Friday, March 28, 2014

A Pleasant Surprise Courtesy of Asynchronous Learning

I have a student who has struggled in my course this year. I'll refer to him as Donald. Donald hasn't quite internalized the demands of the course; specifically, he falls behind and doesn't use homework time to catch up. Donald definitely has struggled with the personal responsibility needed to be successful in my course.

This may have changed! I was pleasantly surprised during this spring break - a much appreciated #eduwin. Donald spent some of his spring break working on the next unit. So far, Donald has taken notes on two videos and completed an entire POGIL. Had this been a different student, I would be worried about spending vacation time doing school work but this is a good move for him. Donald will start the next unit a week ahead of his peers. Not only will this give him a cushion and provide great momentum at the beginning of the final quarter, but I suspect this will also be a psychological boost. I think he'll feel great about being ahead when all year he has been behind. 

Even though I expected some of the exceptional students to work ahead of peers, I didn't foresee this possibility. I use this mastery model to allow students to work at their normal pace but I never intended for a struggling student to use vacation time to move ahead. If Donald has a successful final quarter, I'm quite sure it will be because he took the initiative and took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the asynchronous flipped class model.