VBI Education is a three-pronged educational model that allows schools to provide a Virtual option, a Blended option, and an In-Person option for students that attend their schools. The model can be fully customized for the needs of the students and the community.
With a VBI model, schools would allow each student and family to choose which of the three programs is the best fit for them. Each program provides a different level of support for students and is personalized for the students' needs.
The Virtual program uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction to engage the fully-online learner.
The Blended program will use all three instructional delivery methods, with synchronous and asynchronous instruction used on the days that the learner is not on-campus and physical proximity and asynchronous instruction on the days that the learner physically attends the school campus.
The In-Person program will primarily use physical proximity instruction to help learners master learning objectives, with support from asynchronous instruction as students utilize educational videos or online curriculum tools to engage with learning material.
In considering the interaction between the teacher and the student, there are three primary ways to provide instruction.
- Physical proximity instruction is provided by a teacher to a student when the two are in close physical proximity, meaning that they are in the same physical location. Typically, this occurs in a classroom on the school’s campus.
- Synchronous instruction is provided by a teacher to a student via a real-time, technology-supported interaction. This typically occurs in an online meeting room, such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, but can also occur via instant messaging or over a phone call. Synchronous means at the same time.
- Asynchronous instruction is provided by a teacher to a student utilizing some type of recorded medium where the teacher provides instruction at a different time than the student receives instruction. Typically, this type of instruction is provided via an online curriculum or instructional videos that are recorded by the teacher and provided for viewing to the student. This may also include audio files, such as podcasts. Asynchronous means not at the same time.
Each type of instruction has strengths and weaknesses, and each type has a place of importance in creating a VBI school.
As you design support for students and discuss the variances in each program of VBI with teachers, families, and students, you will quickly see that most complex needs typically require more school support. Students with significant behavioral needs or academic needs that require a dedicated support staff member or that require a specialized support program may be better served in the full-time In-person program. Additionally, students who do not have family present at home may need the structure of a full-day In-person program.
In a few cases, some students with complex needs may learn better in their home setting through virtual instruction, such as students who have severe anxiety but who can successfully engage with academic content asynchronously. In these situations, the school and parent must be fully aware of the physical limitations of Virtual or Blended programs. An In-person program that provides an intensive structure of physical support cannot be replicated in the home. However, some students may no longer require the intensive support they receive when on campus because the stimuli of other students are removed so the student does not experience the behavioral issues at home that are triggered at school.
In discussions with families, students, and staff, about the educational options available in the VBI model and the support available in each program, you might find the following graphics helpful.
The VBI Model: Decisions-Making Framework shows how school support increases in response to the complexity of student needs and that increased levels of school support are more readily available the more often that a student is on-campus.
The VBI Model: Levels of Support graphic (below) illustrates how physical proximity support shifts from the school to home as the student’s setting becomes more remote.
Because a full-time virtual program is not able to provide in-person physical proximity supports, then the family must be able to off-set the reduced school support by providing any necessary in-person physical proximity support themselves.
The more time that a student spends on-campus, the higher level of physical proximity support can be provided by the school.
To get started planning a VBI (Virtual, Blended, and In-Person) programs, you'll need to consider the following eight (8) strands:
- Student Engagement
For more information on each strand, visit our Program Planning page.
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If you want to learn more or are ready to get started creating your own VBI program, get in contact with VBI Education today!
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