Allendale Columbia School launched a brand new partnership with the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC) in 2015-2016, allowing us to begin to offer online learning opportunities to our students at the Middle and Upper School levels.
Should students take courses online? Is online learning worth the hype?
We have been asking these questions at AC, and we have come to a few key conclusions regarding online learning opportunities:
- Online learning is here to stay. More and more colleges are offering courses that are either completely online or hybrid experiences. Our students need to be prepared to take courses online to be successful and ready for college and beyond.
- Online learning is not going to take over the world and put regular schools out of business. We know that the relationship between teacher and student, as well as the dynamic in a classroom, will never cease to be relevant. While the pedagogy of how we teach may change, the need for human-to-human contact in schools will not go away.
- We are a small school, and we would love to offer more high quality opportunities for our students. If we can do this via online learning, we should.
- Technology is now at a point where online learning can also be very personal. We are beyond Skype now to new platforms that allow all kinds of new and innovative ways to interact with people from all over the world. Allowing our students to build the skills and have the benefit of collaborating across oceans and continents is in their best interest.
We chose to partner with the HLC for a few key reasons.
- First, they understand independent schools and they are creating online experiences that are both rigorous and still maintain the warmth of an actual classroom. All of the HLC courses are blended learning environments, and all of the courses include synchronous time between the teacher and the student. HLC teachers communicate with us at AC, they communicate directly with students, and they also will call home if there is good or bad news to discuss. While the teacher may be in another part of the world, they know and understand what the standard of teaching at AC is, and they strive to offer that same level of personalization to each student.
- Second, HLC is global. With partnering schools all over the U.S., Canada, and around the globe, it is an opportunity for students to take classes from teachers and work with students in a global classroom.
- Lastly, HLC is committed to supporting both our teachers and our students as we move forward. As an organization, HLC does an incredible job of ensuring that students do not fall through the cracks and also that teachers teaching in the online environment are getting the best training and support throughout the experience.
Who is a good candidate?
Students who have good study skills, a passion for the class offered, as well as the drive to complete rigorous coursework in an environment that requires both organization and personal intiative.
Learn more about HLC by clicking here.