How does online education work?  It works beautifully!

Americans have been convinced that the best education is done in a group setting, but it is really time to question the assumptions. The results are not good, and just a little analysis brings doubt to the American educational status quo.

Is it time to question the assumptions?

Consider, for example–

  • Do we all learn at the same pace, in the same way, or are we individual in our learning?
  • Do most children learn well by listening to a teacher talk?
  • Isn’t reading the most fundamental element of learning…and isn’t reading most enhanced in an individual and online education setting?
  • Do children really do well being herded from one course to another on a precise bell-ringing schedule? Wouldn’t they do better if they were able to move to the next class when they had mastered the material of the current class?
  • Are the elements of learning that require group interaction not also available in an online setting, taking advantage of advances in technology?
  • Does the child need a teacher sitting with him (and 30 other often unruly students) all day long? Could the teacher/student benefits be enhanced when the teacher is on call for one-on-one assistance rather than looking over the student’s shoulder all day long?
  • Is it really necessary for the child to be in school for 7-8 hours a day, with much of the day being wasted in administration, logistics, and behavioral issues of other students?

At John Nelson Darby Academy, we believe that your child can get a better and more well-rounded education online than in a traditional public school setting.

How does it work?

At JND, your child’s education will be a mixture of teacher-led experiences and student-focused online learning. Each subject will have roughly five lessons per week. Students within the class are expected to accomplish all their assignments within the week, but they can do so at their own pace. Early in the week, the teacher will give an overview of the week along with supplemental material to the course-work. During the week, the teacher is available when the student needs help understanding a concept.

When the student logs into his or her coursework, all the assignments will be on the desktop, ready to be completed. Each week of assignments will include daily assignments, quizzes, and tests. At times, projects and experiments or outside reading will be assigned. Most of the daily assignments and quizzes will be computer-graded, enabling the student to complete the assignment and move on to the next lesson at their own pace. Some tests and most projects require the teacher to manually grade the assignment before the student can continue.

Daily assignments are designed for a mastery of the facts. After reading the material online, and watching any supplemental videos or multi-media presentations, the student will answer some questions, online, to make sure he or she has a strong knowledge of the material. The student must answer 90% of the questions accurately to proceed to the next lesson. If the student fails to achieve 90% accuracy, the daily quiz can be taken over, as many times as necessary. We are not concerned with the fact that children will learn to look back at the material in order to get the right answer–because looking and finding the answer is exactly what we want them to do! We believe that a child will remember the answer if they had to go back and search for it. When a child is mastering each lesson with 90% accuracy, he or she will be very well prepared for unit quizzes and subject tests when they come.