MVC provides online courses for students who have a "compelling need" to enroll in this mode of learning. MMSD students can take 1-2 MVC classes depending on whether they have compelling needs and whether there are class seats available.
An example of a “compelling need” is when a student can't fit an English class into their schedule, or they need to take a course for credit recovery as soon as possible. For clarification, a non-example of a compelling need is if the student does not like their face-to-face teacher's style of teaching and wants to switch teachers.
We do have limited MVC funding and space as we try to provide online learning options to as many students as possible.
Submitting an MVC Course Request
To request an online course,
Students and their families should contact their school/program's counselor first.
Counselors will gather the necessary information about compelling needs, course, and contact information.
The counselor determines if the student's request is tentatively approved and sends it to the student's MVC mentor teacher. There is one MVC mentor teacher for students at each of the high schools, including students in alternative programs.
The mentor teacher will evaluate space availability at the school/program. If a seat is available, the mentor teacher will set up an account in MVC for the student and assist the student in MVC registration and orientation.
*Course Requests for Fall Semester must be received by mid-October. Last enrollments are in late-October.
*Course Requests for Spring Semester must be received by mid-February. Last enrollments are in late February.
*Course Requests for Summer must be received by mid-June. Last enrollments are in late June.
Student Experience in MVC
When a student is approved to take an MVC course, they are guided through a Student Orientation by their mentor teacher. After successfully completing the Orientation, students are enrolled into their online content courses. They have an online teacher for the course, as well as their mentor teacher for local support. The mentor teacher serves as a coach to support MVC students in staying on pace and working through any challenges that may arise. Our goal is for all students to have a positive experience online.
Just like a face-to-face classroom, there are expectations for students to complete their online assignments on schedule and keep up their grades. Expectations are explained in the Student Orientation and are communicated regularly by the mentor teachers to their students. Parents/guardians are also included on communications. Mentor teachers can also meet face-to-face with students if needed!
How is learning online different?
A common misconception of online classes is that they are an "easy A." On the contrary, online courses are as rigorous as face-to-face classes and require self-discipline. In addition to the content, online courses are uniquely challenging because of the different learning experience for students.
A student's "class time" is going to be much more flexible -- there is no designated time of the day to sit and learn. This is a benefit for learning, but also a challenge because it requires students to regulate their time, which requires discipline.
Pacing is important to stay on top of assignments, just like in a face-to-face environment. There is still an element of "anytime, anywhere" flexibility -- but due dates still exist for learning checkpoints.
Another big change is the different ways to communicate with classmates and teachers -- learning to advocate over email, phone, and services like Zoom is a great opportunity for improving online communication skills. As stated above, students will also have a mentor teacher to communicate with face-to-face as needed.
Our Student Orientation course helps students think carefully about the online learning experience and practice some of these skills before they begin their course. If the student concludes the orientation and feels online learning is not a good fit, they can contact their mentor teacher/counselor to drop the course.
What are the next steps?
Please contact your counselor to begin the course request process.
If you have any other general questions about Madison Virtual Campus, please contact Scott Fernholz at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 608-333-8637.