ACT Science—our first online adventure

I’ve wanted to make an online course for years. Years and years, really. I remember having the idea back in 2008. It was a big dream to create a course with all the features I wanted to include. I gave it a shot, but the tools were too unwieldy and my time and experience too short to make it happen.

When I started thinking again about online education and how to turn what I know into a renewable resource on the internet, it was 2015. The tools had gotten much better AND much more plentiful.

Once we had the site plan that we wanted and the tools to make that happen, I decided to start with a challenge: the ACT Science Test. That section is simultaneously the most complex AND the most simple of all the ACT sections. Loaded with graphics and details of mostly-unfamiliar experiments, it would definitely be a production challenge.

The Science course that’s part of our Complete ACT Course , then, is where we learned how to make an online course. It took the longest by FAR to make that section (though Math was pretty time-consuming too… so many topics!…) because of the learning curve.

In the end, I really dig this course a lot and I think it represents some of the vigor and enthusiasm that you have at the beginning of a project. It shows some of what we discovered as we went along, like including a lot of onscreen text so that students have two cues, visual and auditory, to learn the information. It also has a couple of my favorite jokes in it.

More than anything (even more than learning how to make an online course), my goal with ACT Science was to show students in person that the way you want to think through this test is at the simplest level. Do the passages look dense? Definitely! What that means is that you cannot possibly be expected to process all of the given information in the given amount of time. Relating that and then lessons on how to work efficiently through the passages was my aim.

Hopefully we rang the bell on that! Check out the course and let us know if we did, OK?

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