Research has shown that the number one reason students drop out of Online Courses is the lack of contact with the teacher and with fellow students.
Closely followed by reason number 2: no or very little opportunity for students to practice what they have learned and, equally important, to produce actual output under the watchful eye of the teacher.
Reason number one and two are linked: the student needs a classroom setting where questions can be asked (and hopefully answered satisfactorily), doubts raised, and above all, where there is opportunity for PRACTICE. Without it, motivation levels will drop as soon as a few weeks into a course.
Any successful learning process unfolds in three stages:
INPUT – PRACTICE – OUTPUT
You take out any of the three, and you have a recipe for didactic failure followed by high drop-out rates.
ASTROLOGY IS A SKILL. IT NEEDS PRACTICE. LOTS OF IT.
And yet the vast majority of Online Courses – including astrology ones – seem to part from the idea that stage one suffices. “If you stuff enough information through the funnel going into the head, then skills will come out the other end,” so the reasoning seems to be. Well, guess what. It doesn´t work that way. To avoid this deadly pitfall the EA School Online uses a form of
Blended learning in the strict sense of the term is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional “brick and mortar” classroom methods.
Instead of place-based classes however, the EA School Online has opted for the Zoom Virtual Classroom. Why? Because it has many advantages over the traditional brick and mortar classroom. Let me list the most important ones for you:
- CONTROL OVER TIME place and pace is no longer in the hands of the teacher. In a traditional classroom setting the teacher fixes the dates and times for class. Sometimes this happens based on student availability, but in the majority of cases it doesn´t.
- CONTROL OVER PLACE: in a traditional classroom setting the teacher chooses the venue for classes to be held. For students this often involves extensive travel, high boarding costs, insurance, absence from work, loss of income, not to speak of the potential hazards of having to go from A to B. Far more important than lack of control over time and place however, is lack of control over the pace of study.
- CONTROL OVER PACE: this is where we appreciate the true benefits of the form of Blended Learning the EA School Online offers. Classes are level-pitched and offered biweekly, alternating morning, afternoon and evening slots. But that´s not all. They are all-year-round. And when the year is over, a new cycle starts in the following year.
This way you, the student, have complete control over your study pace whilst assured of the guidance of your teacher. You can take three months to finish a module or three year. The need for this does not come from some fancy theory but from real life: students have had to abandon their traditional classes because of work, because they moved to another part of the country, because they fell ill etc. Although all of this may still happen when enrolled in an EA School Online course – and I sincerely hope you will be spared the bad stuff – the good news is that:
- you don´t lose your course (with often no right to a refund)
- you don´t lose your group of fellow-students
- you simply pick up again where you left off when you are ready.
All you need is a free Zoom account, a good Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.
The student being able to set their own pace of study is key in the acquiring of knowledge and skills. Why?
Because not everyone finds the same things difficult or easy to master. In the few months that we´ve been online now, it turns out students greatly benefit from class flexibility: they will skip three or four classes and then appear out of nowhere again. Why do they do this?
Good question. I had the same question and was surprised by how obvious the answer I got was: they attend class when they have doubts and feel the need to practice. If they don´t, they dedicate their valuable time to their Online studies.
The Online study materials consist of:
- 30-minute videos (a module will normally have around 25 video lessons)
- A comprehension test for each lesson (with a 100-page EA manual in the background, highlighting the EA reasoning behind questions and answers)
- Homework Assignments (which can be brought to class for practice)
Here comes reason number 4. Brace yourself.
- CONTROL OVER DISPOSITION. This is the big one that is always overlooked. Since classes are offered the way they are, students tend not to attend class unless they are in optimum study mode.
Just think of the difference with a traditional class. In a traditional class I tell you when and where to study. That may not always be such a good moment or even place for you.
All-year-round Zoom classes mean you ´go´ to class when you feel like it, meaning psychologically you are in optimum study mode. The same goes for your Internet studies, by the way. When you are tired after a hard day´s work, you will probably not want to sit down at your computer. But on your day off, with everyone out of the house, or at the weekend, you probably will. Just think what this means in terms of MOTIVATION.
In all educational programs, motivation is top of the list. Without it, failure is almost guaranteed. Now for some practical advantages of the Zoom Virtual Classroom:
- No longer will you be staring at a chart from several meter´s distance, barely able to make out the planets and signs. In your Zoom Virtual Classroom the chart is on your screen and it is full screen. And in high definition.
- You will be able to ask the teacher questions via your microphone but also via the chat box. This means the teacher sees your question appear on his screen and can prepare his answer whilst he is in the middle of explaining something. He can and will try to incorporate it into what he is explaining. This leads to a much more streamlined class and fewer distractions for students.
- The Zoom Virtual Classroom allows for students to work in so-called break-out groups. In them students work together in small groups without other groups (or even the teacher!) being able to see or hear them. When assignments have been completed the teacher can then join these smaller groups together again and have whole-class feedback and discussion.
- With travel time out of the equation and optimum motivation guaranteed, concentration levels tend to be considerably higher in the Zoom Virtual Classroom than in the traditional one. When the lesson is over, you are home.
- The visual and auditory clarity and immediacy of the Zoom Virtual Classroom make that almost no information is lost.
The Zoom Virtual Classroom is equipped with a whiteboard that can be used by both teacher and students. Use the Contact Form or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free guided tour, complemented by a free astrology Zoom Class, so that you may experience the advantages of this EA School Online first-hand.