This is the third blog in a series where we will explore excellence in online curriculum for secondary education and what to consider when partnering with an online learning provider.
Students are more engaged and try harder when instruction and tasks are meaningful to them. Motivation to learn can come from personally relevant goals which can be developed when students have personal choice and control over their own learning.
Students learn more when information is presented in different ways -- direct instruction, text, audio, video, and interactive simulations are just a few examples.
Research Put into Practice: Apex Learning Curriculum and Pedagogy examines what it means for a student to learn and presents research pointing to the elements of curriculum design that are necessary for supporting learning in middle and high schools.
The stakes are high for students today who face increased challenges of globalization and changing economic and social opportunities. To prepare secondary students for success in college, work and life, curriculum must prepare them to develop expertise, accomplish complex tasks and solve complex problems.
A recent article in Slate, part of a series covering the rise of online learning, profiles the author’s experience using one vendor’s digital curriculum. He was bored and unmotivated. The author also questioned the rigor of the courses, specifically the structure and how concepts were presented.
For non-traditional students, outside factors can often interfere with a student’s learning in a traditional brick and mortar setting. Digital curriculum can be an empowering experience for these students. In traditional teacher-centered classrooms, non-traditional students often indicate that they have little control over their learning. In a digital curriculum environment, however, they are often better able to make choices over the path and pace of their learning. Digital content simply affords options for non-traditional students that often better meet their learning needs.