Online Course Development: Bringing It All Together
Known for high academic standards, Florida Virtual School (FLVS) has earned numerous awards for excellence and innovation in online learning. The FLVS Curriculum Development team strives to uphold the level of education that FLVS is widely recognized for when developing new online courses and enhancing current courses.
Staying Current in the World of Digital Publishing
Kelly Oaks is a Subject Matter Expert who works on our online curriculum. She points out that FLVS has the opportunity to customize curriculum and adapt to the ever-changing educational climate thanks to the flexibility of digital publishing. She says, “Last year when the College Board released all new Course and Exam Descriptions, our curriculum team was able to be agile and update our courses to meet the needs of students for the 2020 exams.” This flexibility allows FLVS to continuously meet academic standards and create personalized learning experiences for students.
As students grow and trends change, FLVS Quality Assurance Specialist Neida Beauvoir says, “We want to ensure our content is relevant to the time of the course release, our interactives are engaging, and our images are providing useful and relevant information while maintaining engagement.” FLVS integrates games, real-world data, and labs, which encourage students to master content in a fun way. She shared that one of her most enjoyable projects was AP Environmental Science:
“While going through the course, listening to the videos (as I had to make sure they matched the transcript in the text version), and going through the assignments, I was able to learn so much about what is affecting our environment and how we can be a part of the solution if each person takes one step to change one habit.”
Ensuring Accuracy through Quality Assurance
The Curriculum Development team works to expand and improve our catalog on a continuous annual development cycle, collaborating with students and teachers throughout the development process to test new courses and course elements. This allows the team to collect important feedback and learn what’s working and what isn’t from students and teachers who will be using the courses. FLVS Instructional Designer Christina Cramer says, “The team holds think tanks with students to get their perspective and preference on course design,” adding that the team “also does storyboards with teachers so they can help materialize the content that goes on-screen.” These collaborations have become an important part of the development process at Florida Virtual School.
After development, FLVS courses undergo hours of review and testing before they are ready to be released. Throughout the review process, specialists ensure courses are functional, accessible, and meet all FLVS requirements. Sherwin Salomon, FLVS Curriculum Specialist, explains that it is a team effort to ensure that students are getting the best online education:
Many collaboration sessions take place to discuss lesson plans, assessment details, and student resources to ensure alignment to course standards. In many cases, high-stakes assessments and global expectations also influence the curriculum decision making around lessons and assessments.
Florida Virtual School continues to expand our curriculum offerings, creating and enhancing dozens of courses each year while maintaining a catalog of more than 190 courses. With each course, our dedicated team strives to enhance students’ online learning experience.