Thanks to huge advances in technology, schools have recently been using online content to teach. New Covenant Academy (NCA), a private college preparatory school in Los Angeles, switched to online learning in 2013. Though the program has advantages, some students have also pointed out its flaws.
New Covenant has been using a program called Gradpoint. Instead of in textbooks, the curricula is online, making it easier for students to access their schoolwork. Gradpoint also makes lesson planning easier for the teachers, as they can easily put up tests with one click.
“There are certainly many advantages to this,” said Wendy Rodgers, a middle school science teacher at NCA. “It’s easier to manage my classes because Gradpoint manages to give a lesson in a matter of few slides. On top of that, there are pre-made tests that automatically correct the students’ results for you.”
Yet there are disadvantages to the program. Some students have admitted that, due to their courses being online, they’re more likely to search quiz answers on Google.
Hannah Hwang, an NCA freshmen, pointed out more flaws.
“I personally feel that using Gradpoint isn’t as effective as using a textbook. I like to highlight and write all over my textbook, but with basically having an online textbook, it’s impossible to do that,” she said.
Not only that, [but] since the tests are pre-made, sometimes the test questions aren’t that great. Most of the time, teachers don’t bother to look at the questions that are given, and so we’re given questions that don’t test you on the important stuff.”
Enoch Han, another NCA ninth grader, told JSR that Gradpoint isn’t very effective.
He stated, “Since Gradpoint lessons are basically Powerpoint slides, it’s really easy to just click the ‘next’ button and be done with the lesson. Plus, it’s really hard to learn subjects like math online, because for me I need to have a teacher really explain the concepts to me instead of having two sentences summarizing [the concepts] for me.”