ATLANTA — The North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) has announced its first standards for quality online teaching, based largely on the work of the Southern Regional Education Board. Already in use by the 16 SREB member states, SREB’s standards were the nation’s first comprehensive guidelines for high-quality online instruction for students in the middle grades and high school.
The SREB Educational Technology Cooperative and representatives from SREB member states developed the nation’s first specific quality standards for online teaching in 2007, Standards for Quality Online Teaching. SREB and member states also developed Standards for Quality Online Courses. Those publications and standards are available at www.sreb.org in the Educational Technology Cooperative portion of the Web site.
SREB states lead the nation in providing state virtual (or online) schools and in the number of middle grades and high school students successfully completing online courses — more than 150,000 during the 2006-2007 school year.
"Online learning is expanding rapidly in SREB states and across the nation. The endorsement by NACOL underscores the importance of giving every student access to the highest-quality online education available today," said Bill Thomas, director of SREB’s Educational Technology Cooperative, which established the SREB standards and who worked with NACOL on its standards.
SREB recently received a $320,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation to help member states improve training and boost the supply of high-quality online teachers in K-12 schools. All SREB state virtual schools and their state departments of education are participating in the SREB High-Quality Online Teachers initiative, led by the Cooperative.
NACOL is an international K-12 nonprofit organization that represents the interests of administrators, practitioners and students involved in online learning worldwide.
For more information on the work of SREB’s Educational Technology Cooperative and the development of standards for online learning and teaching in state virtual schools, contact SREB Communications.
SREB, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, advises state education leaders on ways to improve education. SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each is represented by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees.