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    Joined: Sep 2011
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    If your child has worked through an online AP course, what organization was it offered through and what was your child's experience? Your feelings about the rigor and whether or not your child was prepared adequately for the AP test, and any other thoughts/feedback?

    Would it be ok if I pm'd you - I have some more specific questions but would rather not post them on the public forum.

    Thanks!

    polarbear

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    Last year, DD16 took a Coursera AP Stats online course because she was unable to take the class in school, and she needed the material for the research she was doing for her summer internship with a local university professor.

    She thought it was very well done, and she earned a 5 on the AP exam.

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    DD took several AP courses in high school. She's also done a handful of Coursera classes, and other online offerings (including a college course through a fairly well-respected online), for reference. The following were all through Connections (Pearson) during 2010-2014:

    AP US History-- some synchronous instruction was offered in this one. Class was okay, but the online course itself was a little lackluster.

    AP English Literature-- Online materials for this one were all over the place-- confusing as all get-out, contradictory, and the accompanying assessments were similarly bizarre. The instructor was excellent, however-- and this made up the difference.

    AP English Composition-- better than English Lit, but still not what she (or I) would have called a "good" online course. Very dependent upon some instructor contact.

    AP Physics B (which no longer exists as a 1yr course)-- The class itself was WAY strange; assessments were light years beyond the instructional materials, and students spent much of their time preparing for those assessments by studying old AP exams and pretty much doing EVERY challenge question in the textbook. Labs were often really engaging and worthwhile, though. Teacher absolutely made this course, and DD loved every minute of it, and this is saying something as she loathes classical mechanics. The pacing in this class was just about perfect for HG+ students. The happiest kids in that class were DD, and two of her long-time friends-- and having met them, it's very clear that all of them are in that HG+ category. I know for a fact that the other two of them earned 5's on the AP exam (which DD did not take). They were actually learning the material, not just hanging on and memorizing shallowly. They were in their element. However, the College Board has done away with this class entirely because it's "too much to cover in one year."

    AP Stats-- DD adored this class, though the textbook sucked, the instructional support was nonexistent, and it was a ton of work. Then again, this is one of her college majors. IMMV, let's just say-- because we heard dire, dire things about this class from others both in and out of online educational circles. That the entire organization of the course was a mess, etc. At least the assessment structure in this course was rational, which was a very pleasant surprise with Connections-anything. LOL. Well, DD took a top-down approach and reorganized the entire thing for herself, skipping around in the text, learning from about 3 textbooks, etc. She didn't take the AP exam for this one either since she was getting 200-level dual enrollment credit for it. But she KNOWS her stats, I will say that much.


    While I wouldn't necessarily recommend Pearson/Connections for AP work (or anything else), I must also add that those courses tend to draw the best teachers, and THAT makes them easily some of the best high school coursework available through Connections. They operate VERY much like college courses in the hands of the right teacher, so in that sense they are excellent preparation. As to the test prep value for the AP exams, I will say that there was a fair degree of emphasis on this, and most of DD's classmates earned 5's on them, but that may well have been because this is the cohort that was taking the classes, and not because of anything that the courses themselves were doing. In fact, I think that likely-- ALL of these kids were pretty much NMSF/commendee types.


    Last edited by HowlerKarma; 02/26/16 10:13 AM.

    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    My eldest took AP US History with CTY --- for 2 weeks. It was a horror: read the chapter and memorize it, take multiple choice quiz, lather, rinse, repeat weekly for nine months. He dropped it like a hot potato just in time to get our money back.

    This was 3 years ago. I don't know if they've changed it, but if they haven't, I recommend against this course. My impression was that most of the AP CTY courses weren't worth it (we also looked at physics). They claimed that their instructors were incredibly amazing, but "instruction" in the history course was roughly 1% of it, if that. Interaction with the instructor was limited to an online chat room (once a week? Less often?) that didn't amount to much. The "writing" assignments were structured like this: "You have 40 minutes to type your answer to the question. No materials allowed. Click START to begin."

    I majored in history, have a good friend who's a historian, and even published a paper. I can assure you that historians do not churn out papers written in 40-minute chunks (no information sources allowed).

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    Do any other states offer an AP online academy to students within their state, as Iowa does ( link here )? It looks like an interesting option for (free) classes not offered at your individual school, and it's open to homeschoolers (this one is just for those in Iowa). They go thru Apex Learning.


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