A high school diploma is more important now than ever before. It opens the door to jobs that provide a livable wage and to valuable higher education opportunities. As more and more jobs require some kind of post-secondary training, a high school diploma will only become more necessary. Online credit recovery programs can be a great solution to help students falling behind in credits (or at risk of it) to get back on track and graduate on time. With that in mind, we’ve put together these five tips for designing and implementing a successful online credit recovery program in your school or district.
1. Online does not mean unsupported
One of the greatest benefits of online courses is that they allow students to work through material at their own pace, repeating or passing by certain material as they need to. However, the ability to work independently does not negate the importance of an instructor. Successful online credit recovery programs offer students support from instructors, either online or in person, to answer questions, give feedback on assignments, and provide motivation and accountability.
2. Offer opportunities for staff development
The relationship between instructors and students is just as important in online programs as in traditional classrooms. However, student-instructor interactions are distinctly different in the two environments, and staff members in your online credit recovery program must be aware of effective, alternative methods of instruction and communication. Additionally, staff must be familiar with the learning management system your program utilizes, and the content that students they oversee are working through. Make sure that ongoing professional development is provided to your program’s staff to ensure that they are prepared for all of these consideration.
3. Monitor student progress with effective evaluation strategies
Make sure that you have systems and technology in place to effectively monitor student progress and performance in their online courses. Leverage this data to determine where students may need additional instructor support. It is also useful for making informed decisions about what practices are working and what needs refinement in your program as a whole.
4. Set clear expectation with students and parents
As with traditional classroom settings, communication with and support from parents or guardians is key to student success. Make sure that caregivers are aware of their student’s enrollment in your program, and the importance of credit recovery for timely graduation. Selecting an online courseware solution that features a family portal offers an important tool for providing caregivers with insight into their students’ progress and enlisting them as supporters. Some programs have also found success in asking students and parents to sign contracts that outline program goals and expectations.
5. Make connections to post-secondary opportunities
Students who have struggled in the traditional classroom are often highly motivated by experiences of life after high school. Make sure that your online credit recovery program makes connections to these experiences. Focus on the opportunities in workforce skill development and higher education that credit recovery, and ultimately graduation, will provide.
Edmentum offers a variety of solutions for online credit recovery, including Plato Courseware and our fully accredited virtual high school, EdOptions Academy. Want to learn more? Check out our Credit Recovery Solutions page!