by Aika O.
What made HSSP so great this year? What are some tips for online classes in the future? These posts are based on my online experience at HSSP in general, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts.
What Went Really Well
First of all, I want to thank all the teachers for providing such an awesome experience. I loved how they explored topics really in-depth, in a way that was easy to understand even online. Questions were encouraged, either out-loud or typed, allowing many to participate and bond with the teacher. There were also some topic-related conversations circulating in the chat, and that was where me and my classmates (nerds) got to interact and make friendships. The whole course was extremely fun!
All of my classes gave out lecture notes or slides after the class, via email or through a website. The notes were tremendously helpful, as I could review points I missed during class. Also, some teachers sent out some extra resources for further study. This is a must-do for any online lecture!
One of the unique parts of HSSP is getting to learn something new. The lecture series helped meet that goal, by listing the topics and the zoom link on the student guide, so you could join regardless if you signed up or not. It used one of the advantages of online classes to help students get the most out of HSSP!
The entire course was well-planned and communicated, from registration to the sixth week. Dates and events were stated clearly on the weekly emails, with contact emails and a link to the help desk. Even though the first week was a bit rough with some technical issues, emails were sent promptly and I was able to get into my course 10 minutes after it started. I think this was one of the key reasons the course went relatively smoothly.
Places For Improvement
It would be even better if lectures were recorded for absences, internet failures, or even just curious students! The recordings could be posted on the ESP website, only accessible to HSSP students and teachers for a certain time period. There would never be a class size limit, as students can listen in on the recordings. Have conflicting classes you want really bad? No problem! Just watch the lectures afterwards.
6 weeks is so short! I loved HSSP so much that I think it should be longer, maybe 8 weeks. It would allow more time for fun things like what-if questions and simulations, especially since projects are limited online.
Overall, I think HSSP was really engaging and well planned, and the teachers were very supportive. I can’t wait for next year!