GOA Offers Online Learning Experiences for Students

The Meadows School campus with green trees and paved sidewalks in Las Vegas, Nevada
GOA Offers Online Learning Experiences for Students

Juniors and seniors at The Meadows School have the opportunity to take online courses for credit through our partnership with the Global Online Academy (GOA).

What is the Global Online Academy?
The Global Online Academy is a non-profit organization that offers online learning experiences for students. Founded in 2011 with ten member schools, the Academy has grown to over 125 schools, with many contributing their expert teachers to design and teach courses. The Meadows School has partnered with the Global Online Academy since 2015, offering its students the opportunity to enroll in elective classes unavailable during the academic year.

Students engage in digital learning across time zones and locations—currently twenty-five countries—with classmates from various cultures and backgrounds. They quickly learn to advocate for their education by proactively communicating with their teachers and peers vis-a-vis messaging platforms, video conferencing, and the Canvas learning management system. They participate in group discussions and projects with their classmates to build and demonstrate subject mastery. The benefits of online learning for junior and senior students are numerous: preparing them for the expectations and demands of a predominately digital environment at university as well as readying them for present and future occupational fields—cybersecurity, data visualization, global health, medical problem-solving, blockchain, and cryptocurrency to name a few.

Time Management
Time management skills are crucial for students carrying a full face-to-face course load alongside a fully online course. During the semester, GOA students are scheduled into study halls to allow for dedicated time to keep pace in their GOA courses. They also work outside allotted study hall periods because GOA courses are delivered asynchronously and must be checked daily for new content, notifications, assignment updates, group discussions, and meetings. Student-athletes are particularly schedule-challenged due to daily practices and weekend competitions conflicting with the availability of peers and teachers in other time zones. Nonetheless, many student-athletes address time management challenges by proactively planning and are successful in their GOA courses.

Competency-Based Learning
Competency-Based Learning (CBL) positions students at the center of their learning in a GOA course. Competencies are clearly stated on course pages, and coursework is designed around developing and measuring identifiable skills. CBL offers students opportunities to develop agency, self-advocacy, and engagement in rigorous learning experiences that correspond to the core skills required in a globally and technologically connected world.  

A GOA course grade is calculated solely by required assignments and tasks submitted. Should a student’s assignment completion rate fall below 70%, teachers override the course grade with “59 - Insufficient Evidence" because too few assignments have been submitted for teachers to assess competency skills with any degree of accuracy. Students do not earn credit for a course when there is insufficient evidence to determine learning competency. 

Student Reflection
A few TMS seniors offer their reflections about their first experience with a GOA course:

"One area I would like to improve upon is organizing my time and tasks. I struggled a lot with competing work later in the week due to my schedule, so I could have more efficiently planned ahead in order to submit my work on time by working on tasks earlier. While I had some trouble at first, I think a competency I strengthened was collaborating with people in different locations. I was pretty good at scheduling my Zoom meetings and showing up to have a discussion. I struggled at the start but improved as time went on."

"I have strengthened my ability to collaborate with people who don’t share my location by the group projects that we have had to do. I also was able to learn about my peers in class through the discussion boards. I have become great friends with my first partner in Japan, and I am extremely grateful for that. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet and learn so much about so many different individuals all around the world."

At The Meadows School, suitability and preparedness for online learning are adjudicated through advisors, college counselors, and the Upper School Director based on proven organizational skills to learn independently and solely online. The GOA registration process starts with the submission of the GOA Pre-Registration Request Form. This action does not guarantee admission into a course. It simply confirms that a student has permission to attempt to enroll. If enrollment is approved, GOA sends a welcome package and permission slip to the parents/guardians. Once the permission slip is returned or submitted to the Academy, the student is enrolled.

Summer at Global Online Academy
GOA summer courses are intensive seven-week formats. Students should expect to commit 10-12 hours per week to a summer course that covers a semester's worth of material. Students new to online learning may need to dedicate up to twice this minimum weekly. Information regarding registration and calendar details are available on The Meadows School Libraries: Global Online Academy and Camp Mustang pages.

Kaden Conrad
Dean of Library & Academic Technology,
Global Online Academy Site Director

  • Global Online Academy
  • Upper School