Frequently Asked Questions

Are you accredited and if so, by whom? top

As an instructional program of Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Salem, Oregon, SK Online courses carry full accreditation through Northwest Accreditation Commission. Our instructors are fully qualified in their subject areas and licensed by the State of Oregon.

What type of support does SK Online provide? top

Park Shaffer and student work on Algebra.

Courses are managed and taught via the Internet by qualified, licensed Salem-Keizer teachers who monitor progress and provide assistance with learning challenges. In addition to online support, teachers may ask to arrange face-to-face meetings to further assist students, monitor testing or provide an opportunity for performance task presentation.

SK Online provides technical support to ensure student connectivity and ability to do their online coursework.  Please contact the SK Online office by telephone (503) 399-3205 or SK Online's technical support by e-mail.

Why is there a tuition charge for Summer Session? top

Summer session is outside of the normal funding base that the school district receives from the State of Oregon. To pay for the additional costs involved, we must charge tuition. 

How does an online teacher really know that students are doing their own work? top

At SK Online, we take a pragmatic approach with the topic of cheating. We haven't discovered the magic bullet, but we are not finding any more cheating than exists in a traditional setting. If anything, there seems to be less cheating online than in brick school settings. Courses vary in their management of student work. To lessen the temptation to cheat, we try to remove as many incentives to cheat as possible. In some of our courses, the strategy is to move away from relying on "read and regurgitate" activities or simple test strategies to project-based learning. Students invest more time in substantial projects thus a surrogate is less likely to do somebody else's work. The projects are more individualized and also less likely to be copied.

Graduate holding diplomaIn our math courses, we use face-to-face appointments, phone calls, and test banks as well as projects. For example, one of our math teachers suspected a student was cheating in algebra when she noticed a big jump in test scores. She called the student in for a face-to-face meeting and found that the student experienced an "A- Ha!" moment where the student truly understood the topic.

Self-selected grading seems to work as well. In some courses, the student chooses the grade they wish to work for. If they want to fast track for a lower than A grade then they do less work instead of the same amount of work with less quality.

Some courses build repeated opportunities for success. In using online self-paced courses, work that does not come up to expectation can be sent back to the student for improvement without delaying the rest of the class.Another strategy from our health and social studies courses is to incorporate a great deal of personal reflection, discussion, and application of the material. That sort of work is very hard to duplicate.

We often ask in return, "How do we know if students are cheating in a traditional classroom?" Just because we have their bodies in a desk doesn't mean we can stop cheating.

The very nature of asynchronous distance education seems to lessen the incentive and opportunity to cheat compared to a traditional classroom. A student does not have a buddy across the aisle that didn't do the assignment and a deadline is upon them. Students, within certain parameters, can select when they will test and when they are ready. Peer pressure to cooperate in cheating is minimized due to the separation of students by time and space. Students are at differing places and paces in the curriculum. Also, parents tend to be more involved in online learning.

 

1115 Commercial Street NE • Salem, Oregon 97301 • 503.399.3205 • Office hours: 7:15 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Darren Hunter, SK Online Lead Teacher• Jason Weeks, Roberts HS Principal