San Bernardino Adult School Enhances Student Learning With eLab™ Online Learning Tool
|“The eLab solution is accelerating our students’ computer literacy and reducing administrative time for our instructors.”
- Theresa Loftis, Instructor, San Bernardino Adult School
San Bernardino Adult School wanted to expand its students’ computer experience while maintaining a tight budget.
eLab provides San Bernadino Adult School with a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution that seamlessly integrates with the Labyrinth books already in use.
Labyrinth Learning Products and Services
eLab™ Online Learning & Assessment Tool
San Bernardino Adult School has been serving adult learners since 1920. Over time, courses evolved from Depression-era needs such as gardening, canning and home repair to academic programs such as high school diploma, English as a second language, medical programs and computer programs. Today, San Bernardino serves more than 14,000 students and offers a wide variety of courses to a diverse student body.
Teresa Loftis, one of three instructors in San Bernardino’s computer program, teaches 300--400 students each year. Many students have little to no prior experience with computers; some have never even touched a computer. According to Loftis, the biggest challenge facing instructors is to get students comfortable with computers. And the biggest challenge facing students is getting enough time with instructors who are stretched thin.
San Bernardino also needed to stretch its limited budget as far as possible. The majority of the community that San Bernardino serves is low income; many of the classes are offered at no charge to students. Instructors and staff focus their creativity to find solutions that enhance learning without breaking the budget.
San Bernardino has been using Labyrinth Learning® textbooks in computer classes for almost fifteen years, finding them to deliver superior results at an affordable price. The availability of an online assessment and grading tool that seamlessly integrated with Labyrinth books caught Loftis’ interest. She recognized that eLab could provide a new means of extending her students’ computer learning to include the practical application of key computer skills such as email, Internet use and uploading files – experiences that would supplement the computer skills they were learning in class.
CASE STUDY: SAN BERNARDINO ADULT SCHOOL
Loftis also believed that eLab could reduce the time instructors were spending on administrative tasks, leaving more time to spend with students.
While Loftis was enthusiastic about the promise of eLab for instructors and students, even the relatively low cost of eLab posed an initial challenge for a school such as San Bernardino.
Because of current economic conditions, San Bernardino must pass along the price of eLab to students, many of whom are financially strapped.
“By implementing eLab, we have found an economical way of accelerating and extending the learning of our students. It is easier for the students and easier for the teachers. I would definitely recommend eLab.”
- Theresa Loftis, Instructor, San Bernardino Adult School
Built on web-based technology, eLab required no investment in elaborate hardware or complex software platforms. At a price approximately 30 percent lower than similar packages, Loftis knew that eLab was already a good value. For an even more compelling value, Loftis identified real savings in print costs – paper, toner and printers – that could offset some of the cost of eLab.
San Bernardino partnered with Labyrinth to implement the eLab solution for three of the computer classes. Because eLab was specifically designed to accompany Labyrinth books, the software was easily integrated into the existing curriculum. Students were set up and trained on the software in less than one class period. Loftis quickly mastered the creation of assignments and began using the automated assessment and gradebook features.
Loftis’ expectations were soon realized. Loftis found the intuitive interface easy-to-use, and she quickly became proficient at creating assignments. After one short session of setting up email accounts, training and walk-through practice, San Bernardino’s students were ready to use the tool. They quickly became adept at submitting assignments, taking tests online and checking their grades. Loftis finds that she has more time to spend with students, and fewer frustrations working with stacks of paper. The benefits of the eLab solution include:
Enhanced Student Performance -- The simple and intuitive interface enabled students to quickly master the software. They adopted the technology quickly, and the more they used the tool, the more comfortable they became with computers in general. The videos and simulation tools have strengthened their understanding of concepts. Students have also become vigilant in managing their grades – checking regularly and working with the instructor to improve when marks are low.
Increased Instructor Productivity -- Instructors gained time to spend with students or on other tasks by eliminating the paper shuffle associated with assignments and tests. With eLab, there is no longer the need to haul stacks of paper home to grade, no searching through piles to find a particular students’ test and no filing of graded assignments.
Print Savings -- With online assignments and tests, printing has become a rarity. Before implementing eLab, San Bernardino printed approximately 400 reams worth of assignments and tests every semester. Today, classes using eLab print almost nothing. All work is submitted and graded online, saving on paper, on toner, and printer maintenance.
Convenience-- Both teachers and students have benefitted from the 24/7 access enabled by eLab. Students can submit assignments and take tests from any internet-enabled location at any time. Loftis has also enjoyed the convenience offered by eLab. Now, the only thing she needs to grade assignments is her computer.