Independent Study

Independent Study

Every school system in America offers an on-line educational program for use by at-risk students to stay in school and to achieve high school credits. Although most of these schools systems believe they have had excellent success with their alternative school programs, research conducted by outside investigators have shown that on-line educational programs that remove the teacher from the instructional program are poor substitutes for a quality academic program, as they simply do not deliver the results or a life-long academic experience to students.

Our own investigation of the results obtained from independent, self-paced instruction that use self-paced study as the sole source of a student's education, has shown that students can forget as much as half of what they learned within six to eight weeks. And, the other half is often filled with so much misinformation that it makes the time and effort spent by them to be almost worthless.

Firms that offer these on-line independent study programs have made huge claims about the effectiveness of their system , and their ability to deliver as much as a three grade level performance gain in as little as three months of study. They also claim that their use of "highly interactive and engaging" content is the solution for those students who are not successful in traditional programs.

We submit that any program that places failing students in charge of their own education are simply fooling themselves, because the more successful teachers are in motivating their students to succeed, the faster these students will race through the content in their desire to succeed academically. We do not have to tell you that when this occurs, the information they acquired is often filled with "errors and omissions" that what they thought they learned was often very shallow and filled with a great deal of misunderstanding about what they had read. Even if a student wanted to correct their deficiencies, these systems rarely possess a manner by which students could detect and correct their errors. As a result, the effort exerted by students in hopes of obtaining an education did little more than to verify that they had participated and met their seat-time requirements.

Based upon our twenty years of providing on-line educational systems, we sincerely believe that the most effective solution that can be provided to all students in one in which the instruction is provided by the use of self-paced on-line content that is integrated within a blended learning program that employs teachers to lead remedial discussion seminars using data driven information provided by automated diagnostic assessments.

When such a blended learning instructional strategy is used, schools can be assured that every student was successful in meeting their academic goals and schools in their desire to ensure that no child will ever be left behind.

In the following three screen shots, a student has been enrolled within a traditional class and has been advised by his teacher that they have failed the first semester and are in danger of losing their entire Algebra I credit. The teacher has also advised them that they may be able to restore this credit by immediately beginning to study independently at their own time and pace for the semester failed. The student begins by taking an automated assessment test that delivers a set of test questions for every first semester lesson.

The independent study module of STATIS is far more effective than all other Independent study products because it will continue to recycle a student through a lesson and its accompanying formative assessment test until mastery is demonstrated. Once a unit of study is completed using independent study, the teacher can then deliver a proctored exam to ensure that students did their own studying and are deserving of the credit. While all of this is occurring, the student continues to work with the teacher in the second semester content. By year's end, they should have successfully completed their studies and passed assessments for the course.

Screen shot 1

Screen shot 2

In screen shot 2 (below), he has taken the initial assessment, but did not score sufficiently high enough on lessons in units 1 and 2 (notice the color red on lesson 3 of unit 1 and lesson1 of unit 2). He must now restudy these two lessons and then take the follow-on assessment (see the color yellow on this follow-on assessment)) on this test. This study and test taking process continues until all lessons are satisfactorily taken and passed. Please be aware that there are more than 25 units containing as many as 80 lessons in this subject that are not shown in this example. In most cases, a failing student will exhibit failure of multiple lessons. STATIS will monitor and manage the entire process and report back to the teacher when the student completes their work.

Screen shot 3

Upon its completion (as shown in screen shot 3 (below) he has been notified that he passed, and can move on to the next lesson requiring study. Once all lessons are colored in green, he has completed the work assigned by the initial assessment and two follow-on assessments.

Through the use of total automation, STATIS can be easily adapted for use by all students including those in mainstream, at-risk, special needs, or ELL programs. It will also support students who are not enrolled in school due to expulsion, health, or other reasons that keep them from attending school.