Offering Students a Spectrum of Online Learning Experiences: featuring Jeffco Public Schools


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In 2006, Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado was looking for a way to address the staggering number of students that were failing classes as well as provide options for students that wanted to learn in a way that modeled their digital lives. The district also wanted to expand educational options for the hundreds of students that were leaving the district each year to learn online elsewhere.

In order to meet these needs, Jeffco Public Schools turned to Blackboard to expand educational offerings with online courses.

Jeffco Public Schools shares how Blackboard software helped accomplish the following:
Develop a five-year road map for online learning,
Address the districts withdrawal and failure rate,
Provide online learning opportunities without students having to leave their school,
Launch a statewide online school and,
Use online learning as a vehicle for organizational change.

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Offering Students a Spectrum of Online Learning Experiences: featuring Jeffco Public Schools

  1. 1. Wednesday May 13, 2009 Audie Rubin , Director, 21st Century Virtual Academy, Jeffco Public Schools (CO) Mike Petersen , Manager, K-12 Solutions Engineers Offering Students a Spectrum of Online Learning Experiences
  2. 2. 20 million users 9 global offices across 4 continents Born from education in 1997 1,000+ of us, working with 5,200+ of you Extended by 2,500 developers and partners +
  3. 3. <ul><li>Close the gap between the way students live and the way they learn </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver a 21st Century educational experience that is engaging, individualized and effective </li></ul>Our Vision:
  4. 4. <ul><li>An open, web-based teaching and learning platform for engaging and assessing learners in and beyond the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>3,000+ clients, 15+ million estimated active users, at all levels of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Local or hosted deployment </li></ul>Engaging and assessing learners at all levels
  5. 5. Client Community
  6. 6. JEFFCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS: 21 ST CENTURY VIRTUAL ACADEMY <ul><li>Blackboard Client Spotlight </li></ul>
  7. 7. Implementing Online Learning for Students Jefferson County Public School District Golden, Colorado
  8. 8. Audie Rubin <ul><li>Director of Student Online Learning </li></ul><ul><li>K-12, public, charter, brick & mortar and online </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd year in Jeffco Schools </li></ul><ul><li>12 th year in education </li></ul><ul><li>Online experience: spent 5 years teaching elementary and leading the middle and high school of Colorado’s largest online charter school </li></ul>
  9. 9. Jeffco Schools <ul><li>Largest school district in Colorado </li></ul><ul><li>About 150 schools </li></ul><ul><li>85,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Suburban, urban and mountains </li></ul><ul><li>25% Free and Reduced Rate </li></ul><ul><li>Strong reputation as a solid district </li></ul><ul><li>Not a utopia, just a good place to work </li></ul>
  10. 10. Paving the Way <ul><li>District’s IT and Division of Instruction work closely to develop solutions for schools </li></ul><ul><li>2006-2007: Planning period to implement Bb district-wide for instructional staff </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeting for Results </li></ul><ul><li>Creating of Online Education Office in 2007-2008 </li></ul><ul><li>All instructional staff provided with Bb accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Online role-based PLCs </li></ul><ul><li>Role out of Curriculum Alignment Project, via Bb only </li></ul><ul><li>In the last 22 months… </li></ul>
  11. 11. State of Online Learning <ul><li>3+ million college students taking online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Over 90% of colleges with 15,000 or more students offer online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1 million K-12 students learning online </li></ul><ul><li>Only 40,000 in 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>About 12,000 K-12 students learning FT online in Colorado </li></ul><ul><li>Only a few hundred in 2001 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Needs Assessment <ul><li>Estimate that a couple hundred HS students leave Jeffco each year to learn FT online somewhere else </li></ul><ul><li>2006-2007: 28,000 HS students, 29,000 F’s </li></ul><ul><li>7 of the Top 10 failed courses are 9 th grade courses </li></ul><ul><li>About 1,000 HS students a year go to BYU for credit recovery </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing to prepare students for their future in the 21 st Century? </li></ul><ul><li>New graduation requirements… require that all high school courses integrate technology and online learning </li></ul>
  13. 13. Developing the Road Map <ul><li>Student Online Learning Road Map lays out next 5 years in 4 ways… </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting Local Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental Course Offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Full-Time Online School </li></ul><ul><li>Contracted Services </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple needs can only be addressed </li></ul><ul><li>with multiple solutions </li></ul>
  14. 14. 4-Square Model
  15. 15. Course Components Full-time Online Credit Recovery (Mastery-based) Hybrid Online Enhanced Class Calendar Pre-Assessments Group Work Labs Discussion Boards Unit, Mid Term, & Final Exams Earth Science
  16. 16. Course Development…2007-2008 <ul><li>Created a development, alignment, and review process </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman 4 core classes developed internally </li></ul><ul><li>Development teams of 2-3 teachers per courses </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewers were content specialists at district-level </li></ul><ul><li>Aligned to Curriculum Alignment Project </li></ul><ul><li>10 th -12 th purchased from FLVS through RFP process </li></ul>
  17. 17. Course Development…2008-2009 <ul><li>Improved process based on last year’s experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Course Authors / Technical Developers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aligned purchased courses to CAP </li></ul><ul><li>Courses developed internally created to expand course offering… </li></ul>Freshmen English for Young Men Chinese 1 Digital Photography Algebra Readiness Russian 1 Video Game Design Spanish 1 Renewable Energy Event Training Spanish for Heritage Speakers 1 Survey of American Music Outdoor Adventure
  18. 18. Taking Online Learning Mainstream
  19. 19. Professional Development <ul><li>Domain Administrator at every high school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Section creation request & enroll students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oversee and support teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial training & quarterly meetings (f2f) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PD to teach online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid, facilitated, & offered 4 times a year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Credit Recovery & Hybrid </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online Enhanced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FT online & self-paced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SafeAssign </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PLC in Bb for all trained teachers and Domain Admins </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. 21 st Century Virtual Academy <ul><li>Enrolling students throughout the state of Colorado </li></ul><ul><li>Diploma granting school </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple enrollment options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full time (tuition free) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part time (tuition free) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplemental (fee-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rigor, relevance and relationships </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 21. Next 5 Years <ul><li>Expand online course offerings at high school level </li></ul><ul><li>2009-2010: every HS will have Bb account </li></ul><ul><li>Expand online learning to middle schools </li></ul><ul><li>Expand Virtual Academy to K-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Better serve specialty populations with online including special ed, gifted, homebound, ELL, and dropouts </li></ul><ul><li>Contract services </li></ul>
  22. 22. Lessons Learned <ul><li>The goal is not to get people learning online. It is about transforming the way an organization educates students. </li></ul><ul><li>Online learning is not about the toys. It is about the learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Real change occurs at the heart of an organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Push hard enough to see movement but not so hard that it falls over. </li></ul><ul><li>Find your comrades. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize and then extinguish the fear. Communicate the excitement. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Challenge: Diverse Learning Needs Offering enriched curriculum for all learners. Blackboard Solution: Anytime, Anywhere Student Engagement “ Students today are very tech-savvy and comfortable with technology and the flexibility of online instruction. Whether they are fine arts or magnet students, athletes, or those enrolled for credit recovery, they enjoy the individual choices they make in regards to when, where, and how long they participate in their virtual course.” - Becky Nunnally, Supervisor, eHigh School Cobb County School District Blackboard Case Study <ul><li>Suburban county </li></ul><ul><li>100,000+ students </li></ul><ul><li>8,800+ staff </li></ul><ul><li>113 schools and educational centers </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia </li></ul>
  24. 24. Blackboard Case Study Deer Valley United School District <ul><li>36,500+ students </li></ul><ul><li>36 schools </li></ul><ul><li>Arizona </li></ul>Challenge: Expanding Access while Decreasing Costs Increase enrollments and reduce costs for their summer school program. Blackboard Solution: Anytime Anywhere Access to Learning Deer Valley switched from face-to-face to online summer school by leveraging Blackboard Learn. <ul><li>Increased enrollments from 250 to 1,500 during the first online summer offering </li></ul><ul><li>Decreased operating expenses by 80% and still charges the same affordable tuition </li></ul><ul><li>More than 4 times as many classes are now available to students during the summer </li></ul>
  25. 25. Blackboard Learn <ul><li>Common Challenges : </li></ul><ul><li>Expanding course offerings for all students </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping students engaged in their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Operating within limited and declining budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Raising graduation rates </li></ul><ul><li>Solution : </li></ul>Blackboard Learn provides the foundation for a district-based virtual school that engages students with personalized and connected learning opportunities and optimizes district resources.
  26. 26. Quick Start Solutions: Virtual Schools Challenge: “ Developing online courses takes time and resources but I need to make the courses available right away.” --Director of Instructional Technology <ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Quick Start Solutions will help you get started quickly and achieve early success </li></ul><ul><li>Enroll up to 50 students in Florida Virtual School courses </li></ul>
  27. 27. Quick Start Solutions: Virtual Schools Challenge: “ I don’t know how to start an online program at my district. Who can I turn to?” - Director of Instructional Technology <ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in the Florida Virtual Leadership Course (1 seat) </li></ul><ul><li>Become certified to teach and learn online with 1 seat in 3 Blackboard Training Courses: Teaching and Learning Online Certification Series (Building Courses, Enhancing Communication, Assessing Learners) </li></ul>
  28. 28. “ Online learning is about extending class days and class time for struggling students who many not have gained competency across the curriculum and for students who need additional courses that are not locally available.” . Susan Patrick, President and CEO International Association for K-12 Online Learning
  29. 29. Thank you! Questions? <ul><li>Audie Rubin </li></ul><ul><li>Director, 21 st Century Virtual Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Jeffco Public Schools </li></ul><ul><li>303-982-8744 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(866) 424-9299 ext. 2427 </li></ul>