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Necessary for Success: A State Policymaker’s Guide to Competency Education

February 2013. Necessary for Success provides insights from state leaders on how to re-engineer policies and practices of our K-12 system. The authors introduce the main concepts behind competency-based learning, and they study important initial steps taken by states in developing this emerging model. Read this report and discover how state leaders create a culture of competency…


Federal and State Policy: What Is Needed for Digital Learning?

February 2013. Two of the nation’s leading experts on digital education policy at both the federal and state level will provide an overview, recommendations and strategies for taking action in online and blended learning. Federal and state education policies play an important role in removing barriers and enabling new models of competency-based, online and blended learning. Learn…


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

October 2012. This report provides outcomes-based assurance frameworks, with associated course-level and school-level learning performance metrics, as well as implementation recommendations. Viewed from the perspectives of online schools, courses, and students, this report suggests principles for reform that will help provide outcomes-based quality assurance to better identify successful schools, address needs of the student populations they serve,…


NACSA Viewpoint: Authorizing Online Learning

August 2011. Online learning is growing by 40% annually and creating new full- and part-time options for students and families. However, most charter school legislation, drafted in the early 1990s, is not inclusive to online learning opportunities. This paper addresses 3 key questions that state policymakers and authorizers need to answer: Who will operate and authorize online…


It’s Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Summit

July 2011. From Anchorage, Alaska, to Orlando, Florida, and from Gray, Maine, to Yuma, Arizona, one hundred competency-based innovators gathered at the Competency-based Learning Summit in March 2011. Because pockets of innovation were operating in isolation, these leaders set out to expedite capacity-building to meet the growing demand for competency-based approaches. This paper highlights the following three…


Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning

July 2011. Leaders and innovators in competency education convened at the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit to explore how state policy can loosen its regulatory handcuffs from educators attempting to move toward competency-based learning models. This paper is designed to answer the following 4 questions: What is performance-based learning? What are states doing to advance performance-based learning? What…


Clearing the Path: Creating Innovation Space for Serving Over-Age, Under-Credited Students in Competency-Based Pathways

December 2010. This report provides guidance on creating competency-based approaches for over-age, under-credited students that have fallen off the track toward graduation. Drawing on a wide range of expertise, this paper explores how states can create space for innovation, including design principles, minimum policy conditions and options for moving forward. Read this report and learn how competency-based…


When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning

November 2010. This paper provides an introduction to competency-based pathways, a necessary condition to realizing the potential of next generation learning. Significantly, this report finds that competency-based pathways are re-engineering our education system around learning – creating a system where failure is no longer an option. Look for other papers in this series, and review this report…


A Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of K-12 Online Learning

August 2009. This memo examines the outcomes of existing studies on K-12 learning effectiveness, and it provides a literature review of these studies. A number of rigorous studies have asked the question, “Is online learning effective?” However, there is not a single, large-scale, national study comparing students taking online courses with traditional students, using control groups in…

Author: Allison Powell, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Report

Topics: Online Learning


An International Perspective of K-12 Online Learning: A Summary of the 2006 NACOL International e-Learning Survey

November 2006. This report is designed to provide a study of the state of K-12 online learning in 17 countries, with research and writing performed by Allison Powell and Susan Patrick. These countries were surveyed on issues such as funding, content, initiatives, professional development, obstacles, and trends. View a short summary or read this report and identify international…

Author: Allison Powell, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Report

Topics: Online Learning