Gateway Gazette

Blended Learning Environment in Summer Programming

 

By Sarah Clark, Principal of Divisional Programming

It is that time of year. Students finishing up their courses, parents making summer plans and schools getting ready for a well-deserved break.

As schools wind down, Summer School is winding up!  Registration for summer courses is in full swing. In Foothills School Division our Summer School program offers a blended approach to learning that offers students layers of support during the learning process.

The best way to describe this blended learning model of instruction is to imagine a cake with three layers (or tiers).  A cake, you ask? Yes, a cake. This will make sense in a moment.

Summer-School-Cake-199x300The bottom layer of the Summer School “cake” is the foundation of the course. This is where you will spend most of you time. The foundation of the course you are taking in based “Online” through an online learning system. Your teacher monitors this environment and assessments will be done through this online course.

The middle layer of the course will provide the student with “teacher directed” instruction. This is when students will come to class and have face-to-face contact with their teacher in a traditional classroom setting. The teacher will provide instructions, assessments, clarifications and deep learning opportunities in order to supplement the online learning. This classroom learning time is essential to the online learning.

The top layer is dedicated to “student-directed” learning. Students have a specific time daily where they can “drop-in”. We call it tutorial time. When they have tutorial time they can direct the teacher in what they need or want to learn about. It can also be viewed as extra help. This tutorial time is optional but highly recommended.

A blended learning environment, such as this one, offers flexibility in programming and ownership of their learning. Students design their days around their needs. Some may only access the bottom layer, others will access all layers, the important thing for students to know is that they are part of the learning process and the educators in the building are there to support them in their learning.

Registration for summer school 2015 closes on June 22nd.  Register at http://summerschool.fsd38.ab.ca

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