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Friday, January 04, 2013

Four key parts of successful online education programs

"In today’s news: A survey of education leaders revealed four key steps to making sure that online education programs are successful" reports Laura Devaney, Managing Editor.

Progress monitoring tools and proper training in online teaching are critical factors in supporting and sustaining successful online education programs, according to a survey of school leaders. 

Photo: eSchool News

The survey, released by K12 Inc. and conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight, included responses from superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum directors, principals, and special-education directors who are experienced in implementing online education programs. The 220-plus respondents identified and ranked a number of key success factors.

Four factors were ranked by at least 80 percent of respondents as “extremely important” to the success of full-time online education programs, individual online courses, and credit recovery programs.

The four factors in particular that contribute to successful online education programs:

Reporting tools/progress monitoring: These tools help teachers learn how students are understanding lessons. They monitor student performance and help educators understand if additional intervention is necessary. These tools can offer immediate and specific feedback to help educators personalize instruction for students.

Availability of teachers to assist struggling students: Teacher assistance can help struggling students from becoming too frustrated or disengaged. This is important in fully-online and blended learning programs.

Instructors who are well-trained in delivering online courses: Classroom teaching does not translate to online teaching, and educators must be specifically trained to teach online. These unique requirements include working with online curriculum, online collaboration, and other tools to help differentiate learning.

Offering rigorous and engaging curriculum: An engaging curriculum helps students remain involved in their lessons, move forward, and focus on learning. Proper design ensures that different methods are available to deliver content to different learning styles.

Download this Benchmark Study: Best Practices for Implementing Online Learning in K-12 Districts to learn how other educators are implementing successful online programs.

Source: eSchool News

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