My students are fourth grade ESL students in Seoul, South Korea. We consider the Common Core State Standards because we attampt to adhere to an American curriculum, but we do not have a specific requirement to adhere to them. The following are three of the standards I feel would have the biggest impact on the success of my students in an e-learning classroom.
1. "Information is provided to students, parents and mentors on how to communicate with the online instructor and course provider. Instructor information is provided to students with contact, availability, and biographical information. Information on how to contact the instructor via phone, email, and/or online messaging tools is provided within the contact information. If regular contact with the instructor is required as part of the course, clear expectations for meeting this requirement are posted within the course" (iNACOL, 2011).
I chose this standard because one of the biggest potential problems with e-learning is the lack of someone the students trust to be a part of their experience. I think the biggest thing a traditional classroom offers that e-learning might struggle with is teacher presence and guidance. I chose this because I think every student should know that they are not alone and they have many ways to contact their instructor if they have a problem or question. Having the knowledge they can reach out in need and they have the expectations to talk to an instructor not only builds trust in the course, but helps build motivation for the student.
2. "Online instructor resources and notes are included. Resources and notes to aid online instructors in teaching and facilitating the course are included within the learning management system" (iNACOL, 2011).
I chose this standard because one of the best things about a flipped/blended class is the access to materials that can be replayed/reviewed as many times as the student needs without bothering the teacher or feeling like they are bothering the teacher. This allows a student to gain mastery without feeling embarrassed about asking too many questions in class. Especially in my district where all the students are second language speakers, they can use dictionaries or subtitles to suppliment their learning at their own pace.
3. "Assessment strategies and tools make the student continuously aware of his/ her progress in class and mastery of the content. feedback tools and procedures are built into the course to allow students to periodically self-monitor their academic progress" (iNACOL, 2011).
I chose this standard because feedback is the most important thing for learning. This is gamification 101. Why do people love games so much? Not just because they are fun, but because there is constant feedback directly linked to progress of a particular goal. Having this ability in an e-learning environment is where e-learning can be better than a traditional classroom, not just sufficiently good, or 'as good as'. E-learning offers a possibility that most classrooms are ill equipped for - regular, timely, goal-oriented, and consistant feedback (Wiggins, 2012). Computers are getting good at analyzing and responding quickly. Faster than the average teacher can grade papers, typically, now. That is something that can not just impact my students, but revolutionize learning globally.
I think all the standards listed are important for an effective e-learning environment, but these three are the standards I feel would impact my students the most.
Click below for a more detailed look at the standards I evaluated for an online course.
iNACOL. (2011, October). National standards for quality online courses. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/iNACOL_CourseStandards_2011.pdf
Wiggins, G. (2012). Seven keys to effective feedback. Educational Leadership. ASCD. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/num01/Seven-Keys-to-Effective-Feedback.aspx