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Online Learning at CTD

Engaging and Personalized Online Learning that Offers Challenge and Choice


Course Models that Meet Different Needs

Rather than adopt a rigid, one-size-fits-all model of online learning, CTD offers online and hybrid learning opportunities in a variety of formats to serve our diverse community of learners. Each model is tailored to be appropriate for students at particular stages of development and appropriate for the learning goals of the course. Courses vary in length, intensity, and mix of independent and collaborative learning opportunities.

Learn more about the distinction between asynchronous and synchronous learning at CTD.

What is asynchronous learning?

Asynchronous learning means students and instructors engage in class-related activities at different times, rather than in regularly scheduled live meetings. The benefits of this type of learning are numerous and reach beyond the classroom.

Students set the pace.

Course content is available for students when it best suits their schedules – engage your inner early bird or night owl!

Students can also advance quickly through course material where they are able to and spend more time digging into concepts that are more challenging or of higher interest. This allows students to complete course work based on their true understanding of the material, rather than being tied to the needs of the class cohort.

The learning community can be local or global.

Some students work on online courses during their regular school day, taking a CTD course in lieu of a traditional course in school. Some schools use CTD courses to provide instruction for a group of students who need an advanced course not offered at their grade level or in their school.

Other students take courses supplementally and engage in coursework primarily in the evening and on weekends. CTD courses are open to students regardless of where they live or their type of schooling, so not being tied to a common schedule allows students with diverse schedules and different time zones to share ideas and learn together.

Feedback is personalized and provides another layer of instruction.

Schoology, CTD’s Learning Management System, provides real-time analytics to instructors, noting when students have completed course work. Instructors can then provide individualized feedback to students through written or audio message to ensure comprehension and appropriate level of challenge.

Small class sizes at CTD allow instructors to provide personalized support, and Online Program instructors reply to student questions and concerns within 24 to 48 hours of receiving a student inquiry (not including holidays).

Online tools allow for collaboration and community building.

Asynchronous learning at CTD means independence, but not isolation. Unlike online learning programs based on navigating standardized “click and next” tutorial software, online learners at CTD join vibrant online communities. Students converse and collaborate using a rich set of online discussion tools, and instructors promote community building within the online platform to promote learning, engagement, and fun.

Skill-building is applied beyond the classroom.

Asynchronous learning aids students in developing valuable time management, planning, organization, and self-regulation skills to help them succeed now and in the future.

Asynchronous online learning is used in a variety of programs at CTD.

Online Family Program, Enrichment, Core Essentials, Honors, AP, and Accelerated Summer Online courses are primarily taught asynchronously.

What is synchronous learning?

Synchronous online learning means students engage in online activities with instructors and peers live in real time. There are many benefits of this kind of learning.

Students receive instruction and guidance in real time.

CTD emphasizes the value of student-teacher and peer-to-peer relationships even in primarily asynchronous online courses. But, some students enjoy regular opportunities for live interaction with instructors and classmates. Interactive online class sessions allow students to learn and ask questions of the instructor and classmates in real time. After class sessions conclude, online discussion boards help extend learning and community building.

Scheduled class sessions provide structure.

Some students benefit from the more structured nature of synchronous online courses with regularly scheduled live class sessions. This format may serve students who are developing time management skills or are looking for learning opportunities that feel more like traditional face-to-face classes. Students can still accelerate and extend their learning, but moving through material as a class cohort can help students stay on track to achieve their learning goals.

Feedback is still personalized and individual.

Even in CTD courses that are primarily synchronous, teachers still take advantage of some of the affordances of asynchronous online learning to differentiate students’ learning experiences and provide individual guidance and support. So, while class sessions may largely occur live via video conference, students receive feedback and support outside of live sessions through our easy-to-use and secure online learning platform.

Students develop verbal communication and interpersonal skills.

Because students are online together, there are unique opportunities to develop oral communication skills and more fully experience the personalities of their classmates. In many synchronous classes, class activities include partner or small group work that allow opportunities for team building and community building beyond the curriculum.

Synchronous online learning is used in a variety of programs at CTD.

Online Leadership Intensive, Weekend at Home, Encounters at Home, and 2-Week Live Online, and 3-Week International Seminars courses are primarily taught synchronously.

I would definitely consider taking another course through CTD based off of my incredible experience." - Online Program Student

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