I am on a committee to create online learning courses for high school students. The goal is to share resources to offer classes that can't run due to enough enrollment. (ex. Chinese, AP Courses,etc.) I am looking for current programs that are effective. Any ideas? What elements are important to making distance learning/online learning work for high school students?
Our high school in Massachusetts is planning to experiment by offering classes through Virtual High School. We do not have details yet, but apparently we are scheduled to offer their classes beginning later this spring or in the fall. You can see their site online at www.govhs.org
As a guidance counselor, I have thought we needed to have access to "canned" classes for students who require long-term tutoring. We limit tutoring to 5 hours a week to cover all subjects and cannot find tutors for some subjects. There are also occasions where a student is getting credit for only limited work in a subject.
Hey, I am an account executive for a e-learning company...InfoSource. We have a great LMS (Learning Management System) that allows you to create these online courses and track who has done what. Obviously, there is a cost, but my idea was to get enough schools together and do a group purchase, greatly reducing the cost and making it effective for smaller schools...with little to no budgets. Speaking with my manager, many schools could share the same LMS and with permissions, noone would be able to see others content.
Good luck developing an online course program for you high school students! I work at an education non-profit as director of EdTech Leaders Online (http://edtechleaders.org ) and we provide online training to help high school teachers develop effective online courses and other capacity building training to set up local virtual course programs. You can email me email@example.com if you want to know more.
Not sure about the programs that are effective, but as for important elements that make distance/online learning successful, I believe it comes down to quality (of the teaching strategy and the evaluative instruments), cost efficiency and access to required technologies (bandwidth, up-to-date computers, internet, software etc).
Also, have you heard about edutainment software for online learning? It's controversial, and some say it distracts from the learning process whereas other claim it engages the students. Perhaps check it out.