Our asynchronous learning model provides students with the flexibility they need to succeed. Laurel Springs is designed for the student who wishes to grow and excel academically and personally, while maintaining a flexible schedule. Our personalized approach is competency-based and asynchronous, meaning that students have the opportunity to move faster or slower through the material, depending on their individual skills and knowledge. This approach allows students the ability to adapt their schedules to accommodate their other interests.
In his article titled, Advantages of Using Both Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies in an Online Learning Environment, Michael Higley addresses the benefits of an asynchronous learning model for students.
In an asynchronous learning environment students are able to actively participate in their own learning, giving them the opportunity to interact with their peers, provide peer feedback, and reflect on the status of their personal learning goals and outcomes (Er et al., 2009; Harris et al., 2009; Simonson et al., 2012). Asynchronous technologies support learning and allow more time for student reflection, collaboration, and student-to-student interactions (Bonk & Zhang, 2006; Skylar, 2009; Meloni, 2010).
A number of educational benefits can be observed from the use of asynchronous technologies in an online learning environment including:
- enriched student products and portfolios,
- student and teacher collaboration, and
- learner specific pacing geared to the individual student needs
(Hrastinski, 2008; Skylar, 2009; Meloni, 2010; eLearners.com, 2012).
At Laurel Springs we pride ourselves on delivering a quality curriculum that prepares students for college and beyond. We help students think about the world and solve problems in new ways. We offer a high-quality curricular program enhanced and optimized for student success. Typically, the term curriculum refers to the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program. Additionally, many educators define the term curriculum to refer to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet; the units and lessons that teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; the course materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning.
Laurel Springs Academic Department Chairs and curriculum team actively participate in the development of the curricula, often refining and improving them over years, and collaborating with colleagues to modify and enhance the learning activities. In addition, the Laurel Springs curricular offerings are mapped as pathways to help students identify courses that match their interests and ensure they are meeting our academic requirements for graduation. Our pathways follow a college preparatory model to ensure all of our students are ready for the next steps on their academic journey.
Our accreditation ensures that Laurel Springs students receive reciprocity of credits, courses, and grade-level placements with schools and universities around the world. Our accredited status validates the equivalency of diplomas and certificates to other accredited schools and universities, and indicates that our curriculum and teachers are meeting state and U.S. standards. In addition, because Laurel Springs is an accredited online school, our transcripts are recognized by colleges and universities worldwide.
Our accrediting bodies acknowledge our focus on global citizenship and collaboration as best practices in our ever-changing school community.
“Preparing students for today’s interdependent global society is critical. Educators and students recognize the need to focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, which are all integral to global competence.
The accreditation process includes the total involvement of all stakeholders as a “collaborative culture” in meaningful dialogue, self-reflection, problem-solving, and shared decision-making. The accreditation process reinforces the basic tenets of how [people] learn best: the ability to be self-directed and involved with problem-solving approaches related to their passion — high-quality student learning.”
Marilyn S. George, Ed.D., Associate Executive Director,
Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC
Because Laurel Springs is an online school comprised of students located in more than 90 countries, we are constantly evaluating new technologies and identifying opportunities to engage our community in a meaningful dialogue about global citizenship.
As cited on the AdvancedED website, the AdvancED Standards for Quality require each school to be reviewed in a way that is appropriate to its mission and purpose. These Standards are research-based, comprehensive statements that describe conditions and factors that contribute to a quality educational experience and operational effectiveness.