Online learning has many uses and has its history in correspondence courses. Students would enroll in these courses and get all of the materials sent to them via mail. After completing the work, they would send it back and receive credit for the course. Online learning is similar except for the fact this exchange happens immediately inside the LMS for the course being provided. One of the biggest effects of online learning is the accessibility it has provided to people taking the course.
School districts have increasingly found uses for online learning outside the initial goal of getting cyber students to return to the district. This article will examine some of those use cases.
One of the uses of online learning is to offer AP courses. Many of our districts are small and rural. Because of this, offering a large range of AP courses can prove to be difficult. To provide a good experience for their students, districts are using online learning to offer a variety of AP courses. Of course, this is not limited to AP courses. There are also districts using online learning to offer honors, electives, and technical courses. These are all areas that are hard to meet with a small teacher population.
Short-term Teacher Vacancy Coverage
Another of the uses for online learning is to cover teacher vacancies. Some of our districts have used online learning to cover in school positions that they were having problems filling. The two areas that this has been done the most are foreign language and science. In once instance, a district was covering for maternity leave. In another, they had a mid-year departure of a science teacher and were having trouble hiring for that position.
One of the final uses for online learning is student credit recovery. We had one program this year who was able to use it to graduate two students who came into their senior year with the same amount of credits as a sophomore. Because the courses are work at your own pace, they were able to buckle down and complete over two years of school over the course of one year. This took an extraordinary amount of work, but they were successful!
Beyond the three mentioned above, our districts have used online learning for many other uses. From educating students stuck at home, to those traveling abroad, online learning has found a great home at our school districts. I am excited to see what other uses they come up with during the upcoming school year.