Many previous blog posts have referenced the difference between emergency remote learning as implemented during the pandemic, compared to well-planned and implemented online and hybrid learning.
As more and more districts are starting their own online and hybrid schools, however, they are asking — what exactly is high quality online learning? What does it look like?
This is a good question and perhaps not as easily answered as one might expect, because so many different forms of online and hybrid learning exist. Case studies in our Digital Learning Snapshots show that online programs vary, and the suggestions in our guides are somewhat general. But some common, key indicators do exist. They include:
- An active role for teachers, whether they are online, f2f in a hybrid school, or both. This is the easiest indicator conceptually, because in 20+ years of studying the U.S. K-12 online learning field, we have found that literally every successful school or program places a premium on teachers. (This shouldn’t be a surprise because it applies to all physical schools as well.)
- “A premium on teachers” manifests as strong hiring practices, professional development, and ongoing teacher support. Professional development is combined with ongoing…