As a recap of last week’s events, here is the posted University of California press release announcing our partnership.In five years as CLRN’s director, this may be our most important event yet and one more marker on our path “north”.
The University of California this week launched a partnership with the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN), a state-funded technology service of the California Department of Education, to certify high school online courses that may fulfill UC’s “a-g” subject requirements for admission. CLRN has reviewed supplemental electronic learning resources and free Web information links since 1999.
“This new partnership will ensure online courses are reviewed by the experts at CLRN for key elements of quality online delivery, before those online courses come to UC to be reviewed by our experts in the ‘a-g’ subject areas,” said Michael Treviño, UC’s director of undergraduate admissions at the Office of the President. “Our shared goal is to set standards of excellence for any online course that prospective students might take when preparing to apply to UC.”
The partnership is the result of a policy revision approved in May by the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), a committee of the UC Academic Senate that oversees the “a-g” requirements. BOARS Chair George Johnson led the charge to analyze the online policy and streamline the approval process for online courses.
“The faculty care very strongly about not just the content of ‘a-g’ courses, but also how courses are taught, who is teaching them and what supports are available for everyone involved,” said Johnson. “UC needed a better mechanism to assess whether online courses meet the faculty expectations for online learning, and we appreciate CLRN’s interest in collaborating with us to address course quality.”
UC course analysts will continue to evaluate the academic content for “a-g” purposes, but CLRN will oversee the initial approval of online courses, ensuring that they are aligned with both content standards and with national standards for quality online courses. Such standards define the knowledge, concepts and skills students should acquire at each high school grade level. This policy revision will allow UC staff to reduce the backlog of online publishers and schools that would like to submit their courses for “a-g” approval.
“My Education Technology Task Force recently came out with a report that identified online learning as a key tool in helping kids learn anytime, anywhere — an exciting innovation that some districts around the state are already beginning to use,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The UC-CLRN partnership, in turn, will also be a key tool by ensuring that kids who graduate high school in California go on prepared to succeed in college and careers.”
“The CLRN certification process will help spotlight high-quality courses that provide multiple learning paths, engaging curriculum and activities that require students to analyze, evaluate and create,” said CLRN director Brian Bridges.
The University of California aims to ensure that students have enhanced access to a broad range of rigorous “a-g” courses, including online courses, a fast-growing method of teaching and learning.
The revised BOARS policy is available online
For more information about CLRN, visit www.clrn.org.