Course 1: Discussion Question 1

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    • #26959
      Tamara
      Course Participant
      In your own words, answer the following…

      Describe at least 2 design elements of effective online programs that you feel you are missing  (or are not reaching their potential) in your online program approach.  If implemented in your program, how might the elements improve program success and learning outcomes.

       

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    • #27226
      Ronnelle Sammons

      Tamara,

      I do not currently have my own online learning platform opportunities, however as an administrator I think big picture on how our program is running as a whole. The two design elements I think our program is missing would be design element four/weekly schedules and design element one/hybrid.

      Having a more hybrid focused program, while virtual and when we move back into the building full time, would benefit both the students and staff in my opinion. Although our students require the flexibility of asynchronous lessons and activities they crave moments of synchronous learning. This can be very difficult for my staff, as student’s are in one room together, but in different courses. Furthermore, if they are in the same course they are most likely in different units due to attendance, comprehension, and motivation levels. This makes it very difficult for the staff to plan. I believe using this hybrid model could help structure learning and teaching during virtual times and while in the building.

      Keeping this in mind, having weekly schedules goes hand and hand with the hybrid model. Students would thrive from the predictability while staff would benefit from the structure for lesson planning. If we could get the entire program to follow different variations of the same weekly schedule students would quickly catch on. If they miss days, as they are definitely going to do, they would know what they missed and more easily be able to pick up where they left off.

      As we progress through this professional development together and hopefully more with Mockingbird in the near future, my goal would be for us to get these two components down first, and slowing integrating the other design elements into our program.

      • #27239
        Lisa Morelli

        I feel that our current situation is lacking the timeline. This is important to perform synchronous lessons with the students. We are currently experimenting with schedules with the students, but it has been hard getting them to follow them. Our students require such a flexible schedule is one of the main reasons that they have not been able to follow them. Establishing the timeline is something that needs to be done at the beginning of the school year in order for the students to understand the expectations of the timeline. Unfortunately with COVID, we did not start the year with expectations or timelines. I do not have the answer to the next piece that we are missing, but it is accountability. In our setting I am not sure how to make all of our students accountable. Every student’s situation is unique and different.

        • #27662
          Ronnelle Sammons

          Lisa,

          I agree with you 100% and I believe that having a solid plan from day 1 of the school year is extremely important. These students, and the staff honestly, need a solid schedule to plan effectively. That is the difficult situation we always find ourselves in, whether it be COVID or not, our students have such unique needs it is extremely difficult to meet all of them in one platform or format.

          I am excited to work with this team through the rest of the school year and summer so we can have a solid foundation set for Fall of 2021. I think we are all trying to move in the right directions!

          • #28109
            Kylee Leifer

            I agree with your thought that establishing a timeline should be done in the beginning of the school year!

             

             

        • #28250
          Lany Moore

          We can work collaboratively on how to set a good program for the students. It’s a good thing that we have seen what the needs are of our students. We can start brainstorming as to what is best for them.

      • #27240
        Lisa Morelli

        I feel that our current situation is lacking the timeline. This is important to perform synchronous lessons with the students. We are currently experimenting with schedules with the students, but it has been hard getting them to follow them. Our students require such a flexible schedule is one of the main reasons that they have not been able to follow them. Establishing the timeline is something that needs to be done at the beginning of the school year in order for the students to understand the expectations of the timeline. Unfortunately with COVID, we did not start the year with expectations or timelines. I do not have the answer to the next piece that we are missing, but it is accountability. In our setting I am not sure how to make all of our students accountable. Every student’s situation is unique and different.

      • #28108
        Kylee Leifer

        Two design elements I think are lacking are the weekly schedules and consistent learning path.

        Like my coworkers said above, we have had trouble getting all students to work with their schedules and come to class at the designated period. With our kids, it’s just not possible for a lot of them because of work, kids, and other duties. We have made a schedule for teachers that Humanities are “live” on Tuesday/Thursdays and Math and Science are “live” on Mon/Wed. I’ve found success in posting these “live ” sessions on my Google classroom. I record myself teaching and they do an assignment with it. Not all of the students come to the Google meet, but many more of them do the assignments I post when they can tell I made it specifically for them. It’s just that this needs to be introduced in the beginning of the year for all students to follow from the start! I can tell my students really enjoy the “Live” lessons I post for them. And they make me a more creative teacher too!

         

        • #28251
          Lany Moore

          I like your idea about recording your lesson to make it personal for the students. I will try to do some recordings for my EOC practice as well.

      • #28249
        Lany Moore

        As I was reviewing the different Engagement Strategies, I couldn’t find any that I used in my online class. We didn’t have a lot of students that come to the virtual schedule. When I call them, sometimes they are hesitant to take the call. But I have success in sending messages to them about the day to day work in my google classroom. Two engagement strategies that are beneficial for our students are sprint variation and sequence and chunking. First, sprint variation-embedding different activities in the lesson such as interactive videos for the content, gamified quiz, and the collaborative board will help motivate students to do the self-paced assignments. This will ease their boredom and will give them a chance to interact with other students. Moreover, setting coaching hours are necessary for clarification and understanding of the lessons. Second, sequence and chunking are important in math. I have seen students struggling to do their math without the prerequisite skills. By organizing the information from easy to difficult, the students will get the concept clearly. These are the design elements that I will be working on for my class.

    • #27759
      James YB

      To kind of build on what Ms. Sammons and Mrs. Morelli have stated above, I know that CTE offers unique challenges to a synchronous schedule for our students that may not appear in traditional secondary schools. The upside to these programs is that the CTE students  are usually the most motivated students and, generally, do really well in their Core subjects. The downside is that it requires flexibility that challenges a traditional synchronous structure.

      The CTE instructors have been fantastic when it comes to  scheduling, and I think that once we get the structure down everything will go really well.

      • #28110
        Kylee Leifer

        I agree, I love that our school offers CTE. I think it gives students an extra push of motivation to get their classes done.

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