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eLearning Update: Online Learning Policy

A new policy brief from the Innosight Institute—which you probably know as the organization founded to forward the principles outlined in Michael B. Horn and Clayton Christensen's book Disrupting Class—has released a policy brief that includes the suggestion that teachers be rewarded for student performance, and not level of certification.

The brief, which centers on the future of online learning policy, arrives at that conclusion through its argument for the eventual removal of all input measures in favor of outcome measures. It classifies certification as an example of an input, and performance as an outcome.

The brief also suggests diversifying student evaluaton by incorporating assessments, portfolios, and other projects and assignments throughout curricula instead of waiting for fixed-time assessment points. The authors of the report, Horn and Katherine Mackey, also suggest giving school operators more freedom in how they allocate their budgets.

Clamoring to nix seat-time isn't new, but doing away with teacher certification altogether isn't something I've heard a lot of talk about. Would such a step help ensure quality by forcing educators to focus on outcomes, as Horn and Mackey argue? Or would it potentially undermine the quality of online learning available for those students?

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