Advocacy & Policy

NAEA Position Statement on Distance Learning in Art Education

[Adopted March 2013; Reviewed and Revised March 2016; Reviewed and Revised February 2021]

NAEA believes that in-person instruction is preferred, but in some situations distance learning is a viable and effective method of instruction. Distance art education encompasses both the use of e-learning technologies that support face-to-face instruction (such as blended, hybrid, or flipped classrooms) as well as those that substitute for face-to-face delivery. These technologies are beneficial in many settings including K-12, colleges, universities, museums, and community-based programs among others.

Distance education is defined as “institution-based formal education where the learning group is separated and where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources and instructors” (Schlosser & Simonson, 2006, p. 1).

Distance art education can meet the diverse needs of today’s learner locally, as well as globally, making it accessible to a variety of learners to accommodate individual learning styles and situations. Recognizing these technologies are not equally accessible for all learners and educators, institutions supporting distance learning must address and provide for this need.

Among those are learners in alternative learning settings, home schools, home-bound for medical reasons, those in need of flexible scheduling, and learners who prefer distance delivery of instruction.

When used in K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and museums, high quality, effective distance learning in art education includes and is supported by:

  • Distance educators who are knowledgeable in the primary concepts and structures of effective distance learning and are able to use a range of technologies, both existing and emerging, to effectively engage learners in the visual arts.
  • Having and using appropriate technology to accomplish its objectives and enable dynamic teaching and learning of the wide range of visual art curricula.
  • Evaluation of learners using a variety of formative and summative assessment methods and technologies.
  • Ongoing revision of course design and instruction based on the feedback from students, peers, and self-reflection.
  • Technical support and professional development provided for learners and educators by the sponsoring institution.

NAEA believes that in the K12 setting, high quality, effective distance learning in art education also includes:

  • Curriculum aligned with local, state and national visual arts standards using multiple strategies and technologies to engage and assess authentic student learning.
  • Design and instruction by effective educators who are certified/licensed in visual art as defined by NAEA’s Professional Standards for Visual Arts Educators (NAEA, 2009).


Schlosser, L., & Simonson, M. (2006). Distance education: Definition and glossary of terms (2nd ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. International Association for K-12 Online Learning. (2011). National standards for quality online teaching. Retrieved from

Southern Regional Education Board. (2006). Online teaching evaluation for state virtual schools. Retrieved from

Southern Regional Education Board. (2006). Standards for quality online teaching. Retrieved from