Expanding Distance Learning Opportunities

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Jefferson CTC Skills U Program PLC 2019-2021
JCTC’s product was creating a wide array of options for remote learning, using a variety of products to expand student choice and remove student barriers to instruction, thus improving student participation and success.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

 

JCTC’s product was creating a wide array of options for remote learning, using a variety of products to expand student choice and remove student barriers to instruction, thus improving student participation and success. Instruction options were created through Zoom, Edmodo, Brainchild, Edgenuity, messenger live, Google Classroom assignments/quizzes and YouTube. Facebook lessons were also recorded and, while informative, are considered outreach because there is not a way to measure attendance or learning. COVID 19 forced a 100% reliance on these tools and methods in late March, 2020.

Zoom Classes

Zoom classes were both real-time and recorded. Initially for JCTC, Zoom as a class instruction platform began with Math. RLA, ESL, and SS were added.

All classes were regularly scheduled. Instruction through Zoom was in two formats: 1) Blended/ Concurrent with students in the classroom and 2) Classes that were presented through Zoom only. During the pandemic the Zoom class schedule was from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. As in-person classes resumed in FY2021, the Zoom schedule offerings were reduced, but some Zoom options remained as an available option for remote students. Many classes are now a hybrid of Zoom and face to face.

Edgenuity is an online product made available to all KYSU programs in FY2021. Ralph Hendrix, Distance Learning Lead designee, has trained all instructors in its use.   Edgenuity has also been approved to use at the Oldham County Detention Center. JCTCS is in the process of getting the computers ready and lining up days and times so jail officers can monitor activity. Personal contact and personal classes were still not allowed as of December 2020, so Edgenuity will be the delivery method at this facility.

Brainchild

Brainchild is the most recent addition to the JCTC distance learning arsenal. BrainChild is known for its Study Buddy, which is essentially a handheld device that uses software cartridges as a supplement to or stand-alone for instruction. There is also an online learning option, which is self-paced, and tracks student progress.  JCTC is involved with a pilot with BrainChild using their student communication tools, their products, and assisting the company in making the product more appropriate for adult education programs.   Students are enjoying Brainchild, as it is easy to maneuver and the concepts are clearly defined. However, some students feel the program is a bit childish.

LIVE AND LEARN, MESSY MOMENTS

 

  1. Having to suddenly change gears and move to all distance learning very rapidly AND doing it from home with tools not yet mastered. We had to go further faster.
  2. How to give credit for watching instructional videos.
  3. Initially we had an issue with consistently thinking as a region. Regional zoom classes would have been easier than county specific ones. As we gained experience, we have evolved and instructors are teaching across the counties via ZOOM. E.g, ELL students from Oldham, Carroll, and Shelby are attending classes via ZOOM with a Shelby Co. instructor. Math students from Bullitt are attending Carroll and vice versa.
  4. Students end up associating themselves with whomever they work with at the time. After students complete the remote testing they assume that the proctor assigning the test is the instructor assigned to them. A few students are already attending classes with an instructor. However, they still contact the TABE proctor to ask about next steps instead of contacting the actual instructor. Instructors have explained to students the process. We believe this messy moment is related to the fact that students tie themselves to the first instructor with whom they work. It is difficult for some students to go from one subject to another.
  5. Internet from home can be terrible-a firsthand experience with a student problem. This issue is getting better, as students are feeling more comfortable with the use of technology and counties are providing more wide band assistance for students to connect .
  6. Getting students re-engaged with an all distance learning program was a big issue. However, we are now seeing more engagement as the students are feeling comfortable with the setting and the platforms.
  7. Walking students through the steps remotely.
  8. Online class etiquette-much better to teach BEFORE
  9. Diving into Zoom with trepidation.
  10. Google turned out to be too difficult of a platform for students and JCTCS is no longer using it, instead relying on other online tools. The abandonment of Google classroom has necessitated a search for a location for the quizzes and videos lodged in Google classroom.

MASTERY MOMENTS

 

  1. Our success at using Zoom
  2. Comradery, sharing of resources, working better as a region
  3. We built a flexible, helpful, creative and productive team
  4. Developing our own YouTube channel
  5. We were more prepared than many for online learning when COVID-19 hit. Although the facilities were closed to instruction on 3/16/20, remote learning was fully operational by JCTC on 3/17/20. JCTC did not miss a day of instruction from the pandemic!
  6. Proficiency in distance learning increased rapidly once it was a necessity because the groundwork had been laid.
  7. We built an accessible program with online registration and orientation, with flexible schedules and online offerings.
  8. Remote classes are available for Para educator, GED, and Life Skills
  9. Program staff are more knowledgeable and adept at helping students with online offerings
  10. Program staff are better prepared for the next pandemic!!
  11. More online/digital platforms available.
  12. Students have adapted to the transition to online/digital instruction, so participation rate has increased.
  13. Teaching using a document camera is great to explain the calculator.
  14. Students are more involved and engaged completing registration forms online as well as meeting via ZOOM with CCN.
  15. Instructors have mastered different platforms and have the autonomy to explore and select platforms they identify as most appropriate for their students and content area(s). Feeling comfortable with a platform assists instructors with engaging students.

Edmodo Classes

JCTC used the platform to create classes with a variety of instructional activities, arranging subjects in folders that serve as a library of information on the topic.  Students used it as both a supplement to face to face classes and as a stand-alone LMS for online learners.  The easy communication tools, using the phone app, between staff and students was an added benefit of Edmodo. Videos are also in Spanish for ELL students who are working on their GED®. Classes are taught in English but supportive material is also provided as a form or links in their native language.

YouTube Channel

As of 12/18/2020, the (JCTC) SkillsU Online YouTube Channel contains instructional videos on social studies and language arts as well as a Zoom 1-2-3-How To. The 1-2-3 video is used most frequently to assist students with the use of ZOOM. We are working on implementing  quizzes to assign to students after they watch the videos to ensure students are actually viewing the assigned material and to serve as KAERS documentation of appropriate Distance Learning time.  The JCTC YouTube channel will be expanded to include playlists, and JCTC will serve as  a curator, not just a creator, of videos.

Results of Product

 

Evaluation components are participation and student results. JCTC is keeping a spreadsheet showing daily participation in their remote offerings. Data comparisons from 2019 to 2020 show that JCTCs combination of outreach and instruction barrier removal is effective as every measure (GEDs, Enrollment, and MSGs) is better when comparing third quarter data of FY2019 to FY2020. FY2021 participation is unquestionably hurt by both the pandemic and the lack of accountability of mandatory partner agencies for making referrals and committing to follow-through by the referrals.

 

Students are using the distance learning tools and NEW participants have engaged that have never attended face to face classes. Although participation is not as sizable as with face to face, the remote options remove barriers for many existing and potential students, and provide a variety of time choices.  The challenge ahead is to find the balance of remote and face to face instruction.

 

Edgenuity and Brainchild have been added to the offerings but there is no reliable data yet. Evaluation of all the products will continue to progress.

 

Some of the challenges include: many of the platforms do not track time in the manner required by KYSU, a learning curve by both instructors and students using the platforms, and inferior internet bandwidth in some areas.

  • Product and Impact

  • Edmodo 59 students enrolled
    Zoom Classes Since March 23, 2020 an average of 10.5 students per instructional day  are participating in Zoom classes.
    YouTube 388 Views

  • Performance Data

  • FY  Enrollment MSGs GEDs
    2019 Q3

    690

    228 76
    2020 Q3

    776

    236 130
    2021 Q2

    122

    22 29

WHAT DO WE NEED TO CLONE THIS PRODUCT?

 

    1. Get buy-in from your staff to pilot a predetermined array of distance learning tools or platforms.
    2. Utilize free platforms such as Edmodo, FaceTime, and Google Classroom (if it works for you).
    3. When possible, have students use Zoom, FaceTime, and other online offerings while IN THE CENTER, and using their own device, so they are able and willing to use distance learning opportunities.
    4. Teach online etiquette BEFORE online instruction begins.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

 

    1. Purchase (check first to see if you can access a free pilot period) an account or seats in platforms selected such as Brainchild. For Zoom, probably both paid and free personal Zoom accounts should be acquired. Every staff member should set up a free account with practice time to use it.
    2. Allocate instructor time to learn the system or product and the creative time to determine its best use for the subject area. For example, it may take 2 or 3 hours of scanning videos to find the one most appropriate for a concept.
    3. Track use of all programs and evaluate by tracking student participation, student results, and anecdotal responses from staff and students.

Documents for Replication