While I am dual-certified it is only in foreign languages. I teach French III, IV, and a combo of 4/5 College Preparatory. I also have taught Spanish I and French I as well as French II. I would ideally love to put all of my courses into an LMS, but the fact remains that most of my classes will always be in person and the most I will do is a blended approach.
There are a few courses that our high school is beginning which might be well suited for an online format and which I would be qualified to put there by means of an LMS. I am thinking in particular of the new STEAM classes which are part of the IB program we recently launched at our school. For the students desiring to pursue the IB career path, there is a foreign language requirement. However it is not the traditional Foreign Language course, with level 1 taking a year and learning the communicative basics, and it only lasts half the year. It requires a more specialized vocabulary which addresses the unique nature of the career path chosen. It also involves a great deal of personalization, since the students need to identify what they want to learn and do the research on their own. So I am thinking that a Spanish and a French course – the first geared towards health care and the second towards culinary – would be very well suited for online instruction.
Students could access the basic introductory material online and then work in groups and also individually to research and then post their own individual units which they are required to create. They could present these in an online forum to the whole class, thus building upon what each other presents and ending up with a student created / chosen vocabulary list and research project. It would be a great resource and a fun way for them to meet the requirement while working together with the other students in their specialization. This is also perfect because the small number for enrollment makes it challenging to run an entire section for these students. This online format gives them autonomy over the time and place of their course without limiting them to a schedule yet it would also allow for interaction and collaboration, which it so important in a foreign language course. I think it would be a brilliant way to meet this need.
The course could be divided into three sections – the first would be the instructional piece, where the grammatical basics are introduced.
The second part would be their individual Units. Students can choose a topic and they then must do an individual research project to find and present all of the relevant vocabulary. This needs to include a few authentic sources (like articles) in their area as well as a visual representation of the vocabulary.
The third part of the course would house the collaborative discussion page where the students would exchange ideas, sources, materials… anything and everything to help each other out and learn from each other. They would also answer the weekly discussion question here and interact over it.
The courses are only a semester long, they are specials, part of the STEAM program. There is no final exam, only the project that they submit. It seems like the ideal type of class to run online.
How about you? Are there non-traditional courses at your school that might be a good fit for being run online? Once you can do one…the sky is the limit. Keep this format in mind for new courses that are being proposed or for one that you always wanted to run but low enrollment might have prevented it. It truly opens up so many new doors!