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Traditional approaches for assuring the quality of print textbooks and other full-course instructional materials typically involve significant work over many months, using a variety of established standards and measures, with formal systems of peer review and expert assessment.

Key Steps

  1. Establish Adoption Cycle: The State Board of Education, or designated entity, creates an adoption cycle for subjects in the state’s core curriculum to ensure that they are reviewed periodically (usually over a defined period of years).
  2. State Proclamation/Call for New Materials: The State Board of Education, or designated entity, publishes a request for standards-aligned, accurate materials in a given subject and grade level (with given specifications, including for example, accessibility requirements).
  3. Bidders Conference: Interested parties convene for a question and answer session about the proclamation’s focus and requirements.
  4. Initial Materials Development and Submission: Publishers create materials consistent with the proclamation’s requirements and submit them to the state agency.
  5. Expert Panel Review: The state agency identies expert educators from across the state in the relevant subject area at issue in the proclamation to serve on a review committee. They analyze the material for alignment to state standards and identify factual errors. After an initial period of independent review, experts are convened to make consensus decisions about whether the content meets the state’s needs or falls short in certain areas, and to identify further questions for the publishers.
  6. Publishers’ Response and Committee Recommendation: Publishers respond to the review committee’s questions and requirements. If the committee accepts the publisher’s response, it will recommend that the State Board of Education or relevant authority put the material on the state approved content list.
  7. Public Comment and Action: The State Board (or other entity) considers the committee’s recommendation, including inviting public input, and then adopts or rejects the content.

This approach, and the quality assurance process timeline, varies somewhat state-by-state, but this model’s core elements appear in most jurisdictions.

Reference: Ensuring the Quality of Digital Content for Learning

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