Online courses for students who fail

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by gdmckav, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. gdmckav

    gdmckav Rookie

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    Feb 18, 2014

    Should high school students be allowed to take online courses for remediation after they have already failed the same course with a classroom teacher?

    My district is currently exploring ways to save money, as many are these days. It seems that the use of online learning for purposes of remediation is a waste of money. Students seem to view the online courses as a "way out" of having to do the work expected by the classroom teacher. It appears to be a crutch to fall back on and an excuse to not do the work expected of the classroom teacher.

    Is it right or am I missing something here about the value of online learning for remediation purposes? Why should a district pay for students who fail a course, that was a taught by a district-paid teacher, to take the course again in online form paid for by the district again?
     
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  3. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Feb 18, 2014

    There are probably some exceptions, but I think it's a bad idea overall. These students probably lack motivation to complete an online course successfully. I am sure there are a small few who would benefit from this platform, but I think most should have to take summer school or repeat the course the next year.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2014

    I think the real question is how important is it for students to learn the material? Is it more important that they learn the material period or that they learn the material in a traditional way?

    My school offers credit retrieval options for students who have failed. Basically they go to a computer lab (that is supervised by a licensed teacher) and do their own online coursework until they've passed the class(es) they need to become credit sufficient. The vast majority of students take this credit retrieval thing very seriously and have earned back a lot of credits. Many of those students slacked off in their early years of high school, obviously without realizing exactly what it could potentially cost them down the road. The ones who are successful in credit retrieval are the ones who recognize that they've made mistakes but now have an opportunity to fix those mistakes and graduate. I definitely believe that they should be given that opportunity. If they squander it, that's on them, but at least it was offered as an option.
     
  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 18, 2014

    THey could always get someone else to do the online course for them. Nothing learned there.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Feb 18, 2014

    Those online courses are not that easy. I'm teaching 1 class credit recovery and the students hate it. They actually have to read the material, and do quizzes and tests. They're begging for the books where they can just look for the answers and get it over with. Many will fail.
    I don't think they fail their regular classes just so they can do it online.

    My daughter had a rough freshman year and she failed a few classes. She's still making up for it. I just paid $80 for 1 online course from school, this way she can do it on her own time. It won't be easy. Summer school will be easier, which she will do again, but she still needs this online course.

    I don't see it as negative, I see it as students being able to make up for past mistakes.
     
  7. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Feb 19, 2014

    My wife's school uses this program. They are usually not successful because they don't do the work….. My school (middle school) actually uses it the other way, for students who are accelerated. If they have mastered 8th grade English, select students take high school English classes online. This is not a remediation class but a regular high school online class.
     
  8. ajr

    ajr Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2014

    Night school was fantastic. Online classes are entirely too much work; personally, I'd just do nothing again and wait until I got assigned to night school. Administrators are so desperate to move people on, all you have to do is wait and not drop out. They'll find a way to graduate you.

    When I was in HS, I learned that you could fail a day class, and get sent to a night class twice a week. The new grade you got replaced the failing grade you got for the normal class.

    It's unfortunate I only learned about this my junior year of highschool; we had a 15 page research paper that was a requirement for the class. Since I didn't want to do it, all I had to do was... nothing. At all. I could stop working entirely. It was a very relaxing year.

    Failed, got sent to night school. We were given an entire half year to write a two page paper with no sources. Fantastic! Made a ton of friends, too.

    Wound up with an A in junior year English, did about three hours of work total.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 19, 2014

    Online schooling requires a certain amount of self-discipline. It isn't for everyone. Credit recovery courses are also much faster than traditional courses. Ours, which are only open to our full-time students, are 9 weeks long. If you don't have the drive to fully accept this second chance, it may be more difficult than the first one.
     
  10. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Feb 19, 2014

    In my opinion, FLVS (Florida Virtual School) is harder than regular classroom instruction. It also requires the student to be motivated and have consistent access to the internet.
     
  11. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    Feb 19, 2014

    Online courses completed in a classroom and supervised by a teacher is a great idea, I think. Online classes they can do at home? Not such a great idea.

    My district lets students who are Juniors, seniors, or seniors+ have the option to take core classes for about half the day, and can spend the other half of the day doing online credit recovery classes. This means that there can be a variety of courses going on at once, that 50+ students can be with one teacher, and that students are actively engaged the entire time. This isn't a "slacker class." It's hard work.

    The only students who have possibly "abused" the system are ones who failed the courses for social reasons. They were either bullied, anti-social, or depressed.

    Sure, there are poor online classes, but a well designed online course can be a very effective tool.
     
  12. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Feb 19, 2014

    I've heard the same about Texas Virtual School. Our kids take online courses through a program called Education2020, and they're rather difficult. The kids have to take notes and do the assignments to pass, but I will say that there is almost no retention of the material once a unit is complete. (Of course, that could be said about many traditional high school classes, too.)
     
  13. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Feb 20, 2014

    We used to have a set-up like Caesar described, but we ran out of funds. Now the only option is FVS.

    In all honesty, I prefer FVS over the school-based online classes. It's not nearly as much fun to go to school all day and then go home and do your homework then go online and do more school. When it was based at school... it was just another class, just another chance to goof off and socialize.

    And to be perfectly honest - I think a lot of the kids who end up doing FVS classes end up doing better in the classes. Not because it's the second time around, but because it's more suited to their learning style.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Feb 21, 2014

    Kids here will coast through a class, doing nothing, knowing they will fail because they will get a shot at taking an online course. One where they will be coddled and given open-book multiple choice questions on tests.

    I've had students that could not earn above a 40 on one of my tests magically get all As on their online assessments.

    Most of my in-class students that took my course's prerequisite class are substantially below/behind the students that took the same class in an actual classroom. And those are advanced students that did it to get ahead, not make up what they failed.
     
  15. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Feb 23, 2014

    This is an interesting discussion... I teach face-to-face, but also online for an Illinois Virtual School. Most of our students actually are not kids who failed during the regular year but are instead kids who are taking coursework to get ahead, or due to scheduling issues (roughly 90 percent). Thus only a small number of kids are taking a course because they failed it in-person.

    That said, I tend to agree with the OP... I'm not sure a school should be paying for credit recovery out of their own budget if a qualified teacher is available on-staff for the kid to retake the course. If a course isn't offered when a kid needs it, then I have no concerns. But if they're being placed in online coursework even though the class is available, I'm not so sure.

    I realize some kids have different learning styles and prefer different types of classes... thus the online environment might be better for some kids. But then the question becomes... who pays for that? Or should the kids that prefer that simply go towards an entirely online education (which is starting to exist)? I don't know the answers to these of course... just my thoughts.
     

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