6 Ways a Virtual Learning Program Improves Student Success
Allowing students to take fully virtual courses can feel like a big step for educators. After all, online learning does require a greater level of independence and self-motivation than traditional classroom learning. But, when implemented strategically, a virtual learning program can bolster student achievements and create new opportunities to learn.
What is a Virtual Learning Program?
A virtual learning program is just what it sounds like: a program or collection of courses based on online learning. Digital courses and web-based learning tools help students refine their skills and learn in a way that makes sense for their needs.
How a Virtual Learning Program Helps Students Succeed
Virtual students have to take ownership of their own learning, understand how to manage their time and take initiative to reach out for help when it’s needed. This can feel like a lot to expect of high school students—but for some, that independence, ownership, and the flexibility that comes with it are just what’s needed to thrive academically.
Here, we’ve put together the top six ways a well-planned virtual program can help improve student achievement:
1. Expands Course Offerings
This generation of students is all about options. Still, tight budgets, limited numbers of interested students, and staffing shortages make offering the full breadth of courses students want challenging, especially in small districts.
A virtual program can be a cost-effective solution to offer your students a wider variety of subjects like world languages, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and electives, such as digital photography and psychology, without putting a strain on resources. Expanding your course catalog can help students stay engaged in learning, explore subjects they are passionate about, and enter postsecondary education or the workforce with an advantage.
2. Provides Credit and Unit Recovery
For some students, a traditional classroom environment simply isn’t where they thrive. When students fall behind in credits, a virtual program can provide an alternative that offers more flexibility, supports personalized learning, and expedites credit recovery.
Whether students need full credit recovery, unit recovery, or original credit, virtual courses can help struggling learners work at their own pace, experience academic success, and get back on track to graduate with their cohort.
3. Supports Accelerated Learners
When students are working above grade level, they can easily become disengaged and frustrated in the classroom.
A virtual learning program can allow accelerated students to take more advanced courses that your school or district might not provide, such as Advanced Placement® courses, higher-level math and science, and electives specific to their postsecondary goals. Plus, progressing through the material at their own pace can keep these bright students engaged and excited about learning.
4. Solves Resource and Scheduling Issues
When resources are limited, it can be hard for schools and districts to offer students the curriculum and educator support they need. A virtual learning program can help you accommodate students in need of specific courses to meet graduation requirements or those with scheduling conflicts due to student activities.
Virtual courses can also help to quickly fill course gaps due to a lack of dedicated or qualified staffing with highly trained, state-certified online teachers.
5. Accommodates All Students
Virtual courses can be a huge benefit for any student who is on a temporary or extended leave from school, is in the hospital, or is homebound. With virtual courses, you can provide these students with a full schedule of courses and teacher support in a flexible format that allows them to keep up with their cohorts and stay on track for graduation.
6. Retains Student Enrollment
Today’s students have no shortage of options concerning school choices. With a growing number of charter schools, online schools, and open enrollment options, many districts are struggling with losing students (and funding) to these alternative programs. Developing an in-house virtual learning program can help your district provide the full breadth of options students seek and keep more students (and funding) in the district.
Edmentum is a Leader in Virtual Learning Programs
Edmentum is proud to be a virtual school partner to over 400 schools nationwide with EdOptions Academy, our fully accredited virtual high school with licensed, experienced teachers and over 400 course options! Interested in learning more? Check out our Online Credit Recovery Resource Round-Up for helpful tips, tricks, best practices and more.
This blog was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated.
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