Oct 20

Critical Thinking

Last week as we considered creating a Learning Community, we briefly shared some ways to encourage critical thinking in an online course. This week, let’s examine some specific instructional strategies that can be used in the online classroom.

To learn more about critical thinking, explore What is Critical Thinking? and the Critical Thinking Toolkit.

Group Work

The following examples are designed for group work, which can be supported by the discussion forum and collaborative tools such as a wiki, Dropbox, or GoogleDocs.

Writing Assignments

These writing assignment examples can be submitted directly to the teacher via the Assignment tool or TurnItIn, or shared with the class to stimulate further discussion.

Need some more examples? Browse the Reusable Learning Objects for Critical Thinking.

Ready to assess critical thinking in your class? Try the Critical Thinking VALUE rubric.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5342

Oct 13

Learning Community

One of the biggest concerns of faculty and students new to online learning is the feeling of disconnection and distance. Creating an interactive learning community can make all the difference for student satisfaction in an online course. In addition, the learning community is a great way to encourage students to think critically about your academic content, to reflect on their learning, and to consider connections between a Christian worldview and the core content to be learned.

 

The Community of Inquiry model of online learning includes the Social Presence and the Cognitive Presence. (We will examine the Teaching Presence in depth later.) Let’s look at some ways to support the Social Presence and Cognitive Presence in your online classroom.

 

Social Presence

Social Presence is “the ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities” (Garrison, 2009).

 

In a face to face class, how do students and the professor get to know each other? They see each other’s faces and body language. They share their ideas in classroom discussion. They may meet each other outside of class to work on additional learning.

 

Online, we need to deliberately set up spaces for students to get to know each other and for you to get to know them. In high quality online programs, students even feel a bond of solidarity and friendship and are excited to meet each other later face to face.

 

Here are some ideas to enhance the social presence of your online classroom:

  • Create an introductions forum for students to get to know each other personally and professionally. Have students share prior knowledge and experience on the content.
  • Create general forums to support the class. Some examples to choose from include:
    • Watercooler
    • General Questions
    • Technical Questions
    • Learning Process Comments
    • Housekeeping Issues
    • Online Chapel
  • If you have a live synchronous time, always include icebreaker times. Have students share the weather where they are, or something interesting from their location.
  • Encourage students to share personal experiences to connect with the content, where appropriate.

 

Cognitive Presence

Cognitive Presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001).

 

 

Talk to your Instructional Facilitator for more ideas or assistance with applying these ideas to your course.  Find these tips and more online in the Online Course Development Support Site.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5340

Oct 06

Stimulating Learning Experiences

As you continue to think about the learning design of your course, consider this week the learning activities and student engagement in your online course.

 How will you provide diverse opportunities for engaging intellectual discovery, inquiry and creative problem-solving? What ways can you provide choices for students to meet learning outcomes?

 

Offline Activities

Just because a course is online doesn’t mean that the student has to stare at a screen the whole time. Here are some ideas for learning activities outside of the online classroom:

 

Using the Forum for More Than “Discussion”

The discussion forum is great for interaction, but what else can you do with it besides “discuss”?! Here are some ideas to bring in some variety:

 

Choices

Consider how you can provide choices for students to meet your learning outcomes.

 

Talk to your Instructional Facilitator for more ideas or assistance with applying these ideas to your course.  Find these tips and more online in the Online Course Development Support Site.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5338

Sep 29

Learning Design: Thinking about Alignment and Assessment

Before you get too far down the path of building your syllabus, we encourage you to think through your learning design. We provide a Storyboard Framework for you to consider the big picture of your course. You will, if you haven’t already, discuss this further with your Instructional Facilitator in the Learning Design Meeting.

Alignment

This week, consider the concept of alignment within the context of assessment. Alignment means that we want to create continuity between the learning objectives, the course activities, the learning materials, and the assessments.

Objectives > Activities > Assessment

 

 

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What are the learning outcomes for this class? Do I have clear guidance from the department curriculum?
  • Are my learning outcomes observable (strong action verbs) and measurable?
  • Are my intended learning activities consistent with all the learning outcomes?
  • Does each intended learning activity help students reach the learning outcome? How does it help them? How do I know they have met or deeply understand the learning outcome? What evidence will I have of the students’ learning for this outcome?
  • Are the feedback and assessment activities consistent with the learning outcomes and the learning activities?

 

Assessments

As you consider the broad strokes of your class, think about your options for assessment. What are some options besides quizzes and exams? Do any of these other options align with your learning outcomes?

 

Converting a course from a face-to-face format to an online format provides an opportunity to rethink and reconsider your usual teaching patterns. Take some time to think through these concepts and integrate these ideas into your plan for your online course.

 

Talk to your Instructional Facilitator for more ideas or assistance with applying these ideas to your course. Find these tips and more online in the Online Course Development Support Site.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5336

Jul 06

Essentials: Structure and Routine in Online Courses

Note: This article was originally published in the Journal of Adventist Education, Distance Education Issue, April/May 2003. I’m reposting it here to give it a new home.

 

Essentials: Structure and Routine in Online Courses
By Janine Lim (p. 16)

Recent studies indicate the importance of consistency and structure for students learning online. Data obtained from surveys of students enrolled in asynchronous (completely online) courses offered by the State University of New York indicate that three factors “contribute significantly to the success of asynchronous online courses. These factors are a course structure that is both clear and consistent, an instructor that interacts frequently and productively with students, and a constructive and dynamic discussion between students and their peers.” [1]

In addition, researchers at the University of British Columbia who evaluated 127 courses offered online “have concluded that appearance and structure can make or break an online course.” [2] Why is structure so important? Higher levels of thinking are impossible in chaotic online courses. Structure is key!

Since 1999, alone or with a team, I have designed six online courses that are available for graduate credit from various universities. The course titles are: “Internet in the Classroom,” [3] “WebQuests,” which was chosen as an exemplary course in a WebCT 2000 study, [4] “Technology Tools for Literacy,” [5] “Active Online Teaching,” [6] “Integrating Technology in the Curriculum,” [7] and “Technology in the Early Elementary Classroom.” [8] All of the classes have been offered at least twice. Because of this experience, I’ve gained an understanding of the importance of routine and structure in online courses.

Given the importance of structure in an online course, we will examine two areas in this article: (1) creating a familiar structure by comparing standard components of face-to-face classes with online classes, and (2) creating course routine by using a consistent template for each module.

Creating a Familiar Structure
Most traditional classrooms are structured in fairly similar ways. Students know where to enter (the door), when to come and go (the class schedule), and how the room is defined (the walls). Students know where to sit (desks and other furniture), where the teacher will be (front, at a desk), which direction to face (arrangement of chairs), and where to look for information they need to copy (chalk board, white board, etc.). These familiar structures are consistent in classrooms around the world.

Many classroom learning experiences also have a familiar structure. The student knows that the class will include reading (a textbook and handouts), listening (lecture or classroom discussion), writing (homework assignments and notes), talking (asking questions, peer discussion, etc.), and evaluation (quizzes and exams).

An online class challenges assumptions about how learning takes place. The student must learn to negotiate the unfamiliar processes of a virtual classroom. Likewise, the teacher must deal with a variety of unfamiliar issues relating to the learning environment—the walls, desks, and chairs of the virtual classroom. Routine and structure provide a safety net and a sense of security for students, letting them know what to expect. Creating a safe learning environment is part of the AVLN standard for integrating faith and learning. Students learn better in a safe and consistent environment. For example, note these student comments from the second week of “Technology in the Early Elementary Classroom” course in the spring of 2002:

  • After the first week, things are easier. I like that the format will stay the same.
  • The organization followed week one and is very easy to follow.
  • Organization is great! I recently had some computer training that was so unorganized it felt like a big waste of time. We spent all of our time getting ready to learn, finding what we needed and then evaluating. Barely any actual learning took place. This course is the exact opposite. [9]

The “Door”
The most intimidating part of an online class may be simply getting enrolled. Instructions (listed both in the syllabus and online) should indicate what skills are necessary to complete the course, as well as the equipment required for class projects. To help students enter the class means dealing with their individual needs. The instructor must provide access to appropriate support services and learning materials.
To assist students, create a window of time when they should first access the course. During this time, check E-mail, phone messages, and mail as often as possible, If your institution has a help desk, tell students when and how to access it. If possible, mail (not E-mail) instructions for getting into the class. Call students on the telephone if they haven’t logged in by the first or second day of the course. Be helpful and patient. Communicate the technical requirements and prerequisites early, so students know whether they have the technical expertise to take the course.

Time of Class
In a face-to-face course, students know when the class begins and ends. The time frame is clearly defined and regular. As you design your virtual classroom, be sure to define the time frame for your students, as well. When are they expected to log in? Do they need to log in a certain number of times a day? A week? How do they provide evidence that they are in class (posting in the discussion area, submitting assignments, reading pages, completing quizzes)?

Be very clear about your expectations. Communicate them in several places (in materials mailed to students, in the syllabus, in the online instructions, etc.). Do students know when they have to turn in assignments? Making these due at a regular time each week helps them get into a routine. Some classes use Sunday night as a weekly deadline. This allows students to use the weekend to finish any incomplete work.

The “Walls”
In a face-to-face class, the four walls of the classroom create a boundary and a feeling of security for students. They learn to trust one another when they realize that only the participants and instructor(s) of the course are listening to their ideas and opinions. In the virtual classroom, the instructor must create a comfortable space for students to share and learn. Most courseware, such as Blackboard and WebCT, provide a secure password-protected method for students to access and “enter” the classroom. Be sure to plan for introductions and other activities that help students get to know and trust one another.

We hear a lot these days about “moving beyond the four walls of the classroom.” In traditional education, this means enrichment experiences using Internet resources, access to experts via E-mail and video conferencing, or other types of creative learning outside the boundaries of the school room. The same can be true in an online course. Many online classes provide links to many resources and Web sites with supplemental material. Since it is difficult to tell how long students spend on various tasks, be careful not to overload them with extra material. Indicate clearly which resources are required reading and which are optional. For example, in the course “Technology in the Early Elementary Classroom,” the “See It” section provides 40 to 60 examples of technology integration for each core subject, such as reading or science. Participants are encouraged to choose the ideas that fit their needs and teaching style.

Within a course, there may be defining walls as well. Some courses divide students into small groups for various learning activities. These walls can be permeable, allowing students to move into other discussion areas and learn from people who are not in their group.

However you define the walls in your online course, keep in mind the needs of your students and provide the necessary support for them to access the resources and experiences of your course.

Dissemination of Content—The “Furniture”
In a traditional classroom, the student enters, sits down at a desk, and listens to the instructor for the majority of the session. Usually, this is when the teacher integrates faith and learning and encourages higher levels of thinking.

As you design your course, consider where students will “sit” to learn. How do they “listen” to you? How will they get the majority of their instruction? Do they need to do most of reading online? Can they print the materials? Do they know they need a fast printer? Do they know you are using multimedia/audio/video? Do they have the necessary software so they can listen to video clips? If not, who will help them install it? Plan to use a simple and consistent instructional structure so that all students will be able to participate.

In my online classes, I have chosen to create the instruction as Web pages. This allows me to control the dissemination of information. I prefer this method because many of my students do not have fast Internet connections and are unable to view fancy multimedia. I also like to have my instruction in a form that is portable from one courseware platform to another (i.e., Blackboard or WebCT). Courseware changes often; I would rather not redo my work each time I teach in a new medium. Web pages are easy to access and print, and they can be created to load quickly. They allow me to guide students through selected resources and links without overwhelming them with information.

Whether you use multimedia, Web pages, or another format, be sure to create a space for instruction that is regular and consistent. This helps students stay on track with the required work. Decide on the “icons” students are to click on to access various areas of the course. Keep these to a minimum to ensure simplicity and ease of use. Think about what students are to accomplish in those areas. Provide documentation that explains the various parts of the course. Later in this article, we will examine ways of making instruction regular and consistent.

Classroom Discussion
The AVLN teaching standards require that online courses address the relational basis of learning. [10] This includes interaction between all of the following: (1) learner and content; (2) learner and learner; (3) learner and teacher; (4) learner and self (reflection); and (4) learner and community (including service). The asynchronous discussion tool in your course can address most types of interaction.

To make your course interaction consistent and constructive, require substantive postings from each student/group during each week or module. Decide how to assess the discussion, and communicate your expectations clearly. Most students aren’t used to being graded on class participation. If they aren’t participating (especially in the first week or two), check up on them by E-mail or phone to make sure they understand that they must post their comments in the discussion area.

In many online classes, students tend to view the discussion area as a place to debate argumentatively, to upload summaries of articles, or to post lengthy opinions. Rarely does the discussion reach the level of dialogue, “a living experience of inquiry within and between people.” [11] Dialogue is “about evoking insight, which is a way of reordering our knowledge-particularly the taken-for-granted assumptions that people bring to the table.” [12] Help students learn to engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers. Some useful strategies for encouraging dialogue can be found at http://www.avln.org/learning/aot/dialogue.htm [link dead].

Monitor the discussion area frequently. Delete offensive posts, and communicate your expectations to the authors of abusive or inappropriate messages. With a little practice, you will find the discussion in your class blossoming. Your students will enjoy your class more because they feel connected to one another, the content, and their instructor.

Homework
In reality, everything in an online course is “homework.” Because of this, you need to find ways to keep students from spending extended periods staring at the computer screen. Create assignments that they can do offline and then report on. Encourage them to print out reading materials rather than reading them off the screen.

For assignments that won’t really enhance the learning of others, have students submit materials directly to the instructor. For assignments that share learning and construct knowledge about the topic, have them post in the discussion area. Pick one or two methods for students to use for submissions and stick with them throughout the course. Students shouldn’t have to learn to do new things or master new software for each assignment unless using software is part of the content for the course. Using technology in the online course already requires extra effort. Make things as simple and easy for your students as possible.

Course Routine and Consistent Templates
Now that we have examined ways to provide for the door, the walls, and the furniture of the virtual classroom, let’s take a closer look at how to create routine. This can be accomplished by incorporating a consistent template for the weeks or modules in the course. Let’s tour four online courses and examine the templates. [13]

“Developing WebQuests”
In this class, participants learn what a WebQuest [14] is and then create one in teams. Each week, the course has two new pages on the Web: (1) introduction and (2) instruction. The introduction page includes a quote, a graphic, the objectives, the assignments, and a note on time management. The instruction page includes links to readings and instructions for creating the portion of the WebQuest due that week. (This section of the course addresses the faith and learning standard and focuses on the thinking processes.) Discussion centers on chapters in the required textbook and the process of creating a WebQuest. Weekly discussions address the relational basis of learning standard and encourage higher-level thinking. The creation of a WebQuest meets the learning experience standard, and the assessment in the course was authentic, based on the completion and quality of the WebQuest created.

    21webquest

“Active Online Teaching”
In this course, the template is very simple. Each page contains a quote (generally taken from the Bible or Ellen G.White’s writings), a picture, and three components: Readings and Links, Discussion Starters, and Experiences. Students respond to both the readings and the experiences in the discussion area.

21aot

“Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum”
In this course, teachers develop instructional units that integrate technology into the curriculum. Experiences and examples modeling the integration of technology are included.

The template for this course includes six components:

  • Readings and Discussion (faith, thinking, and relational standards);
  • Experience (shown below)—a project created from the student’s point of view (experience and support standards);
  • Examples—includes lesson plans, sample assessment tools, and more (this allows for the individuality of learners—they can choose what applies to their situation);
  • Application—a culminating activity for the module, such as a lesson plan, a presentation for the school board, or an assessment plan (assessment and experience standards);
  • Assessment—information about the number of points possible and criteria used to evaluate participation for that week (assessment standard);
  • Evaluation—participants evaluate the course (assessment standard).

21itc2

“Technology in the Early Elementary Classroom”
This course takes an in-depth look at ways to integrate technology in core subject areas (reading, writing, math, science, and social studies). The course homepage was designed to be a warm, inviting space, using primary colors.

21teec

Each component is linked from the first page and has its own separate page. The template includes

  • A short paragraph introducing the module;
  • A quote related to the module;
  • Read It: required and optional readings on that week’s topic;
  • Talk It: discussion questions for the week;
  • See It: 40 to 60 technology integration ideas and examples for that subject;
  • Do It: choices for creating a student project example using KidPix or a digital camera. Projects are posted in the discussion area for peer review;
  • Manage It: classroom management tips for a technology-rich classroom;
  • Software Feature: exemplary software packages in that subject area;
  • Web Share: two or three “must see” Web sites.

Components to Choose
When creating a template for your online course, choose a few components to include in each module. Here are some possibilities to get you started:

Readings Assessment Application
Discussion Quizzes Papers
Journal Tests Portfolio
Experiments Activities Projects
Simulation Group work Problems
Modeling Research (library or Web) Lectures
Examples Case studies Lecture notes
Student-created questions    


As you create your course, keep in mind the AVLN standards for online teaching. [15] Be sure to plan ways to integrate faith and learning, both in the curriculum, “cyber chapel” or class devotions, and in your interactions with students. Encourage human interaction and relationships in your course, while providing stimulating learning experiences and appropriate assessment.

With some careful thought and design, you can create a virtual classroom with structure and routine—and one that addresses the AVLN standards. Your students will feel comfortable in the safe learning environment you have created and will have a rewarding learning experience.
_________________________
Janine Lim is an Instructional Technology Consultant at the Berrien County Intermediate School District in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is an active Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN) board member and chair of the AVLN Course Committee. She also teaches online regularly for AVLN, the Berrien County ISD, and the ATA Technology Academy, a Michigan grant project.

___________________________________________
NOTES AND REFERENCES

1. Karen Swan, “Virtual Interaction: Design Factors Affecting Student Satisfaction and Perceived Learning in Asynchronous Online Courses,” Distance Education 22:2 (2001), pp. 306-331.
2. Kelly McCollum, “Researchers Pick Best and Worst Web Courses,” The Chronicle of Higher Education 44 (February 27, 1998), p. A29.
3. Offered through Berrien County Intermediate School District and the Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN). Offered for credit through Andrews University, Grand Valley State University, and Western Michigan University.
4. For more information on the WebCT Exemplary Course project, visit http://webct.com/exemplary. This course is offered through the Berrien County Intermediate School District and the Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN). Offered for credit through Andrews University, Grand Valley State University, and Western Michigan University.
5. Offered as a partnership between the Berrien County Intermediate School District and Andrews University.
6. Offered through the Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN). Team designed with Shirley Freed and Marilyn Eggers.
7. Offered through the Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN). Team designed with Marilyn Eggers.
8. Offered through the Ameritech Technology Academy grant project in Michigan. Offered for credit through Central Michigan University and Western Michigan University. Team designed with Marilyn Western. To be offered through the Adventist Virtual Learning Network (AVLN) in the summer of 2003.
9. These are actual participant comments from the Week Two required feedback questions.
10. See http://www.avln.org/standards.htm.
11. William Isaacs, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together (New York: Currency, 1999), p. 9.
12. Ibid. p. 45.
13. If you would like access to view any of these courses, please e-mail me at janine@janinelim.com.
14. A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. See http://webquest.sdsu.edu for more information.
15. See http://www.avln.org/standards.htm.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5321

Jul 06

3 Simple Rules of Facilitating Online Discussion

3 Simple Rules of Facilitating Online Discussion

The role of the instructor in online discussion includes that of a facilitator. The following three basic rules are compiled and adapted from Connected University’s Online Faculty Training course.

  1. In the first week, respond to every participant’s introduction posting and make them feel welcome.
  2. After the initial response to participants, try to respond at least once to each participant every week or so, depending on the size of the class. Note: I’ve tried this, and it started to feel forced. So I went back to my original rule: post when you have of value something to say! See #3.
  3. Instructor posts should deepen the conversation.
    • Validate especially strong points without praising the person.
    • Ask questions. Challenge those on the right track to extend themselves even further.
    • Redirect those participants who aren’t quite hitting the nail on the head to more closely approximate what you’re looking for in their understanding of the concepts involved.

Note: This was first written for the AVLN Active Online Teaching course in 2002.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5318

May 07

Harnessing the Leadership Potential of Online Adjunct Faculty

USDLA 2014 session by Jennifer Varney and Amie Ader-Beeler from Southern New Hampshire University

At Southern New Hampshire University, they have a standardized curriculum, where the online faculty are teaching. They have 8 week courses for undergraduate, and 11 week courses for graduate. They have about 600 adjuncts, and 30% of them in any semester are on their first time teaching the course.

The challenges they were trying to address are similar to many of us:

  • Providing a consistency of experience
  • Consistency of grading
  • Having key performance indicators
  • Measuring faculty performance
  • The bandwidth of administration, i.e. scaling measuring, monitoring and coaching

They started with organizational goals and recommend we do the same: what is important to measure? What are we promising to students? What is important to our university?

From that, you can get key behaviors – things that the faculty have control on. This is what you want to focus on.

They use Blackboard – and some main areas they are concerned about are:

  • The welcome to the student. The orientation, the personality of the class. The instructor paints the classroom space in the students’ head. Nice visual!
  • Discussion & dialogue between faculty and students.
  • Announcement area – where the faculty give real-world connections for the content
  • Grade center / gradebook / feedback

Need to define the areas in the course that the faculty should be working.

From defining the key behaviors, you can move to creating expections for those key behaviors.

For example, in discussion, they should bring in their own ideas, they should recognize student strengths. In feedback, they need to work on timeliness.

They gave their good instructors an opportunity to be a lead instructor. They get access to their assigned 25 instructor’s courses, they they interact, coach, and support them. The team leads are organized by discipline. This makes them feel more invested in the institution, and makes all the adjuncts feel more connected to the institution.

In the team space, they are sharing best practices, providing ongoing faculty training, discipline specific coaching, and recognizing successes.

This was an amazing session full of concepts and suggestions that we can use to improve our online faculty support.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5314

May 07

Game Based Lessons: An Adult Education Experiment

By Henrietta Irizarry-Ortiz and Kimberly Gates from the Sheridan Technical Center.

In this session at USDLA 2014, Henrietta and Kimberly shared some background on game based learning, and then told the story of how they collaborated to experiment with game based education for adult learners.

They talked about why gaming gets a bad rap – violence, immersion, cocooning. However, video games can increase student engagement in real world problems. One interesting study shared was by Constance Steinkuehler on the differences in student reading for games and school reading. Watch more about it here. The main point is that interest highly influences performance. Another point was that we should use school to meet kids’ goals instead of to meet “our” goals. CHOICE: Using student interest as the main driver for their education.

Advice to parents is to pay attention to what games your kids are playing – and to help them reflect on the process and what they are learning from the experience. Self-correcting, persistence, how they are thinking.

The experiment was to have high school students design game based learning for the adult education students. They used Game Maker software and Blender.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5312

May 07

First Course Success: Using Data to Predict Program Success

This action research at USDLA 2014 was presented by Karen Ferguson & Renee Aitken from Northcentral University. They were looking at students’ first course success as a potential predictor for their overall program success. They are serving working adults, and they start a set of classes every Monday.

They took an interesting presentation approach by first having the audience discuss in small groups whether we thought the first course success could predict program success or not. In that discussion, other potential factors were suggested, including the important of how the student liked the teacher, how they liked the LMS, their completion of a previous course, etc. We also discussed what factors might influence attrition, including a non-responsive instructor, life factors, the amount of work/rigor, self-directed ability.

In their study, they looked at the student’s occupation, students’ grade in the Foundations in Graduate Studies course, their introduction to online and higher ed for adult students, and if that GPA might be a predictor of persistence.

This presentation was very interesting to me as we are looking at various variables for student successful completion of courses, with our greatest registrations from students who are filling in the gaps in their schedule or required general education courses.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5310

May 07

Why Thurgood Marshall College Fund is Building Blended Lab Schools

Presented at USDLA 2014 by Mickey Revenaugh from Connections Learning and Juontonio Pinckney from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

I attended this session because I’m very interested in other partnerships between higher ed and K12. It’s something we are trying to strengthen within our system, so it’s always nice to hear what others are doing. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is looking to create partnerships to increase the success rates of black males in particular. They are starting by partnering with the high school that is in the same town or affiliated with an HBCU in that town. In addition, they are partnering with Connections Learning to add a blended learning space – that is way beyond the traditional lab of computers for taking online classes. It’s a space to inspire students – that is attractively organized, includes space to collaborate, discuss, access online resources, and even has a fitness center! I am very intrigued by the convergence of whole person education, personalization, online, face-to-face, and reaching an underserved population. Inspiring!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.janinelim.com/?p=5308

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