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ERIC Number: EJ787773
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-5
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Voluntary Online-Teaching Standards Come Amid Concerns over Quality
Trotter, Andrew
Education Week, v27 n26 p1, 15 Mar 2008
As learning over the Internet grows in both popularity and controversy, experts are hoping that a new set of national standards for online teaching may help bring clarity and credibility to an industry that some analysts say sorely needs both. The voluntary standards, released February 21 by the North American Council for Online Learning, or NACOL, a trade association based in Vienna, Virginia, are designed to serve as a checklist for good online teaching. The new standards will "allow policymakers to have some sort of independent review of the online programs," and give course providers a reference point for their own programs' quality, said John F. Watson, the founder of Evergreen Consulting Associates, an Evergreen, Colorado-based firm that publishes "Keeping Pace With K-12 Online Learning," an annual policy report on issues in online education. Topics in the standards include teacher prerequisites such as state licensure, subject-area proficiency, technology skills, and experience as a student in online courses. They also cover practices such as planning and using strategies for active learning and collaboration; complying with intellectual-property rights; interacting with students and parents; addressing special needs; and using a range of appropriate evaluations, assessments, and data. By defining good teaching in an online environment, the standards could be used, among other purposes, to shape teacher professional development, recruitment, supervision, and compensation; to guide the design of online courses or evaluate purchases of online courses; and to judge the performance of online schools and courses under state accountability systems, advocates say. Several leading online-course providers welcomed the standards, which are outlined in a 13-page report.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin