For the past four years, Thesys has partnered with Fairmont Preparatory Academy, a private college preparatory school in Anaheim, CA, to provide blended course curriculum. Over the years, Fairmont Prep has seen improved students outcomes among students who take the courses in a blended format compared to students who take the traditional classroom course. In blended, students earning an “A” increased 20-%-50% and a high pass rate of 90% was maintained.
Fairmont teacher Dr. Rebecca Osborne has the following thoughts on the Thesys blended learning courses (2013/14).
Q. Did the Thesys blended course make any aspects of teaching easier or smoother?
A. “It allowed more class time to be devoted to assessment and lab experiments. Because most the initial learning was online, I could expect the students to learn more on their own. Class time went much smoother in terms of time management, assessment of understanding and building lab skills.”
Q. How did you track students’ learning progress using the Thesys assessment tools?
A. “Statistical analysis of student access of the material on Blackboard helped me to follow which students were using the materials posted and which items were being accessed multiple times. By looking at this data, I was able to see why certain students were struggling and which topics needed more in-class attention and discussion.”
Q. How did the course affect the speed in which your students learned concepts?
A. “In terms of class time, the speed of learning was quicker because the students spent considerable time outside of class learning the concepts.”
Q. What did you find better about the blended course than in a typical course?
A. “I think the students gained some different skills in this course–independent learning, collaboration, technology skills, etc. It is often difficult to implement these kinds of lessons in a traditional class.”
Q. How would you describe the difference in your student’s engagement with the blended course versus a typical course?
A. “The students were probably about as engaged as in a typical course. Rather, it allows more independent learning and for class time to be devoted to collaborative and explorative activities to enhance the depth of understanding.”