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Summer Studies: Indiana Online Academy to offer AP Macroeconomics, AP Government online this summer

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This summer, Indiana Online Academy (IOA) will offer AP Macroeconomics and AP Government. The school will still offer the two classes in the classroom and regular economics and government online.

Junior Grace Hong said she plans to take one or both of AP Macroeconomics and AP Government through IOA in June 2018.

“(That way,) I can take them both at the same time. I want to get Macro and Gov over with in the summer,” Hong said.

She said she believes online courses have several advantages over a classroom setting that students should consider when choosing between the two.

“You get more time to study the content. You also get the benefit of learning how to be self-motivated, which is a really important skill for the real world,” Hong said.

However, AP Government teacher Joe Stuelpe said he believes there are several aspects of taking the in-school course that an online course cannot provide.

“Obviously you lose out on the interpersonal aspect of the curriculum,” Stuelpe said. “You lose out on, to a degree, the access to resources. I don’t know how much contact you can have with an online teacher.”

Hong said she agrees that the relationships students can foster with the teacher and classmates are an important feature of actual classrooms.

“(With online courses) you don’t really have a teacher that you can talk to about the problems you are having,” she said. “You also don’t have the benefit of classmates around you that you can ask questions to.”

Despite that specific inconvenience, Hong said online courses have their own benefits.

“Another benefit to online classes is that you can take classes even when abroad in the summer, which allows you to make the most of the summer classes available,” she said.

One aspect Stuelpe said students should consider when signing up for online school is how an online AP class looks on their transcripts, especially to competitive schools.

“For the high-achieving student who has goals of going to an Ivy League or one of the more competitive public schools, how are they going to view seeing you took an AP class online on your transcript?” he said.

Stuelpe also said students should consider greater accessibility to teachers if deciding to take classes in a traditional classroom setting.

He said, “I would encourage students to take advantage of that because (of) the relationships you can form with the teacher, the access to the teacher both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as the components of the curriculum that you can’t do taking it by yourself online.”

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