This article was prepared for ADLC’s March newsletter. The newsletter is delayed, but we felt this story would be helpful nevertheless.
To put it mildly, a lot has changed since our last newsletter. We told you then about the experience of distance learning from the perspective of an ADLC Distance Education (DE) teacher. We planned to follow that story with a perspective from students. Luckily we got a chance to talk to a few before the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the changes all around us, now might be a good time to tell these stories.
- Kelsey Friesen, a high school graduate who used ADLC to complete several courses during her time in high school.
- Annastacia Gerke, a grade 11 student registered with the Centre for Learning. She is currently taking Biology, Chemistry and Math with ADLC.
- MacKenzie Lindstrom, a 16 year-old student from Grande Prairie, Alberta. She attends St. Joseph Catholic High School part time and is currently taking Science 30 and Chemistry 20 online with ADLC.
- Latisha Myles, another high school graduate who attended Father Mercredi High School. Latisha took Forensic Science, Psychology, Science 20 and Science 30 with ADLC. She used a combination of print and online delivery.
We think their advice and experience will help students who are new to distance education learners. Here are some of their comments.
Distance learning is different. Start slow and then find your pace.
- Latisha told us that starting the courses was a bit of a challenge, but through the Skype lessons, tutoring and all the direct contact, she soon felt at ease. Her school’s DE facilitator helped her get started. She appreciated the extra help, especially the videos.
- Kelsey felt distance learning was similar to the classroom once she got used to mailing in some of her assignments.
- MacKenzie liked that she could work at her own pace. She admitted that, “some sections of the courses were harder than others but my teachers were always very helpful.
- Annastacia said “Once you learn the process, it’s easier to navigate. I was slower in Gr. 10. I would rather go slower and do well. The courses are well organized and thorough.”
- On the advice of her mother and older siblings, Annastacia’s first distance education courses were taken at a slower pace, in order to understand the format of ADLC courses. After learning how to do this, she was able to build on acquired skills and handle a greater amount of courses the next year.”
- Kelsey’s friend needed to upgrade to get into post-secondary and — ADLC helped her get there.
- Latisha found the experience a little hard at first “simply because of being on my own”. She said she needed time to adjust, and then she relied on good time management.
ADLC teachers are there to help – use them!
- MacKenzie said that every time she called a teacher they responded really quickly. “They leave descriptive messages and explain the content really well.”
- Annastacia’s teachers stayed in contact by phone and email. “They were very helpful. They explained the concepts very well. My assignments/feedback were usually returned to me within 1-2 days.”
- Latisha said she “had great experience with teachers, they even offered tutoring.”
- Kelsey was impressed when her ADLC French teacher, who was driving through High Prairie, stopped at her school just to check-in!
Distance learning is flexible and fills gaps. You can spend the time you need on a topic.
- Annastacia likes that it is self-paced. She often needs to take time away to compete in tournaments and ADLC allows her the flexibility to do that. “I am able to focus on both.”
- Latisha says she appreciated the opportunity to take courses that were not offered in Fort McMurray—Forensic Science and Psychology.
- Annastacia’s mom told us that it’s hard to find teachers who will stop and speak to their students for 60+ minutes, like her kids have experienced at ADLC. “We have five other children who took courses from ADLC. All received scholarships and have one or two degrees.”
- Kelsey chose to take ADLC courses because the teacher at her school had a style that didn’t quite fit for her but there were no other choices. At ADLC she was able to connect with a teacher whose teaching style matched her learning style.
- Kelsey was also able to fast-track her Social Studies 30-1 — she wrote the diploma exam in April and was able to focus on preparing for other exams in May and June.
ADLC can set you up for success.
- MacKenzie said that ADLC courses helped her prepare for post secondary. The experience taught her how to be disciplined and scheduled.
- Kelsey also talked about how ADLC helped her learn time management. “It was great prep for taking university courses.”
- Latisha’s opportunity to explore Forensics and Psychology while in high school led to a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a major in Criminology.
We want to thank these young people for sharing their ADLC experiences with us. We hope their success stories will inspire the many students across the province who are facing a different way of learning. Who knows, maybe they’ll find Distance Learning to be a really nice fit.
In our next newsletter, we plan to bring you more success stories from some elementary and junior high ADLC students. Stay tuned!