At the rate of growth in the edtech market, including OER and startups, the development of new tools and resources has outpaced policies for reviewing and ensuring quality. In response, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has issued a new brief, Ensuring the Quality of Digital Content for Learning: Recommendations for K12 Education. The brief includes a review of the unique qualities of digital learning resources as well as recommendations for quality assurance.
- Establish a clear vision statement to promote and guide digital content development, review, and use, grounded in an unwavering commitment to quality, accuracy, and accessibility, including alignment to college- and career-ready standards. Communicate that vision to all stakeholders.
- Designate experienced state and district leaders to lead quality assurance policy development and oversight, and also empower practitioners, such as curriculum experts, professional learning specialists, content experts, technology leaders and other stakeholders involved with supporting implementation strategies for ensuring digital materials quality. This step must include investing in stakeholders’ capacity—at all levels—to execute the state or district’s digital content quality assurance strategy, including establishing classroom evaluation and performance templates/protocols, complemented by feedback loops designed to lead to timely content improvements and updates.
- Provide guidance describing the characteristics of well-balanced quality assurance systems for digital content, including OER, such as developing and acknowledging tools and uniform state or local indicators and standards, and advancing an inclusive, not exclusive, approach to quality review.
- Support educator preparation and professional learning opportunities focused on building the educator’s capacity to assess digital material’s quality, including assessing the initial and ongoing quality of OER, which should evolve and improve over time.
- Ensure sufficient financial resources to establish and sustain an effective system of quality assessment of digital materials, including OER.
“This policy brief provides important elements of consideration for educational leaders regarding the quality and implementation of digital content,” said Carla Wade, Digital Learning/Educational Technology Specialist, Oregon Department of Education, in the press release. “The recent explosion of devices and digital content in K12 settings requires a shift in policies and practices, and this policy brief helps to further inform educators and the public of the need to provide quality assurances.”
Read the report, Ensuring the Quality of Digital Content for Learning Recommendations for K12 Education, on the SEDTA website.