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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Blended learning program shows results in Joliet

"Students at Joliet Township high schools taking classes that combine independent study and remote learning with traditional classroom instruction are achieving higher scores than their peers, district teachers report." summarizes The Herald-News.

According to reports presented to the District 204 board recently by the teachers heading these classes, more students get passing grades in the blended learning classes. More students also perform at proficient and advanced levels than students who attend traditional classes in the same subjects.

The classes combine face-to-face learning twice a week in the classroom, with remote video conferencing and messaging. Teaching tools include email, Microsoft Lync and the district's online learning environment called JTLearn.

The subjects available in the blended learning program are English, government and economics.

Starting this fall, all District 204 students have computer devices, the culmination of the district's 1:1 technology initiative started last year when incoming freshmen were provided with laptops.

"I was worried about the dynamics and interaction, but that has really worked out well," said Kelsey Duranty who teaches both regular government classes and one blended government class at Joliet Central. "Technology issues were handled in the first week."

According to Duranty, students in the blended learning classes had an average grade of 86 compared to an average of 74 in regular government classes.

All students in the newly instituted blended classes have to maintain a minimum grade of 75 to remain in the program.

Source: The Herald-News