ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF QUALITY ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCES

  • In order to fulfill the Online Experience requirement through incorporating the 20 hours of online learning experiences, it should be noted that quality online learning experiences have common characteristics and meet METS (Michigan Educational Technology Standards - http://www.techplan.org/). While each experience may not address every characteristic, it is assumed that upon completion of the minimum collective 20 hours of experiences, each of the following characteristics will have been represented:

    Characteristics of Online Learning

    Explanation

    Content Alignment and Use of Media 

    Every experience is not only aligned with METS but must also be aligned to Content Standards that support and enhance your curriculum content.

    • Align with state and local standards, benchmarks, and expectations.
    • Contain learning activities based on sound instructional design methodologies.  
    • Utilize audio, video animation, simulations, and other engaging multimedia.
    • Provide opportunities to use online tools and applications that make learning more relevant to the real world.

    Sustained Learning  

    Meaningful online learning activities usually require a period of time for students to practice using technology tools, explore the virtual learning environment and develop a comfort level in operating in this space

    • Provide an opportunity for students to work and learn in a virtual environment for a minimum accumulation of twenty hours.
    • Provide an opportunity for students to develop working relationships with an educator and other students that do not attend their local school.

    Life-long Learning Skills 

    As a result of the online learning experiences, students will develop proficiencies for online learning throughout their lives. They will become life-long learners and will develop and embrace online skills through accessing, analyzing and evaluating information resources; incorporating communication skills; and practicing problem-solving, interpersonal and self-directional skills.

    • Access, analyze, and manage or store information gathered from online sources.
    • Evaluate information from various online resources for accuracy, bias, appropriateness, and comprehensiveness.
    • Create and share electronic documents and multimedia materials with educators and other students.
    • Post messages to threaded discussions, participate in simultaneous chats, blogs, and/or similar forms of communication.
    • Make independent learner decisions.
    • Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others via the internet.
    • Monitor one’s own learning needs and take responsibility for meeting these needs.
    • Demonstrate network etiquette and ethical behavior in an online community context.
    • Navigate Web sites and other online resources such as Podcasts and determine the value and reliability of content collected.
    • Take tests, complete assignments, and respond to instructor feedback in an online environment. 
    • All students are required to be involved in developing working relationships with an educator and other students online. 
    • Look for online collaboration tools, such as a learning management system that must also include collaborative tools such as discussions/forums, Wikis, and Google Docs and Spreadsheets where students can work cooperatively simultaneously and separately.

    Educator, Expert and Student Involvement  

    Students learn best in an online learning environment when they have the opportunity to interact with educators, other adult experts, and with other students.  

    • Include an instructor who can facilitate student learning, online discussions and other activities.  
    • Provide an opportunity for students to work and learn in a virtual environment for a minimum accumulation of twenty hours.  
    • Utilize teacher-driven online assessments or other tools that offer instructor feedback to students.

    Technology Tools

    In the digital world, students need to learn to use the tools that are essential to everyday life and workplace productivity.

    • Use a laptop or desktop computer, Internet connection, MP3 player, camcorder, digital camera, personal digital assistant, cell phone, or other multimedia device.
    • Use spreadsheets, databases, email programs, word processor, Web browser, search engine software, calendar tools, groupware, or graphical and multimedia programs for presentations.

     

HIGH SCHOOL ONLINE COURSE OR LEARNING EXPERIENCE

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