Faculty Voices: Summer at GOA

Taking online summer courses can be a valuable experience for students who want to explore a topic of interest and continue strengthening their learning skills. This summer, GOA is offering over 20 of our most popular academic year courses across two accelerated 7-week summer terms. Unlike our academic year courses which are open to students from GOA member schools, Summer at GOA is open to all high schoolers who are looking to explore their passions and engage with dedicated teachers and peers from around the world.

GOA’s teachers, who predominantly come from our global consortium of schools, are the heart of our Student Program. We have so much admiration for our teachers. They are experts in their subject and have deep expertise in creating engaging online learning experiences for students. Associate Director of Faculty Experience Glenda Baker says, “At GOA, we have ongoing professional development and our teachers use our five Educator Competencies that help create the right conditions for students to flourish. Our professional educators are dedicated to creating learning experiences that inspire and support students.”

We talked to a few of our outstanding summer faculty to hear their ideas about why a student may want to dedicate time during their summer to take an online course, what they can expect, and how to ensure success.

Summer@GOA teachers: Elizabeth Salinas (Personal Finance), Mohammad Sarhan (Business Problem Solving), Leah Wolf (CS I Computational Thinking and CS II Java), Jordan Daniels (Introduction to Psychology)

Why should a high school student take an online summer course?

Fac­ul­ty Voic­es: Summer@GOA

Mohammad Sarhan: “Summer courses are full of life! Some students are unsure about which college majors to pursue, especially if these majors are not offered at the high school level. The summer courses give students the opportunity to survey these topics with professional instructors and diverse peers with similar interests. These courses range from Medicine to International Relations, providing students an immersive experience within a 7-week period. Students also get to engage with the courses at their own pace. Every year, I have students reaching out to me about building their own business or investment portfolio well after the end of the term.”

Leah Wolf: “High school students should take online courses this summer because they allow them the chance to focus deeply on one subject area, which is such a rare opportunity in typical educational settings. Online courses also allow students the flexibility to organize their summer and time around other in-person summer activities, such as sports or vacation, while still satisfying their desire to learn new skills!”

Elizabeth Salinas: “It can help you lighten your load during the academic year…It is a chance to learn things that you might not get a chance to do in your own home school and to meet people that you wouldn’t get to meet otherwise.”

What can students expect from your GOA summer course?

Mohammad Sarhan: “The learning experiences are designed with student growth at the center of the process. After exploring the course-specific topics, students lead their own learning through experiences that give them choice and amplify their voices and curiosities. The courses are designed using CBL and every single learning experience in the course has a clear rubric with outcomes from our competency library.”

Leah Wolf: “Students can expect a fast-paced crash course into programming in Java. This summer course is an overview of a variety of both programming concepts and applications of the Java programming language. Students learn through written content, teaching videos, and through hands-on work in the programming assignments. Students can expect narrative feedback from their teacher (me) written in their assignment rubrics and feedback from their peers/teacher in response to their questions on our course messaging app!”

Jordan Daniels: “Students can expect for a fast-paced course in which they put psychological principles into practice through a combination of independent and collaborative projects. Feedback is a recursive process that occurs at all phases of project completion. At the end, students can expect to have developed a series of projects that demonstrate several different content and non-content related competencies.”

What makes a student successful in a GOA summer course?

Mohammad Sarhan: “A successful student fully engages with the course to develop their competencies. They build strong connections with their peers, allocate sufficient time to the learning experiences, and apply what they learn to projects that speak to their interests. The course design teams at GOA constantly revise courses to ensure that students are set up for success. The support team at GOA also engages with the students, their home schools, and families to ensure a level of support that is unprecedented for remote learning.”

Leah Wolf: “Since summer courses are condensed into 7 weeks, time management is key! Successful students learn the material before they begin assignments, start their work early, and are prompt communicators with their teacher and their peers.”

Jordan Daniels: “Organization and time management are the pillars of success for students in summer courses.”

Visit the GOA Summer Courses page for details on our upcoming summer courses and how to register.

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