The Leadership Alliance members focus on specific projects throughout the year, exploring how to leverage the efforts of the programs in some of the following areas:
Blended learning district partner consulting
VLLA members have expanded their blended learning services to districts to go beyond just courses and LMS.
Online college and career opportunities
Most of the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance members offer a range of opportunities targeting college and career readiness.
- MTDA has launched EdReady Montana, an online college and career readiness program that assesses student skills in mathematics and provides personalized intervention assistance to students as they prepare for commonly used placement exams. This is an online program for all students in Montana from grades 7-12 and higher education who want to brush up on their general math skills, become better prepared for college math or practice math skills needed for their desired career path. The primary use cases to date involve (1) schools, college orientation or educational support programs using EdReady Montana to recover or brush up on math skills before enrolling in a class or taking a placement test and (2) teachers using the program to directly support students in their classroom by providing a focused scope of study and specific set of curricular topics for them to study. EdReady is provided by MTDA to all Montana students through a gift from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.
- Idaho Digital Learning’s iPATH program is a statewide early college high school model that provides all of the coursework required to earn college credit, industry certification or even an associates degree while still enrolled in high school. Through a combination of courses offered through Idaho Digital Learning and through our partner colleges you can graduate with a diploma from your own high school and with a certification or an associates degree from our partner institutions. Idaho Digital Learning is also implementing an online college and career readiness program that assesses student skills in mathematics.
- Virtual Arkansas offers a significant number of online Career Technical Education (CTE) courses, which make up about 4% of course enrollment in state virtual schools. CTE requires a campus-based lab with a mentor/facilitator for these classes because of the hands-on requirements, and all courses must be approved by the state Department of Workforce Development. The program offers dual or concurrent enrollment in partnership with two Arkansas state universities with about 2,372 course enrollments in FY 2015–16.
Ensuring online course quality
Leadership Alliance members have formed a Quality Matters approach to course design and instruction.
- Illinois Virtual School has embarked on a multi-year Online Course Improvement Process. The framework being used for course design is the Quality Matters K-12 Secondary Rubric. Quality Matters (QM) is a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online courses and support continuous improvement.
- Indiana Online Academy’s (IOA) Course Developer Cohort is a group of seven educators tasked with developing ten, full-year courses for IOA. IOA has developed the Course Developer course, which is completed as the educators move through the four-part development process.
- Georgia Virtual School makes its original course content available as open educational resources; about 70 courses, including several for Advanced Placement. A team of course development specialists work with subject matter experts in each respective area to design a course through a nine-month process. The courses are bound by a creative commons attribution, non-commercial, share-alike license.