Alaska Digital Academy Handbook

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Alaska Digital Academy

AkDA’s Online Educational Philosophy

        Today, the existence of online courses in a student’s educational program are commonplace, advantageous, and often looked at as essential preparation for post-secondary education.  The guiding principles behind enrollment into an online class are that the student, parent, and counselor should work in a collaborative nature from enrollment through course completion.

The advantages that students can enjoy include:

Disadvantages of taking online courses can include:

Enrollment procedures

The normal time to enroll in courses and changes schedules is at the beginning of each semester.  However, the Alaska Digital Academy (AkDA) has “rolling enrollment”.  This means that students can enroll in a class anytime through our online digital academy at http://alaskadigitalacademy.org.

Courses are $250 per student, per course.  This includes:

  1. Curriculum - Credit recovery, advancement credit, and more.  Students have a maximum of 21 weeks to complete a course. This time can be adjusted by local schools.
  2. Highly Qualified Teacher - available during school hours, evenings and weekends.
  3. Tech and Administrative Support - We are here to help from the start to the end of a course.
  4. Easy Online Access - registration, course access, notifications, and instant progress reports.
  5. Course Extensions - two week extension is available per course for $25.  Max of three extensions.

Welcome

Welcome school districts, students, and parents.

We are excited to be able to offer Alaskan students a personalized, competency-based educational model that provides flexible digital content.  We hope that you feel our student centered approach to education is suitable for you student.  Whether you are taking one class with us or several, it is our goal that you have a positive learning experience.

This handbook has been created to help provide students, schools, and families with the tools and information needed to be a successful AkDA student.

Welcome to the Alaska Digital Academy. We look forward to serving your educational needs.

Sincerely,

Bill Whicker

Alaska Digital Academy Director

Introduction

In the summer of 2014, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District was awarded the "Digital Teaching Initiative Grant" to start the Alaska Digital Academy.  The intention of the newly founded Alaska Digital Academy is to deliver high quality interactive distance courses to Alaskan middle and high school students. The Alaska Digital Academy hopes to offer increased opportunities for our students through a Enriched Virtual instruction model.

  • Last year AkDA provided 406 semester enrollments to Alaskan Students.
  • Completion rate at 76%.
  • Worked with 15 schools across Alaska.
  • Using our tuition-based model, over 40 parents independently enrolled their students in AkDA courses over summer.
  • Over 80 classes to choose from.
  • The API integration of our Alaska Digital Academy allows a streamlined, automated process through enrollment, real time reporting and course completion.
  • AkDA is driven by an industry standard relational database that is instantly scalable to serve students statewide.                                 

Contact Information

 www.alaskadigitalacademy.org

 T  (907) 225-2128

 support@alaskadigitalacademy.org

Logging into AkDA - Starting a course

Start Your Course

Once you are registered for a course an email will be sent to you will log-in directions.

 

**** When you sign-up for a class you have 2 weeks to start your course.  If a student does not start their course in this time frame the course will be canceled, and any tuition refunded. 

To start your course you must goto

 www.alaskadigitalacademy.org

Click on Sign In

Type in the username and password that were emailed to you.  On the first log-in you will be prompted to personalize your password.

When you start, note the end date of our class.  To be a successful online student keeping up on your class work and not falling behind is KEY.  Once your end date has been reached you will no longer be able to access your course without pay an $25 fee for a one time, two week extension.

Help Desk Info

If you are having technical problems of any kind, we are here to help with IT issue, as well as curriculum questions for our students.

If you are having trouble logging into the Alaska Digital Academy you can click on the “I forgot my password!” link.

Our technical support is available to you through:

support@alaskadigitalacademy.org

Or on our Alaska Digital Academy site look for the “HELP” on the bottom right side of the screen.

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Student                                

                                                

The student’s role is to learn to the best of his/her ability. Therefore, students should expect to take age-appropriate individual responsibility for their own learning, such as: applying themselves to their studies in a focused and serious manner, working hard, becoming engaged in the lessons and activities, asking questions, exploring their personal interests, improving areas of academic weaknesses, and capitalizing on strengths—and at all times completing their own work, and following the AkDA Online Code of Conduct.         

As an online student it is essential that you use and check your email.  This is the main tool for communication with your teacher, who will be in contact with you on a weekly basis.  It is the student's responsibility to check and respond to their email.

**** When you sign-up for a class you have 2 weeks to start your course.  If a student does not start their course in this time frame the course will be canceled, and any tuition refunded. 

                        

On-Site Manager                 

                        

On-site managers are vital to student’s success.  They are the point person between students and the Alaska Digital Academy.  The person who knows a student best is the person who is on-site with them. We look to local personnel as a partner to help make sure students are successful.  Communication is key, a student taking a online course is not alone, and needs local support and encouragement to be successful.

Designated on-site personnel have access to the AkDA digital academy. The instant reporting dashboard is convenient to help staff monitor and assist their students. We provide real-time reporting to let the on-site manager know what students are struggling, who is behind, and provide eligibility reports for activities.

We work closely and are in constant communication with the local on-site manager to be able to make sure students are being successful in their digital course work.

Parents or Legal Guardian

Parents/guardians play a key role in a student’s success.  We invite parents to be involved in their students learning.  We encourage parents to contact us if they have any questions and set-up a parent account on the AkDA site at:

http://alaskadigitalacademy.org/

Why should I sign up?

Creating a parent account with the Alaska Digital Academy will allow you to sign up your children for courses as well as view their progress.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the online form. After submitting your information, login information will be sent to your email address.

How will I see my son/daughter's information?

After logging in, you will have the opportunity to add your son/daughter's profiles to your account.      

                     

AkDA Teacher

The subject-specific teacher is the primary contact for students, on-site manager and parents with regard to subject-specific questions. Our highly qualified Alaskan teachers are trained to provide support to your student. They can help handle any of the following instructional questions:

  • Curriculum and materials
  • Course scope and sequence
  • Modification of assessments
  • Testing
  • Grading
  • Help with a particular assignment or concept

AkDA teachers work to proactively monitor each student's progress using our digital academy.  They are in regular contact with students via phone, texting, email and flash messages.  Our teachers are available during school hours,  evenings and weekends. Teachers score assessments and provide ongoing feedback on student’s performance. We believe in personalized, competency based education.  Our teachers work with students to individualize their course to meet their educational needs.  

Badges

AkDA Badges

On course completion students will receive a digital badge signifying their successful completion of a course.

Viewing your student dashboard

Student Dashboard

The student dashboard is designed to help students successfully keep track of their course work.  The dashboard is the central location to sign into classes, see alerts, course progress and grades.  

A successful AkDA student will take full advantage of the online dashboard to monitor and complete their course.

View Courses

Students can view current, past, dropped and cancel courses.

Black - Current courses

Green - Completed courses

Yellow - Cancelled Course (Course was not started within two weeks)

Red - Dropped course

By clicking on “view” you can see the details of a course. This includes grade, pacing, teacher, start and end dates, and who the course was ordered by.  From here you can also download a progress report.

FAQ’s

Q: How do I enroll in AkDA?

A: Enrollment is easy. Visit with your school registar or parents can sign students up at www.alaskadigitalacademy.org today.  Schools and parents can sign students for classes ANYTIME!

Q: How much does a class cost?

A: Our classes are $250 per student, per course. This includes curriculum, a highly qualified teacher (available school hours, evenings, and weekends), tech and administrative support, and online digital academy access.

Q: How long does a student have to finish a course?

A: Students have, by default, 21 weeks to finish a course.  However, on-site managers can modify dates to meet individual school schedules.

Q: Can students get course extensions?

A: A one time two-week extension is available at the cost of $25.

Q: When can a student enroll in a course?

A: Students, parents, and schools can sign-up for courses through the AkDA digital academy anytime. We have a rolling enrollment.

Q: Can parents view a student's progress?

A: YES! Parents can goto www.alaskadigitalacademy.org and sign-up for a parent account to view students progress to help their student stay on track.

Q: How do teachers interact with students?

A: AkDA teachers are available through email and the online academy during school hours, evenings and weekends.  Our teachers work to personalize curriculum and are in contact a minimum of once a week with students.

Q: Do online courses count towards the Alaska Performance Scholarship?

A: We offer 18 courses that qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship. Please visit www.alaskadigitalacademy.org to see our course catalog and qualifying classes.

Q: Can an AkDA course be used for credit recovery?

A: Yes, we can personalize classes to meet each student’s individual requirements who are in need of credit recovery.

Q: If a student is involved in activities how does AkDA report for eligibility?

A: If a school would like to count a student’s online course towards eligibility, the online academy has instant eligibility reports available to school on-site managers to determine if a student meets local requirements. The online academy has a range of on-demand reports available to schools to help them monitor their student’s progress.

Online Code of Conduct

All online students are required to have and regularly check their designated email.  This is the way that all correspondence regarding your online account will be communicated.  Some curriculum, such as Edgenuity, has a communication system built into it and students can use this as it is monitored by teachers.  In Canvas courses, the default method of communication is through district email, but students may add additional notification methods in their Canvas setup.

Students have the right to express themselves and participate freely in an online class.  Standard rules of etiquette and respect are expected during interactions between all participants in a course.  Offensive or inappropriate language in all forms of communication between students and the instructor should not be used.  Of course, students are allowed to disagree, but should express their disagreement in a professional and civil manner.

        In courses that use discussion boards, only postings that pertain to the course are permitted.  Discussion boards should never be used for personal communications.  Grades and personal communications should be handled by private email to the instructor.

        Emails to the instructor that are considered offensive or inappropriate will be sent back to the writer with a request to rewrite and resubmit. If the emails continue to be unacceptable, the student will be referred to the Principal and denied access to the course until the he/she contacts the student. If students receive inappropriate emails from others in the class they should notify the instructor and appropriate action will be taken.

Academic Integrity

        The work submitted by students should be their own.  Do not cut, copy or plagiarize any information from the internet or your classmates. If plagiarism or cheating is identified by the instructor, the assignment/quiz grade will be lowered or the possibility of failing the course is possible.  

Course Timelines, Expectations and Procedures

        Even though online courses follow a rolling enrollment system, students have a maximum of 21 weeks to finish a course. Students are expected to progress through their online course at a rate that will allow them to complete their course by the end of the allotted time.  In Edgenuity courses, this target date is entered at the time of enrollment.  The student progress report indicates whether students are behind, on track or ahead of schedule.  The ACTUAL GRADE is what grade is reported to the digital academy.  

Quizzes, Test and Exams -

Edgenuity courses include the following assessments:

These assessments are primarily multiple choice, but they also can include multi-select checkboxes, drop-down, and text or number entry. Subjective questions (which must be teacher-scored) do not appear on quizzes, tests, and exams. Questions in quizzes, tests, and exams are pulled from the lesson’s item bank, which contains approximately 25 questions on average per lesson.  Quizzes and tests are open as soon as the students complete the required work to prepare them.  Exams (finals) are only opened with teacher approval and there may be a proctoring requirement.

Pretesting - Pretesting may be enabled as a default for some courses.  In pretesting, students take the 10-question quiz at the start of the lesson. If they meet or exceed the pretest passing threshold, the activities in the lesson are bypassed and the student is allowed to move on to the next lesson. Pretesting can be enabled at any point in a course. For example, if a student has already completed the first few units of the course, turning on pretesting will present the student with the quiz first in the next lesson he/she begins.

When a student passes the pretesting attempt, the activities in the lesson are bypassed; however, the student can go back and review them at any time. Keep in mind that scores will not count while the activity is bypassed. Educators can remove the bypass if they want the score to count towards the student’s overall grade. Also, keep in mind that even though the lesson has been bypassed, all the content will appear on the test and exam.  The default passing threshold for pretesting is 80%.  So, conceivably, a student could pass all the pretests and only receive a “B” in the course.  If a student would like to adjust the threshold to 90%, they will need to request that at the time of enrollment (although it can be changed at anytime).

Activities Eligibility

It is up to local schools to decide if a course will count towards a student's activities eligibility.  Online teachers will entered grades into the AkDA digital academy.  This will allow the on-site managers to be able to print out an eligibility/progress report at anytime.