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on line vs classroom

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psmith177's picture
Joined: Aug 2006
on line vs classroom

I am teaching on line AP European and APUSH. This is the first year for European and the second for APUSH. The test results for the first year were poor. Has anyone taken an online AP course? if so what type of assignments were used?

Shadow's picture
Joined: Sep 2005

I try to avoid online courses like the plague. I've just got this feeling that it wouldn't work as well as sitting down in a classroom.

pianogirl2422's picture
Joined: Mar 2005

I've never taken an online AP course, but I took health online. It was okay until the final. Like 50 pages of notes to try and remember...not fun. But anyways, it seems to me that an online AP class would be good, but only for certain kinds of people.

Students who actually do their work, learn best by reading and writing down information, and work well alone shouldn't have much of a problem with online courses. However, it is my experience that the majority of people who take online courses are people who think "oh, this will be easy. No set class time, no teacher breathing down your neck, it should be a breeze." So the problem then becomes how to make sure these students don't cheat on the online tests and are studying properly.

If you ask me, the best way to make sure you're students are learning is to have periodic essay questions and dbq's (at least once a week) with a strict time limit. Maybe not make it as harsh as it is for the real AP test, but not much longer. Eventually decrease the time they have for each essay to the AP standards, or even below that since students generally tend to type faster than they write and so that when they do get to the actual AP test, they won't feel as rushed. As to the question of people cheating, in the beginning you can give hints and grade harshly, or not give hints and grade less so. But then as the students get farther in the book, add essays from chapters further back in the book so they know that anything is fair game.

For assignment in between, you could have them answer some short answer questions about various subjects for each chapter. Or you could have a list of terms for each chapter. All the worksheets that I was given to do never stuck in my head. Busywork is never a good idea, especially in an online course. Having a group chat everyonce in a while is always a good thing so people can share ideas, advice, etc. Really, that's all the advice I have.

Good Luck with that!

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MikeJ's picture
Joined: Mar 2005

As you seem to have no choice in the matter (the classes seem to have started already) the best bet is to have a good plan. (See the above post). Studies have shown (ooh, I'm being a bad researcher by neither listing my source nor even finding a link to a link) that for classes with intense subject matter (or just plain way too much to learn) are better as a hands on approach.

As a European History [former] student, the best bet is to have lots of quizzes/tests/essays. As a former student, I assure you it's no fun, but it definately helped me. Is this a purely online class or is there some snail mail interaction? If so, having students write out notes helps the memorization process and you could require the students to mail in a notebook with notes for each chapter maybe once every other week?

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