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How to Implement a Flex Classroom Model Using Courseware

How to Implement a Flex Classroom Model Using Courseware

One way to encourage student engagement is to foster a flexible learning environment where students have agency over what they’re learning and the pace at which they’re learning it. This level of personalized learning can be facilitated by using online learning as a core instructional tool and flexible scheduling—which brings us to the flex classroom model of blended learning.

In a previous post, we discussed how Courseware, Edmentum’s standards-aligned digital curricula, could be used in a flipped classroom, where direct instruction occurs at home and application of learning occurs in class. In this post, we’ll discuss how Courseware can help facilitate a flex model, in which instruction and application can both take place in the classroom.

How to Implement a Flex Classroom Model Using Courseware

How Does the Flex Model Work?

In the flex model, learners move on an individually customized, fluid schedule. Most of the learning takes place in in-person classes and educators provide one-on-one support to students on a flexible, as-needed basis through small-group instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring.

With this model, direct instruction occurs individually in the classroom using a digital curriculum. When students are ready to apply what they’ve learned, they have various options to choose from such as working directly with instructors when they need additional guidance, working in teacher-led small groups for peer practice, and working in group projects to show mastery.

What Does the Flex Model Look Like in the Classroom?

As the name implies, there are several different ways a flex classroom model can run. A good thing to remember is that most of these steps can happen simultaneously in the same class, allowing students the flexibility to decide what type of learning/activity they’re ready for. Here’s what it can look like with Courseware:

Initial Student Assessment

In Courseware, before students can begin working on a unit in a course, they are prompted to take a pretest. Pretests are automatically graded and can be used to exempt students from modules in which they’ve already shown mastery. Any following lessons and activities they work on will be personalized to what they have still yet to learn.

Independent Learning

As students work in lessons and receive direct instruction, they’ll encounter multiple formative assessment questions that will check their understanding of the content. As they work on these lessons, educators have access to view student data to keep an eye on progress and pinpoint when students need additional help.

Teacher Guidance

In the flex classroom model, teachers serve as a “guide on the side.” This means that most of the direct instruction takes place online and students seek your one-on-one guidance when they struggle to understand concepts.

However, because this is a flex model, if you determine that a portion of your class would benefit from additional instruction, you can break up students into small groups so that you can focus on remediation with them while other students either work independently or in group project assignments. In this way, all students in the classroom are engaged in the type of learning they individually need.

Application of Learning

Once students have received direct instruction and have sought your guidance to fill in learning gaps, it’s time to apply what they’ve learned. This can be done in several ways:

  • Breakout groups are great for students who want to discuss what they learned out loud with peers to make sure that they fully understand the concepts they just learned.
  • Online course activities found in Courseware are great for students who wish to work on a project independently. These activities are also perfect for a collaborative group project.
  • Group projects are great for students who have a good handle of the concepts they learned and are now ready to collaborate with their classmates on a shared goal. In English class, this can be a book report presentation. In science class, this can be a science lab experiment. In math class, this can be students coming up with a math-related solution to a real-world problem.

Demonstration of Mastery

After direct instruction has taken place, learning has been applied, and intervention needs have been addressed, the next step is for students to demonstrate mastery. In Courseware, students take a unit test that includes questions covering all the lessons in the unit (including lessons that they exempted out of through the pretest). Often, teachers pair mastery tests with final unit group presentations to ensure that students can articulate what they’ve learned—proving they’re ready to move on to the next unit.

Ready to find out more about the benefits of blended learning? Check out our blended learning how-to guide to see what other blended learning models would make a great fit in your classroom!