Juniors Switch to Online Health

For the first time ever, stu­dents at Hockaday began taking the junior health class online this semester. Physical education teacher Me­linda Nuñez currently teaches this program.

The idea of an online pro­gram was proposed about a year ago by Cathy Murphree, who is the Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Affairs.

“Offering the course online will help girls prepare for pos­sible future online courses,” Nuñez said.

The course is being taught through the Haiku Learning Sys­tem platform. Its user-friendly navigation and familiarity for students help the online health classes run smoothly.

After the completion of each unit, students respond to a prompt question and will comment on other students’ re­sponses, which are then graded.

“It’s neat because students who normally don’t participate in discussions in the classroom are able to online,” Nuñez said.

At first, Nuñez worried that students would sign up for the course for the wrong rea­sons, like thinking it would be an easier class and not taking their studies seriously, leading to incomplete assignments.

“As part of the nature of Hockaday girls, students’ in­put in the discussions has been very thorough,” Nuñez said. “They are obviously taking the class seriously.”

Junior Luda Grigoryeva, who is currently enrolled in the online class, enjoys the flexibility and schedule. Now, her P.E. credit is taken care of as she is a year-round athlete.

“I like that we can man­age our own work and we can choose when we need to do it,” Grigoryeva said.

Some teachers, however, prefer teaching the course the old-fashioned way: in a class­room setting.

Rebekah Calhoun, Form IV Dean and Upper School Health teacher, enjoys the sense of community that can be found in the classroom environment and not in a virtual program.

“Can you still have that relationship, that bond, that sense of community online?” Calhoun asked.

As far as content and mate­rial, both Nuñez and Calhoun’s classes should be the same.

“Our goal was for it to be an equivalent experience,” Nuñez said. “We have different types of learners, so it is important we offer the classroom and on­line experience.”

– Noor Adatia