Building Relationships with Online Students


In online school settings, the online teacher and student are separated from one another by distance and often by time, so knowing and understanding online students is an important factor in building teacher-student relationships.1 Research suggests that online students are successful if they respond to three different types of learner interactions: (1) learner-to-content (appropriateness of the course material and delivery), (2) learner-to-instructor (access and support), and (3) learner-to-learner (procedures for dialogue).2 Watson et al. (2014)3 noted that practical consideration of the role of a teacher in an online classroom similar to those of traditional face-to-face classroom is important to ensure student success.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the TASC Exam


Similarly to the GED and HiSET exams, the TASC exam (Test Assessing Secondary Completion), is a high school equivalency test.

In the vast majority of cases, students should pursue a high school diploma; earning a diploma typically results in higher wages as an adult and lets employers know that the worker can overcome a challenge. However, for teenagers who are at least 16 years of age, not currently enrolled in any high school, and do not have a high school diploma, the TASC may be available.

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What You Need to Know about the HiSET


Similar to the GED, the HiSET is an exam that provides students with a degree equivalent to a high school diploma. It is, however, more rigorous in nature than the GED.

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The Value of An Accredited High School Diploma


Whether you are a high schooler with senioritis or a parent trying to help your child finish his/her degree, chances are that you’ve wondered how important it is to earn a high school diploma. Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “If I don’t care about college, why do I need to get an accredited high school diploma?”

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How do I Know When the GED is the Best Option for Me?


High school can be incredibly difficult, and sometimes students and parents are looking at alternatives to receiving a high school diploma. In the vast majority of cases, students should pursue a high school diploma. Earning a diploma typically results in higher wages as an adult and lets employers know that the worker can overcome a challenge.

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What Every Online Student Taking a World Language Needs to Know: Typing Accent Marks and Other Special Characters


Online students taking a world language course will need to submit written work with the correct accent marks or they will lose credit on that assignment. There are a few options for students typing in another language including any special accent marks, characters, or punctuation the language may require all while still using a standard American keyboard.

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Study Tips: Using Flash Cards


What are flashcards?

Flashcards are a common studying tool that have been used for decades. The basic components are:

  1. Term: the term on a flashcard is the short word, phrase, or question that you are trying to remember.
  2. Definition: the definition is the meaning of the term. It can also be a fact, explanation, or answer.

While many cards will show both the term and definition on one side, the most effective cards will have the term on one side and the definition on the other.

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Attendance in Online Settings


Online schooling provides flexibility, an individual approach to learning, and innovation; however, attendance might become an issue if not managed properly. In traditional school settings, attendance means that students are in school for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for a minimum of 180 school days. This adds up to about 1,050 instructional hours per academic year. In online school settings, the attendance policy simply requires that students log on, complete lessons, and “attend classes” by progressing in their school work.

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Writing Process: Conducting and Using Research



I’m going to start at the beginning with this, since, in my experience, finding good research is a major stumbling block for students. Even though most of my students are incredibly technologically literate and spend a lot of time online, it is a mistake for teachers (or students) to assume that this is the same thing as conducting research.

This is the final entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Rewriting, Revising, Editing and Formatting



Many students see the process of revision as an unnecessary bother, and rarely do more than correct a few spelling errors. I get it. There comes a point where you just want to turn in the paper, but the truth is that every paper can use some serious rewriting. I personally love this process, because it allows me to move the paper closer to how I imagined it and communicate more clearly.

This is the sixth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

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Writing Process: Body Paragraphs and Conclusion



Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence. A topic sentence has the same function for the paragraph that the thesis has for the whole essay: it clearly defines exactly what that paragraph will be about. This helps you identify what information to include in the paragraph, and also ensures that the information connects directly to your thesis statement.

This is the fifth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link

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Writing Process: Outlining and Introduction



Outlining is the process of taking the information from your brainstorming list and organizing it so you can present it in the most logical and effective way.

Start by taking your brainstorming list and identifying ideas that go together. I like to use a numbering system, but you can also use symbols, highlighting in different colors, or whatever works best for you. The important thing to remember is that your essay should be organized based on ideas.

This is the fourth entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

After identifying similar ideas, decide how to categorize them. What is the best way to describe this subtopic? How do they directly support your topic and ultimately your thesis statement?

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Writing Process: Thesis Statement



A clear thesis statement is key to writing a good essay. It’s not easy, but it is necessary.

This is the third entry in a series concerning the writing process. You can review the entire series at this link.

The point I’m going to make about thesis statements is very similar to the point I made about essay topics, but this time I have some fun illustrations.

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Writing Process: Choosing Your Topic and Brainstorming



The second step in writing a good essay is choosing the right topic. Your topic determines what you will write, so choose wisely.

This is the second entry in a series concerning the writing process. Make sure that you read Part 1: Reading the Prompt before reviewing this article.

Choosing the right topic for your essay can be tricky. Usually, there is flexibility built into a prompt, so that you have a choice of which part of the question to focus on.

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Three School Rules for Students


Rules and structure are important standards to live by in life. As Christians, these standards are laid out in great detail in the Bible. Students of Enlightium Academy also have the Family Handbook, which is provided to students by the administration to set expectations for families for the school year. At Enlightium Academy, we fine-tuned three rules that you are expected to understand and follow to have the best year possible.

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Writing Process: Introduction and Reading the Prompt



Writing essays is challenging and intimidating for many students. This is understandable, especially for students who have never written an essay before. It’s stressful trying to produce a longer piece of writing.

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How to Get a Driver’s Permit for Homeschoolers

How to Get a Driver’s Permit for Homeschoolers

Getting a driver’s license can be one of the most exciting moments for students during their high school career. Like carrying around gold, excited students will carry around their new found freedom in the form of a plastic card, showing everyone. “I’ve got my driver’s license!”.

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 3: Four Types of Plagiarism and How to Avoid Them

Dear Students,

In my recent Internet lurking I came a tumblr post or tweet by a student that said something like this

“I don’t know how people plagiarize on purpose. I’m terrified that I will fail because I accidentally used the same wording as a 16th-century manual on toasters.”

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Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Some Thoughts About Plagiarism Part 2: What Sets Off My Teacher Spidey-Senses?

Dear Students,

Plagiarism is a topic that is always discussed in specific ways. It’s outlined in school policies, and teachers explain the consequences and moral implications. The messages we as teachers convey about plagiarism by setting out the rules are important, but they are also incomplete. This open letter format is my attempt to continue the conversation with openness and hopefully some humor.

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Can Online Students Really Forge Relationships With Their Teachers?


Often students enroll at an online school because they want to minimize the amount of interaction between themselves and their teachers. If that is the case, the student will most likely not respond to a teacher’s efforts to forge a relationship.

Some students find interacting with adults face-to-face intimidating, so the idea of interacting with their teachers digitally makes communication with adults more bearable. These students are more likely to respond positively to a teacher’s efforts to forge a relationship.

We live in a day and time when much of our lives are dependent on the Internet. People trade, communicate, work, and entertain themselves through an online medium. Students are able to forge a relationship with a teacher online, especially when the teachers make initial contact.

How Will Online Teachers Forge Relationships With Their Students?

It all starts with a good introduction.

Teachers at Enlightium Academy always send a greeting letter when a student joins their class. Teachers introduce themselves in a colorful way, where they talk about their interests and families and show themselves as fun, interesting people who will help their students through the coursework. 

For some students, this introduction is enough to break the ice; they will respond with an introduction of their own, and the teacher will remember this conversation.

For other students, an introduction is not enough, and teachers know this. So they keep reaching out to students in different ways. Most of their interactions are through chat on Ignitia, although some students have access to teachers through phone tutorials, screen sharing and face-to-face video chat. 

Be it face-to-face or just written communication, the chance to work one-on-one with the student is what gives teachers the opportunity to truly forge a relationship with them. It is during these interactions that teachers can continue to learn about the person behind the screen name. It isn’t uncommon for teachers to know the names of the student’s pets or to be in prayer with the student and his or her parents.  


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