Rise of Online Classes

Nevin Mann, Reporter

This year, online classes have seen an increase in enrollment, affecting the classroom makeup in the PVPUSD.

The number of online classes at PVHS has led to a drop in the number of students in classes during school hours.

While taking classes online during the summer is a large time commitment, students find it a small price to pay in exchange for a more manageable schedule during the school year, with online courses sometimes taking the place of a seventh period.

Meanwhile, others find that taking classes in a non-traditional setting to be more beneficial, as they can work on their own time.

“I only took online classes during the summer so I would have an easier schedule during the year,” sophomore Jackie Lanes said. “I can’t sit in a classroom learning history and would rather do it on my own time.”

Although students have begun to turn to the screens for their learning, these classes are not being recommended by everyone, especially teachers on campus.

“I believe it is not helping students nearly as much as in class, and the students that take history online are not getting the information they need to perform well throughout the class,” History teacher DJ Hill said.

“Communication is key to help you for future social science [classes], such as [AP] Government.”

According to Babson Research Group, since 2016, 28 percent of all high school students are currently enrolled in one or more online classes, continuing a 13-year upward trend.

PVPUSD, in particular, offers its students a large variety of online classes available for enrollment. As the number of students taking online courses rises, teachers worry that students are not gaining the necessary interactions that only an in-class experience can provide.

Especially when it comes to a foreign language, teachers have their hesitations on the effectiveness of learning solely online.

“I think it is very difficult to learn a language online,” French and Spanish teacher Amy Byrne said.

“It’s possible, but you just have to be extra dedicated and be able to interpret.”

It’s because of the rise of online classes that have led Byrne to view it as a cause for a change in her classes.

For years, Byrne only taught French but has since added Spanish class to her schedule.

For teachers in classes historically affected by online course enrollment, the shift in classroom dynamics is noticeable.

Teachers like Hill believe that online classes have a considerably less challenging curriculum, with one of its critical flaws being how convenient it is to cheat on assignments and tests.

“I recommend only taking classes online if you are willing to put in all of the time and studying, and have time management,” Lanes said.