Thesys Case Study Summer 2010 Fairmont prep full


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This is a case study written on the learning outcomes of a hybrid summer program that Fairmont Private Schools ran in the summer of 2010. It shows that students learning outcomes had improved over the traditional bricks and mortar model of previous years.

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Thesys Case Study Summer 2010 Fairmont prep full

  1. 1. HYBRID COU URSES FO COLLEG PREPA OR GE ARATORY STUDENT Y TS Sep ptember 20 | thesys 010 sintl.comABSTRACT OF EFFECTIVE PRACTIC E E CEEvery sc chool must continually improve academic q y quality at a lower cost/student w whileoffering a full rang of cours ge ses. The hy ybrid mode is increa el asingly dem monstrating the gability to meet this range of needs. Hy ybrid or “bl ended” co urses combine classr roomexperien nces with online resources. During July an August 2 o nd 2010, stude ents met in the nclassroo for key lectures, sm group or individu work ac om mall ual ctivities, lab and rev bs, viewstwo day per week. This clas time was integrate with a fu online course inclu ys ss s ed ull udingreading materials, interactiv learning tools, dis ve g scussion b boards, ass signments, andother reesources, th student used during the re hat ts emainder o f the week Teachers and k. sstudents provided conclusions about their ex perience a s d t along with measures to hdetermine learning effective g eness and best pract tices. Sixte een hybrid courses w d werecomplet ted by 156 students utilizing a Learning Maanagement System (L t LMS) in cou ursesdevelop ped by Thesys Internaational. Results indicat compara te able to imp proved lear rningoutcomes at a lo ower cost per student compar red to traditional classroom-basedcourses.DESCRIPTION OF EFFECT TIVE PRAC CTICEIntroducctionHybrid or “blendeed” learning empowers student s to becom independent learners, g methe kind of stude d ent they will need to become upon en w t e ntering college. FairmmontPreparatory Academy, locat ted in Anaheim, Calif fornia, offe ered the fo ollowing hy ybridcourses during the 2010 Sum e mmer Schoo term: Alg ol gebra I CP, Algebra II/TrigonommetryCP, Biology CP & Honors, Chemistry CP & Hono rs, Econom C mics CP, En nglish I/II/II CP,Geomet CP, Hea try alth, Pre-Ca alculus CP, US Govern nment CP, U History CP, and W US WorldHistory CP.This pap identifie the results obtained from thes hybrid c per es d se courses ask king: 1. Are learning outcomes in hybrid courses co A g s omparable better, or worse relative e, r to the tradit o tional classroom settin ng? 2. What are ch W haracteristic of succe cs essful stude ents in a hy ybrid course? 3. What additi W ional best practices can teache rs use in hybrid cour c rses to imp prove outcomes? o 4. What do stu W udents say are their ke behavio for onlin learning? ey ors ne ? 5. What is an effective mix of classr W e room and o online time?? 6. What type of conte W ent should be learn d ned in the classroo e om and online environments? 7. Can student LMS usage behavior differenti C t rs iate betwee student outcomes? en 8. Can a hybrid course structure lower th cost pe student in secon C e e he er t ndary education?Learning Outcome g esConclus sions of lear rning outco omes stated by teach ers are sum d mmarized b below: Pa age 1
  2. 2. 1. Students ha the opp ave portunity to learn just as much, a o and probab more, in the bly n hybrid cour rse compar red to a fu ully classro oom-based course. Th hybrid class he eaches res te sponsibility and time manage ment in a y e addition to the requ o uired curriculum. 2. The hybrid course wa better. The studen who we taking the course for T as T nts ere e advancement were ve ery motivaated to do well, and easily kep up with the o pt h outside wor o rk. 3. If the student is motiv f vated, their learning w r was compa arable with the classr h room le earning. 4. The hybrid course is somewhat the same as the cla T assroom-on course, and nly soomewhat worse beca w ause some students tr to shortc the mat s ry cut terial. 5. The student were able to answer the que stions and get reinforcement of the T ts concepts. I believe the hybrid course did en e nhance the learning as a whole but eir e it depends on the stud t o dent. 6. The hybrid was a little worse fo my inte rnational s T or students du to langu ue uage barriers. It would be more succe b m essful with better voccabulary as ssistance w within th passage (e.g., pop he es p-up windo ows with wo definiti ord ions).83% of remediatio students earned a higher pa ssing grade taking a hybrid course, on safter receiving the failing gr e rade in a prior classr p room-base course ( ed (versus 80 in 0%2009 an 78% in 2008 for remediation students in traditiona classes). nd 2 n al88% of students taking cou urses for advanceme a ent earned passing g grades in 2010compared to traditional class sroom (sam course in 2009 at 93% and 2008 at 88%. me) es d brid advancThe hyb cement stu udent grad distribut de tions are c comparable to classro e oom-based course outcomes, with a high ratio of A/B p h performanc (see Figu 1 below ce ure w). Figure 1 F Pa age 2
  3. 3. During Fairmont’s summer program, th Geomet class w p he try was held bo as a hy oth ybridcourse and as classroom-only course. Overall, stud a y O dents perfo ormed better in the hy ybridcourse (see Figure 2 below). ( e Figure 2 FSuccess sful Studen Characte nt eristics/BehhaviorsSuccess sful students are no different in the hybri d environm d n ment than the classrooom-only environment. Teachers commente that stu ed udents who were successful in the nhybrid program ex p xhibited the following traits: e 1. Self-directed learner, already high motivat d a hly ted 2. Mature enou M ugh to stay motivated and direc y d cted with th online co he omponent 3. Organized; completed the assignments in a timely manner O c 4. Participated consistently in discussion board P d ds 5. Took excelle notes during class and from readings at home T ent d s 6. Asked ques A stions, took all necess k sary quizze and test followed the dead es ts, d dlines fo each cha or apter, and excelled in the classro e oom 7. Took the tim to do th reading, submitted assignmen before o T me he nts other stude ents 8. Averaged at least 2 ho A ours per noon-classroo day on the LMS; lo om ogged in to the o syystem ever day ry 9. Viewed the course as a 24 hour/day, 7 d ay/week c V s class; benef fited from self- motivation and parent involveme m a ent 10. Thrives with less struct T h tureTeacher expresse a primary concern that many students a not as c rs ed are computer savvyas expec cted.Teacher Hybrid Best Practic rs B cesTeacher described the follow rs d wing metho to enha ods ance and mmanage the hybrid cou e urse: 1. Schedule tim in the co me omputer la once per week to m ab r make sure t that studen nts are able to access the online com a mponents o f the cours properly; do some o se of th online work during the computer lab tim in order to see issu that he w g me ues st tudents ma be havin ay ng Pa age 3
  4. 4. 2. During classroom time, present an overview of major topics and have students do a couple practice problems; after major concepts are presented and practiced, follow-up with additional readings and assignments online 3. Do as much hands-on, real-life activities during classroom time 4. Give the final exam online through the Learning Management System (LMS) 5. To keep students at the same pace and motivated to log-in to the LMS, post announcements each morning that highlight the daily assignment 6. Use synchronous communication tools for direct dialogue with students as needed 7. Devote the first half-hour of classroom time to questions from the online material 8. Dont "hide" future units from students--keep the course "wide-open" to encourage exploration of the content 9. Determine attendance by a meaningful interaction between the student and the teacher (for example, synchronous communications, daily email Q&A, discussion boards, chat sessions, etc) 10. Foster virtual collaboration by providing group assignments during classroom time to help students get to know each other/learn how to work together 11. To increase student accountability, set regular virtual office hours for students to contact the teacher with questions or homework issues 12. Begin the course (and/or course units) by setting clear expectations and giving clear instructions about the use of the LMS 13. Structure wet science labs with two days of classroom activities and a third day of in-class lab activityStudent Best PracticesStudents were surveyed at the end of the term for their ideas on best practices forstudents and teachers. They mostly recognized the importance of time managementand self-motivation, stating:For students 1. Stay on time with the homework; do not procrastinate 2. Manage your time well so that you do not fall behind 3. Study when you have time, and do the work before classroom sessions 4. Set aside sufficient time during the day to complete unfinished tasks 5. Choose a better work schedule than working at night--for example, do not waste a free day and expect to catch up on the online assignments the night before your classroom session 6. Do the homework assigned online on that same day rather than waiting 7. Review coursework as much as possible with your teacher and ask a lot of questions (during class or through email) 8. Review materials and progress everyday to make sure you are not falling behindFor teachers 1. Place all course materials online so that students can access them whenever needed 2. Use presentations in class, and be sure to upload them to the LMS so that students can review them later 3. Assign some of the labs online, if understandable Page 4
  5. 5. 4. Scheduling classroom sessions a few days apart (such as Mondays & Thursdays, or Tuesdays and Fridays) helps keep the online workload more manageable 5. The more practice questions the betterMix of Classroom and Online TimeTeachers recommended a mix of classroom and online time that varied by subjectlevel (see Table 1 below).Table 1: Time Distribution Actual Used Recommended Subject % Time in % Time in Classroom/Online Classroom/Online Sciences 40% / 60% 60% / 40% Math 40% / 60% 40% / 60% English 40% / 60% 40% / 60% Social Sciences 20% / 80% 40% / 60%Content by Learning EnvironmentThe mix of classroom and online time provided teachers the opportunity to focusteaching methods on the best targeted environment. Knowing that the online contentcovered all of the necessary material for a course, teachers were able to spendclassroom time on more complex, critical concepts and/or go into more depth on keytopics. Table 2 (below) shows the recommended activities for both environments in ahybrid course.Table 2: Recommended Activities CLASSROOM ONLINE – Discussion of abstract content – Reading, viewing and listening, followed by – Brainstorming and planning independent reflection – Practicing interpersonal skills, presentations – Asynchronous discussion – Discussion of new concepts and beginning to – Team project developed online apply learning with guidance – Video and text-based cases – Demonstration of practices and processes – Repeated practice with concepts and skills – Review of assignments using tools that allow students to work at – Group discussions, role play, debate, practice their own pace, including interactive speaking skills manipulative, games and simulations – Providing practice and feedback to students on – Working on multi-media projects and complex or ill-defined tasks sharing them with a wide audience – Hands-on learning requiring use of specialized – Individual tutoring with synchronous materials that are difficult to obtain or use communications, cyber-study groups without teacher supervision – Knowledge checks using practice quizzes with automated feedback – Peer review of student work Page 5
  6. 6. LMS Usa age and Le earning Out tcomesFinal grades of stuudents wer compare to key measures of students’ usage of the re edLMS, teesting for statistical correlation The go ns. oal is not to fully e explain all thatdetermines a stud dent’s grad but to understan the lev of activ de, nd vel vity needed toincrease the likelihood of earning a higher grad Table 3 below s e e h de. summarizes six smeasure that we es ere tested, and the resulting co orrelation t the fina grade. T to al Thesemeasureements support wha teachers already k at s know, but can now be monit toredduring classroom-t c time and vi the LMS prior to as sessments. iaTable 3: Measures of Student BehaviorCost Per StudentIncreasingly, schoo are disc ols covering th technol hat logy-based programs can lower the d scost pe student, driven by effectiv er b vely suppo orting more students per teac s cher.Generally, a hybrid course can be provided a a lower cost than a traditional p at rclassroo for the following re om f easons: – Students ar more ind re dependent learners w which thus frees up t teacher tim to me effectively handle moore studen nts and/or multiple sections (i.e., impro r oved productivity Allocatio of existin resourc es can then be re-targ p y). on ng n geted. – Fewer textb F books and less printing is nece essary, as c course matterials are built in the LMS nto S Pa age 6
  7. 7. Table 4 below summarizes the Fairmont Prep 2010 Summer School program andother programs which have reported reductions in cost per student (in university andhigh school programs) utilizing a hybrid model.Table 4: Hybrid Cost Reduction % Cost School Reduction Fairmont Prep, CA 33% University of Dayton, OH 44% Rio Salado College, AZ 37% Penn State, PA 30% Walled Lake High School, MI 57%SUMMARYToday, every school must continually improve academic quality at a lower cost perstudent while offering a full range of courses. The hybrid education modelincreasingly meets this range of school needs. A hybrid course structure can:– Increase Access – Schedule flexibility enables students to take significant parts of a class 24x7. One teacher reported a student-athlete was more alert during the classroom (than previously experienced) because the student had more independent study at a convenient time that fit the athletic schedule, and was thus able to get more rest. – The courses in this hybrid program were made available to students throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties (in California) to meet their summer school needs (due to the state budget crisis, many local schools in these counties were cutting summer programs during the 2010 school term). – Percentage of enrollees from Fairmont Prep 69% – Percentage of enrollees from other schools 31%– Improve Teacher Satisfaction – During the term, teachers taught on-campus two days per week instead of five, providing them with schedule flexibility and resulting in reduced need for day care or urban commuting. – 12 of 15 teachers expressed they were pleased with teaching in a hybrid format. The lower satisfaction from three other teachers was due to a desire to increase the rigor of the content, or due to a predominance of English Language Learners in the student make-up, who lacked language proficiency to fully comprehend the material. – Teachers learned new skills that are transferable to classroom instruction with an LMS.– Improve Learning Effectiveness Page 7
  8. 8. – Hybrid courses capture the best of classroom and online capabilities. In the classroom, teachers can focus on the most critical elements of the subject matter or go deeper into key material. They can do so because they know that the online portion addresses all the material needed by the student. The result is additional learning time and instructional elements with fewer distractions for students while preserving teacher face-time with students.– Provide Student Satisfaction – Students were asked “Would you take a hybrid course again?” – Yes 72% – Maybe 14% (depends on course schedule) – No 14%REFERENCESBonk, C. J., & Graham, C. R. (2006). The handbook of blended learning: Globalperspectives, local designs.Pfeiffer essential resources for training and HR professionals. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.Cavanaugh, C. (2010). Blended education for primary and secondary pupils. Better:Evidence-Based Education 5(Autumn), 16-17.Cavanaugh, C. (2009). Getting students more learning time online. Washington, DC:Center for American Progress.<>Cavanaugh, C., Barbour, M., Brown, R., Diamond, D., Lowes, S., Powell, A., Rose, R.,Scheick, A., Scribner, D. & Van der Molen, J. (2009). Examining Communication andInteraction in Online Teaching. Vienna, VA: iNACOL.Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., &Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation ofEvidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of OnlineLearning Studies. Washington, D.C. Available at:<>Wang, F. L., Fong, J., & Kwan, R. (2010). Handbook of research on hybrid learningmodels: Advanced tools, technologies, and applications. Hershey, PA: InformationScience Reference.Watson, J, (2008). Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-FaceEducation, iNACOL Promising Practices in Online Learning, Vienna, VA: InternationalAssociation for K-12 Online Learning.Harwood, J., (2002). Mixed Delivery Model Proves Cost-Effective. Sloan-Consortium.Scarafiotti C., (2010). Redesign Lowers Cost per Student. Sloan-Consortium. Page 8
  9. 9. Bishop T., (2010). Mixed Model Course Redesign for Introductory Psychology. Sloan-Consortium.MDR/EDNet Webinar (2010). Improving Outcomes and Cutting Costs withTechnology.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe authors wish to acknowledge the Headmaster and the summer hybrid teacherteam for their hard work and great support: Mr. Bobby Mendoza (Headmaster), Dr.Cathleen Rauterkus, Mr. Nathan Silver, Ms. Holly Wilson, Ms. Kelly May, Mr. MarkHassoun, Ms. Michelle Paraiso, Ms. Deborah Terra, Ms. Virginia Phipps, Mr. Ken Logan,Mr. Remy Demont, Ms. Lola Coleman, Dr. Bob Varnold, Ms. Jackie Saldamando, Mrs.Carrissa Montenegro, Mr. Steven Duxbury, and Mr. Ivan Ortiz.AUTHORSDr. Cathy Cavanaugh – Associate Professor of Education, University of FloridaRajeshri Gandhi – Dean of Education, Fairmont Preparatory AcademyDr. Rebecca Wood – Dean of Advanced Studies, Fairmont Preparatory AcademyHolly Wilson – English Teacher, Fairmont Preparatory AcademyMichael Payne – Program Architect, Thesys International Page 9