K12 Inc. Annual Survey Examines Keys to Successful Online and Blended Learning Implementations

December 18, 2013
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Respondents Cite Reporting Tools, Engaging Curriculum, and Intervention as Top Requirements

HERNDON, Va., December 18, 2013— School districts throughout the country report they are offering students significantly more online learning programs in 2013 compared to 2012 – especially blended learning and online courses for credit – according to an annual survey of district- and school-level leaders, announced today by K12 Inc., the nation’s leading provider of technology-powered individualized education solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school.

The three factors rated as most critical for success in implementing credit recovery, online courses and full-time online learning were: tracking student progress with reporting tools, offering rigorous and engaging curriculum, and having teachers available to intervene/assist struggling students. When asked how to measure quality in online learning programs, the highest rated response was "the student demonstrates significant academic progress in the year."

The survey, conducted by MDR’s EdNET Insight, targeted district- and school-level leaders, specifically superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum directors, principals and teachers who have had experience implementing online learning programs. This year’s research was supplemented with phone interviews with K12 customers who shared their experiences offering online programs. A total of 165 leaders responded from districts evenly divided in size, with the largest number, 24 percent, coming from districts with more than 1,000 enrolled students.

Key findings this year show that blended learning programs continue to outpace fully online programs, with two-thirds of respondents reporting use of a blended model. However, full-time online programs in districts with 10,000-plus students grew significantly from 27 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 81 percent offer online courses, compared to 66 percent in 2012;
  • 82 percent offer an online credit recovery program; and
  • 66 percent use a blended learning model, compared to 34 percent that primarily use a fully online learning model.

"Educators across the country increasingly see online learning as an excellent way to provide students more options to meet their individual needs," said Gregg Levin, senior vice president of K12’s Institutional Business, which serves schools and districts. "With so many curriculum and content options available today, district leaders recognize that it is critical to support online learning programs with technology that not only provides detailed tracking and reporting, but also that can simplify administration of all programs and enable course personalization, all in one place."

Overall, the majority (87 percent) of respondents said the best way to measure quality in an online program was for students to demonstrate significant academic progress, and 85 percent indicated that having engaging and highly interactive curriculum was extremely important.

Visit K12 for Schools and Districts for more information about survey results, including key success factors ranked by online program type.

K12 partners with schools and districts to personalize and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom by leveraging the power of technology-enabled learning. Through flexible, personalized pre-K to 12th grade online learning solutions, the company helps school districts improve student outcomes, better serve diverse student populations, and expand students’ educational opportunities. Its comprehensive approach to online learning is based on K12’s experience with more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states and D.C. K12 provides everything necessary to implement and grow successful programs, from the industry’s largest catalog of flexible digital curriculum, to professional services including certified instruction, and open, easy-to-use technology that simplifies administration and course customization. For more information, visit educators.K12.com.

About MDR’s EdNet Insight

MDR is the leading U.S. provider of education marketing information and services. MDR’s EdNET Insight is the K-12 education industry’s premier information and consulting service, combining the proven power of research and analysis with recognized industry experts to deliver an insightful, comprehensive view of the trends and influences that are shaping the education market today—and tomorrow. For more information on EdNET Insight, go to www.ednetinsight.com.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is the nation’s foremost provider of proprietary technology-powered online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. K12 has partnered with more than 2,000 school districts and has delivered more than 4 million courses over the past decade. K12 provides curricula, academic services and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs and families. More information can be found at http://www.k12.com.

© 2013 K12 Inc. K12 is a registered trademark, and the K12 logo is a trademark of K12 Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Beth Halloran

K12 for Schools and Districts