The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

The Student News Site of North Polk High School

The Orbit

How to Handle Your First DMACC Online Class

Image from Forbes on a story noting the increase of online learning.
Image from Forbes on a story noting the increase of online learning.

North Polk High School prides itself on the availability of tools and resources that have been given to students across the years. One of resources is the availability of being able to take college courses and receive credit for these classes. The college that North Polk pairs with in order to offer students said college credit is the Des Moines Areas Community College (DMACC).

While some of the classes are taught in school through qualified teachers, many classes can be taken online if students go through the process of online registration. The next registration for online and off campus classes opens in the Spring of 2024. 

As the new semester begins and students take their first online class and/or reflect on their past online experiences, one can make goals to set themself up for success when taking on online classes. Below are some tips for making your semester with online classes from a student and a counselor perspective. 

  • Check the syllabus

Counselor Jacob Wolfe explained that the first thing an online student should always do is check the syllabus as this is where the guidelines one will be following throughout the semester. 

The syllabus for the online classes usually outlines what the assignments will consist of and what percentage it will have in effect to one’s grade, the due dates for said assignments and any additional information regarding the course and/or information on reaching the professor. 

Wolfe expressed that he highly recommends students to read through the syllabus though long as “it is a contract between [the student] and the teacher for a good semester of learning.”

  • Plan out time management  

Because DMACC online classes work in a way that students work on it whenever they have the time, the negative side of this is students may leave an assignment to the last minute. This can then lead to stress and/or an undesired grade.

Wolfe mentioned that he recommends students have a planner, whether physical or digital, to plan out their weekly assignments as well as to set reminders for themselves. 

Being able to have a good plan on the work that one is needed to do can help alleviate the stress of having many assignments due at a time and will help create better time management skills for future college classes.

  • Have a good support system 

Wolfe furthermore mentioned the importance of communication when taking an online class, as he stated “online classes can be hard so asking questions is very important to overcome challenges faced.”

Junior, Reis Esty went through her last year of middle school and first year of high school as an online student, and expressed that her experience was not like that of a student taking an online DMACC class. 

She explained that her classes were pre-recorded and she did not have any teachers which “meant asking a question wasn’t an option and it [made] learning extremely hard.”

Esty expressed that being able to ask questions was something that she wished she could have had and recommends anyone taking an online class to do so if necessary.

“Learning is hard and being expected to perfectly absorb everything you’re told the first time and move on is totally unrealistic” Esty stated, then concluded with “having a support system like a tutor makes things easier.”

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About the Contributor
Zoe Marquez, Newspaper Editor
Junior, Zoe Marquez is the newspaper editor for “The Orbit.” She explained, “I decided to join the newspaper because it seemed really interesting as well as it builds connections.” She plans to gain writing and editing experience by being an editor throughout the rest of her high school career.  Marquez is busy at school with both DMACC and AP classes. Outside of school she has many hobbies to fill her time. “Growing up not knowing English, reading and writing give you a sense of achievement.” Marquez also enjoys watching Netflix and making time for friends and family.  While Marquez has no definitive plans for the future she knows that this class will give her many necessary skills for any career. “It’s going to help me professionally, as well as help me grow better communication skills,” explained Marquez. 

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