There is a clarion call from online-learning proponents to free up student time—literally. As Susan Patrick explained in her opening speech at the annual iNACOL Symposium last month, student seat-time requirements are one of the greatest barriers to personalized, student-centered learning.
Removing seat time from state regulations certainly stands to open up more opportunities for students to move at their own pace, and for educators to measure progress in terms of authentic learning rather than hours and minutes. However, regulatory barriers are only half the battle. When it comes to creating effective competency-based schools and classrooms, policy change is only a small part of a much bigger endeavor. It is necessary, but by no means sufficient.