80,000 + Students Served: A Case Study of the Utah Electronic High School - Kathy Webb

The Utah Electronic High School is a state-funded online high school that has served more than 80,000 students since 1994. This session looks at the challenges and best practices of providing credit-recovery and supplemental courses for approximately 12,000 students at any given time. Specifically, we’ll examine strategic partnerships that enabled the Electronic High School to realize significant operational efficiencies. The Electronic High School uses an open-entry/open-exit model; EHS is funded by an annual legislative appropriation.

PDF version of the presentation slides: VSS2008.pdf

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Utah Electronic High School

It is a credit-granting organization (different from many other states. It is open-entry/open-exit school and they find that 60% of their enrollments are credit acceleration.

They are implementing proctoring - not many of the individuals raised their hand when asked if their virtual schools had implemented proctoring. Kathy Webb, the principal of UEH, said she thought we all will be doing that in order to be accredited.

They have 3 secretaries, 1 admin, part-time counselor, 73 licensed teachers. Staffing is very low compared to volume. She recommended not duplicating this. Their funding comes from a line-item - it has grown to 2 million per year. Schools do not lose funding because of students attending UEH.

They have a 6-month window to finish a quarter-credit class.

Pain Points:

  • Lots of kids who want accounts but are finishing. Basically completion percentage.
  • Accreditation process
  • Managing staffing ratios and reporting
  • Open entry/open exit process is not supported well in the LMS arena
  • Vendor lock-in / commercial tool costs
  • Proctor demands for out-of-state kids

Partnering with TAA - The American Academy - Rebekah Richards
One of the big challenges they faced in helping their own company and the online high school was secure proctoring.

Questions about custom-designed hybrid of an LMS/CMS/SIS.

How are they supporting non-custom developed content? Does it support SCORM and SIF?

Why would you custom-design things rather than leverage what others have done?

How can they fund development for new features over time?

Their model is School as a Service.

Back to Kathy -

One of the challenges is working with the cost of multi-media learning objects. Talked about converting text-based elements into multimedia elements.

Content is free - they are looking at creative commons licensing versus DRM stuff.

Pay for Teachers:
Teachers provide a minimum number of hours a day - pay $535 a month for an hour a day. Interesting concept.