Choosing an online course provider for a California school district requires that you consider a variety of features including viability of curriculum, flexibility of program, cost, and so on. Below I have listed the five course providers I would consider (and have considered) for a large school district in this state.
If you are a smaller district or not in California, your selection could be quite different.
With online courses in the K-12 sphere, you have two basic options:
Here's where I would draw the line: If I am creating a course that will be used in *a* classroom for a particular content area, it can make sense to create your own course. You have then created a course that works for your specific needs and aligns to your Scope & Sequence and your Pacing Guide.
However, if you are looking at courses to be used across classrooms, schools, and/or districts, it may make more sense to purchase online courses. This allows you to have consistency across all of those environments.
So which online course providers do I recommend that you consider? I have looked at quite a number of them over the past decade. Most have their strengths and their weaknesses. You need to choose the ones that will work the best for your environment.
Ones? Yes, if you are a larger district, it is entirely reasonable that you have more than one provider. In my work environment, we have two providers. We have one provider that we use for credit recovery and another for original credit, variable credit, and for competency-based education.
I can tell you, though, in California (and the reason why the title is so specific), we have what is called a-g requirements for students who wish to attend the UC or the CSU systems. Online courses must also be approved for a-g. If you are an online provider and your courses are not a-g, I won't even schedule a meeting with you. Yes, it is that important here.
Both of the providers we use meet a-g for their online courses. And, yes, part of my job is submitting online courses each year (if they are new for us) to UCOP (University of California Office of the President) to get a-g approval.
Again, which online course providers would I recommend? I should start with the two providers we use and add the three others that have most impressed me of late.
It is important that you understand that this is my personal opinion and each of these companies and companies not on this list are just one version away from either dropping off it or landing on it.