Courses consist of groups of common competencies, usually broken down into learning modules, with lessons and corresponding assessments. Of the five learning journeys, online courses are among the most common. Why?
Courses allow students to select subjects based on needs, interests, or talents. Some students may wish to take their electives through online courses, while others may want to enrich themselves by taking a dive deeper into a subject that interests them.
While the course is a pre-set package of online reading, video, audio, and interactive activities with corresponding assessments, students can customize their required pace charts to determine the amount of time they want to spend on the course and the amount of work they’ll have to do each week to get there. Pace charts typically recommend that students spend two or three weeks per competency, but some students may need less or more time.
The course instructor is critical. In addition to a welcome call in which the instructor meets virtually with the student and their guardian, the instructor maintains regular contact with the student, offers one-on-one virtual assistance through video conferencing, and provides additional support as needed. The instructor also assesses all of the student’s work.
At the end of a competency, students and their instructors meet virtually and have a conversation that reveals whether the student has truly mastered the competencies. It’s traditionally called a Discussion-Based Assessment (DBA). The result of the DBA may be that a student does not move onto other competencies until they have mastered the DBA or they may move onto another competency, but they must schedule DBAs as they complete a competency.
In the customized learning model, students can re-submit anything they need to until they achieve competency. Students can take and re-take DBAs as often as they need to and are encouraged to use their notes to answer questions. They can do the same with assessments and get as much or as little help as they need from their instructors.
Interested in what a typical day is like?
Meet Lexy: a homeschooled high school junior.
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