ERIC Number: ED489514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: A Review of State-Level Policy and Practice
Learning Point Associates / North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL)
This report explores policies and practices governing online education with a particular focus on policies aiming to provide students with high-quality online learning experiences. The report looks specifically at two areas: state-level policies governing online education, and statewide online programs (i.e., programs created by legislation or by a state-level agency, and/or funded or administered by a state department of education or another state-level agency to provide online learning opportunities across the state). Online learning has developed explosively over the past five years. As of July 2005, 21 states have statewide online learning programs, and cyberschools and/or district-level online programs operate in almost every state. Both statewide programs and cyberschools report rapid growth, with registrations and enrollments typically experiencing double-digit percentage annual increases. Despite the explosive growth, relatively little is known about the programs that conduct online learning. What percentage of students passes the courses they take? What is the quality of their learning experience? How much does it cost to provide online courses, and what are the best methods for paying that cost? Questions like these raise complex issues of policy, practice, and philosophy. While online-learning practitioners have been grappling with such issues for years, state policymakers have moved much more slowly; and the concern raised four years ago by the National Association of State Boards of Education--that online learning developments would outpace the capacity of policymakers to shape these developments in constructive ways--has turned into an increasingly accurate prediction. [This report was produced by Learning Point Associates. Additional writing by Stevan Kalmon. Research also supported by Florida Virtual School Illinois Virtual High School Virtual High School.]
Descriptors: Learning Experience, State Boards of Education, Online Courses, Educational Policy, Educational Technology, State Programs, Instructional Effectiveness, Educational Quality, Costs, Teaching Methods
Learning Point Associates/North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1120 E Diehl Rd., Suite 220, Naperville, IL 60563. Tel: 630-649-6500; 800-356-2735; Fax: 630-649-6734; Web site: http://www.ncrel.org/.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.; Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Naperville, IL.