Apex Develops New Online Courses, Tools to Support Teachers

Apex Learning has expanded its educational offerings with new online courses and tools to support teachers in the classroom. The new products are Modular ClassTools, Evaluation Tools, Local Online Courses and nine new online courses in core curriculum subjects.

Modular ClassTools allows teachers who want access to particular sections of the company's ClassTools collection of online materials to purchase them on an individual, per unit basis. Like ClassTools, Modular ClassTools offers teachers resources that range from multimedia presentations for teaching difficult concepts to computer-graded quizzes that track student progress, supporting and enhancing their classroom activities. Evaluation Tools offers teachers diagnostic tests with instant grade reports aligned to 11 AP topic outlines. Teachers can use the tools to monitor student progress throughout a course, understand individual student weaknesses through question-by-question scoring results and help students prepare for AP exams.

Apex's nine new online courses, offered through a partnership with the University of Washington, give students access to subjects such as American literature, atmospheric sciences and HTML-related courses. An additional 13 AP and seven foreign language courses complete the catalog. In addition, schools can also extend their teachers' reach to multiple locations with Apex's Local Online Courses, which offer curriculum delivered via the Internet and supported by a local online instructor. The company provides the technology platform, course curriculum and training for local teachers. Local Online Courses are available in 29 AP, core curriculum and foreign language topics. Apex Learning, Bellevue, WA, (800) 453-1454, www.apexlearning.com.

Profile: Shanksville-Stonycreek High School

Last school year, Shanksville-Stonycreek High School principal Connie Hummel was having difficulty hiring someone to teach German. Hummel describes the Pennsylvania-based school, which serves 280 students in grades 6-12, as a "small, close-knit school with an open, friendly atmosphere." She was determined to find a way to offer the German II course that 17 students needed to meet graduation requirements.

While reading a professional journal, she found an article on online learning that listed companies offering foreign language classes. After making some inquiries, she discovered that the answer to her dilemma was Apex Learning's online German II course. In the end, each of her 17 students passed their online German II course, scoring high on tests and quizzes, and learning how to write and speak the language.

Hummel recently hired a full-time instructor to teach French/Spanish, ensuring that her students have access to the foreign language courses they need to graduate. However, she knows she may need to turn to Apex Learning again in the future. "As a small rural school, it will always be difficult to find teachers with certain kinds of certifications," says Hummel.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.