Distance Learning Success Factors in the Resources-Processes-Results Cycle and Virtual School Accreditation

Distance Learning Success Factors in the Resources-Processes-Results Cycle and Virtual School Accreditation

Cathy Cavanaugh (University of North Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-154-4.ch004
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Abstract

Virtual school administrators and course designers can address the needs of virtual school students using established quality guidelines and standards. The development and implementation of effective distance education happens in an iterative cycle. The three stages in the cycle are: (1) procurement and preparation of the resources necessary to meet the distance education goals; (2) delivery of instruction using the best practices from education, business and research; and (3) analysis of the results of distance education to gauge achievement of the goals. Each stage of the Resources - Practices - Results (RPR) cycle continually revisits lessons learned in the other stages and builds upon the successes realized in the other stages. The success of a web-based virtual school program in part relies on the program’s adherence to quality benchmarks. This chapter explores the interconnect among the established success factors incorporated into the RPR cycle and standards published by agencies accrediting virtual schools. A survey of 67 virtual schools in the United States in the spring of 2003 resulted in identification of accrediting standards applied at national, regional and state levels. The standards of seven accrediting bodies are examined, and three are compared to the RPR success factors. Because of the differing foci of the agencies producing the standards, there is variation in the degree to which the standards correspond to the RPR success factors.

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