Many elements of this program can be immediately implemented in any teacher's classroom who has Internet access. These are all things that I have done within the last four years. Here are several elements of the program and how they can be integrated into the classroom:
This site was a 'procedures website' where procedural information for the course is posted. This is a free site for teachers.
a. Post daily homework assignments which accrue throughout the grading period so that students who missed an assignment could always find out what the assignment was (2000-2001).
b. Post websites of interest, addresses where class information and grades could be found, the teacher's e-mail address, the days and times when the teacher would be in class, other items which arose from time to time (2001-2003).
2. MicroGrade - a secure commercial site where students' grades were available to be view by students and parents
This site is where student grades can be posted and available to anyone who knows the student ID number and password. This site is available free to teacher who purchase the grading software.
During the year any student or parent can access this site and determine what elements of the course have not yet been completed. In an Internet-based course, it is essential that students know where they stand so that they can complete the missing work to their satisfaction.
3. Class website - this site for instructional material.
a. Place all items originally handed out to the students on paper on the site in PDF format which means that they are not just black/white as are paper handouts, but they could show color to emphasis important points. These include explanatory sheets and practice material.
b. Provided answer for all required material which the students were expected to write out and turn in, including answers to materials in workbooks or the textbook, if they are used. Students would print off the papers they needed, complete things which needed to be written, then correct these sheets from the answers on the website, and later turn in all the pages in a unit packet.
c. During the latter part of the 2001-2002 year all the exams for the last four units were placed on the Internet for the German 3 students.
4. Change how students are expected to submit their work.
a. Certain elements of the German 1-3 program had to be recorded by the student as they were accomplished and submitted as part of their work at the end of each grading period. Each student recorded detailed information about his outside reading and the amount and type of material to which he listened.
b. During the last 1/3 of the school year (2001-2002), the German 3 students were able to download the quizzes and exams for each chapter from the Internet, complete them without assistance, and turn them in with their unit packet.
b. While German 1-3 students submitted much of their work on paper to the instructor, the German 4-5 students submitted nothing on paper to the instructor (unless there was a technology failure).
c. All written essay material was submitted to the instructor via e-mail as an attachment and returned with trackable corrections also via e-mail.
d. Since the German 4 students created their own curriculum within certain guidelines (see German Program at CHS for a description), each student did different things. The students had to maintain records of their work and grades for oral and written activities and submit a spread sheet at the end of each grading period that defined what they had completed during the period.
5. Students must also become proactive learners. They cannot just sit in class, listen to the teacher, and write the tests. In this model the students have to learn how to find the information they are to learn, how to get it clarified if it is not clear initially, how to keep track of what they have to do and what they have already done, how to set personal priorities to complete their work by the deadlines and have the motivation to complete their plan. This is not a small task for high school students, especially the younger ones. This concept needs to be discussed and students needed to be provided with ways to learn how to accomplish these tasks - which is why the German 2 and 3 students were given a suggested outline of how to complete the work for the first three units.