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Online learning is here to stay, says head of USDLA

    Participation in online learning opportunities is strong and growing in Missouri school districts. A survey conducted by MSBA shows 58% of Missouri’s public school districts are now enrolling students in some form of distance education. Online learning was the major topic of discussion at MSBA’s Spring Regional Meetings held throughout the state in late April and early May.

    The program featured MSBA Executive Director Dr. Carter Ward interviewing the Executive Director of the United States Distance Learning Association Dr. John Flores from the USDLA offices in Boston, Massachusetts. Ward serves on the USDLA Board of Directors.

    Flores said during the interview that online learning is seeing nothing but growth. “Online learning is here to stay. So the question is, how do we build the best programs using the best technologies and standards to make sure the overall experience is at the highest level of excellence possible,” he said.

    MSBA’s survey shows 85% of online courses are taken by high school students with foreign language courses being the most popular. The survey also shows online learning in Missouri is frequently used for credit recovery purposes.

    MSBA along with the College of Education at the University of Missouri – Columbia and MOREnet have established the MSBA Online Consortium. Its purpose is to provide high quality online learning resources to Missouri’s public schools that are developed by Missouri’s public schools, Missouri institutions of higher education and selected private providers. The MSBA Online Consortium will serve as clearinghouse of instructional courses and professional development programs to ensure high quality and consistency with state standards.

    There is no cost to belong to the consortium if your district is a member of MSBA although districts must sign a Memorandum of Understanding to participate.