ASU Prep Digital
How does online high school work?

How Do Online High School Classes Work?

« Back  |  09.28.2017 - Amy McGrath


High school students can take courses online now. Yep, really! It’s not really a new thing, but it’s something that more and more families are considering—and for good reason. That said, there are still plenty of parents who are new to the idea of online high school classes. It’s no surprise that they’d have plenty of questions. Like, “how does online high school even work?” Here are the 5 most common questions (and answers) about online learning:

How do I register my student for online classes that will count on their transcript?

Good news! All qualified online schools offer courses that align with state and federal standards. That means the credits will transfer to any high school transcript (and count toward graduation requirements). So, making sure that you choose a school that aligns with those standards is an important first step. Once you select an online school, registration is typically pretty easy. You will just need to provide some basic information and, in some cases, a current transcript. After registering, you and your child will create an account and select the courses they’re interested in taking. From there, your child talks with an advisor, attends orientation and gets started.

How do students talk to teachers?

Yes, online high school classes have real teachers! Often times, they’ll set up regular touch points throughout the month with you and your child. Those will likely be phone calls, but in most cases, teachers are available via phone, text, email or even video chat. When learning online, if your child has a question, getting one-on-one help is just a quick call or email away. At ASU Prep Digital, teachers host a weekly live lesson. In those live lessons, students can participate via video chat in real-time.

How do you take tests online?

“But the tests!?” Yes, yes. This is typically every parent’s first question. We hear you, but don’t fret, online schools have worked out (through trial, error, and testing) how to do this well in an online setting. The good news is, the methods are actually really effective (there are studies about this). So, here’s how it works. Tests online are done at the convenience of the student and are available when they feel they’re ready. They are not proctored, but instructors do have the ability to “lockdown screens” if they chose to do so. There are artificial intelligence tools in the works that will act as a next-generation test proctoring solution, by reading student facial expressions and verifying student with facial recognition. But for now, most online schools allow students to take tests online anytime and they’re designed to be open book and open note. Thus, the questions are high level and require students to dig deep and get creative with their answers.

How do group projects work?

Group projects, virtually? Yep! In online high school classes students still get to work together and because it’s online they do that from all over the world. Students are first connected via teachers in live lessons or in discussion forums. From there, students organically form groups for future projects. At ASU Prep Digital, students are encouraged to work as often as they want on group projects and are given opportunities to “meet” in virtual collaboration rooms to study and brainstorm together.

Do grades go onto a normal transcript?

Absolutely. At ASU Prep Digital we generate “normal” transcripts via our registrar, just like a traditional school. That is similar to most qualified online schools. That said, what is unique about ASU Prep Digital, is that students also receive an ASU transcript on top of your high school transcript. The University registrar issues ASU transcripts, and we merge the information and send it to our students and their home school district. At their home school district, those transcripts are merged with their traditional school transcript.

Find more answers to some of the biggest questions about online high school classes in our other blog posts, like this one about the common fears of online learning. Or this one on how to decide whether online courses are right for you. Curious about what ASU Prep Digital is all about? Read more about who we are here

More questions? Big or small—we know a thing or two about online learning and would be happy to have a conversation. Yes, we’re real people. Reach out to us. Whether you choose to take courses with ASU Prep Digital or not, we’re here to help! Contact us

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