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Course Description

Course Information

Introduction to Apex

CDOHS Multiple Course Pathways with APEX

Apex Learning offers a comprehensive digital curriculum to meet high school graduation requirements in math, science, English, social studies, world languages, and selected electives. The curriculum is designed to support academic success for all students, from those not prepared for grade-level academic challenges to those capable of accelerating their learning. Because students come to high school at varying levels of readiness, Apex Learning has designed its digital curriculum with multiple course pathways, each designed to meet specific needs of students as they transition from middle school to high school and progress toward graduation.

Foundations Courses

Foundations courses meet the needs of both high school students and transitioning middle school students who are not prepared for grade-level academic challenges. Specifically developed for students ages 13 and older, Foundations courses provide structured remediation in math, reading, and writing.

General Studies Courses

The Apex Learning general studies curriculum features course pathways to prepare all high school graduates for college and work. The courses in these pathways share the same rigorous, standards-based content.

  • Core Courses

Core courses meet the needs of a range of students as they endeavor to master rigorous content and earn credits toward graduation. While Core courses assume readiness for grade-level academic challenges, they also include targeted scaffolding for students who benefit from additional learning support.

  • Honors Courses

Honors courses meet the needs of motivated students seeking to accelerate their learning and deepen conceptual understanding. With many opportunities to apply, extend, and synthesize knowledge, Honors courses are ideally suited to prepare students for the rigors of Advanced Placement* courses. 

Advanced Placement Courses

Authorized by the College Board, Apex Learning AP* courses meet higher-education expectations of college-level courses and prepare students to demonstrate achievement through success on the AP exams. Courses target highly motivated students who are reading at grade level or above and who have a track record of success in high school coursework.

Exam Prep Courses

Additionally, Apex Learning Exam Prep courses help students to prepare for success on high-stakes exams.

Interactive Multimedia Instructional Content

Comprehensive, Standards-Based Scope and Sequence

Each Apex Learning online course is based on national and state standards. The curriculum is organized into semesters, units, lessons, and activities. A typical semester includes 5 to 7 units, each with 3 to 6 lessons. A typical lesson comprises a number of activities including studies, practices, readings, journals, labs, discussions, projects, explorations, reviews, and embedded assessments. Semester courses include an average of 750 pages, 1,000 images, 250 multimedia tutorials, 250 interactive exercises, and dozens of vetted web links.

Active Learning Experiences

Apex Learning digital curriculum takes advantage of the power of technology to create active learning experiences that keep students attentive and engaged as they read, watch, listen, inquire, write, discuss, and manipulate. Multimedia tutorials provide students with opportunities to explore and understand new concepts, allowing each student to move at his or her own pace.

Information is presented in “chunks” consistent with the way students read successfully on the web. Students are required to make decisions as they progress through the material. Prompts and interactive exercises give students frequent opportunities to check their understanding and apply what they learn.

Purposeful Use of Technology

Technology is used in purposeful ways to enhance the learning process. Images, audio, video, animation, and interactive elements integrated throughout the text provide multiple representations and address different learning styles. Interactive exercises provide hands-on opportunities for students to master difficult concepts. Scaffolding such as rollover vocabulary definitions and the ability to listen to instructional text read aloud provide important assistance to students who may otherwise be held back in their learning due to their literacy level.

  

Course Integrity

Commitment to Academic Integrity

Apex Learning works with educators to ensure a high standard of academic integrity among students using Apex Learning digital curriculum. Instructional management features and the Apex Learning student code of conduct are coupled with strong school policies to address academic integrity and responsibility.

Assessment Security

Apex Learning has integrated extensive security features to ensure a high level of academic integrity on assessments.

  • Disallowed Concurrent Access. Students may not be logged in from more than one computer at a time, reducing the opportunity for unauthorized test-taking assistance.
  • Randomized Questions. Each computer-scored assessment is designed with a randomized functionality so that no two students take the same test and any retakes of a test are original to the student.
  • Disabled Copy/Paste Functionality. Students are prevented from copying answers from another web browser or document while an assessment is active.

Assessment Management

Additional features are built into the Apex Learning, learning management system to increase academic integrity. These features are optional so that educators can adapt their assessment methods to specific implementations on a class-wide or per-student basis.
 

Online Learning and Common Core Standards

New Digital Curriculum Developed for Common Core

“Content publishers have long been focused on developing content and then aligning it to national and state standards. Apex Learning has always started with the standards and developed new courses based on those standards. After a thorough evaluation of the Common Core Standards, we are developing new courses to fully meet the learning expectations that are being established.”
                                                                                    — Cheryl Vedoe, CEO, Apex Learning

 

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a clear and consistent framework for student learning and ensure college and career readiness. The new Apex Learning courses in math and English language arts fully align to and incorporate the instructional intent of the CCSS including rigorous instruction, active learning experiences, and meaningful assessment.

English Language Arts

The English language arts courses address each standard as well as the instructional intent of the four key areas outlined by the CCSS: reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language.

Mathematics Courses

The math courses address the standards in mathematics, which focus on the ability of students to demonstrate conceptual understanding, show and explain their work, and apply this knowledge to everyday life.

Intentional Assessment Design

The assessments are intentionally designed to meet the Common Core State Standards. Test items represent the variety of item types found on PARCC and SBAC assessments. In addition to computer-scored tests, students demonstrate proficiency in performance tasks through teacher-scored assessments. Through a combination of formative and summative assessments, students gain experience and confidence with the design of the CCSS-related assessments.

Seamless Transition to the Common Core State Standards

Through customized professional development services, educators become immersed in the CCSS while simultaneously gaining expertise using Apex Learning digital curriculum. The highly responsive Apex Learning services team uses its expertise with the CCSS to guide educators. Other supports include numerous on-demand tools such as how-to videos, complimentary webinars, and quarterly newsletters. These comprehensive services help schools and educators get up to speed quickly. 

Online Learning Models of Pedagogy

Proven Pedagogical Model

Apex Learning digital curriculum is based on time-tested pedagogical principles. The overall model is straightforward:

  1. Create an anticipatory set for the student;     
  2. Provide focused instruction using varied teaching strategies such as guided-inquiry and direct instruction;
  3. Engage students in practice and application exercises that clarify and deepen conceptual understanding and mastery of skills;  
  4. Assess student progress throughout the instructional phase with formative assessments that provide feedback to both students and teachers;
  5. Remediate where necessary; and
  6. Provide summative assessment with both objective (computer-scored) and open-ended (teacher-scored) instruments at the end of each unit and semester.

This basic design for learning is enhanced by attention to multiple representations of information (including text, images, audio, video, animations, and interactive elements) that support students’ different learning styles.