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The International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC)

The International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC) is a distance education certification program dedicated to the mission of promoting quality in distance education through the establishment and monitoring of standards for course delivery. IDECC is dedicated to providing resources that aid in the understanding of issues related to distance learning and encourage its effective use. IDECC provides a service to distance education course providers with its program to review course delivery in light of the established Standards and to issue IDECC certification to those courses structured to ensure quality delivery. Regulatory agencies often require proof that such standards have been met, which IDECC certification documents.

IDECC is a program of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). In 2000, ARELLO approved the formation of IDECC to extend the scope of its involvement in distance education. The ARELLO Board of Directors then assigned their Distance Education Council to administer distance education programs ARELLO would be involved with. The Distance Education Council, now Education Certification Committee, is made up of regulatory and educational specialists from across the U.S. and Canada. The Education Certification Committee maintains and oversees a group of highly qualified consultants to manage and direct the programs that are in place within IDECC. The Education Certification Committee maintains authority in forging IDECC policy while ultimately reporting to and falling under the authority of the ARELLO Board of Directors.

With the proliferation of distance education in regulated industries like real estate, appraisal and other licensed industries, many governmental regulatory agencies are concerned about issues found in distance education delivery systems. A few of these issues include how to verify student identity, verify clock hours or measuring appropriate levels of interactivity within the course. Some regulatory agencies have chosen to not allow distance education as a viable option to traditional classroom education in their jurisdictions because of these major concerns. However, as a substantial portion of existing research suggests, there is no significant difference between the outcomes found in the traditional classroom verses the distance education environment.

IDECC has been a catalyst for helping regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada understand the dynamic issues in distance education and helping them insure quality in courses they approve for credit in their industry.

Some who are familiar with educational issues in the field of real estate may recognize IDECC affiliations. The IDECC program has its roots in the ARELLO Distance Education Certification Program. A primary reason for founding IDECC was to establish a separate entity not specifically involved with any one regulated industry as the ARELLO program is with real estate. If one examines state rules and regulations governing real estate, often you will find the name "ARELLO Distance Education Certification Program". This is because many regulators require, by law, a course provider to first have their course ARELLO certified prior to approval for credit. Since, the name "ARELLO" exists in state rules and regulations it was deemed necessary to have two separate entities, ARELLO and IDECC. Fundamentally, the ARELLO Distance Education Certification Program serves the real estate industry while IDECC was formed to serve all other industries and academic institutions.

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