Bright ideas for tech-savvy educators, right to your inbox

Using Online Curriculum for a Credit Recovery Program: Part 2

Friday, February 15, 2013 -- Scott Lobdell

My last post detailed why online curriculum is an ideal choice when implementing a credit recovery program. This week I will discuss how to create the program itself. It is important to note that the decision to implement a virtual curriculum program is only the beginning. How you structure the program is crucial and is more than just selecting a provider of curriculum. The following is a checklist of items to consider when exploring online curriculum solution options and why.

Number One: Content

  • The curriculum you choose must meet graduation requirements, but should also engage and motivate learners.  These students have already failed the courses they will be required to retake and need rigorous and interactive content to ensure success.
  • Content should be available with the option of pre-assessments. Individual sites can determine which approach will best suit their needs.

Number Two: Teachers

  • Choosing the right teacher will be another key to success. A teacher who has buy in to the program will help students and parents along the way and usually will go the extra mile to ensure program success.
  • You can also choose a provider who has virtual teachers who are already trained to teach the material and are virtual champions. Virtual teachers can help you build your program and can be used for additional support as your program expands.

Number Three: Experienced Partner

  • When choosing a content provider it is important to remember that one size does not fit all. The provider should help you design and implement the type of program that best fits your district or school needs. The provider needs to listen to your expectations and goals for your program and then help you decide which will work best for you. Some examples include a fully independent student program, a limited computer lab only program, or a blended approach.

Number Four: Technology

  • This item is the most important because it will determine the program you will run. Do you have one lab or multiple labs to use? What is the usage of the labs by other programs at your school? Do your students have technology at home? Does the community have assets you can use?   Use these and other questions to help you decide what type of program you and the provider will develop.

Number Five: Program Evaluation

  • Evaluating your program with real data is important.  To ensure proper evaluation you must have operational definitions in place. Operational definitions should be decided upon prior to implementation and should align with the goals you want to achieve with the program. To start, ask yourself, what defines the success of your program?  For example, your district implemented a program and only saw 50% of the students complete at least one course. At face value this statistic looks less than pleasing, but if you enrolled hundreds of students and 50% of them never even started a course, your data does not paint an accurate picture.  You must make sure you are evaluating the correct data to see success.

Online education has been proven to be an effective when implemented into a credit recovery program. In today’s 21st century classroom, online education opens doors to students in a whole new way. Let us continue to provide students with the opportunities that everyone deserves – a chance to grow and become successful. 

Join us for our upcoming webinar to learn how you can partner with EdOptions Academy to start your credit recovery program this summer.  We can help schools cut costs and provide expanded course offering to more students.  Our affordable credit recovery program keeps students on track for high school graduation with skills-based remediation classes and full courses from our comprehensive online curriculum.