Online Learning Policy
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools across the world embraced online learning as an effective alternative to the physical classroom.
While we do believe the traditional classroom setting is most conducive for learning, in our current global status we have taken extensive measures to ensure our remote learning provision meets the high educational standards we have set.
Our remote learning program has proved successful, allowing teachers and students to interact and communicate clearly online through a variety of video meeting platforms as well through emails, digital communication, and other means of virtual learning.
All-day connectivity, live-streamed classes, and virtual classroom interaction require not only the right technology to support them but also the knowledge of how to use that technology. We have made it a priority to equip both branches of our school with the programs, computers, and tutorials needed to make the online learning experience as effective as possible for students and teachers.
E-learning is integrated into our curriculum and develops the following life skills:
Persistence is perhaps the main key to online learning success. Students who succeed are those who are patient with technical problems, are aware of the difficulties they might face, seek help when needed, work daily, attend every class, and persevere through challenges.
We advise students to:
- Keep trying and ask for help when running into challenges.
- Set up a manageable study schedule for themselves and stick to it. Students who succeed are those who log in, follow up and make progress every day.
Real Time-Management Skills
Students must be able to manage their time well. Most courses are not taught in real time. There are no set times for classes, so students must manage their time accordingly. This flexibility is one of the great benefits of online learning. It can also be a drawback for a student who procrastinates, struggles to stick to a routine study schedule, or is unable to complete assignments without daily reminders from a teacher.
Effective time-management skills have to be learned. Once acquired, they will benefit your child throughout their life.
To stay on track, encourage your child to:
- Review the syllabus for each of their courses and develop a long-term plan for completing major assignments within a relaxing environment.
- Make a daily “To Do" list and have fun checking things off the list as they complete them.
It takes time to develop good habits, but it has been proven that students gain satisfaction from being well-organized and accomplishing tasks on time.
Effective and Appropriate Communication Skills
Communication skills are vital for online learning because students must seek help when they need it.
At Albayan, teachers are willing to help students, but it can be difficult to pick up on non-verbal cues during distance learning, such as a look of confusion on a student's face, or a sign of compliment. Students are advised to follow these tips to establish an active communication route:
Use the tools provided by the school to communicate with their teachers
At Albayan Schools our programs provide several ways for students and parents/guardians to communicate with teachers and staff. These might include e-mail, discussion groups, chat room office hours, cell phones, and text messaging.
Teachers and staff want to help students succeed in their classes and will answer their questions. At first it may feel strange for students to talk to their teachers this way, however the transition will be smooth. Students should not hesitate to contact their teachers during office hours, through the provided means of communication, such as their cell phone or in a common chat group.
Use appropriate style and language for school
When communicating with teachers and other staff, students should write in full and clear sentences and with a respectful tone. Many students are used to a very informal style of writing in chat rooms, blogs, text messages, and so forth.
Due to the distance, it is tempting for some students to say things out of anger or frustration that they would never say to a teacher in person. Please encourage your child to be clear and gentle. Since online teachers are professionals, we treat students with respect and courtesy.
Basic Technical Skills
Online learners need basic technical skills to succeed. These include the ability to create new documents, use a word processing program, navigate the Internet, and download software.
At our schools we have new student orientation programs. These teach students how to use the school's learning management system and other online tools, but they typically do not cover the basics.
If you would like to improve your technical skills we will support you through a direct follow up or a tutorial.
Reading and Writing Skills
Reading and writing are the main ways students communicate in an online class. Although some hard copies of textbooks might be required, students should be comfortable reading and responding to a high volume of documents on a computer screen.
Motivation and Independence
Online learning requires independence, self-motivation, responsibility, and a certain level of maturity.
There are many worthwhile reasons to work hard at school. In our current climate we must accept the difficulty we are all facing and plan to build our futures, regardless of the obstacles.
A Good Study Environment
Another critical component of academic success is a good study environment. Students are advised to:
- Find some peace and quiet. Students should find a quiet place to work without distractions from things like television and family (unless they need to be supervised).
- Avoid games. Consider uninstalling any games to avoid temptation.
- Turn off cell phones. Friends and family members should be notified of the student’s school hours and mobile phones should be turned off or set to ‘do not disturb’.
- Beware of social media and surfing. It is easy to be tempted to go online to surf or to chat on social media, but a five-minute break can lead to hours of lost time.
- Consider ergonomics. Students are encouraged to adjust the height of their chairs and the position of their screen and keyboard in order to sit properly and be comfortable.
- Set up good lighting and comfortable seating. Lighting in the room should be at least as bright as the computer screen to avoid eye strain.