One of the great things about Kiron is the freedom students have to set their own study schedule. They can take MOOCs and complete the modules within their chosen study track at their own pace via the Kiron Campus study platform. The downside to this approach is that most MOOCs do not include live sessions, so students very rarely (if never) have direct contact with the professor or other students. This can leave students feeling lonely and frustrated and can lead to them dropping out of their online studies altogether.
Kiron’s Direct Academics (DA) program addresses these issues by offering online and offline blended learning opportunities.
Kiron live online tutorials are face-to-face sessions generally lasting 8-12 weeks where students meet with a knowledgeable volunteer instructor and other Kiron students on Google Meets and Google Classroom.
→ Interested in becoming a volunteer instructor? Learn more about how to apply here!
During live, online sessions, the instructor goes over material from the MOOC, explains content, and most importantly, facilitates discussion and exercises. Students are encouraged to ask questions and interact with one another. Kiron first introduced Direct Academics live tutorials in 2016 and we have seen that what we call the “blended learning 2.0” approach (combining asynchronous and synchronous online formats) is critical to overcoming the difficulties of studying online.
In 2017, we took the blended learning idea a step further by offering offline study sessions to our students in Germany. Since then, we have organized six Study Weekends in Berlin where students traveled to the city from across the country and met with instructors, Kironistas, and each other. These weekends were a huge success not only in terms of improving educational outcomes, but also for community-building and student understanding of what Kiron can offer them in their online studies as well as in transfer to an offline university – Kiron’s ultimate goal.
Take a look at these two videos which explain Direct Academics and the Challenges of Online Learning: