Tips for Parents and Students

The traditional school will never go away, but the virtual classroom is a significant player in today’s educational community. Virtual learning experiences for students are expanding rapidly. In general, the online student should possess special qualities.

Be open minded about sharing life, work, and educational experiences as part of the learning process

Introverts as well as extroverts find that the online process requires them to utilize their experiences. This forum for communication eliminates the visual barriers that hinder some individuals in expressing themselves. In addition, the student is given time to reflect on the information before responding. The online environment should be open and friendly. Students should be able to communicate through writing. In the Virtual Classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing. Many students have limited writing abilities, which should be addressed before or as part of the online experience. This may require remedial efforts on the part of the student.

Be self-motivated and self-disciplined

With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes responsibility. The online process takes a real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the process. Students enrolled in Lexington One Online Learning Academy are required to actively work in their course.

Be willing to "speak up" if problems arise

Many of the non-verbal communication mechanisms that instructors use in determining whether students are having problems (confusion, frustration, boredom, absence, etc.) are not possible online. If a student is experiencing difficulty on any level (either with the technology or with the course content), he or she must communicate this immediately. Otherwise, the instructor will never know what is wrong.

Be willing and able to commit to 4 to 15 hours per week per course

Online is not easier than the traditional educational process. In fact, many students will say it requires much more time and commitment.

Be able to meet the minimum requirements for the program

The requirements for online courses are no less than that of any other quality educational program. Successful students will view online learning as a convenient way to receive their education – not an easier way.

Accept critical thinking and decision making as part of the learning process

The learning process requires the student to make decisions based on facts as well as experience. Assimilating information and executing the right decisions require critical thought; case analysis does this very effectively.

Have access to a computer with an Internet connection

The communication medium is the Internet through a computer connection; the student must have access to the necessary equipment.

Be able to think ideas through before responding

Meaningful and quality input into the virtual classroom is an essential part of the learning process. Time is given in the process to allow for careful consideration of responses. The testing and challenging of ideas is encouraged; students will not always be right; they must be prepared to accept a challenge.

Feel that high quality learning can take place without going to a traditional classroom

If students feel that a traditional classroom is a prerequisite to learning, they may be more comfortable in the traditional classroom. Online is not for everybody. An online student is expected to:

  1. Participate in the virtual classroom
  2. Check e-mail daily
  3. Be able to use technology properly
  4. Be able to complete assignments on time
  5. Enjoy communicating in writing

The online learning process requires commitment on the student’s part. Completing all work on time is vital. The instructor may contact the student personally to offer assistance and remind the student of the need to stay on pace. Basically, the student needs to want the experience.

Tips for Parents of Virtual School Students

As a parent, you are a very important member of your child’s e-learning team. To assist us in providing a quality education to your child, please consider the following suggestions.

  • Access - Know your student’s username and password so you can access the course.
  • Progress - Check your student’s online grade book at least once a week to see how many assignments have been submitted and what grades were received for that week.
  • Communication - Read the comments made by teachers on the various assignments by accessing your student’s course messages and grade book.
  • Outreach - Contact the instructor or the Lexington One Online Learning Academy office if you have questions or concerns.
  • Experience - Provide a positive working environment where your student can concentrate and have access to the Internet and a telephone.
For more information, contact dsistare@lexington1.net or Howard Bissell at hbissell@lexington1.net.