Built-in Tools and Accessibility
Our Flexible Course Design
Support Features for Everyone
At Virtual High School, we recognize that all students are unique. We prioritize the needs of our students by designing our courses and services to respond effectively to those needs. Our self-paced education model offers many integrated accommodations to all of our students in all of our courses.
No Assignment Due Dates
Rather than providing set deadlines, VHS lets students decide when they want to submit assignments or complete tests. The only deadline imposed by VHS is an 18-month course expiration date which is determined using the student’s enrolment date. This means that students can finish as quickly as they would like or take advantage of our full 18-month time limit (with the option to purchase course extensions where necessary)!
Chunking of Coursework and Assignments
Students are welcome to divide up their course content and assignments in a way that works best for them. For example, some students may choose to stick to a traditional school day model from Monday to Friday, while others may find they are more productive in the evenings or on weekends.
Online Dropbox, Tests, and Exams
All VHS assignments, tests, and exams are designed to be accessed on a computer with a strong internet connection. The content and assessments are all housed within D2L’s Brightspace Learning Management System, so students do not need to sign in via multiple webpages and apps to complete or submit their coursework. All VHS accounts contain our Student Handbook course with navigation tips and training, making the transition to our LMS seamless.
Open Book Unit Tests
All unit tests in all VHS courses are open book and timed, so students have access to their course content while completing unit tests. Please note that all final exams are closed book and monitored for academic integrity.
The Pacing Tool helps students gauge their time when completing assignments so they can work to meet any completion goals. Students can input their preferred completion date, and the pacing tool will give suggestions for due dates for assignments. This information is for the student’s use only, as neither their teacher nor VHS will see these dates or hold the student accountable to them. The tool is flexible so the preferred completion date can be modified by the student if needed.
The ReadSpeaker tool is available in all courses and can read the content aloud to the student. ReadSpeaker allows a student to increase and decrease text size, change the colour of the text and background, and use a highlighting tool that masks the page so they only see a few lines of text at once. It also has a built-in dictionary and translation tool on each page.
Alternative (Alt) Text for Informative Images
Each informative image in a VHS course is equipped with alt text, which provides a written description of the image to assist students who have visual impairments and use screen-reading tools. Alt text will also appear if an image fails to load on a student’s device so that the student is still able to understand the context of the missing image.
High Contrast Images
For images that are necessary for comprehension in a course (e.g., a graph in a science course), the images are contrasted to ensure those with visual impairments can learn the appropriate content from the image. If the image does not have appropriate contrast, an in-depth description accompanies the graphic.
Closed Captions and Text-Based Transcripts for All Audio and Video
Any video or audio content included in VHS courses includes closed captioning and/or a text-based transcript so students can easily read along with the video or audio clip.
Class Notes Are Always Available
Once a student has provided their prerequisite evidence and completed their Content Release Quiz, all notes and lessons are available to them for the duration of their course. Their assignment feedback will also remain in the gradebook for the duration of the course. Students can review notes and feedback as often as they wish.
Design a Study Space
Students can design their own space for studying and test writing to create the ideal environment for their learning needs. Students are free to situate themselves in a space, whether inside or outside, with minimal distractions and any other supplies they might choose to help them focus. Please note that there are stricter requirements for the final exam.
Students can take as many breaks as they wish while working on their courses. Scheduled logins are not required. We recognize that students learn at different paces, so our teachers do not track the amount of time students spend online working on their courses. The rate of progress through a course is based solely on a student’s completion of the assessments.