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The AoPS Online Classroom
Interactive, Real-Time Learning for Advanced Problem Solvers
Welcome to the AoPS Online Classroom: an interactive text- and image-based learning environment, designed for collaboration and the advanced pace of motivated learners.
This innovative format allows for ongoing active participation. Students drive the narrative by working through problems together in real time. The Online Classroom modality is faster paced and more self-directed than our other offerings at AoPS — and an extremely effective way to learn deeply conceptual, highly advanced math and science.
If you’re new to AoPS, the classroom will likely look and feel different from those of other online courses. So it can take some getting used to! We encourage you to spend some time getting comfortable with the format before your first class.
Learning Together: How the Online Classroom Works
In the AoPS Online Classroom, students and instructors work through lessons together, problem-solving through an ongoing scroll of text and images. An experienced instructor leads students through problems of increasing complexity, while assistants answer questions and encourage interactivity.
The classroom layout consists of a main window panel — where the instructor types in problems and discussion takes place — and a text entry box, where students enter their responses and answers. Students can also use this entry panel to ask for private help from classroom assistants, who are on hand in every lesson to help students one-on-one.
Live, Collaborative Instruction
Work with instructors and classmates together in real time, through a text- and image-based moderated classroom. Every student is an active participant.
Quick Answers to Questions
Ask a question any time and get private guidance through “whispers.” There’s no social pressure if you need a little help. Whispers show up in the main class window, but only you can see them.
1-on-1 Help During Class
Through private chats, you can have a 1-on-1 conversation with a teaching assistant to get back on track during class.
Handy Class Transcripts
Review sessions after class with saved transcripts, and continue asking questions outside of class time.
Active Problem Solving: Why the Online Classroom Works
Our interactive online classroom is designed to streamline learning and enhance collaboration as students work to actively solve difficult problems.
Actively problem-solve during class.
Students learn math by solving problems, not by watching others solve them. In our classes, instructors guide students by strategically asking questions, rather than spoon-feeding material to memorize and regurgitate.
Drive the narrative.
Students drive the classroom discussion forward when they suggest solutions and ideas, while instructors provide the problems and control the direction of the conversation.
Respond in real time.
Because of our moderated format, all students can answer an instructor’s question at the same time. This lets students participate and respond before the instructor shares observations with the room — and also lets teachers catch student misconceptions as they occur.
Ask questions as you have them.
Rather than waiting until after class or until a teacher finds a break in the lesson for questions, students can ask questions at any moment during class. Instructors or assistants provide guidance in real time, at the moment it’s most helpful.
Concentrate without distraction.
Students can focus deeply on each idea without being interrupted by teacher or student voices. You aren't taxed by having to listen and read/write at the same time, and can think through complicated concepts without repeated interruption.
Engage freely and comfortably.
Student questions are often answered privately, so students aren't embarrassed by having wrong answers shared with the whole class. Because of this, many students feel more comfortable asking questions or offering opinions in our format than in a typical classroom.
Catch up quickly and easily.
If you miss material, you can catch up quickly by scrolling through the class history. With the full conversation always on-screen, students can swiftly review what’s just been discussed or re-read parts after class. This sort of quick catch-up is impossible in an audio-only classroom.
Focus on problems — not note-taking.
Because full transcripts are available after class, students can spend class time focusing on the problems and asking questions — rather than wasting precious class time taking notes. The transcript consists of text and images, so students can print or scan it for specific information.
Tips for Getting Started in the Classroom
Before your first class in the Online Classroom, we recommend the following tips to prepare and get comfortable with the learning space and general layout.
Prep before class.
You’re about to begin an intense 90-minute class session. Before you log in, make sure you’ve eaten food, used the restroom, and anything else you need to do before sitting down for 90 minutes.
Have a pencil and paper handy.
We recommend you have some pencils and scratch paper handy, as students often like to work out problems by hand during class. But don’t worry about taking notes! We’ll have a class transcript available at the end that you can download and read whenever you need. We want you to be fully engaged with class discussion — not busy trying to write down everything.
Log in early.
We encourage you to log in early for your first class to get acquainted. Sign in 15 minutes before class time to start trying out some of the following commands.
Type a message into the text entry box.
It can be anything you want! If you type this message during class, it will not go public — it first goes to the instructor and classroom assistants who are moderating the room. After you send the message, you may not see it again, since the moderators decide which messages will go in the main classroom panel. (Note: If you type in a message before class starts, it will go into the main classroom.)
Ask a question.
Try typing a question into the text entry box. Maybe it’s: “I'm new here. How does this work?” Your classroom assistants will see your question and answer privately. So there's no reason to be shy about asking for help!