Thanks Luis. This is really helpful.
Hi Susan,I'm responding on-list because I'd love to read what other schools are doing in response to your request.At Woodstock, we've been involved with Virtual High School (now called "The VHS Collaborative") for about 6 years and it's a very good fit for us. Our subscription level allows for 25 seats each semester and for the past several years we've been just below capacity. I'd love to grew the program just a little bit more to accommodate 35-50 students each semester. We'll see. It's been a great way for our students, especially 11th and 12th graders, to start exploring more specific areas of interest or to bolster up a transcript. For example, we've had students take VHS science courses when they've exhausted the face-to-face courses we offer here at WUHS and plan on science major in college or medical career.We haven't really used VHS for credit recovery or remediation...more as a way to enrich and expand what we offer face-to-face.Here are some things that help make it work for us.
- students must carve out time during the school day to participate in their online course. The course can fit any where they want in their schedule lieu of a study hall or free block. This helps incredibly with time management. Inevitably, students will need to spend time outside of school to participate in the course. This "protected" time is the foundation and amounts to between 3-4 hours/week. Many of our students tell us that they spend 10-12 hours/week on their online courses.
- students report to our computer lab to participate in their course and to receive tech support from the "site coordinator" (me) and so that I can support them. We take attendance.
- Students attend a brief orientation prior to the start of each semester and also sign a contract so that they recognize that they are taking a "real" course that will appear on their transcript and influence their GPA.
- I send out an email to all students and their parents each week with weekly news, announcements and reminders.For a while I was keeping a database of outcome and need to update it but overall our success rate has been very high...probably a 90% passing rate and very good subjective feedback from students and parents. Students really appreciate the transparency of the courses and the very clear objectives and learning outcomes that are presented at the beginning of each semester.Hope this helps,LuisLuis Bango
Technology Integration Teacher / VHS Site Coordinator
Woodstock Union High School
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On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 4:54 PM, Susan Monmaney <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Hi all,We have an increasing number of students taking online courses -- primarily through Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC.org). I'm interested in hearing what other schools are doing as far as supporting students who are enrolled in online courses. Would you please respond to me off-list and share your school's procedures, successes, and challenges?Thanks for your help,