Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New National Standards for Quality Online Programs

Thirty-four states now have state-led "virtual school" programs, 18 states offer full-time online learning programs and 70 percent of school districts offer at least one online course to students.

That's the word from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning known as iNACOL which released a new 34-page report October 6 called National Standards for Quality Online Programs. The report focuses “quality” guidelines for online programs in several categories: leadership, instruction, content, support services and evaluation.

“Our overall goal is to ensure that every student has access to the highest quality education available today,” said Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. “This is the first publication of K-12 online learning program quality standards to help evaluate and ensure effective oversight. Online program quality standards will help underscore how important effective management, administration, quality content and instruction, student and faculty support, and academic rigor are for K-12 online education.”

The world of online learning is expanding rapidly. In fact, iNACOL states that K-12 online learning is growing at 30 percent annually. Its latest document is the third publication focused on online education quality standards. The others are National Standards of Quality for Online Courses and National Standards for Quality Online Teaching.

iNACOL is a non-profit association with 2,500 members representing charter schools, state education agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities and research institutions, corporate entities and other content and technology providers. It is based in Vienna, Virginia, and conducts an annual Virtual School Symposium which this year will be Nov. 15 – 17 in Austin, Texas.

For more information or to get a copy of the report see .