Recognising the success of your Online Learners

October/ November is prize giving time and time to reflect on my online students and their NCEA successes.

At my school any online student who has achieved all of  their course is acknowledged at prize giving with an "Achievement in Online Learning" award. Those who achieve mostly at Excellence level  receive an "Achievement with Excellence in Online Learning" award. For 2017 that was 25 students from a total of 39.

This year four of my students got top in their subject- both in their online class and at our school- very exciting when you consider that they do have to overcome the obstacles of working at a distance and my school has a role of 1200.

Some of my students missed one or two internals for a variety of reasons and there were two who haven't to date achieved anything- although they hold out hope for the externals. Despite my best efforts some students still fail to complete their courses, or they have personal issues that affect their learning, or they…

So what did the students think about their online learning experience?

The year is drawing to a close. It was time to ask my students how things have gone.

I asked them, "Would you consider being an online student again?"and here's what they said:

Yes. I would probably take all of my classes online ideally, good to be able to work at home and when it suits. I would probably consider being an online student only if I wasn't able to do a subject in class. I prefer to work in a classroom environment so that I can get help from my friends and teacher quickly if I need it. Yes! It was an amazing experience. I would because it is another way of learning that is different to sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher every period and it is more reliant on your own willingness to learn. Yes definitely! I've gained so many skills taking ONL. From being tech savvy to making great connections with others around NZ. I was able to figure my way of learning thru ONL so this was very helpful in my other classes. The only reason I wouldn…

Checking on what the students are thinking...

End of term two is a good time to check on what the students are thinking.......

I asked my eStudents five questions:

1. Are you still enjoying your course? 2. Are you achieving as you would wish to be? 3. Do you need any support at the moment? (Explain) 4. How is Online Learning helping you as a learner? 5. Is there anything else you would like me to know?
I found this a useful exercise as an eDean. The students who responded quickly were the ones who are managing themselves well in an online environment. I followed up with others but overall my students were still very positive at this point in the year. They could appreciate that online learning was helping them to become more organised and more independent. Even students who are struggling a bit in terms of achievement are appreciating the agency they have over their own learning and that they are learning more than just the subject they are enrolled in.
Below are a sample of their replies.
Am I still enjoying my course? Yes, absolutely. …

eDeans make a difference to learning outcomes

This post is an article that I wrote for NetNZ about the research we are presently involved in:

NetNZ online students are fortunate to have an eDean in their schools to support them with their learning. In the world of Online Learning, evidence shows that students will achieve if they are supported by their eTeachers and by another teacher, the eDean, in their home schools. The triangle created by effective communication between the eStudent, the eTeacher and the eDean can make all the difference to the learning and achievement of the student.
The role of the eDean is a diverse one but essentially it relies on the eDean getting to know the students well, understanding their needs as learners, gaining their trust and setting up support systems as and when they are needed. This vital support role requires flexibility, initiative, great communication skills and lots of common sense, as well as a broad knowledge of the New Zealand curriculum and an understanding of how students learn. Most …

The conversations that make a difference

Term two.....

Is often the time that the cracks start to show. Internal assessments are on the go and some students can get stuck for a whole variety of reasons.

So this week I've contacted several eTeachers about students I've been feeling a little worried about.

As a result I've:

found out that one of my girls is too shy to speak on the hangout- she feels she's "dumb" compared to the other students and even worse she is too  embarrassed to put her work on the community or even share it with the teacher. I showed her how to share a document with only her teacher and assured her it was fine to share work before it became a final product. I contacted her teacher- who was also concerned- and he is going to have a chat to her individually to see what help she needs. I've asked her to give me feedback regularly over the next few weeks and to let me know if she needs to have help from one of our school teachers. I'm so pleased I checked on this before she g…

The end of term one

Where has the term gone?........

In the life of an eDean Term One is always crazy:
There are enrolments to do- each one taking at least an hour of my time when you include talking to the students, consulting the deans, processing the enrolment and then setting up the student with their individual course needs. This year I did 45 enrolments and I've already had to change three of these.There are spreadsheets and rolls to organise and teachers to consult.All the students need help with their first couple of hangout lessonsA lot of time is spent getting to know the students and helping them get started in their courses. This is so important, they are more likely to ask for help if they know you and realise you are expecting their questions. There are many differing request from eTeachers to follow up on- including ordering text books and  supervising internalsThere are course mark books to set up and standards to checkThere are reports to write and process But by the end of this term …

March 29- post Deeper Support Group in Dunedin


This week I have been:

Following up on students who hadn't answered my three questions and fixing some issues for students who pointed them out- mostly things like formatting documents, bell times, time managementPromoting the NetNZ surveySorting out issues with the VC software on the PCOrganising an assessment for L3 EcoOrganising for a student to stay in her course even though she is going to JapanMeeting with the principal to update him on our Online students and the progress of our Deeper Support group- he is interested in looking at the resource from Guy Claxton we are usingSpending time with several students who are worrying me- they showed me their course work, explained what they are having trouble with and we talked about some optionsTalked to an in school teacher about the stress levels of an online student who has to miss one class a weekSorting out the Online mark books with the person in our school who organises themFinishing the MOUs and scanning them offWith…