The same process was used in developing Version 2 of the standards, in addition to having Version 1 as a starting point in the development of the new version. Over the past three years, iNACOL has received feedback from organizations using these standards for the development of professional development and evaluation of online teachers. In this new version of the standards, the indicators have been divided between what the online teachers should know and understand and what the online teachers should be able to do for evaluation purposes.

These guidelines should be implemented and monitored by each district or organization, as they reserve the right to apply the guidelines according to the best interest of the population for which they serve.

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iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Programs cover

iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Programs

Liz Pape, Matthew Wicks, October 2009

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, iNACOL, is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepar...

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, iNACOL, is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success.

This document, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning’s (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Programs, is the third of iNACOL’s online education standards, following the National Standards of Quality for Online Courses and National Standards for Quality Online Teaching.

The standards in this document address what is needed for a quality online program, elements of which include quality course design and quality online teaching. However, this set of standards is more than the third of a series - it is intended that these Standards for Quality Online Programs provide the encompassing and over-arching set of standards program leaders need to assure a quality online program.

National Standards for Quality Online Programs is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online program leadership, instruction, content, support services, and evaluation. The initiative began with a thorough literature review of existing online program standards, including accreditation standards, a cross-reference of standards, followed by a survey to iNACOL members and experts to ensure the efficacy of the standards adopted.

These guidelines should be implemented and monitored by each district or organization, as they reserve the right to apply the guidelines according to the best interest of the population for which they serve. These standards start by addressing the foundation of the program: its mission, goals, and objectives, and its underlying beliefs and philosophy. Leadership is also addressed: the program’s governance, the role of the governing body and how the relation between the governing body, and organizational/program leadership work together to support the achievement of the mission.

Beyond the foundation of what the program has as its mission, goals, and objectives are the standards that address how the program operates, its teaching and learning standards, and support standards. In this document, we have provided an overview of the most critical of the course design and teaching standards. In addition, a program needs to provide the support mechanisms for student and teacher success in online courses. This document describes the necessary support standards needed for programs designed to supplement schools’ course offerings as well as those programs designed for full-time students. For a fuller description of course design and teaching standards, please refer to iNACOL’s National Standards of Quality for Online Courses and National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. The National Standards for Quality Online Programs are identified on the following pages.

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