S O A R S
We have 2 PC labs available to us at the Community Learning Center. The lower lab has 20 desktop PCs and the upper lab has 20 wireless laptops. Headphones are available for students to listen to the audio portions of the instruction. Classes are 2 hours long, and students are expected to attend for 4 days each week. To ensure the environment remains conducive to learning, there are rules and expectations which all students are mandated to follow. Each class requires completion of modules (75% of the grade), extra activities (15% of the grade) and a Presentation Of Learning (10% of the grade).
Learning takes place at the pace of the individual student, with students completing on average 0.5 credits (one class) per month. All learning takes place using one of two comprehensive online courseware programs; PLATO and NovaNet.
PLATO is the main program used by students at SOARS. We offer a number of core and elective classes that students may take in order to meet their graduation requirements, all customized to meet Colorado and Thompson District requirements and standards. PLATO is licensed from an outside company and all work is carried out using a web browser.
Courses are broken down into a number of modules. Each module generally contains three elements; the tutorial, the application and the mastery test.
Tutorial: This is where the student learns the material needed to pass the module. Information is conveyed via animations, movies, dialogue etc. Students are encouraged to take notes which they may then use in the mastery test.
Application: Having been presented with the relevant material, students now go through questions and guided examples on the topic. Incorrect answers are explained and the students can gauge their understanding before attempting the mastery test.
Mastery test: Once students have completed both the tutorial and applications, they may attempt the mastery test. 80% is minimum for mastery of the module. Less than 80% requires students to repeat the tutorial.
For an example of how PLATO is used, follow this link. The page shows samples of the software and at the bottom of the page are three links to Weather and Atmospheric Processes - these are great examples of what our students work with.
NovaNet is the main program used by students in our Credit Recovery Classes. SOARS students use NovaNet to complete certain electives and their basic skills tests. Classes in NovaNet are similar to those in PLATO but often lack the visual appeal of PLATO modules (in the opinion of students). As with PLATO, tests are passed with a minimum of 80%.