I Will Be Teaching Online Classes!

Your high school student can have me as a teacher!
Your high school student can have me as a teacher!
After teaching university classes for a couple of years, I have remembered that I really enjoy teaching. However, due to scheduling issues, I won’t be able to teach at the university this year. Nevertheless, I have officially “caught the bug,” so I decided to get my teaching “fix” with online courses. If you would like your student to have me as a teacher for the upcoming academic year, this is your chance!

I will be teaching biology, chemistry and physics. Not surprisingly, we will use the textbooks I have authored: Exploring Creation with Biology, Discovering Design with Chemistry, and Exploring Creation with Physics. Each course will consist of a weekly 90-minute videoconference where I get together with 20-25 students and discuss the material that is covered in the text. Classes start the week of September 11 and meet every week except for the week of November 20th (Thanksgiving break), the weeks of December 25th and January 1st (Christmas break), and the week of March 19th (spring break). Classes end on May 16th.

Students will be expected to have read the material that will be discussed in class so that they can ask questions about the things they don’t understand. In addition to answering any questions the students have, I will show cool videos (like this one) that illustrate the scientific concepts which are being covered, discuss the more difficult material, give students tips on how to remember things, and share my views on the relevant scientific breakthroughs that are currently happening. I am really looking forward to it!

One thing to note is that these are “honors” classes, which means that they are more academically challenging than a normal high school class but are not at the AP or CLEP level. Students will be expected to do experiments at home, but I will grade their laboratory notebook entries. Students in chemistry and physics will be expected to do all of the experiments in the course. For biology, students who do not care about having an “honors” course will be expected to do the experiments that use household items as well as the dissection experiments. Students who want an “honors” level of biology will be expected to do all the experiments, even the ones requiring a microscope and its associated kit.

If you are interested, you can learn more here.

33 thoughts on “I Will Be Teaching Online Classes!”

  1. This is awesome! Welcome to online teaching! I’ve been teaching online for almost 9 years now using your books and others. What a joy it is to reach out to students who are not close by with the joys of science! I don’t teach at the honors level but I know so many students will want that option, especially taught by the author! I must tell you that I get asked all the time why I use your new chemistry textbook. I give them a bit of the background but what I really want to leave them with is just how wonderful this book is! The sequencing of the topics is perfect and of course, you’ve written it in a way that almost anyone can understand it. I wish I had this book when I was in high school. Best wishes with your online classes!

  2. Any thoughts to add the other courses in the future? My son is planning Advanced Physics for 2018/2019.

    1. I felt led to do this for this year. I will see how the Lord leads me for next year. I will probably make some sort of announcement in January of 2018.

  3. Will you be using the same tests that come with the textbooks, or will you be creating more challenging tests? And what makes the class honors level? If the student were doing all of these things at home without the class would it be considered honors?

    1. The tests in the books are challenging enough to prepare students very well for college. I will be creating different tests, but the challenge level will be the same. If the students complete the entire book and all the experiments, it is an honors class whether it is done with me or at home.

  4. Oh, I’m so sad my daughter will miss out. She will be a senior next year and is ready for Advanced Physics. I’m happy for anyone who gets a chance to take your class though. Maybe I can talk my son into taking Physics with you instead of the other class we were considering. Have a great year!

  5. Our family has some vacation plans which would mean a few missed classes. Would this be reason to not sign up?

    1. The classes will be recorded so that students who miss a class or two can watch what happened. Also, the assignments will all be available ahead of time, so students can complete the assignments early if they know they are going to be gone.

  6. We have several children that we were going to go through the Biology and Chemistry with. Is there a discount for multiple siblings signing up for a class/es?

    1. Not this year. I need this year to be as simple as possible, since I haven’t done this for a while. Next year, I might start introducing variations like that.

  7. How will you be grading the lab notebooks? We haven’t done any online classes, so I’m not familiar with how this would work.

  8. My 8th grade son is just now finishing General Science. We were planning on starting Physical and working through the summer, but won’t be done by the fall. What are your thoughts on his signing up for Biology if he hasn’t finished Physical Science?

    1. I don’t think the student needs to have finished physical science to start biology. The content doesn’t overlap. Just make sure he is ready for the rigor of the biology course.

      1. Thank you for answering my question! 🙂 Is the rigor of Biology in the depth of the material or in the length of time per day required? (My son is very, very bright, but not a fast worker.) Do you have a ball park figure for how long a student would need to spend each day for the Biology course? TIA!

        1. It’s more about the amount I am expecting the student to retain. The student has about 25 new vocabulary words every two weeks (sometimes more), and that vocabulary needs to stay with him or her throughout the course. There are all sorts of facts and processes that have to be remembered. The actual reading and experiments will take about 45 minutes per day, but depending on how easy it is for him to retain things, he might need more time to review.

    1. Students get a syllabus at the beginning of each semester, and it tells them when everything is due. Assignments can be turned in early, but there is a late penalty of 10% per day that the assignment is late.

  9. I’m back with more questions …

    1. Can chemistry be taken before biology?

    2. You had responded to me earlier that my son could jump into biology without having finished physical science. Would the same be true for jumping into chemistry without finishing physical science? (If it matters, he’ll be done with Algebra 1 before starting.)

    3. While I’m on the topic, should he at some point finish physical science, before eventually getting to your physics course?

    Thanks again!

    1. Hello again. In answer to your questions:

      1. Yes. However, chemistry cannot be taken until the student has completed algebra 1.

      2. Yes. While there are a few things in physical science that might “warm him up” for the things he will do in chemistry, I don’t assume any previous knowledge.

      3. No. If he is really ready for biology, chemistry, and physics, he should take them. If he has time after that, he can take an advanced course. Anything he gets in the advanced course is much more beneficial than what he would get in physical science.

  10. Hi Dr Wile,

    We are very excited that you are teaching and would very much like to register our son for the Chemistry Course. However because we live in Asia, there is a time difference . The chemistry class at our end will either be very late in the night or past midnight . May i know if there is a possibility for my son to watch the recorded class instead attending the actual online class.

    1. He certainly can just watch the recorded classes, but I am not sure that would be worth the cost. I would think that the main benefit to taking a course like this is interaction with the teacher and the rest of the class.

  11. My son is registered to take the chemistry course online with you this fall. Would the labs schedule/format work on an every other week or once a month plan? I’m wondering if we can get a few students together in our area just for the experiment portion. Would love to hear your advice on this. Thanks!

    1. In my online course, the lab notebook entries will be due every other week, so it would be possible for your student to do labs every other week. You will get a syllabus that gives you the due dates ahead of time, so you could schedule the get togethers so they will work.

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