Online learning director assists in publishing an international report

Rebecca Hoey, Northwestern College’s director of online learning, is part of a team that recently published a report on the state of international online learning. “Online and Blended Learning: A Survey of Policy and Practice of K-12 Schools Around the World” is available at, the website of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

The research team found that while online learning has the potential to dramatically change the educational experience of K-12 students throughout the world, the degree to which this potential has been embraced varies widely. While the most progressive countries with respect to digital learning, like Australia and China, have fully online schools serving thousands of students, most countries are making at least some progress in leveraging technology in the physical classroom as well as the virtual classroom.

Among the trends cited in the report are that blended and online classes are most available to students in urban areas from developed countries, growth in digital learning stems from shared authority between local schools and national governments, and the use of online learning is most prevalent by students with special circumstances.

Hoey was joined on the team by faculty from Wayne State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Hawaii, and others.

Hoey became Northwestern’s director of online learning in June after serving as curriculum design coordinator at Northwest Iowa Community College and an online faculty member for University of Phoenix. She also previously taught high school business in Colorado and Minnesota. Hoey, who earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Wayne State College and a master’s degree in education at St. Mary’s University of Winona, Minn., is completing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of South Dakota.