School districts across the country are increasingly using online courses to expand credit recovery options for high school students who need to get back on track toward graduation, but the growing use of online credit recovery for high school students has considerably outpaced the research. As concerns mount over whether students actually learn in online courses, and as questions arise about how to best implement online credit recovery, there is a critical need for rigorous evidence about the effective use of online credit recovery for high school students.
AIR, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), received a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to provide much-needed evidence for practitioners and policymakers about how a particularly promising use of online learning could help students recovery course credit and successfully progress toward graduation.
The study focuses on a blended-learning model for Algebra I and English 9 credit recovery, where the main curriculum is provided through an online program and an in-class teacher provides more individualized instructional support. The credit recovery courses will take place during the summer of 2018 and the 2018-19 school year in approximately 20 LAUSD high schools.
Listen to Jordan Rickles discuss the project on the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute's podcast
The study has two main goals:
- Provide rigorous evidence about the blended-learning course’s effects on student outcomes compared with a standard teacher-directed course.
- Describe how the blended-learning course provides students with different instructional experiences compared with a standard teacher-directed course.
Over the five-year life of the study, AIR will produce a series of research briefs that discuss the findings regarding the relative impact of blended-learning versus face-to-face credit recovery on students’ academic outcomes, as well as aspects of how the two types of credit recovery courses were implemented.