With the end of the school year upon us, we at Learn outside the Lines reached out to several recent graduates of online or blended learning programs to learn more about their successes. What became clear in our conversations was that online and personalized learning can enable great success for students who otherwise may not have performed well in a traditional brick and mortar school setting.
Many students discussed the flexible pacing and higher engagement of their personalized learning programs. And, some students were forthright in attributing their success and on-time graduation to online learning.
One student we spoke to, who graduated from Poudre’s Global Academy in May 2014, commented that online learning has allowed her to excel despite her individual issues with pacing in Math and English and the social challenges she faced in a traditional brick and mortar school. An online learner for life, she is now attending college online at Front Range Community College and plans to transfer to Colorado State University.
Continue reading below to read the full story of one of our most recent successes:
LoTL: What did/do you like about online learning?
Student: I love that online learning is self-paced. In classes that I excel in, such as English, I am able to move quickly and complete the course. For classes that I struggle in, such as Math, I am able to get the help I need and learn at a bit slower pace. This is definitely something I couldn’t do in [traditional] public school, because I earned grades that would not have enabled me going to college. I love online learning so much that I am still doing online classes at Front Range Community College.
LoTL: What was/is your favorite online subject, and why?
Student: My favorite online subject is English. I have always had a passion for writing. My English teacher, Ms. Stevens at PSD Global Academy, challenged me to meet goals I never dreamed possible. She really brought my writing to the next level and made the overall aspect of English class exciting.
LoTL: Why did you become an online learner?
Student: I became an online learner because I was struggling socially in [traditional] public school. I was an extremely shy person and never really felt like I fit in. This hindered me in my studies. I was afraid to raise my hand in class if I didn’t understand the material in fear of being made fun of by my classmates.
My mom realized that I was struggling. She was the person that told me about PSD Global Academy. Ever since starting my studies at PSD, I’ve fallen in love with learning and my educational path.
LoTL: How has online learning prepared you for life after graduation?
Student: Online learning has prepared me for life after graduation in many ways. Learning online requires a great deal of responsibility. You have to make sure that you log in to class every day and complete your assignments and notes.
Online learning has taught me how to be responsible in life. Whether it’s at a job or in college, I learned that the most important tasks in life come first, and the fun comes later! Another thing that online school has taught me is how to tackle really big writing assignments; online school requires A LOT of writing. At times, it can be overwhelming. I learned how to manage my time to get it done and ended up successful in the end. This really came in handy when I started college because I have to do just as much writing there.
LoTL: What would you tell someone else about online learning?
Student: I would tell them that it is a lot harder than [traditional] public school. Don’t expect it to be a walk in the park. You have to be dedicated to your schooling and have strong grit. But, you also get a great deal of support and have a team of teachers cheering you on via email!
LoTL: What are you doing now that you have graduated, or what are your plans after graduation?
Student: Now that I have graduated, I have become a certified florist at Palmers School of Floral Design.
Currently, I am attending Front Range Community College 100% online. My plan is to get an Associate of Art’s degree and transfer over to Colorado State University to pursue a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing.
LoTL: Is there anything else you would like to say about your online learning experience or being an online learner?
Student: Online learning has impacted my life greatly! I feel more confident in myself because I had amazing teachers who reminded me every day that I can keep going. I would have never thought in a million years that I could meet the goals that I have, and it’s all because I was in a program that fit me perfectly. These past four years of online learning have been absolutely incredible.
To learn more about student success on online and blended learning programs, click here.