7 Ways OLu Supports Blended Learners
Blended learning is an effective education option that combines familiar in-class courses with asynchronous online learning courses. This gives students the time and space to engage in other commitments outside of school, such as a highly-competitive sport, internship, or mission work, and helps make our academic program integrated with our Christian faith accessible to all, regardless of where the student lives.
However, many may think that education can only be provided in person because that's just how it’s always been. To add to it all, the pandemic forced the concept of virtual or remote learning on the world, leaving some families overwhelmed and loaded with questions. Blended learning can be a great option for many students, but parents may be wondering: Will blended learners receive the same support as in-person students? And can students in online learning be provided the same quality of education and support?
With over 20 years of experience in online learning, Orange Lutheran’s (OLu) Blended learning program has helped students in the Orange County area experience academic success by utilizing an education model that works for them on an individual basis.
At OLu, all learning options provide students with a personalized, engaging, and balanced approach to education that is rooted in a Christ-centered environment, and our team of experienced educators is here to provide the right support at every step of the journey.
1. College Counseling
All blended learners are granted full access to all our on-campus services such as counseling, college planning, student life, extracurricular activities, and Missions.
At OLu, academic advisors and a counselor on campus have been assigned to exercise and offer effective strategies to support blended learners. Their unique understanding of our online learning courses means our students receive the best support available.
Some of the many ways our counselors support blended learners include college planning, social and emotional support, relevant testing procedures and resources (SAT or ACT), discovering financial aid opportunities, career exploration, and more.
Parents should also keep in mind that all our online core classes are accredited through reputable institutions like the University of California and Cal State systems as well as being NCAA-approved and WASC-accredited. This means that all learners, including blended learners, will be college-ready with our curriculum.
Are you concerned about your child’s grades and university applications? Here’s what you need to know about the grades colleges look at during the application process.
2. How Teachers Support Students in Online Learning
Every online learning class has a teacher who facilitates the classroom, makes weekly announcements, grades work, provides feedback, and sends periodic evaluations to the student and parents.
OLu's teachers are located across the country and maintain a Christ-centric approach to teaching. Each teacher has designated office hours every day from Monday to Friday, during which they can be contacted to support blended learners who cannot readily access them as in-person students can.
While online learning can offer flexibility to its students, it does also require students to advocate for themselves. Students must manage their time well, be self-motivated and make an effort to call or email their teachers if and when they have a question or need any support.
By speaking up and reaching out to teachers, Orange Lutherans Online (OLO) students have the opportunity to build a one-on-one relationship with their teachers.
Do you have questions about our online learning program? Find answers to FAQs about online learning here.
3. Academic Advisors Check Grades Weekly and Will Reach Out If They Identify a Challenge
Blended learners have an extra layer of support from on-campus academic advisors that monitor their weekly updates to ensure learners are on track. Whether students are on-campus or off-campus, they can access help from OLu’s blended learning academic advisors between 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Academic advisors support blended learners in many ways. Their support strategies include teaching blended learners important skills and sharing vital information with them like how to submit assignments online, how to better manage their time, academic integrity, and more.
For example, if academic dishonesty is detected, the student is called in to meet with their assigned advisor. Advisors treat this as an effective teaching opportunity for the student. They help students learn why academic dishonesty is wrong, how it’s unacceptable in college, and share effective strategies to support blended learners through challenges.
Want to learn what it's like to be a student at Orange Lutheran High School? Check out a day in the life of a student here.
4. Personalized Individual Feedback on Assignments
Although online classes in Blended learning are asynchronous, unlike the familiar synchronous learning over Zoom that was popularized during the pandemic, blended learners' assignments and work are read and graded by teachers regularly.
Teachers share personalized updates on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and are available by phone or email during office hours to support blended learners.
Students are provided with an online course guide at the start of their course that lists all the assignments, their due dates, and other course material so students can plan their schedule ahead of time.
OLu utilizes software such as SafeAssign and TurnItIn to detect academic dishonesty when submitting these assignments.
Learn more about the tuition & financial aid available for blended learning students.
5. Tech Support
Given that blended learning does include the use of technology, OLu provides a tech department that's always ready to support blended learners with problems related to setting up a device, accessing school resources, or general use issues, regardless of who owns the device.
Tech support is available every day from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. As always, students can contact the technology department if they need advice on tech or tech device repairs related matters.
6. Founded on Christian faith
As an institution founded on the Christian faith, OLu equips and trains students to love Jesus and glorify Him in their everyday lives; we reflect this mission in all areas of our academic experience. OLu is a comprehensive private Christian co-educational college preparatory high school that exists to help students internalize the gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus.
We offer a diverse educational experience and welcome students from various religious backgrounds. We request that parents, students, family members, and our community respect one another regardless of their beliefs or differences.
Our goal is to develop healthy, strong, caring students who understand that their identity is in Christ alone and who are strengthened and prepared for a Christian life of purpose, service, and leadership in a global society.
As an institution affiliated with the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LCMS), we believe, teach, and confess the unchanging truth of Holy Scripture as described in the Lutheran Confessions and the belief and practice of the LCMS.
7. High-Quality Course Content
OLu offers innovative and high-quality online courses designed to allow students to broaden their academic experience.
Our rigorous college preparatory courses designed by our own instructors offer a unique blend of flexibility, engagement, and accountability to cultivate academic achievement. Students should expect to invest 1 to 2 hours a day in the coursework for each class.
The OLO courses maintain the school's high-quality content and are similar to the content of courses taught on campus.
By aligning the quality of content that is taught across the different learning options, we are able to show parents that their kids are being provided with the same world-class and Christ-centered education as all their peers.
Topics from this blog: AcademicsBack