Is it Worth it to Take Tonka Online?

Isabella Bennett, Admin. Correspondent

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Offered as an option to all Minnetonka students, Tonka Online can allow for people to take a class on their own time in addition to their regular schedule. With over forty courses available, there are plenty to choose from in practically every subject already available at Tonka. But, is it worth it to actually commit to a T.O. course?

Many peers I have talked to about these online courses say they are not willing to pay the expensive price to take a class normally free to students. For each semester class, the cost comes in at $325, with physical education classes being a bit cheaper at $199 per semester. The class is free if taken as a sixth course, but you must be a junior or senior to do so.

Talking to people that have already taken online, many do it to self-pace, and take either a math or social studies.

But procrastinators beware: self-pace means there aren’t solid deadlines for each unit, rather a “pacing calendar” is used as a guide for when you should be getting things done. This means teachers don’t update the grade book as frequently as traditional teachers, and there might be a panic-induced rush once the last week of the course hits.

The material can also be challenging for students who are used to instructors helping them through classes. Retakes aren’t very common, and you rely a lot on videos or a textbook to learn the material. This can be a struggle if that’s not your learning style. Jumping into an online AP course can be a huge mistake if you’ve never taught yourself something big-scale independently. It might be best to take an easier general online class, audit a class, or do a Pre-AP class online over the summer to prepare. And, remember, you may be able to drop the class and switch to a traditional classroom before two weeks into the class, but that’s only if the school has space available to accommodate you.

Personally, I believe that Tonka Online is a great option for people that want to do a course independently, whether it be simply for the experience, or because they can’t normally fit it into their schedule. However, students need to beware the commitment that online courses require and that it’s not something they can blow off because it’s self-pace. It is something that affects your GPA and will go down on your transcript, so you should think carefully before deciding to register.

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