High school students enrolled at VLACS now have access to an innovative new learning pathway designed to foster collaboration with fellow classmates in order to study and solve real-world problems.

The Team Pathway — involves students forming a virtual team that works together for 17-18 weeks to tackle a real-world issue. VLACS officially launched the new pathway in mid-December.

The topic for the first Teams course is Alternative Energy, an experience in which students will form a team and collaborate with energy experts and a VLACS instructor to investigate current energy issues and opportunities. Enrollment for the inaugural course is open until January 21, 2017.

VLACS Director of Instruction Scott Prescott said the Teams Pathway, which is derived from a New Hampshire Board of Education initiative involving learning studios, has been years in the making. Prescott said the new pathway is ideal for students who are looking to work in a collaborative environment with their peers and outside experts.

How it Works

Students will be expected to partake in periodic virtual meetings that are designed to emulate a real workplace environment with teams working on projects and coming up with recommendations based on their conclusions.

Using virtual meeting tools, a VLACS instructor will meet regularly with the team and subgroups within the team, communicate with the team through emails, and provide feedback and individual assistance as needed.

Unlike other VLACS pathways, Teams has hard start and stop dates, meaning students may enroll until a set start date and once this has passed, must enroll for the next session which will start in four to five months.

The Future of Learning Through Teams

Once the first course is complete, the plan is to offer two more Learning Through Teams courses beginning in June, according to Prescott. The course topics are expected to be: Social Marketing and Ecology.

While future Learning Through Teams courses are expected to be designed around STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, Prescott said the possibilities are endless. And while the pathway is currently only available for high school students both full and part time, Prescott said VLACS intends on rolling it out to middle school-age students in the future.

Want to learn more about the many learning pathways VLACS offers its students? Contact our team today!




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