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Favorite online courses

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The pinned thread you reference is a master list of all online courses. This is more specific to courses that are your favorites or that you have loved.


I would put a lot more courses on the master list of online courses than I would on this list of favorite courses.

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hey hive - there is a pinned thread to capture this kind of info:



This is a great reminder, Mark. Some people who frequent the high school board don't visit the Gen. board and may not have seen this thread. 


If y'all have a favorite online class, it would be awesome if you put a review of it onto the thread MarkT linked - just the way you did in this thread - especially if you have a teacher that was awesome. If you've taken several classes with a certain provider, listing all of the ones that were good (and then pointing out the so-so or less-than-optimal ones) would be extremely helpful to others.


Chemistry through Excelsior (after Landry closed) with Mrs. Childress was one of my daughter's two favorite online classes this year.

Her all-time favorite teacher, although not perfect by any means, is Sr. Gamache of La Clase Divertida (Spanish). She is very sad to be done with three years of Spanish with him.

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Thanks for sharing this. How much of the Holt book was covered?


She didn't use the Holt book this year; they used Spectrum Chemistry with a different set if labs. Mrs Childress is on Facebook or available via email if you want to ask her plans for next year. I would say that the class is a normal, non-honors level chem.

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  • 3 years later...

I can't find a thread for general comments on online classes, so I'm going to put all of our experiences (good and bad) here.

Derek Owens Honors Physics - great, but keep in mind it is asynchronous with almost no teacher interaction.  Very math heavy. After this class, DS said PAH AP Physics C with JK was mostly review (except for the calculus bits).  Highly recommend.

Jack Kernion PAH AP Physics C (both parts in one year) - great teacher, good content and presentation, a TON of work that is relentless (many posts elsewhere echo this). Highly recommend.

Connie Schwartz / Clover Valley Chemistry Honors Chemistry - great teacher, great content and presentation (really beyond excellent).  Very math heavy. After this class DC said PAH AP Chem was mostly review.  Some of her work is *really* challenging (esp. college-level lab report), but she was very willing to invest a lot in personal back and forth to bring about understanding and success. Highly recommend. 

Peter Moskaluk PAH AP Chemistry - great teacher, great content and presentation. DC took this 2019-2020, and when the College Board changed up the AP exam, Mr. Moskaluk went into overdrive and over the course of just 2 or 3 weeks re-did all his test prep materials to align to the revised test. Highly recommend.

Susan Gilleran PAH BC Calculus - okay class, very little direct teacher interaction, all web-based using textbook-related website. Her posts on material could be 20 pages long; they were extremely wordy and conversational in tone, but DS is not big into reading (super math focused), so they were a slog.  Often she came across rather negatively if she felt the class wasn't doing what they should. Also, DC was disappointed that usually the assigned problems were the simple ones, so he would do the harder problems for fun.

Julia Reed PAH AP Comp Gov - to be fair, this has to be the hardest AP to teach by a mile because the content is always changing. She seems to be well-connected in Washington and extremely knowledgable.  However, this course appeared to be frozen in 2014/2015 (DS took it 2019-2020). Many times there were recent relevant current events, but she had the kids read articles that were 5 years old (e.g., reading an article on the treatment of Navalny that was several years old when he had been in the headlines again in recent months). I could go on and on with examples. Also, she did nothing (zero) to prepare the kids for how to get points on the FRQs, and she didn't even seem to realize until after the class started that the College Board had reformulated the course and the test starting that year. In fact, even in April, her test prep materials (which the kids were assigned to read) were all for the old course formulation.  DS got a 5, but only because he watched Andrew Conneen's YouTube videos, and Mr. Conneen was very clear about how to get the points.

Stanford University-Level Online (ULO) Math Multivariable Calculus (Differential and Integral, one semester each) - Wanted a very high-level course on MV Calc (so not community college or random online college) and wanted an outside instructor for a rec letter (so not MIT OCW).  Grade is entirely based on the two tests; problems to work out are suggested (and answers provided at the same time) but not turned in or corrected.  This worked *great* for my very self-motivated kid, but might not work well for others.  Be aware you will need patience on the administrative end. They didn't start looking at applications for fall start until the beginning of August, which was nail-biting for me because we didn't have a Plan B.  Grades from exams often came out 4-6 weeks after the test.  Emails could get responses immediately or in a week or never.  DS seemed to learn a lot and really enjoyed it, but that was probably 99% his passion for math. Initial inquiries with one college indicate that getting credit for this class may not be straightforward since it isn't AP and it isn't an actual college class (it is run through Stanford OHS and credit comes from Stanford Continuing Studies). 

Stanford University-Level Online (ULO) Physics Light and Heat - this was the single most challenging class DS took in high school (including MIT OCW - see below), giving him his first experiences of reading through an assignment and really not having a clue how to attack it.  But after tackling each problem for an hour, then interacting with the instructor over office hours, he got it all done. The tests were incredibly difficult, but good character building and preparation for the realities of college.  Same issues with response times and grading times as the MV Calc class (but different instructor).  

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) 6.041SC (probability) and 14.01SC (microeconomics)- I'm throwing these in in case this info is helpful to anyone. DS did these senior year, when there was less need to have external validation for college applications. Also, he wanted calculus-based treatments of microeconomics and probability, which meant not AP stuff. The probability one (6.041) is better put together than the microeconomics one (14.01), indicating that not all scholar (SC) classes are created equal.  For 14.01, some problems aren't included in the solutions, and there have been large chunks of mismatch between the content covered in the lectures and the content on the problem sets and tests (which is surprising, considering all the materials are supposed to come from the same semester). Also, not having an expert grader has been challenging for grading since many of the questions include a "explain" component, and it is hard to judge (as a layperson) how "right" his answers are.  We probably gave him less credit than he would have gotten from an expert, but we didn't want to be overly generous.  He is learning a ton, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to test for credit, or at least to place out of, the college equivalents.

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