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Jen the RD

Anyone have experience w/BYU online classes?

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I am considering registering my 10th grade dd for BYU's algebra 2 course. They now offer a teacher-led format where the teacher acts like a one-on-one tutor. The other enticing thing for dd is that she can start this at anytime and complete on a self-paced basis. The price for both semesters is $472, but from what I've researched, that is not a bad price for a tutor type class. Laurel Springs & K12 charge around $900. Before we commit to this, I'd like to hear about any experiences your students  may have had.

 

Thanks......Jennifer 

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Interested as well---BYU is one of dd's options for Arabic. I'll be attending the VAHomeschoolers Conference next month partly to talk with the BYU representative.

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My older ds is taking Arabic and my younger ds is taking Calligraphy through BYU this year. I've been pleased with both classes so far and the boys are also enjoying them.

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The teacher led course might be better, but I give the paper/computer version math courses a thumbs down because my math tutoring son has had a few students first come to him after failing the BYU course. It seems students sometimes believe they are doing okay because with more than one try they can get a pass the computer graded homework but they aren't really learning it and so they don't end up passing the final with a 60 which is required to pass the course. One thing I'd ask about is what type of individualized feedback the student receives in this teacher led course. Does the teacher grade the homework by hand and provide feedback or is the student just getting a grade by a computer? What's the response time to student questions and how much and what kind of support can the student receive if they are struggling?

 

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My older ds is taking Arabic and my younger ds is taking Calligraphy through BYU this year. I've been pleased with both classes so far and the boys are also enjoying them.

 

This is good to hear. Thanks for the feedback.

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The teacher led course might be better, but I give the paper/computer version math courses a thumbs down because my math tutoring son has had a few students first come to him after failing the BYU course. It seems students sometimes believe they are doing okay because with more than one try they can get a pass the computer graded homework but they aren't really learning it and so they don't end up passing the final with a 60 which is required to pass the course. One thing I'd ask about is what type of individualized feedback the student receives in this teacher led course. Does the teacher grade the homework by hand and provide feedback or is the student just getting a grade by a computer? What's the response time to student questions and how much and what kind of support can the student receive if they are struggling?

 

UGH....this is not what I'd hoped to hear! I will definitely ask the recommended questions that you mentioned. I didn't realize that students only were graded by computer. Hmm..I may be back to the drawing board. I really would like for dd to take Derek Owens' alg 2 course. She did great in his geometry course. He hand graded everything, gave feedback, & was quick to answer questions.  However, she hated homeschooling and now is at the public high school. They are open to outside courses, but they must be SACS accredited and Derek's courses are not. Thanks for your feedback!

 

Jennifer

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I think you should probably ask about the grading for the specific course you are interested in because it seems like it varies from course to course.  For example my son's Calligraphy class all of the questions regarding the history of calligraphy etc are automatically computer graded but the portfoliio of his actual work is graded by the teacher.  In my other son's Arabic class there are some computer graded assignments, some teacher graded assignments and then he has speaking appointments with the teaching assistant that are graded by the T.A. 

 

ETA: the feedback time for questions is very quick, mostly within an hour.  I don't think we've ever had to wait more than a day for a response. 

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My older ds is taking Arabic and my younger ds is taking Calligraphy through BYU this year. I've been pleased with both classes so far and the boys are also enjoying them.

I will pm you later today with a zillion questions :)

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I think you should probably ask about the grading for the specific course you are interested in because it seems like it varies from course to course.  For example my son's Calligraphy class all of the questions regarding the history of calligraphy etc are automatically computer graded but the portfoliio of his actual work is graded by the teacher.  In my other son's Arabic class there are some computer graded assignments, some teacher graded assignments and then he has speaking appointments with the teaching assistant that are graded by the T.A. 

 

ETA: the feedback time for questions is very quick, mostly within an hour.  I don't think we've ever had to wait more than a day for a response. 

 

I'm glad you expounded on what your students' experiences have been with the grading. I'm going to call them, but if you don't mind, I may pm you, too.

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

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My kids have taken several classes through BYU:

Latin both years( 4 classes)

Health

World Geography

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II (we are on the first semester)

Biology

 

The only class I didn't like was the second semester of Algebra I.  The Algebra II first semester class is going very well.  The paper packet is much larger than either one of the Algebra I courses.  Every problem is worked out step by step in the back.  I think the explanations are very good.  My daughter found matrices a little overwhelming, but I just had her watch the Khan Academy videos and then she did fine.  We haven't sought any feedback from the teacher so I can't tell you about response times.  So far, the biology class has been the best, but I'd say the Algebra II class is second.

 

I did sign up for a few of the English and History courses, but we didn't complete any of them.  I expect much more reading than the English classes do and History is my favorite subject, so I didn't want to let go of control on that one.

 

HTH,

Maureen

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My kids have taken several classes through BYU:

Latin both years( 4 classes)

Health

World Geography

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II (we are on the first semester)

Biology

 

The only class I didn't like was the second semester of Algebra I.  The Algebra II first semester class is going very well.  The paper packet is much larger than either one of the Algebra I courses.  Every problem is worked out step by step in the back.  I think the explanations are very good.  My daughter found matrices a little overwhelming, but I just had her watch the Khan Academy videos and then she did fine.  We haven't sought any feedback from the teacher so I can't tell you about response times.  So far, the biology class has been the best, but I'd say the Algebra II class is second.

 

I did sign up for a few of the English and History courses, but we didn't complete any of them.  I expect much more reading than the English classes do and History is my favorite subject, so I didn't want to let go of control on that one.

 

HTH,

Maureen

 

Maureen,

I hope you don't mind if I ask you a few more questions. I am pleased to hear that the Alg II is going well for your dd since that is the class I'm considering for my dd. How far into the semester is your dd? Is she doing the paper, online, or teacher-led format? How does she turn in work-via computer or scanned copies of problems on paper or some other way? Another poster mentioned some cons regarding computerized scoring--has your dd had any issues with that? About how long do you think it will take your dd to complete the course? How's the volume of work?

 

Oops, I think I got carried away w/questions. If you'd prefer I pm you, just let me know.

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

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We are using the paper version of the course.  The only difference between the paper and online courses is that you receive all of the material in a paper packet on top of online access to the course with the paper version .  If she wanted to, she could read the lessons on the computer, but I prefer her having it printed out so she can highlight and write in it.

My daughter will take the chapter 6 speedback tomorrow.  The test is multiple choice and we submit her answers online.  It is graded instantly.  The semester course is 9 chapters, but chapters 5 and 9 are cumulative reviews so there really are only 7 chapters of new material. 

She started the class in December, but since she is only 12 I'm not rushing her through it. (She is my mathy kid - her older sisters are currently doing Geometry.) 

I haven't used the teacher-led courses at all and probably won't because I am kind of a school junky and learn the material along with my kids.  If my daughter has a question with the material, I'll sit down and work through an objective with her.  If she still doesn't feel confident about it, I'll look up videos on Khan.  She gets it most of the time on her own though.  The hardest chapter has been matrices because it was totally new material for her.

Two weeks has usually been plenty of time for each chapter.  The cumulative review chapters include a set of review problems and then the speedback so they only take 2 days.  Totally doable in a semester.

 

Maureen

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It sounds like others have had a positive experience, but I am not satisfied with the Biology 041 class my daughter is taking through BYU online. I don't plan to sign my kids up for another class through BYU.

 

Part of our dissatisfaction has been that contacting the teacher through email for help hasn't worked for my daughter, something that is no fault of BYU online, just a learning preference we discovered this semester.

 

My biggest disappointment with the actual class has been with the lack of depth in the material presented in the Biology text. In addition, the tone is informal, few examples are used, and very few examples of how to apply new concepts are offered in the text. It could be that this is simply the level of a non-honors Biology class, but that's my take on it.

 

Good luck to you!

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