Local vs. Network Teacher for Independent Online Courses

One of the topics we encounter the most questions about is course delivery options. Because of this, we wanted to spend some time outlining the distinction between local and network teachers. Here’s how we define it.

Both delivery options include:

  • Flexible, self-paced learning options for students

  • Rigorous course content

Local Teacher

Local Teacher

A teacher in the student’s resident district would gain access to a fully customizable, robust learning management system. That teacher would support student progress and grade assignments. Depending on the course content, this falls between 15-45 minutes per student enrollment.

Benefits include:

  • Strong communication

  • Fast enrollment process

  • Full course catalog availability

  • Low cost - $29-$104 per student per course per semester

  • Local control over content & grade

Drawbacks include:

  • District must have properly licensed staff person available to code the class to upon completion

Network Teacher

Network Teacher

Utilize an instructor from Wisconsin eSchool Network’s statewide network to provide instruction in a content area or time you are unable to accommodate within your existing district staff. The network teacher would grade assignments and provide primary support for student progress. This type of enrollment requires a local coach to act as a motivator and bridge between the student and instructor.

Benefits include:

  • Provide courses and advanced learning opportunities to students not currently an option in resident district, good examples are:

    • Foreign Languages

    • AP Courses

    • Advanced Mathematics

Drawbacks include:

  • Course options are subject to availability, this can change from year to year

  • Extended enrollment processing due to these factors:

    • Course enrollment priority is secondary to students in the instructor’s program

    • Enrollments can’t be processed more than 7 days prior to the start of student’s term

  • Communication can be difficult with an instructor located elsewhere

  • Higher Cost - $260 per student per course per semester

The very best experience for students is to learn with a local teacher. This is the ideal independent learning solution - students have access to a large catalog of course options with someone locally available to provide support. It can seem daunting to take on the task of learning a new LMS in order to support students. 

The great thing about an RVA partnership is this: we are here to support districts in this endeavor - our team continues to grow! This year, we have three blended learning coordinators who are visiting partner districts across the state to increase comfort level with using digital curriculum in a classroom and overseeing online coursework for students. If you’d like to learn more about the difference between local and network teachers or want to schedule a time for myself or one of our fantastic Blended Learning Coordinators to visit your district, please get in touch!

Athena Podolak