Note: this is part 4 of 5 in the series "Overcoming the Challenges of Online Learning"
An online high school courses run like this will quickly dissolve into chaos. The typical student has no ability to estimate how much time an assignment will take. Left to their own devices they will wait until an hour before an assignment is due and complain when they don't get it done. We quickly realized this and decided to make some changes.
|Image by Tricia Wang via Flickr|
Our learning management system (we are using BrainHoney) does a nice job of tracking the amount of time a students spends on an item. We can pull reports detailing a students activity for each day. This has led to some very interesting conversations as students claim "I'm always studying" yet the report indicates they are spending less than an hour a day on their coursework.
Our goal is to help student learn to be disciplined. We understand, however that teenagers are still learning and developing these skills. In addition to the academic knowledge we seek to impart, we hope that they also gain valuable life-skills that are transferable to all aspects of life.
Check out my other posts in this series:
1. Lousy, Inflexible Course Content - making your courses better.
2. Is that your work? - Overcoming the challenge of cheating.
3. The Hallway Conversation - finding ways to encourage authentic conversations between students and instructors.
4. Pacing and Scheduling - helping students stay on schedule and learn discipline.
5. How does this work? - providing first hand experience to families who have no clue.