The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has just released a revised version its standards that define high-quality teaching in online and blended-learning programs. The aim of the revision is to address the need for more personalize learning.
With the rapid increase in the number of online courses and virtual schools in the US and internationally, the demand on teachers to adopt practices that are appropriate to these environments it is useful to have such a framework to help both teachers and administrators maintain a quality focus on what is happening in this area.
It would be beneficial for some similar thought to be given to designing such a framework for the NZ context. The key areas listed below would be a good starting point, although the heavy emphasis on assessment strategies that appear throughout the iNACOL standards would obviously need to be altered in the NZ context.
I also found it interesting the whole area of instructional design was given only one section at the end of the standards – again, something that would need to be considered in the NZ context where teachers take more responsibility for the planning and desing of online learning, rather than simply 'delivering' pre-prepared courses.
The key areas included in the iNACOL framework are:
- Knowledge of the primary concepts and structures of effective online instruction and ability to create learning experiences to enable student succeed.
- Understanding and ability to use a range of technologies, both existing and emerging, that effectively support student learning and engagement in the online environment.
- Ability to plan, design, and incorporate strategies to encourage active learning, application, interaction, participation, and collaboration in the online environment.
- Promotion of student success through clear expectations, prompt responses, and regular feedback.
- Modelling, guiding, and encouraging legal, ethical, and safe behavior related to technology use.
- Addressing the diversity of student academic needs and incorporates accommodations into the online environment.
- Demonstrating competencies in creating and implementing assessments in online learning environments in ways that ensure validity and reliability of the instruments and procedures.
- Develop and deliver assessments, projects, and assignments that meet standards-based learning goals and assesses learning progress by measuring student achievement of the learning goal.
- Demonstrate competency in using data from assessments and other data sources to modify content and to guide student learning.
- Interact in a professional, effective manner with colleagues, parents, and other members of the community to support students’ success.
- Arrange media and content to help students and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively in the online environment.