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T&M Makes Recommendations on Online Coursework in Wake of Apex Abuse

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T&M Makes Recommendations on Online Coursework in Wake of Apex Abuse

December 04, 2018 - 18:37
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- T&M Protection Resources made a set of recommendations to the New Rochelle Board of Education after their soon-to-be released credit recovery investigation revealed “numerous deficiencies in the method by which NRHS implemented the online learning platform which allowed for improper grading and violations of school practice regarding grade entries and proctoring.”

PRE-ENROLLMENT COURSE ADMINISTRATION

  • Identify how online courses will be utilized by students.
  • Establish detailed student eligibility criteria.
  • Establish detailed supervision requirements.
  • Identify authorized NRHS staff responsible for all aspects of the administration of the online platform and delineate the roles and responsibilities of the different NRHS staff users in the system.
  • Require all authorized users to inform management when a student has been enrolled into an online course, listing the subject matter of the course and the instructor.

POST-ENROLLMENT COURSE ADMINISTRATION

  • Keep a list of students enrolled in online courses and create a course tracking methodology.
  • Create a two-party authorization and supervisory chain of command for decision making.
  • Establish clear guidelines for entering online student records to input new scores or alter grades.
  • Require mandatory paperwork with appropriate sign-offs before any new scores or alterations can be made to student grades.

TEST-TAKING & PROCTORING

  • Establish guidelines regarding proctoring of all quizzes and exams taken on the online platform. 
  • Designate authorized testing locations with permanent sign-in sheets to identity student, course and proctor.
  • Create an exemption file and note all exemptions.

TRAINING 

  • Provide mandatory and ongoing training for all active users in the system.
  • Provide step by step instructions regarding online forms.
  • Assign an instructor who is a subject matter expert to evaluate student eligibility and ongoing course status.
  • Vendors should be required to provide extensive live training.
  • Users should be required to take online training at routine intervals.
  • Records should be kept of all training.
  • Generalized training should be provided to supervisors and select School District personnel to ensure that the program is being utilized effectively.

STUDENT MONITORING 

  • Create a handbook for students and parents describing the online course platform and setting forth time limits for courses.
  • Establish a supervisory sign-off process for deviations from course time limits.
  • Maintain paperwork relating to deviations from course time limits.
  • Uncompleted coursework should be periodically reviewed.
  • Develop an alert system if courses remain open for extended periods of time.

RECORD-KEEPING & AUDITS

  • Adopt and utilize a record retention protocol for materials related to the online platform, including enrollment, course status, grade alterations or entries, and proctoring information with such materials held in a centralized location with a records custodian assigned to ensure accuracy.
  • Conduct ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance with school practices.
  • Routine audits should be made of the online system.
  • Identify if new scores have been added to students' records or alterations made to grades
  • Identify if courses have remained open for too long
  • Identify if students have been enrolled in violation of school practice.
  • Crucial data should be downloaded routinely from the online vendor's server for NRHS compliance review.