Practices for Success
Successful online learning involves not only the effort of the student, but the effort and support of mentors, teachers, administrators, course providers, and parents. This level of support is affected by the availability of resources and how those are balanced to meet legislative requirements. Support strategies also vary depending on the individual needs of the student, so it is important for the support system to be flexible and staffed with people who are knowledgeable about options.
In summarizing contributing factors for student success, a variety of practices were identified. In looking forward, online educators reflect on the challenges and offer strategies to continue to improve and advance online learning.
Most significant practices for student success
- A good match
- A good start
- Strong academic and social support
- Effective teachers
- Relevant and engaging curriculum
- Timely feedback
- A sense of community and partnership--students, teachers, parents, administrators, and providers
- Stable technology
- Administrative leadership
- Mastery-based learning options
Looking forward with online learning
Online educators reflect on the challenges and offer strategies to continue to improve and advance the quality of the online learning experience for students. The key areas of focus include student engagement, online instruction and vision:
- Improve screening to make sure online learning is a good match.
- Review full-time placements carefully to check the student is prepared.
- Provide comprehensive orientations to give students a good start.
- Increase parent engagement to enhance support for the student.
- Connect students with learning centers (onsite labs) to maintain consistent connection and support engagement.
- Group students by grade or subject to foster collaborative learning and focused support.
- Add Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) opportunities to provide interesting options for engagement.
- Utilize technology and social media to develop new and fresh learning options.
- Develop more project-based curriculum with opportunities for students to work together.
- Create an online community environment where students can share ideas and learn from educators, professionals, and each other.
- Develop higher levels of course curriculum to meet student needs and interests.
Vision and goals
- Define “success” in alternative/online learning to establish a more common understanding.
- Create opportunities to share and learn among our online community.
- Discuss longer term vision and goals in the state to foster coordinated planning and direction-setting with districts.
- Advocate to better align ALE audit and assessment requirements with online learning practices for effectiveness and efficiency.
- Advocate for full funding to support effective online learning practices.