What is a DBA?

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A DBA is a Discussion Based Assessment. The most simplistic way to think of this is as an oral quiz between the teacher and the student. These required assessments occur two times per semester and are another example of a synchronous opportunity. This time is one-on-one, scheduled, graded, and includes a rubric. The purpose of the DBA is to help enhance the teacher-student relationship, check for academic integrity, and to determine what the student has mastered in the course so far.

Are assignments interactive? Is everything auto-graded?

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Many assignments are interactive in nature–opportunities for students to engage with their classmates as well as receive immediate feedback on their progress. There are some items in each course that are auto-graded in Canvas. Other assignments, particularly free response and open-ended assignments that are graded by the ASUPD teacher.

What does a unit look like?

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Each unit has the same structure: lesson, discussion board activity, assessment, and a section to self report/reflect. We also embed “check for understanding” assignments that are low stakes quizzes to ensure student mastery and to provide formative data to the teacher. When a student needs more support, they are given feedback and additional opportunities to demonstrate mastery.

What is ALEKS?

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ALEKS is a research-based, online learning program that offers adapted math content tailored to individual student needs. This online learning platform helps educators and guardians understand each student’s knowledge and learning progress in depth, and provides the individual support required for every student to achieve mastery. ASUPD supplements the ALEKS curriculum with a wrap-around curriculum that takes a deeper dive into the content.

How does a student start a course?

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Every course in our Academy starts with the New Student Orientation. We employ a scaffolded approach to prepare our students to begin their course and equip them with the best skills and knowledge that they’ll need to be successful. Students will begin with the welcome module by exploring the platform and topics such as Netiquette and Digital Citizenship. These modules are critical for learners to be reminded of as they start their online journey. The New Student Orientation also has how-to videos and guides for navigating the Canvas platform. Once students complete their orientation, the course shell will be available for students to reference throughout the year as needed.

Are there live lessons that students have to attend?

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We have an expectation for live lessons to be conducted weekly for our students. All live lessons are recorded and located at the bottom of the home page. To meet the needs of students with varied schedules, we do not require attendance at the live lesson. However, students are encouraged to view the recording if they are not able to attend live.