How Edgenuity Compares and Contrasts With BHS Classes


Photo by Alyssa DePasqua

Image of Alyssa DePasqua’s Edgenuity homepage.

Alyssa DePasqua, Staff Writer

Though a big part of many students’ school life this year, I find that many people don’t know about Edgenuity and the online courses that it offers. Due to class cuts and holes in schedules, Edgenuity has become a very popular alternative to in-person classes at Barnstable High School. 

  Students taking an Edgenuity course are stationed in room 1708, the downstairs computer lab at BHS. Currently, there are close to 400 Edgenuity classes being taken at BHS. I am one of more than 350 students taking an online Edgenuity course. Though most of my peers took an Edgenuity course due to scheduling mishaps, there are many reasons why students take a class like this, “ranging from lack of success in the general ed. classroom, failing grades, illness, and other personal reasons,” said Karen Butler, the Online Learning Coordinator at BHS. However, none of those were my case. I ended up taking an Edgenuity course because I switched out of another class and no other BHS classes were available. Edgenuity is very different from BHS in-person classes; it has both positives and negatives. 

Taking an Edgenuity class can get boring from time to time. I am currently taking the Sociology Edgenuity course, and the lessons can get long. This is because my course doesn’t have different activities to help you learn, like an in-person class at BHS. My course mainly consists of vocabulary, direct instruction, and online content. My courses direct instruction consists of a Sociology professor talking while showing slides on the screen next to her. These can get long and drawn out. There is also a lot of note-taking involved with my Edgenuity course. I copy down every slide in a notebook, along with all of the vocabulary words that go along with that section or topic. This includes me having to pause the video and copy down the slide before continuing, which tends to make the lesson even longer and more tedious.

Though an Edgenuity course can get boring at times and doesn’t have very much variety when it comes to learning activities, it does have a lot of positives that will not be found in a BHS in-person class. On Edgenuity, you can work at your own pace. There is a bar that tells how much of the course has been completed and how much progress has been made. This will either be green (ahead), blue (on target), or red (behind). Since Edgenuity allows me to do a lesson whenever I want, I have been ahead for the majority of the time while taking this course. Edgenuity also offers classes that BHS does not, like Sociology.

Edgenuity helps students prepare for college. Since taking notes is a big part of the curriculum for the Edgenuity Sociology class, this has forced me to be a better note taker, as well as a better listener. I had never taken notes to the extent that I do while taking my online class, but it has made me a much better student. 

Since students having to learn from home has made teachers alter a lot of assignments and work to be taught remotely or done online, Edgenuity has made it an easy and seamless transition for me. It was a struggle at first, to get used to all of the work being online and not having an actual, in-person teacher. However, it has prepared me greatly for remote school and taught me to be technologically savvy with my online assignments. Especially with COVID-19 present, Edgenuity has been beneficial for me in the way that it taught me how to learn to do assignments remotely and to be less dependent on an administrative figure. With social distancing rules, masks, and the fear of infection, it has forced me as a student to be less dependent on my peers and teachers. Therefore, having to be more independent and have more self-reliance. Edgenuity helped teach me how to do this from the first lecture. There is no teacher to ask questions about the content and no peers to ask for help, since students’ take their Edgenuity classes during different blocks and take all different courses.

Edgenuity is a great resource and alternative to BHS in-person classes for lots of students who may be struggling in the classroom or have external factors that may have led them to take an Edgenuity course. It does take a lot of getting used to because it is so different from a general ed. classroom. However, it is very beneficial to take at least one and see how school works in different ways, and find the learning style that is best for you.