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ERIC Number: ED509622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Management and Operations of Online Programs: Ensuring Quality and Accountability. Promising Practices in Online Learning
Watson, John; Gemin, Butch
International Association for K-12 Online Learning
Online learning is growing rapidly as states and districts are creating new online schools, and existing programs are adding new courses and students. The growth reflects the spreading understanding that online courses and programs can serve a wide variety of students and needs. These include: (1) Creating opportunities for small and rural school districts to offer varied course subjects and highly qualified teachers to their students; (2) Allowing students to blend high school and post-secondary learning options; (3) Reducing class size; (4) Helping students recover credits in an alternative learning environment; (5) Providing individualized instruction and unique learning options; (6) Allowing students the opportunity to interact with students far beyond their school or town boundaries; and (7) Meeting the needs and expectations of today's millennial students. Many school leaders are excited about the possibilities of online learning. When they start an online school, however, they quickly confront all the challenges of managing a high-quality, successful online program: creating online courses; finding, hiring, and managing teachers; supporting students; managing technology; and evaluating their programs to determine if they are successful. Fortunately, many online schools have years of operating experience, have developed and revised formal operations and management structures, and provide examples of successful management. This paper explores emerging practices in online program management and operations that can be used by many people working with an online learning program, from executive-level school leaders to department managers to teachers trying to find ways to improve their effectiveness with online students. Although it does not address state or district policy issues, legislators and policymakers will find it useful to understand the varied approaches that online schools are embracing to ensure quality as they determine the best ways to create oversight while allowing innovation to meet the needs of students and schools. Appendices include: (1) Online Learning: The Opportunities It Can Provide; The Problems It Can Solve; and (2) Resources. (Contains 5 footnotes and 9 resources.)
International Association for K-12 Online Learning. 1934 Old Gallows Road Suite 350, Vienna, VA 22182. Tel: 888-956-2265; Tel: 703-752-6216; Fax: 703-752-6201; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Association for K-12 Online Learning
Identifiers - Location: Florida
IES Cited: ED553644