Launch’s online courses are written and reviewed in Springfield Public Schools.
Online courses developed at Launch undergo a rigorous process including the use of curriculum expertise, content-area instructors and digital developers. Courses are selected for development by the curriculum department at Springfield Public Schools or suggested by Launch partner school districts or the Launch Advisory Council (a group comprised of educators from more than 40 districts statewide). Highly-qualified Missouri teachers are selected to write the content. “We ensure all courses are aligned to Missouri Learning Standards both during the writing process and through our course refresh process,” says Dr. Hope Gallamore, Secondary Literacy Coordinator at Springfield Public Schools. As the expert in online pedagogy, the Launch digital developer collaborates with the course’s teacher to translate material to a virtual classroom environment.
A formal review process is also built into all Launch course development. The Launch quality assurance specialist reviews each course after its initial development and provides detailed notes to the digital developer for improvement. Next, a curriculum specialist in the course’s discipline reviews the course for alignment with Missouri Learning Standards. After the course has been released to students, the content is again reviewed and revised every year. “We work to ensure that courses are updated regularly to reflect state expectations with regards to content limits and depth of knowledge,”
Dr. Gallamore says.
Additionally, an increasing number of Launch courses are reviewed by Quality Matters, an international organization that certifies the quality of online courses. During a Quality Matters review, a three-person review team—made up of experienced teachers and administrators from across the country—review a course by using an extensive rubric of best practices for online course design. Recently the Launch program was recognized by Quality Matters as the recipient of the 2019 K-12 Making a Difference for Students award, which demonstrates “a commitment to ensuring high course quality and using different but valuable approaches to improving learner outcomes.”