Practices for Success
Use curriculum and technology effectively
With strong teaching and good support in place, a student’s online experience can still be influenced by the quality of the curriculum and the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver it. Participants were asked what qualities they valued and what features they wished were present to improve student performance.
Valued Qualities of Curriculum and Technology Platforms
- Curriculum is rigorous, engaging, and well-aligned vertically.
- System is easy to navigate: structured, logical, consistent and sequential. Assessments are aligned with content. Calendar is accessible.
- Supports multiple methods for contact: message, chat, synchronous instruction, 24/7 support.
- Supports mastery learning. Retake tests from pool of questions. Provides diagnostics for credit recovery.
- Supports rolling enrollment.
- Data is accessible and actionable regarding student progress, pace, and activity. System provides summary performance reports rather than accessing each student’s progress one by one.
Desired Features of Curriculum and Technology Platforms
- Look and perform like other systems students choose to use, such as instant messaging and social media. Provide the ability to see who is online and allow teachers and students to interact with each other in the moment.
- Implement more opportunities for students to share ideas in collaborative and project work.
- Improve high order and critical thinking in activities and assessments.
- Provide easier access to actionable data for teachers, mentors, and administrators.
- Maintain quality teaching methods (avoid multiple choice questions), expand mastery learning, support proctored testing, and include more tutorials for complex topics.
- Anticipate and expeditiously resolve technology issues with school district firewalls and filters.