Are you a parent or teacher entering the realm of online school for the first time? If so, you're not alone. The changes to how we teach and learn have been happening dramatically ever since the Internet introduced itself into our lives. And in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they've been turned on their ear. So with so many adults hurriedly looking at options for online schools and remote learning to continue their children's education, people have questions.
Below are some of the most common questions that come up around online schools. We ourselves built the Wabisabi Academy to provide positive and encouraging answers to all of these questions. If you have a question to ask that does not appear on this list, we invite you to contact us anytime. We did, however, do our best to address the most common ones people ask.
Common FAQs About Online School Answered
1. What does online school cost?
Perhaps the most prominent decision-making factor for choosing any course of study involves its financial requirement. That said, online schooling is usually more cost-efficient than instruction in a traditional school.
With a physical school, there are many more costs to cover than there are with remote or virtual learning. There are staff and supplies, utilities, and building maintenance to pay for, as well as food and rent costs. College students are also paying for residence on top of what are often outrageous tuition fees. With online learning, all of this is either drastically reduced or eliminated.
At Wabisabi Learning, we have been careful to ensure that our online learning platform is accessible for everyone. The innovative framework delivers a higher quality learning experience at a lower cost and is available anywhere. You can learn more about the Wabisabi Academy online learning experience here.
2. How is online school structured?
Although this varies between domains, the premise is simple. Learners and instructors will generally create an account with the learning management system (LMS) they are using, and log on when their day of learning begins. This LMS acts as the portal through which learners view and post assignments, interact with peers and instructors, access course materials and support services, and more.
From there, interfaces differ between each LMS. The flexible education platform used by the Wabisabi Academy, for example, focuses on portfolio-based learning. As learners progress at their own pace, they post work in their online class portfolio which can then be made available for both teacher and peer assessment. Learners and instructors chat in real-time about their efforts and receive instant feedback for driving learning forward.
Also, lessons on Wabisabi Academy are completely customised for the learner. Often we are asked, "How long is online school a day?" We answer that with the Wabisabi Academy, each child learns in their way and at their own pace, which also makes this kind of online schooling highly flexible.
3. What's a typical online school assignment look like?
Learners can expect, in most cases, to see assignments similar to what they would see in a traditional school setting. However, online learning can include things like virtual discussion boards where in-class questions can be posted for review.
With Wabisabi Academy, online lessons are highly visual in nature and are aligned to standards that are accessible right inside the app. Learners can use chat features to post questions and view feedback. The Wabisabi Academy also fits each online class with a virtual meeting room in which more extensive group instruction and discussion can easily take place.
4. How long does a student have to complete a lesson?
Online schooling has, for the most part, an asynchronous time component. You'll very rarely find situations where online learning mimics a traditional classroom in which everyone learns the same thing at set times. Learners generally have a lot of flexibility in regards to both learning times and assignment/course completion. This is perfect if your online school is hosting students from different regions in other time zones.
5. How do students interact in an online school?
With any educational environment, there comes the need for socialisation and meaningful interaction. It is that social aspect that students have missed in the wake of the pandemic that locked down the world and closed schools at the beginning of March 2020. Online schooling, although not face to face, still offers plenty of chances to make and maintain meaningful connections with others.
There are lots of ways for learners to connect in an online learning environment, and especially in Wabisabi Academy. For example, the built-in chat features mimic the kind of social media environments students love. Besides other options such as using a virtual meeting room, students can also connect through email or text.
6. Are there tests and final exams?
It mostly depends on the school. For schools that administer scheduled exams, this usually involves the learner signing on to a testing website where the exam is hosted. On online proctor will be in attendance in this case. Learners will likely have a specific window of time in which they can log in to complete the test, and will be given a set amount of time to complete it. This is just one example of how an LMS may manage student examinations.
There are no online courses, multiple-choice tests, or exams in Wabisabi Academy. Instead, we have master teacher advisors that work with families to create completely individualised learning plans for every learner. We also offer a network of industry mentors whose life mission is to share a love of learning in their chosen field, be it robotics or writing.
7. Do instructors work in classes or one-on-one?
Both, actually. In the case of one-on-one instruction, this can be tricky if an instructor has multiple students who are all learning at the same time. That said, with proper scheduling and time management strategies applied, it's doable.
What makes the Wabisabi Academy unique is the fact that teachers can build custom online classrooms and quickly populate them with students. These virtual classrooms feature a navigable dashboard where all projects and assignments are posted and discussed. Students can get feedback in real-time or by notifications. As always, for virtual class teaching times, a virtual meeting room is always available to both learners and instructors.
8. How are instructors contacted?
A common misconception with online learning is that instructors will often be less available. However, the options (and hence the benefits) with contacting online instructors outshine the barriers presented by a traditional classroom setting.
For one thing, you can contact instructors anytime during an online school term. Such connections can happen through email, text, online chat, or virtual meeting, depending on your LMS platform and your instructor's preferences. Generally speaking, there is much less of a chance that individual students will miss getting help in an online environment. This is because the learning environment is much more flexible and less time-constrained.
Another significant benefit to contacting instructors in an online school is that it's perfect for more introverted learners. Those who tend to be shy or who suffer from social anxieties can contact their teachers privately to ask for the help they need.
The Perfect Online Schooling Solution
If you have been searching for the solution to your online schooling needs, then look no further than Wabisabi Academy. We've created a network of micro-schools built on the world's first flexible education platform and aligned to national curriculum standards.
For families, this means a solution to meaningful learning for today and the future. Our goal is to build a community for creating, enhancing, and deepening meaningful connections between people through exceptional online learning experiences.
We believe learning happens within the mind and heart of the learner. That means it can occur at home, at school, and in the world. Wabisabi Academy bridges the gap between these. We fit into the life of the family by facilitating and managing learning to co-create a transferable portfolio of evidence aligned to national education standards. To find out more, visit the Wabisabi Academy website.