Online learning for seniors? Yes!

dataAs I read the paper this morning I was reminded of my success with a “blended” online course several years ago.  I had taught Biochemical Nutrition, a course for pre-nursing students, for about eight years before I tried the blended approach.  BIO 204 was a three-semester-hour course, but for the blended course the students came to class for only one of those hours.  For the other two hours/week the students were required to work online, submit papers, take quizzes, and  engage in discussions.  I found that students who rarely said anything in class were very engaged in the online discussions — which sometimes extended into the wee hours of morning as students found more and more links to support a certain point of view.

Read more about this blended class and see student comments HERE.

My thought for today is that even though an active lifestyle is very important for seniors, adding some online learning and discussion during the times that you ARE at home (that was a lot of time for some of us with all the snow and ice this winter) is really a good idea.  I developed the blog, Be SMART (, for anyone who wants to learn online, but does not want the constraints of the normal online course.

The quote below is from an article this morning in the Washington Post.

Classes, homework slid straight to Internet as snow fell

By Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 22, 2010

With the record snowfall this winter, classrooms across the Washington area have spent weeks on hiatus. But when classes have been canceled, some teachers have moved their lessons to the Internet and pressed on — and they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results.

At Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, history teacher Patricia Lynch Carballo looked out the window as the blizzard was about to hit earlier this month and knew she had to do something. Students around the world will take the International Baccalaureate’s standardized history exam on the same day in May, and there’s no chance for a change. So she told her students to keep doing their reading, posted quizzes online and led an online discussion via a virtual bulletin board. Many other teachers across the Washington area tried similar tactics.

“In some cases, the quality [of the responses] is even better” online, Carballo said. “They have a little more time to think about it.

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