May 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM
Lately, we've had quite a few questions about what exactly defines a "personalized education". Here's a bit of information to clearly line up how we define it at CMA-SAS.
Online learning provides many benefits for students and their families, including the convenience and flexibility of asynchronous (not real-time) instruction, blended with the value of strategic synchronous (real-time) live instruction. Students generally can study at their own pace using a variety of curriculum options, including online textbooks, streaming videos, and virtual labs.
One of the most appealing features of an accredited online high school such as CMA School of Arts and Sciences is the personalized education students can experience. Based on what is known as "best practices" or what studies show is the most appropriate and effective learning model, each CMA student enjoys an educational experience tailored to his or her own learning styles, interests, and goals.
This 21st century learning model for our online high school also places an emphasis on facilitating anddeveloping each student's sense of creativity, critical thinking skills, embracing of personal empowerment, and endeavor toward purposeful living.
5 Pillars of Personalized Education
At CMA-SAS, we base our learning model for our online school students on these five pillars of personalized education:
- Tiered educational support. Our students enjoy a comprehensive educational experience based on three tiers of educational support:
- At the administrative level, students receive the benefits of guidance counseling, curriculum and instructional specialists, admissions and registration personnel, transcript services, and other services related to supporting each student's educational program.
- At the instructional level, students have the benefits of certified personalized education coaches and subject area instructors.
- At the resources level, students receive the benefits of curriculum and related resources, from online textbooks and virtual labs, to interactive online classrooms.
- Individual learning styles, interests, and goals. Our students enjoy an educational program designed around their personal learning styles, interests, and goals. Student-centered learning focuses on each student's strengths and encourages and engages students to be more active in their own learning. The overall educational program for each student includes the following:
- Perceptual modalities
- Environmental preferences
- Multiple Intelligences
- Psychological and social preferences
- Personal interests and goals
- Course and curriculum options. Our students enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with our instructors to create personalized course and curriculum plans. Part of their learning plan involves blended learning, which is a combination of primarily online content, activities, and instruction, paired with select offline work and experiential or real-life applications of concepts as students are learning them. Our course and curriculum development process includes four key options:
- PEG-created: Personalized Education Group (PEG) creates courses based on multiple modalities, such as text, videos, and interactive exercises.
- Partner-created: Using our Learning Management System (LMS), students receive all their course instructions and related links, instructor contact info, and other resources.
- Tailored course: Students can have modified or replacement lessons, based on personal needs and preferences.
- Customized course: Students collaborate with their instructors to design and develop courses, as long as they meet designated course objectives and competencies.
- Flexible scheduling/Self-paced. In our online high school, our students have access to their courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This allows them to study at their own pace, to take time off to match public school calendars, and to accommodate family schedules. In addition, students can take longer or shorter times to complete a course, or take multiple courses at once.
- Mastery-based learning. Our students strive to achieve a minimum of 80 percent mastery of their lessons. This relates to our self-paced model, as some students may need to retake a lesson or have modifications made, while other students may work at an accelerated pace if they master the content sooner. Either way, students achieve mastery before moving on.