Our Blended Learning* Model
OJA students learn primarily on campus, in a regular school environment. Prior to the academic year, the school and OJA determine each student’s schedule of courses, with consultation from the family. Students rotate between instruction in traditional classrooms and time in OJA classes, in a school-designated location on campus. Students receive instruction online and work in-person with a learning specialist for OJA classes rather than a traditional teacher. The traditional teachers work designing student-learning pathways, creating materials and assessing student work.
Online learning allows for student-centered skill development. With individualized goals, skills may be scaffolded into the content. This allows students to not only cover the required content, but also master the skills needed for learning and life success. Our teachers monitor student progress data regularly. They can then use that information to refine the student’s assignments according to their needs and plan more targeted instruction as they master each milestone.
OJA’s program is based on formative assessment where students are assessed throughout the learning process rather than just with tests at the end of a unit. This allows students to know their grade at all times. As students see how each assignment grade and their effort directly relate to their overall course grade, they build internal motivation. Students move forward only when they have demonstrated mastery of a given topic.
Additional feedback is built into the system so students always know their progress and have motivation to stay on pace. Students can see where they are, what they have done and how much is left in the section. Pacing and performance are tracked using green, yellow and red icons associated with each course. In selected classes, students also can earn badges and move up levels as they master skills and show perseverance.
OJA’s blended learning is designed to have support from a learning specialist sitting with them for all or part of their online time, while allowing for a fully customizable student-centered online learning platform.
Statistics on the Blended Learning Model show that students who participate in blended learning environments consistently score higher than peers in both traditional schools and online only environments. One example is the Carpe Diem Collegiate High School in Arizona where students perform 27% higher than peers in their state and 35% better than those in their district. Though research is only now taking a closer look at following the progress of students with learning differences in blended learning environments, all early indicators show that their progress matches or exceeds that of at level blended learning peers.
* Definition of Blended Learning:
- Data capture that allows personalized instruction
- A meaningful online component
- A significant, supervised onsite component