It’s all about the timing

In Keeping Pace 2011 we introduced a new section designed to serve practitioners who were starting or growing their online or blended programs. This section, titled Planning for Quality, compiled a series of critical questions that online/blended administrators should consider, and organized them into four focus areas: content, teaching, technology, and operations. The section was well received, and we heard from many of you who used the framework as a way to organize the planning process for your programs. For Keeping Pace 2012, we’ve made an effort to extend the value of the Planning for Quality section by adding a series of planning and implementation timelines that display key events in the development of an online/blended learning program. All the events are organized and color-coded to match the four focus areas. We chose to create timelines for three distinct scenarios:

  1. Developing an online or blended program using district courses and teaching – 18 month timeline
  2. Developing an online or blended program using provider-supplied courses and district teaching – 12 month timeline
  3. Developing an online or blended program using provider-supplied courses and teaching – 9 month timeline

Each timeline scenario begins with a strategic planning process and moves through implementation to the first day of online or blended classes. The timelines are intended to provide a starting point for planning and implementing your program and will vary based on your human resources, funding, facilities, and need. They were created, in part, to stress the importance of a thoughtful program development process that consistently considers key issues related to content, teaching, technology and operations.

We hope you find this new feature valuable, and as always, we welcome your input. What are you learning as your start or grow your online/blended program? How does your experience match or differ from the scenarios we present? Are there any planning steps you found critical that we have omitted?

We wish you the best on your planning and implementation journey.