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79 Percent of School Leaders Use Online Learning as Alternative for Struggling Students

79% of Nation’s School Leaders Use Online Learning as Alternative for Students Struggling in Traditional Setting

A survey of school leaders throughout the nation has revealed some key findings about how and why they implement online and blended learning in their schools and districts.

The fourth annual study, committed by Fuel Education and conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight service, "polled school leaders across the country, including superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum and instructional coordinators, principals, and teachers who have direct experience with online and blended learning programs.”

It found that four-fifths (79 percent) of all educators surveyed said the number one reason behind why they decided to implement blended learning and online programs into their schools is to offer an alternative to students struggling in a traditional learning environment.

"Three other factors were tied for second: providing access to courses otherwise not available, providing flexibility for the time and place students can access courses, and offering a personalized learning experience,” the report said.

School leaders were also asked what the top three attributes for a successful blended or online learning program were.

The top three attributes, the report said, are:

  • Offering a rigorous and engaging curriculum (91 percent)
  • Tracking student progress/adequate reporting tools (89 percent)
  • A tie (at 88 percent) between initial and ongoing assessments to benchmark and measure student progress, and instructors well‐trained in delivering online courses.

When asked about how blended or online learning programs are funded, most educators said it’s up the district to provide the funds (92 percent).

Only 24 percent said their district received state funding and only 21 percent said funding comes from federal formula funding.

Most districts reported offering some kind of blended learning versus a full-time online program option. 94 percent of school leaders said their school offers online courses, while only 29 percent said their school offers a full-time online program option.

To read the full report, see here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/07/2015

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