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University of Texas at Austin High School3
Posted September 26, 2014
- a parent
My son is completing high school on line through UT On line High School. The quality of the classes is excellent. I feel he is well prepared to move on to college after taking these classes. He has had to learn how to teach himself and plan and follow a schedule to complete a class in the time allowed. Learning to use the internet for additional explanations and more understandable examples in Physics and Pre Calculus was absolutely necessary. I have found that contacting the school and getting final exams sent to a proctoring test site in our area has been challenging and expensive. There were no grade reports sent by mail. In one case it took several phone calls to get the final grade for a class. Recently the web site has been disabled except for the portal to access the on line classes.
My 9th grade daughter took Biology A (one of the ASKME courses) over the summer. She was able to go at her own pace, do the labs in our kitchen (except for a couple trips to Dad's lab to use a microscope), and complete the "semester" course in about 4 weeks. She found some of the videos a little childish, but overall it was a huge success! She learned a lot, had excellent support from her online teacher, and received HS credit. I highly recommend this course for motivated, smart kids. There was a COMPREHENSIVE final exam at the end, which she took at the UT testing center. She'll be taking Biology B next summer for sure. Don't know how their other courses are (this review is specifically for an ASKME course).
The online course curriculum is extremely limited and difficult to work through. These courses are paid courses and completely online. The "teachers" are there to grade only and do not answer questions. Several of the test questions or graded assignment questions do not pertain to any of the lessons the student has gone through. It is in a very disorganized format and does not teach. When I asked the teacher some clarification or additional help questions she stated that was not part of her job and we needed to figure it out on our own. when I've called the school with questions I am only ever given very general information. I've had to hire an extra tutor to teach my daughter enough to get by. The tutor who even tutors college level found this to be very limited and difficult too. This has been an extremely frustrating experience. My daughter had taken classes through Texas Virtual Academy and that was much better and actually free. I'd highly recommend you shop around first.
My son is much happier at this school. He must work independently, so that's a challange, but he says he learns much more because there is not as much time wasted. I have also noticed that the books are very well chosen. He does miss some of the extracurricular activities.