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Course Description (please share online provider/class)


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There just isn't enough chocolate in my house. Some of y'all who used online providers, do you want to throw the rest of us a bone & post any course descriptions you have written for various (common) online providers/classes? Please also feel free to post what you need for your own kid. If you know of one in another thread, please link it. I'll update this post.

 

Swimmermom's PAH AP English Language and Composition

Momto2Ns PAH AP English Language and Composition

Swimmermom's PAH AP Statistics

Dirty Ethel Rackham's PAHS AP US History

 

EKS's Derek Owens Honors PreCalculus

Swimmermom's Derek Owens Honors Algebra 2 and Honors PreCalculus

Sue in St Pete's Derek Owens Physics

quark's Derek Owens Honors Physics

 

Sebastian (a lady)'s generic language course description

 

RootAnn's Wilson Hill (WHA) Honors Composition / Fundamentals of Academic Writing

 

SebastianCat's Mr. D. Geometry

 

OSU German 1 (from a public school's course description)

 

I'm looking for:

Center for Lit (preferably American Literature)

 

I'm assuming Lukeion and perhaps Wilson Hill will be common providers. I'm hoping for something I can tweak vs. starting from scratch. Thank you!

Edited by RootAnn
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This is a sample I made.  You could make easy substitutions for other languages.

 

Course Description:

Klingon 2 (The Warbird Arena, online class):   One year, online course covering chapters 20-40 of Uhura's Klingon, 7th ed.  Comprehensive course included instructor graded weekly class participation, translation assignments and graded quizzes.  This course completes a student's grammar studies with full mastery of forms, vocabulary and grammar.  Assessments included comprehensive semester midterm and final exams as well as the National Klingon Exam (Level 2).  Course instructor: Quark de Feringi (MA Klingon, Star Fleet Academy).

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Derek Owens Physics

Here is what I used for the course description on the common app:

This course is a traditional high school physics course with labs.  Topics include but not limited to motion in one and two dimensions, Newton's laws, work and energy,  momentum, circular motion, gravity, temperature and heat, wave and wave motion, optics, electricity, and electric circuits .  Grade assigned by instructor based on homework, labs, chapter tests, and semester exams.

HTH!

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For Derek Owens Honors Physics:

 

Honors Physics + Lab, DEREK OWENS

Text: Recorded lectures and student workbook produced by Derek Owens, based on Physics by Douglas Giancoli, 5th edition (Prentice Hall).

Topics (with corresponding labs): Honors level treatment of measurement, scientific notation, significant figures, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton's Laws, work, energy, momentum, circular motion, gravity, heat, temperature, waves and wave motion, optics, electricity and electric circuits. 

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Thank you guys!!

 

I'll add Wilson Hill's Honors Composition (which has been renamed Fundamentals of Academic Writing).

 

Honors Composition (Wilson Hill Academy)
This course traces the trajectory of the writing process from pre-writing to final revisions. Students will explore the purposes of writing with a special emphasis on exposition and persuasion, practice the revision process, identify common writing blunders, learn to use the rhetorical process (Res, Stasis, Thesis, Verba), utlize the MLA documentation system, and improve writing style. Weekly quizzes, vocabulary and common place journals, discussion board prompts, in-class writing activities, and several essays will be used to determine a final grade.

Text: Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Pocket Style Manual 7th edition (Bedford/St. Martin’s)

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Can you not just use the course description given by the provider? Or is that not allowed? That is what I had planned to do....

I did borrow a lot from the provider descriptions, but also found the need to tweak. Often the info a college wanted was spread across multiple locations. I want to capture the content, aims , nature of the class, and delivery method in one place. I also changed wording to have a consistent voice across all of the descriptions.

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Can you not just use the course description given by the provider? Or is that not allowed? That is what I had planned to do....

 

Absolutely! Many of the providers I use don't really have a Course Description per se. 

 

Centerforlit, for example, has this little intro for their American Literature course:

 

 

The American experience is unique in world history – a nation founded not on ethnicity but ideology, whose people have struggled for more than two centuries to realize the proposition that all men are created equal.  American literature demonstrates the power of this idea in all of its triumph and devastation.  We’ll join Hester Prynne, Jay Gatsby, Henry Fleming, Huckleberry Finn, Atticus Finch and others as they live out the contradictions inherent in a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.† Are you an American, too?  Come read and find out!

CenterForLit  instructors use the Socratic method to conduct online discussions of classic books.  This method involves asking questions that force them to think carefully about their reading, and then to think carefully about their thinking.  Using the author's theme as the goal of the discussion, instructors encourage students to understand his message by discussing the structural and stylistic components make up his story.  Next, students are drawn by further questioning to critically examine their own assumptions about the author's theme.  As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of the book, and also of themselves as readers and thinkers.

 

There is a section under Course Details that includes how often & how long classes are and there is also a discussion on credits and grades. But, I don't find the stuff above to be useful as a base for a course description for this class.

 

This is Wilson Hill's Fundamentals of Academic Writing course description:

 

Formerly known as Honors Composition, this course serves as the gateway from writing in the School of Logic to writing in the School of Rhetoric, with special emphasis upon the skills of the beginning academic writer who must write essays for full paper assignments and shorter exam entries. Building on the foundations of the LA4: Fundamentals of Expository Writing class, we will trace the trajectory of the writing process from Invention (pre-writing) through final revisions to formal submission. The course draws from the wisdom of classical rhetoric while implementing the academic conventions of modern composition. As we explore the purposes of writing (with a special emphasis on persuasion), students will gain greater proficiency in the art of writing well-crafted sentences, coherent paragraphs, and well-argued essays. We will incorporate elements of classical rhetoric, such as the Canons, modes of appeal (artistic proofs), and select common topics. Students will also learn the academic conventions in modern composition such as how to interpret a writing prompt, proper organization, how to evaluate web and print sources, and how to properly document using the MLA system. Students will participate in some group feedback, as well as receive written feedback from the instructor. While a basic understanding of grammatical conventions is a course prerequisite, the class will spend time clarifying and reviewing various grammatical conventions/usage for the sake of clearer writing.

 

This would be a good base to work from, but not all providers have that "good base." You can see where I used this base in writing the course description I posted previously. So, if your provider gives you a good base, use it. Sometimes, they are easier to write than others. (I'm working on Spanish classes today - and plan on just going through the table of contents.)

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Here's what I've used as a course description for Mr. D. Math (I copied the topics covered straight from his course description on his website).

 

All of my course descriptions follow a similar pattern:   Subject - Provider/Curriculum name - Taken at ______, taught by _____.   List of curriculum used or reading list.   List of topics covered or narrative description of class.   Grading criteria (by % when possible).   # credits in which subject area.

 

Geometry – Mr. D. Math (www.mrdmath.com) – Taken at ___________ co-op, taught by __________.  Online curriculum. Covered Points, Lines, Planes and Angles; Reasoning and Proof; Parallel and Perpendicular Lines; Triangles; Quadrilaterals; Similarity; Right Triangles and Trigonometry; Area and Perimeter; Surface Area and Volume; Circles; Transformations; Geometric Probability.  Online quizzes 30%, Course Work 20%, Chapter Tests 30%, Semester Exams 20%.   1 high school Math credit.

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I did borrow a lot from the provider descriptions, but also found the need to tweak. Often the info a college wanted was spread across multiple locations. I want to capture the content, aims , nature of the class, and delivery method in one place. I also changed wording to have a consistent voice across all of the descriptions.

 

 

Absolutely! Many of the providers I use don't really have a Course Description per se. 

 

Centerforlit, for example, has this little intro for their American Literature course:

 

There is a section under Course Details that includes how often & how long classes are and there is also a discussion on credits and grades. But, I don't find the stuff above to be useful as a base for a course description for this class.

 

This is Wilson Hill's Fundamentals of Academic Writing course description:

 

This would be a good base to work from, but not all providers have that "good base." You can see where I used this base in writing the course description I posted previously. So, if your provider gives you a good base, use it. Sometimes, they are easier to write than others. (I'm working on Spanish classes today - and plan on just going through the table of contents.)

 

Thank you both, very much. My oldest just finished 9th grade, so I am still figuring all of this out. Your explanations of how you changed the information from the providers to be used in your own course description was very helpful. I appreciate the time you took to explain this to me :001_smile: 

 

(yes, I read the stickied thread...apparently it didn't stick and I need to read it again, lol)

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Is there a benefit in having them listed in 1 column as opposed to breaking up in columns? This is what I started with - should I go with a single-column format, more like many of those shown above.

 

My sample is here - what do you think?

post-7903-0-29826200-1496939868_thumb.png

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Is there a benefit in having them listed in 1 column as opposed to breaking up in columns? This is what I started with - should I go with a single-column format, more like many of those shown above.

 

My sample is here - what do you think?

 

My descriptions varied between very concise (5 on a page for math) to much longer (2 per page for English and some history courses).  A lot of that difference in length was lists of texts used.  Even when I only hit the high points, reading intensive courses had longer lists. 

 

One constraint is file size.  If you are uploading the files in the Common App, there is a file size limit.  I had to play around with the font used to get one that converted to pdf without ballooning in size.  (Candara was what I ended up with.)  

 

I think it's important to look professional and organized (which yours does well), but you might find that the tabular format works less well for other courses with longer booklists or that it doesn't convert to pdf as well.  

 

ETA: I think that NCAA may want to see specific ISBN numbers.  Colleges didn't seem to care.  I included the edition or copyright date for texts that had multiple editions.  I didn't bother with literature or history books.  It doesn't really matter which ISBN of Jane Eyre or The Prince was used.  That let me pare down text listings to about one line per work.

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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  • 1 year later...

Also, ask the provider if you can. I wanted to change how I titled a class in my DS’s middle school transcript, and emailed the teacher asking permission. Permission granted, and she further sent me two or three different class descriptions she had written for parents in my shoes (this was a class that could’ve been used for History or Lit). ❤️

Edited by madteaparty
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  • 3 weeks later...

This has been helpful!

So I have some questions about course descriptions in general and for courses done through other providers:

1) Can I "cut and paste" from the provider websites? Or would I need to reword what is on the provider info?

2) If a textbook is used, do your copy all the topics from the table of contents, or give a broad overview of topics covered? e.g. for a math or science course?

3) What do I do if additional material was used, or additional topics were studied independently in addition to the online course?

4) Do I need to specific "output", e.g. how many homework sets, quizzes, projects, tests were done?

5) Do I include the # of papers or essays written, or do I just state that grading would be based a number of papers/essays.

6) Should I organize the courses under "Subject" headings, or under "School Year" headings?

7) Approximately how long should the course description be for each course? Is there a limit to how many pages all of it can be?

Thanks!

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Here's my course description I made for Center for Lit.'s American Literature. It was only worth .5 because he didn't do any writing for it. His writing credit came from elsewhere. Mine isn't as widely spaced as this turned out to be. All of my descriptions follow the same format.

Course Description

American Literature: Online Academy

 

Student: Jacob White

Instructor: Adam and Missy Adams

Prerequisite: None

Resources Used:

  • Center for Lit. Online Academy

Class Description:

In this course, CenterForLit instructors use the Socratic method to conduct online discussions of classic books. This method involves asking questions that force them to think carefully about their reading, and then to think carefully about their thinking. Using the author's theme as the goal of the discussion, instructors encourage students to understand his message by discussing the structural and stylistic components which make up his story. Next, students are drawn by further questioning to critically examine their own assumptions about the author's theme. As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of the book, and also of themselves as readers and thinkers. In addition to the Socratic discussions, a story chart is worked out and graded by the parent; plus, students make regular contributions on a Discussion Board conversation about the last book discussed, where each month, further discussion questions are presented; answers are submitted and evaluated by the insttructors.

A (90-100+)

B (80-89)

C (70-79)

D (60-69)

F (Below 69)

High School Credit: 0.5 in American Literature

Scope and Sequence:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

American Poets:

  • Anne Bradstreet

  • Edgar Allan Poe:

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Emily Dickinson

  • Robert Frost

  • Carl Sandburg

  • William Carlos Williams

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald

The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Short Stories of Flannery O'Connor by Flannery O'Connor

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Edited by historymatters
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Some people include those as part of the school profile in the "educational partners" section. I did not include them anywhere, FWIW. I know some info about some teachers and not enough about othets, so it would have been uneven. I don't think they care that much. . . YMMV.

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That's the issue I was running into. I started to try to track down previous instructors who have moved on, but it seems more trouble than it's worth.

ETA: I decided to add them, after all. I did some googling and emailing and was able to find most of the info I needed.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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  • 2 months later...

I am wondering how people have described advanced community orchestra/strings  symphony, chamber and middle school concert orchestra experience in the course description.

I have listed music (grades 9 - 12) as 4 credits of highschool. Now, I am beginning to think that maybe we should have an addendum at the end of the course descriptions listing performances, solos and highlighting music learned. I'd love some advice. My DS does not plan to major or minor in music but would love to participate in an orchestra and as the principle chair I think we should showcase in the best light.

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