How do I know I'll be successful taking an online course?
In addition to high academic expectations, online classes provide upper school students a different way of learning that you will likely experience in college. Online courses also present challenges that may not be for everyone. Success in an online course requires students to be independent learners, organized, self-motivated, self-disciplined, proactive about communicating with teachers, and should have good time management skills. If you believe you meet the above criteria, talk to your academic advisor about taking a SophieConnect course.
How difficult are the courses?
Students should expect that their SophieConnect courses will be rigorous and academically challenging, designed to prepare students bound for college.
How will I access the course?
Prior to orientation students will receive a username and password to log in to the LMS (Learning Management System) called Blackboard. SophieConnect uses Learn 10.2, which is the latest online course management system by the leading provider of this type of software.
How will SophieConnect prepare me to take an online class?
Students participate in an orientation session which will show them how to navigate the course materials to succeed in the online course. Some courses require summer work which means students may have access to the course during the summer to begin work.
What will the assignments be like?
Assignments vary from course to course and may include reading assignments, essay assignments, discussion board posts, practice problems, collaborative projects, online tutorials, and group work.
How will I take tests?
Assessments vary from class to class. Tests may include taking timed online tests, open book exams, and projects. AP courses will have mock AP paper and pencil exams that will be proctored at your school.
When does the work have to be done for a class?
Each assessment/assignment has a strict deadline. Students may arrange their schedules to work on assignments at their own pace, which leaves the responsibility to maintain the right pace to complete the work on time with the student.
How often does a student need to log in to the online course?
We do not have a minimum of required logins per week, but individual teachers have specific requirements for the number of postings in any given week and firm deadlines, usually Sunday at midnight for weekly assignments. Plan on spending about 6-8 hours per week on a AP level course and 4-6 hours on a non-AP elective course.
What if I have a question? How do I reach my teacher?
There are several ways you can reach out for help and every teacher has a detailed policy regarding preferred ways of contacting him or her. Teachers have designated office hours for questions and extra help sessions. Scheduled extra help sessions are usually facilitated in real time through web conferencing or over the phone.
How can I help my child succeed in their SophieConnect course?
Student accountability and self-discipline is one of the key aspects of online class success so we encourage students to find their own best plan for meeting the demands of the class. Some students will opt to attend to their SophieConnect course work at school during free periods or at home. Parents can support their children by understanding the need for focused, quiet time online and assistance in finding that space when needed.
Who do I contact if I have questions about my child's class performance?
The SophieConnect site director at your school, often the academic advisor, is the main contact for communication between the student and the instructor. You should receive contact information for the site director before classes begin.
What if an assignment or test is due when we our school is on break or otherwise unable to complete the assigned work?
When signing up for SophieConnect courses, students are told that the SophieConnect academic calendar may not align with their individual school's schedule. It is the student's responsibility to meet the assignment and participation expectations of the instructor as outlined in the class syllabus even if that requires class work during your school's break.
In the event that the work simply can't be completed, we encourage the student to first communicate directly with the teacher as early as possible. If the student requires assistance with scheduling conflicts, the site director can be engaged to help.
How do I sign up a student for a SophieConnect course?
If your school is already a SophieConnect partner school, connect with your Site Director to discuss the process. If your school is not yet a partner, find out more about how to become one here (link to partner info.) For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What criteria does SophieConnect seek in faculty?
In addition to mastery of the course material and a teaching background at the secondary school level, we seek instructors who have experience with online learning. We work with all our teachers to insure courses are designed using best practices of online teaching and also have regular faculty meetings to discuss student and site director feedback which allows them to continually improve the student experience.
I'm looking for a specific course and don't see it listed in the SophieConnect courses. How do I inquire about upcoming courses or propose a new one?
Every year, starting in September, we have an open Call for Proposals, as well as advertise courses for which we are seeking instructors. Sign up for our newsletter to get regular communications about those. If there's a specific course you're seeking for a unique student circumstance, email us and we can explore possible options.
Interested in learning more about teaching for SophieConnect? Read more here.