What is Naperville Central’s definition of “blended learning”?
In this field test year, blended learning courses at Naperville Central will be using a combination of best practices, including online learning and face-to-face instruction. Additionally, face-to face, small group, and large group settings will offer opportunities to build and maintain a learning community that optimizes the time and place when students learn. In an ideal blended learning environment, students have some control over the pace, place, and path of their coursework.
What courses will be offered in the blended format?
For the spring 2017 semester, two sections of Algebra 1, Health and Psychology will be offered in the blended format. Naperville Central will be offering the following courses in a blended learning format for the 2017-2018 school year: AP Language & Composition, Computer Programming 1, Advanced Marketing, Introduction to Psychology, Algebra 1, Geometry, Business Precalculus, Health, Humanities Capstone and STEM Capstone.
What curriculum will be used and who will teach the blended learning course?
These courses follow the same District 203 curriculum maps as traditional face-to-face courses. Our curriculum meets requirements of the Illinois State Standards, Common Core State Standards, and ISTE (International Society for Technology Education) Standards. The classes will be taught by Naperville Central teachers.
When will students meet with the teacher?
Students will spend the first two weeks of the semester engaged entirely in face-to-face instruction. During this time, teachers will help students acclimate to the blended learning environment, ensure student understanding of course resources, and communicate expectations for independent learning assignments. After the first two weeks, teachers will communicate a schedule of face-to-face learning time for their course based on student learning needs. On average, students will engage in whole or small group learning facilitated by the teacher 2-3 days per week. Although students are required to be in the classroom fewer days per week than a traditional course, the total number of school days will remain the same for students enrolled in blended learning courses.
Where will the students be when they are not with their teacher?
When students are not meeting with a teacher, they will engage in “independent learning” in the Naperville Central learning commons. Students will be offered opportunities for collaboration or for quiet study in the learning commons on days when they are not meeting in their classroom. Student attendance is mandatory on independent learning days.
What will students be doing when not meeting with the teacher?
Students will be participating in online activities that will direct their learning. Students will have access to content, discussions, and collaborative experiences.
Why should students take a blended course?
Blended courses allow students more flexibility and control over when they choose to learn, signifying a shift in traditional face-to-face instruction that exposes students to online learning environments they will likely experience in college and in the workplace.
Are there quizzes, projects (individual and group), tests and finals?
Yes. Some tests and quizzes will be given in class, while others can be administered online. Final exams will be administered at NCHS during the regular final exam schedule. Students are expected to engage in group projects or work individually, just like a traditional face-to-face course.
How does a blended learning course affect my other grades and credits?
Grades and credits are calculated the same in blended as traditional learning courses.
What supports are available for students who are not meeting course standards in the pilot blended course?
One of the benefits of the blended learning model is that your student’s Algebra 1 teacher will be making instructional decisions based on the immediate learning needs of their students. The blended learning teacher will have the opportunity to address these needs in personal or small group learning sessions throughout the semester. In addition, students will have access to all available before and after school learning supports offered at Naperville Central High School.
Does blended learning mean there will be more work?
No. Blended learning does not mean more work; instead, it offers a different format for pace, place, and path of learning. The courses will follow the same District 203 curriculum maps as the traditional face-to-face courses, including assessments such as quizzes, tests, exams, and benchmark assessments.
If you have any further questions, please email Jackie Thornton, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction. firstname.lastname@example.org.