Story by J skills correspondent Spencer Mason

At Godwin, multiple online classes are offered to students to take during the summer or during the school year, which may prove to be a different experience from what students are accustomed to.

As the name indicates, these classes are taken online using a computer, which allows a student to free up space on his or her schedule during the school day.

These classes require students to be proactive and self-motivated in order to succeed due to the large amount of independent work. “The student really needs to take the responsibility of attacking the lesson,” said Godwin counselor Juliana Schatz in regards to online courses.

At Godwin, the most commonly taken online courses are online Health and PE, online Economics and Personal finance, and online Government. Classes such as English 11 and other history classes are available for students to take online as well.

According to Godwin business education teacher Hunter Thomas, who teaches online personal finance and economics, online courses are offered to students in order for them to get experience with online courses, which are common in colleges and universities.

Each student at Godwin is required to take at least one online course in order to graduate. This applies to both students aiming for a standard diploma and ones aiming for an advanced diploma.

However, if a student takes any form of Economics and Personal finance, it counts as taking an online class due to the heavy online integration present in both versions of the class. Despite the fact that students are able to graduate without taking a traditional online class, the independent nature of the class may help a student be better prepared for college.

In both online Government and Economics, students are expected to check for assignments on an online service, such as School Space, and complete them by a certain deadline. Most of the classes are done in a similar way

In the online government course, students are assigned a single unit from a textbook and are required to complete multiple assignments based on that unit over the course of a week. This includes tests and quizzes, which are also taken online.

“It’s a rather heavy workload because we cover so much material. So, you have 15 to 16 assignments per unit.” said Godwin Government teacher Julie Richardson. “The only students who don’t do well are the ones who don’t keep up with the pace of it,” said Richardson.

Both Thomas and Richardson firmly stated that their online courses are not necessarily more difficult than their standard courses, but require the students to be more self-disciplined. “You are responsible for your own work. I present the stuff to you and you have to learn it on your own,” said Thomas

“I think for the kids, most of the kids I have now, are center kids who are doing it to free up their schedule so they can take other honors or AP classes,” said Richardson.

According to Richardson, students in online government sometimes take an online class simply to be able to leave school early to either relax or work a job.

Taking an online class at Godwin can be drastically different from a standard course and may seem intimidating to some students, but the experience a student gains while taking an online course may prove to be instrumental later in their education. “…in the college levels they have a lot of online classes and we want students to have an opportunity to see what that’s like before they get there, but you have to be self-disciplined,” Thomas said.

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