I teach science at Fortuna High School in northern California. I’m using Energy 101 from UT AustinX in my Green Technology course, a course where students learn about conventional and alternative energy sources, then apply what they have learned to projects that will ultimately help their high school be more energy efficient.
I first learned about edX from a colleague. I found the Energy 101 course and knew it would be right up the alley of my class – it covers all of the current background technologies I teach in the Green Technologies course.
I watch the video sequenced lectures a day ahead of my class, then we watch the lectures together in class. I develop a study guide for each sequence, with discussion questions and fill-in-the-blanks questions, and administer an in-class test that I create every six modules. Energy 101 is a graduate level course, so the pace is fast and it covers a lot. My high school students are stretching, and the supplementary study material I give them helps them. They especially love the online widget finger exercises.
All of my students have achieved the certificate of completion from the edX course, but that’s not all. I just learned that my students will get credit from the University of California schools which will count the Green Technology course towards a laboratory science course requirement (high school students are required to take two laboratory science courses).
I see my students’ success on tests in class and it is clear to me that they are absorbing and processing the material more successfully with the added online component. Next semester we’ll be applying what we learned to projects. Their end of the year project will be to use their knowledge to increase the energy conservation and energy efficiency of our high school and be a model for other schools.