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A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change

February 2014. This report discusses a student-centered federal policy framework designed to advance the growth of competency education. The authors argue that the current traditional system fails students, and it is time to reframe quality, accountability, and access. The traditional education system is often reinforced by federal, state, and local governments through outdated compliance requirements and funding…


Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education

January 2014. The purpose of this report is to explore how to redesign grading systems to best help students gain the skills necessary to be successful. This report explains the weaknesses of traditional grading systems, and how to redesign grading along the 6 elements of competency-based grading. It highlights lessons learned from the field, such as transparency, community…


Transforming K-12 Rural Education through Blended Learning: Barriers and Promising Practices

October 2013. This report describes the implementation of blended learning programs in Idaho, and three key takeaways are apparent: Blended learning has a positive impact on teachers. Self-pacing enables students to take ownership and achieve mastery. Teachers must prepare with comprehensive teacher training. The authors emphasize the need for the field to conduct studies to challenge, adapt,…


Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education

October 2013. This paper provides a scan of the literature to expand the knowledge base for the field of online, blended, and competency-based education. The goal of the paper is to explain the nuances of key terms used across the field of K-12 education related to personalized, blended and competency education, and how the ideas integrate in order…


Keeping Pace with K-12 Online and Blended Learning, 10th Edition

October 2013. This report, the 10th in series of annual report beginning in 2004, examines the status of K-12 online education across the country. The Authors provide an overview of the latest policies, practices, and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states. The Keeping Pace series is researched and published as a service to the…


Partnering for Success: A 21st Century Model for Teacher Preparation

October 2013. This report studies the best practices necessary to rethink the skills, methods and pedagogical evolution that teacher education must address. If we are to ensure great teachers are trained, mentored and retained for our students — the programs themselves must emulate 21st century skills. The examples found in this report have unique elements and frameworks…


iNACOL’s New Learning Models Vision

October 2013. This brief summarizes iNACOL’s New Learning Models, which personalize learning using competency-based approaches. Supported by blended and online learning modalities, teachers use technology to differentiate instruction and engage students in deeper learning. By adapting instruction to reflect a student’s level of mastery, blended and online models have the potential to keep students engaged and supported…


iNACOL Research Agenda

October 2013. iNACOL publishes a research agenda on an ongoing basis to continue its work in field-building, capacity-building and knowledge-building. Based on a 2013 survey of the field to identify research needs, iNACOL developed a research approach, including the following: Build a collaborative research agenda, including: field experts, the iNACOL Research Committee, the iNACOL Research Special Interest…


A Roadmap for Implementation of Blended Learning at the School Level: A Case Study of the iLearnNYC Lab Schools

October 2013. This roadmap was designed to provide guidance to NYCDOE school administrators in implementing blended learning programs in their own schools. Over the 2012-13 school year, iNACOL worked with 8 NYCDOE Lab Schools, each with its own blended learning model, to create this roadmap to improve blended learning implementation. This roadmap has the following goals: Provide…


RETHINK: Planning and Designing for K-12 Next Generation Learning

June 2013. This toolkit from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is for K-12 district, charter, and school leaders to use in the very early stages of conceptualizing and designing a next generation learning program, initiative, or whole school. Rather than offering a prescriptive model to follow, the toolkit…