posted on July 17, 2014
A recently released Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute™ report examines existing policies and practices related to the evaluation and approval of online and blended learning in the 50 states as well as relevant international examples, such as those arising from Canada’s province-based K-12 education systems.
Entitled Evaluation and Approval Constructs for Online and Blended Courses and Providers, the report leverages policy examples from Georgia, Maryland, California, Washington, Minnesota, Colorado and British Columbia, Canada, to inform cyber, online and blended provider evaluations in the state of Michigan.
The report was written by Dr. Michael Barbour of Sacred Heart University, Dr. Tom Clark of TA Consulting, and Dr. Kristen DeBruler and Justin Bruno of MVU. Based on their policy analysis, the authors identified five areas for evaluating and approving online and blended course providers.
The areas are intended as a starting point for states to better understand their own processes and to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas of excellent coverage while also discovering possible areas to omit. The report concludes with potential models and key guidelines states might consider in order to ensure a quality online education is available for all of their pupils.
“As states continue to adopt and refine their policies governing online and blended learning, awareness of what is occurring in other states and reflection of the reasons and results of such policy is critical,” says Dr. Joe Freidhoff, Executive Director of MVLRI. “This report not only illuminates a variety of enacted state-level policy regarding online and blended learning, but does so through a framework the helps states consider different dimensional aspects that are important in the evaluation process.”