The Trials and Tribulations of Taking AP Classes Online


Se'Lah Robinson

Work Overload: Junior Mallory Jackson is among the many students who have struggled with the teacher-absent and work-heavy environment of virtual AP classes.

Taking AP classes is a common preference amongst the student population. With some benefits including an extra 10 points, college credits, early preparation for college classes, a stronger transcript, and more, who wouldn’t want to take an AP class? Due to extenuating circumstances and the collaboration of Atlanta Virtual School, North Atlanta has allowed for students to have the opportunity to take AP classes online as opposed to the traditional teacher-student in-person setup. However, what initially seemed to be the relaxed and better option quickly became the opposite after a short few months.

Students taking AP Psychology, Biology, and US History – the only virtual AP classes currently offered – learn through Edgenuity/Atlanta Geniussis. Mixed reactions make up the public’s opinion about the popular online curriculum, a large percentage being negative. From past academic experiences, a lot of us recognize Edgenuity as the tedious, work-filled curriculum that is synonymous with extra credit/recovery. Becoming overwhelmed took no time for a majority of the students in their sole AVA class; thanks to the 4-5 assignment per day schedule that Edgenuity puts in place for the sake of staying ‘on pace.’ “First semester I was behind within a week or two because of how many assignments we had to do daily. I had other classes to worry about,” says junior Maya Ratchev.

In addition to the workload, many virtual AP students report their teacher-led classes as more engaging than their teacher-absent classes. While there is an instructor, there are no scheduled zooms, meet and greets, etc., leaving barely any connection between teachers and students. Due to this, it’s much easier to set AP work aside to focus on other aspects of school and life.“As an AP scholar, it’s only possible for us to stay on pace and be committed with an actual teacher,” says junior Mallory Jackson.

May is just around the corner, which is the month of EOCs, IB exams, and in this case; the fateful AP exams. It’s advised that these part-time virtual Dubs stay on top of their game, or start to get on it and get to studying the information they’ve gathered since August via Edgenuity. Despite it all, the opportunity to add more AP classes to a high school resume is great and staying grateful is important. After all, you reap what you sow and it’s safe to say some of us have learned many lessons during this tumultuous year.