Whether you are implementing online learning for credit recovery, individual courses and/or full-time schooling, there are common implementation practices that you should examine and work through to ensure the program’s success.
As you begin to research online learning options for your students, there are some key success factors to consider. These best practices were gathered by surveying 200+ educators who have recently implemented some form of online learning in their school or district.
- Reporting tools/ progress monitoring – Reporting and progress monitoring tools are critical to the success of an online learning program. Because there can be less face-to-face interaction in which a student could provide verbal or body language feedback of understanding, the progress monitoring tools to gauge student understanding become crucial for teachers to know how students are doing and if intervention is needed. Additionally, these tools produce immediate and specific feedback to guide personalized instruction.
- Availability of teachers to assist struggling students – Every student struggles with different topics in a course; therefore, it is extremely important to have a teacher available to assist so that the student does not become frustrated and disengaged. This finding reinforces that teachers continue to be a critical component of the learning process, regardless of whether the online program is taught in a virtual or blended program.
- Instructors well trained in delivering online courses – Training is always crucial to the success of any program in schools, whether technology-based or not.
- Offering rigorous and engaging curriculum – Survey respondents also identified rigorous and engaging curriculum as a key success factor for all three types of online learning programs. Engaging curriculum helps keep the student moving forward and focused, and well-designed curriculum also provides different methods of delivering content to accommodate different learning styles.