A New Education Methodology
In the past 30 years, various attempts have been made to establish distance learning models that have produced varying degrees of success. Generally, these efforts have been almost exclusively text-based and, therefore, have lacked the interactive dynamic of traditional classroom-based education. While some students have been able to flourish using this system, many have found the lack of personal interaction frustrating and the self-motivation required for independent research and writing overly challenging.
While researching several high-profile distance-learning programs, our founding team at Hebraic Heritage Christian Center (HHCC) discovered that most existing distance-learning programs do not offer lectures online in a visual way, or if they do so, their lectures are generally low-quality recordings of professors teaching in traditional classrooms, an approach that rarely inspires student interest.
Immediately we recognized that our own dissatisfaction with what was available created an opportunity for us to pursue a new vision for online distance learning. First, we assembled an international team of experts to develop our online classroom technology, bringing together scholars with outstanding academic and publishing credentials, print media professionals in writing, editing, graphics, photography, and production, electronic media authorities from television production, directing, editing, and delivery, and web development and web hosting experts.
Our commitment to the philosophy of person-to-person communication as the essential dynamic of education led us to develop a “Virtual Classroom” that delivers our curriculum via the Internet, creating a highly interactive and virtual one-on-one learning experience between students and professors. HHCC equips students with high-quality video presentations, as well as supplemental materials, outlines, study aids, note-taking capabilities, and instant messaging portals, so students can interact with professors and one another.
The Virtual Classroom
The core element of our HHCC online learning system is our ability to deliver an easy-to-use Learning Portal, a window of information that is subdivided into a number of portlets (subdivided windows) to deliver various elements of the curriculum content in a completely interactive environment that the student controls according to personal needs.
Our student learning portal offers a unique synchronous blend of video and both static and interactive supplemental content that allows students to learn at their own pace. This simple and intuitive approach to online training sacrifices nothing in experience and offers convenient 24/7 access with no need to download or purchase software. Plus, HHCC’s Virtual Classroom is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
The Video Lecture Portlet brings students face-to-face with professors through engaging, high-quality video lectures. The content of the video lecture is synchronized with other on-screen portlets that deliver additional materials designed to complement each lesson. Students have complete control of the video and can pause or repeat content at will with the components of the Virtual Classroom continually coordinated and delivered synchronously. At HHCC, you can experience a professor’s lecture as many times as your personal learning style requires.
The Outline Portlet provides the student with a guide to the professor’s lecture and the unique ability to navigate through the lecture for review and further study by simply clicking on the elements of the outline. The Outline Portlet also features hyperlinks that connect the student with additional materials and supplemental resources, such as websites, books from the online Learning Resource Center, and more.
The Lecture Enhancement Portlet offers a wide variety of additional content designed to complement the video lecture, such as white board sequences, slides, video clips, still photo montages, lexical aids, and an endless array of other features.
The Student Note Pad Portlet enables students to take notes while they are viewing the video lecture and experiencing other enhancements of the Virtual Classroom. Students are also able to drag and drop web pages and other information directly into their online note pad. Students’ notes then are saved for them in the Virtual Classroom and are also synchronized with the lectures so that they also are refreshed when the student reviews lecture points, allowing input of additional notes. Students can also save their notes to a word file on their own computer or print them to a PDF file.
A Comprehensive, Flexible, Student-Oriented Education Delivery System
The Hebraic Heritage Christian Center Learning System offers dramatic cost savings to students and instructors by using the Internet to deliver the entire educational process online. From content development and deployment to instructional delivery—everything is done entirely in the HHCC Web 2.0 environment. The flexibility, accessibility, and interactivity of our system provides an educational experience that transforms mundane, task-oriented learning into a stimulating, thought-provoking exercise that empowers students to learn at their own pace and in their own environment.