Online instruction should focus on relevant and interesting topics emphasizing basic skills with content that applies to real-life situations which students can relate to, such as creating a budget or reviewing a movie.
The e-Tutor lesson modules, consist of nine parts followed by an assessment section, which contains quizzes and an exam.
- Introduction – a brief statement explaining the topic of the lesson.
- Grade Level – e-Tutor lessons are cross-aged at Primary, Intermediate, Middle/Jr. High, and High School.
- Lesson Goals – goals and objectives are modeled after national and state learning standards in the major subject areas.
- Resources – links to quality education web sites where students can find information to reinforce or expand upon the information given in the Study Guide.
- Lesson Problem – setting the stage for learning by posing a question(s) to be answered in completing the lesson.
- Vocabulary – enriched vocabulary words new to students are hyper-linked to dictionaries on the Internet.
- Study Guide – the main body of each lesson contains information on basic skills and concepts that students need to be successful learners.
- Activities – worksheets, experiments, projects that give the student practice in what s/he has learned.
- Extended Learning – additional thought provoking activities that stimulate logical thinking, creative reasoning and critical thinking.
Each section of the learning modules (Resources, Vocabulary, Study Guide, Activities, and Extended Learning) contributes to the learning process in a unique way. These modules, interesting topics and colorful graphics, make the online instructional program effective and inviting to the student. With the use of many valuable online educational resources, no place in the world is more than a few mouse clicks away.
For example, in a lesson module that investigates the giant pandas, the student learns about the pressing problem of saving the endangered animal by connecting to the World Wildlife Funds where the giant panda is one of the top ten most endangered species. The student is later linked to a map of China to study the native terrain of the pandas and to the San Diego Zoo for information about panda research. In this engaged learning environment, the students routinely take virtual field trips to every corner of the earth from the computer.
Online students are not time-stressed. A well-developed online instructional program can help students focus on learning, instead of time, by assisting the learner to manage information, by providing resources, and by being “open” 24 hours a day. This method of learning encourages students to learn by doing, simulating the real world situation.