AP goes online

Advanced Placement courses are going online, reports Ed Week. 

High schools that were once limited in the number of AP courses they could offer—whether from a lack of money, isolated locations, or student numbers too low to justify them—now have a plethora of online providers to choose from and free material to access. At the same time, course creators are learning new lessons about how to organize such information, and online-course requirements from the New York City-based College Board, which sponsors the AP program, are also evolving.

Offering lab sciences online has been a challenge, Ed Week reports. Apex Learning offers a mix of hands-on and virtual labs for physics and biology, but not chemistry.

Because of the element of danger related to mixing potentially hazardous chemicals, (Cheryl) Vedoe said, Apex has restricted chemistry experiments to the virtual kind and has settled for a conditional endorsement from the College Board for the course. The endorsement means the course contains the appropriate AP content, but without the hands-on experiences.

That’s not as good as a real lab, but it extends the AP chemistry option to students whose schools can’t offer the course.

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