Things to know about taking an online class.

Andree Dayley

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If a class isn’t working out or you need more credits to graduate, one thing to consider is taking the class online. Sometimes taking an online class is just what some students need to succeed.

How to sign up for a class: The best thing to do is to talk to the counselors about signing up for online courses. There are a variety of classes the online system provides and they all benefit  towards school achievement. Some classes include online English, science, history, math, even P.E.

Why sign up for an online class: Sometimes the school classroom structure can be stressful. For some students online classes provide more of a private place to do work. Wish you could have class at home? Well online classes can help with some schooltime stress. Sometimes the different teaching style helps, sometimes it’s the learning style that needs to change.

How online classes work: I’ve completed a handful of online classes myself and have become familiar with the structure of it all. Online, the students are given a set of assignments to do each week. These assignments often include target due dates to help students stay on track of when to have assignments done by. By the end students sign up to take the big final exam, which usually goes by with no issues. The final test is done at the end of the term, at the Cache County School District building so the teachers will know that the work is yours and you were the one that did the course. Simple stuff.

Benefits of online classes: Any student taking an online course can still get the required credits for the courses they take. An academic win-win situation. If I took an online english class than it can count for an English credit I need to graduate. The classes are more individualised. If you are a fast worker and you can learn things in half the time, online classes don’t require you to stay with the group. If they can and want to, a student could complete a weeks worth of assignments in two days or simply go their own pace.

Cons of online classes: They are still classes that require to completion. Often in online courses, one assignment a day is usually enough to stay on track, but sometimes it may require more time put into a certain assignment. I remember in an online financial literacy class I took, one assignment took a week to complete. Some assignments just take extra time to finish just like some in-class assignments do!

Where do online classes happen: Online classes are done through Canvas, not the exact same Canvas teachers often use at Ridgeline, but practically the same simple online layout. One of the first things that happens in the class is enrolled students get an email detailing how to get started on the course.

When can students sign up: Even though online classes are often in quarters, signing up near the start of the trimester works out.


Asking a counselor: Without stating any individual student’s names, I asked one of Ridgeline’s counselors, Mr. Hansen, a couple questions out of curiosity.

Q: Who tends to take more online classes (grade level) Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors?

A: With exceptions he said he tends to “see more Freshman and Seniors taking online classes”

Q: In your personal opinion, do you see online classes as a good option for students?

A: “I do think online classes are a great option for many students but I also think that a student needs to be self-motivated and a little more driven to be successful with online.”

Q: Do you see most students that enroll in these classes have success or do you think they are too difficult?

A: He told me approximately “around 60% of online classes actually get completed” “if a student is one who is willing to dig in and do the work, the class is not too difficult, but if a student slacks and doesn’t find the motivation to get the assignments done, not so successful.”


Asking a teacher: I asked Ms. Self (from the art room) some questions on what she thought, as a teacher, about students taking online classes.

Q:As a teacher, how do you feel about Students taking online classes?

A:”Online classes are kinda hard unless you are motivated” shows who has a drive to finish the course. She feels it is “not good for students with a hard time with self management.”

Q: I asked her if she’d still be ok with online classes if she knew that students were getting out of her class to take an online class. Something many students may worry about when taking classes online, worrying what peers and teachers would think if they found out about them taking an online class.

A: she acknowledges “Some students don’t do it [in class] because of a teacher or class” to her is is fine because similar to what I stated above some students in the “solitude” to do best. “It [online classes] may be hard because you may learn more with peers” Ms. Self told me.


Similar points made no matter who you ask, online classes require motivation and willingness to complete. For students that work hard and usually do well in school but may need more of a less public classroom situation to perform best. It may not be for everyone but some may consider a different approach in an online class.