Have you been called to a meeting just to learn of a new project so vast it will take years to complete? In the back of your mind, you know a quick exit is in order, but you stay. Why? You know kids will be reached. You see the big picture. Most importantly, your brain has already etched pictures of students needing this opportunity.
What is the project? A self paced eLearning opportunity for students. Before you start to chuckle to your self, yes, I realize the astronomical amount of work ahead. Unfortunately, so do my two colleagues also called to the meeting and they both have one foot out the door. I too was standing on the threshold needing to get a better grasp of the project and more importantly make sure we are on the same page with administration.
Our principal’s directions were pretty broad which gave us lots of room for “out of the box” thinking and creating. Basically, she wanted a self paced academy for students at risk of dropping out. Seat time has been waived by the state of Louisiana, student schedules would be flexible, and a strong career component was needed. Oh, and she wanted it to begin in a little over a month with a few students.
My colleagues (and friends), Caroline Croad and Ashley Hooter, and myself began to brainstorm over the next few days to discover how this would look for our students. This was followed by general research to present back to administration to ensure we are all on the same page prior to moving forward.
What was our general rough sketch?
- Start small and double in size each year until reach max
- Full running program will take at least three years due to non funding and approximately 200 hours needed to create each course
- Change student focus group from only at-risk to a variety including TOPS and early graduation needs at an approximate 50% ratio between at-risk and non at-risk students
- Courses offered based on Career Diploma and TOPS/Core 4
- Interactive elearning format addressing higher order thinking skills not just software based
- Use of our existing LMS – Edu 2.0
- Integrate PBL possibly through a cross curricular project per semester
- Existing credit recovery software, A+ would be a supplement while we are developing courses, but they would have resources available via LMS.
- Career component will be a key component
We didn’t take a quick exit. In fact, we are pretty excited about the possibilities. This gives you only a brief look into our project, but we will update regularly.
Do you have any tips or ideas? We would love to hear them!