Catching Up with VES: How to Make Use of Independent Courses

In a recent news release, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced their Plan to Catch Up, an initiative to help students recover from the learning loss experienced during school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the plan includes new Catch Up Payments to assist families with the cost of supports, equipment, technology, or supplies that aid learners in catching up. These payments can be used for additional resources to help outside of the classroom to complement the support learners are already receiving in their day schools.

How can VES independent courses help your learner catch up?

Our independent courses offer a great way to give students the extra practice they need at their own pace. We do not have sign-on schedules or live classes in our courses. Students can choose how they spend their time and work on catching up when it best suits them and their families. They can choose to spend less time on lessons and concepts they already understand and more time on those they find challenging. We often find that this approach results in better learning outcomes for students!

All learning materials and lessons are available to students for the duration of their course (12 months). This means students can review lessons and videos as often as they wish! VES courses employ an asynchronous learning model, meaning students don’t have to follow a typical school schedule. Students can register at any time and move through the material at the ideal pace for their individual learning needs.

Depending on how much additional support a student needs, you could register your learner for a course below their current grade level. You could use this as a reference tool to review and build upon their foundational knowledge needed to succeed at their current grade level. Our courses are offered individually by subject and grade level, so the student can register for one or more courses depending on the areas they need to catch up in. This allows students to focus on the particular subject areas that they may have more difficulty in without needing to review an entire grade.

How do VES independent courses work?

All VES courses are aligned with the Ontario curriculum and include comprehensive lessons, assessments, interactive and hands-on activities, and videos. The independent option is for families and students who want to register for a course and work independently. This is ideal for parents and guardians who are looking for additional reference or resource materials for their learner to review. Completing the activities and assignments will help them to practice their skills as often as they want without the pressure of falling behind their peers in a day school classroom.

At VES, we believe that students thrive that much more when learning coaches enjoy the experience of teaching! The Learning Coach Portal included with our courses gives parents and guardians a resource to use to help their children succeed in catching up. The learning coach (i.e., the parent, guardian, or tutor) is responsible for answering content questions and grading assessments. As the learning coach, you’ll be able to track your learner’s progress and achievement using the VES tools that are provided to help you guide your child through their learning journey. These tools include answer keys for mathematics courses and rubrics for other subjects. You may use the detailed course outline and gradebook for each course to indicate evidence of student learning if required by the student’s day school.

For more information about VES independent courses, click here.

What are the benefits of a Learning Management System?

There are many benefits to having a safe and secure place for students to further their learning. Having to log in to various apps and platforms, navigate between tabs and windows, click through PowerPoint presentations, and attend virtual meetings can create undue frustration and barriers. This ultimately distracts students from their ability to get through content and master concepts. The fewer of these barriers that exist, the more positive the experience for the student and the more of their energy they can devote to learning. At Virtual Elementary School, all courses are completed in a single, secure place—the Brightspace by D2L Learning Management System (LMS). There is a single sign-on process so that once a student logs in with their username and password there are no additional apps or webpages to open in order to access their course content. All VES accounts contain our Introduction to VES Course with navigation tips and training, making the transition to our LMS seamless.

At Virtual Elementary School, we understand that not all students learn in the same way, which is why we meet or exceed provincial accessibility standards in our courses and LMS. For more information about accessibility at VES, click here.

In addition to providing high-quality, engaging course materials rich with images, videos, and interactive activities, VES staff members are here to support you and your learner. Visit our Contact Us page to call, live chat, or email us today!

Published On: November 4, 2022