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A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning (2nd Edition)

November 2010. Due to the fast pace of change in the K-12 online learning field, many of the issues and concepts found in the first edition of this series required updates. This second edition of the National Primer series focuses on the basics of K-12 online learning for both policymakers and practitioners, while presenting the most current…

Author: Matthew Wicks

Organization: iNACOL


Class Connections: High School Reform and the Role of Online Learning

August 2010. This study examines the role of online and blended instruction in addressing concerns and issues facing the American high school, informed by data collected from a national sample of principals. Findings portray that there are certain online learning initiatives that directly address education reform, including the following: Improving graduation rates Credit recovery Building bridges to…


Goals, Guidelines and Standards for Student Scientific Investigations

August 2010. This publication provides a set of quality guidelines for developing and evaluating student scientific investigations, through both online and face-to-face platforms. These guidelines were based on key ideas from the National Research Council’s America’s Lab Report, the National Science Education Standards, and AAAS Project 2061’s Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy, along with input from the research…


Virtual K-12 Public School Programs and Students with Disabilities: Issues and Recommendations

July 2010. Findings in this report highlight the need for additional guidance in policy and practice for providing special education in online programs. In February 2010, NASDSA convened a policy forum to identify challenges associated with serving students with disabilities, and to develop related policy recommendations. Project Forum, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office…


An Exploration of At-Risk Learners and Online Education

April 2010. This issues brief analyzes how online programs deal with at-risk students. First, the authors document a sampling of K-12 online program strategies for at-risk students. Second, the report provides survey responses to determine online delivery and design methods employed to assist at-risk students. Browse this issues brief for specific recommendations regarding at-risk learners in virtual…


Wichita Public Schools’ Learning Centers

March 2010. This report identifies Wichita Public Schools as a case study for analyzing disruptive innovation – or the use of computer-based learning. Launched in 1999, these Learning Centers were designed for dropout-recovery and credit-recovery purposes. By 2010, the district served 946 students in 3,904 half-credit courses and had a waiting list of more than 300 students…


Promising Practices in Online Learning: A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Online Program

February 2010. This guide assists parents in understanding what online learning is and in selecting the right online school, program, or course for their children. As part of the Promising Practices series, the authors explain online learning promising practices to parents, with considerations for full-time online schools as well as supplemental online courses. Given the enormous growth…


State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada (2009)

November 2009. In October 2008, iNACOL released the initial Snapshot State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada report, providing a brief outline of K-12 distance education in Canada. This report provides an updated analysis of Canada’s K-12 distance education regulatory schemes. Author Michael Barbour provides a national overview, reporting that all 13 provinces and territories…

Author: Michael K. Barbour

Organization: iNACOL


iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Programs

October 2009. 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. This report provides the encompassing and over-arching set of standards program leaders need to assure a quality online program. It is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations…


Examining Communication and Interaction in Online Teaching

September 2009. How do communication and interaction work in an online teaching environment? This document answers this question, drawing on quality online teaching literature, school policies regarding online teaching practices, and professional development programs for online teachers. Online teaching is a complex professional practice. In addition to content knowledge and pedagogical skills, online teachers must be qualified…