Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Academic Outcomes for Students Who Took Online Credit Recovery Courses
A new study finds that students who completed online credit recovery courses were less likely to graduate than students who took other types of credit recovery courses. However, those online course takers who did graduate were more likely to do so on time than their peers who took other credit recovery courses.
This report describes the results of a REL Southeast study comparing short- and longer-term student successes after completion of online credit recovery courses compared to student successes after completion of other credit recovery options, such as traditional face-to-face courses and summer school courses. Credit recovery refers to when a student fails a course and then retakes the same course to earn high school credit.
This research question was motivated by the growing importance of online learning in traditional public school settings and a desire on the part of many stakeholders to understand better how students are adjusting to that transition.
The data for this study covered eleven core high school courses (courses required for graduation) taken between 2008/09 and 2011/12 in North Carolina. The study compares the likelihood of a student: (a) succeeding on the state end-of-course test for the recovered course; (b) succeeding in the next course in a recovered course sequence (for instance, in English II after English I); (c) remaining in school after credit recovery; and (d) graduating and graduating on time.
Results suggest that there was little difference between the short-term success rates of students who completed state-supported online credit recovery and students who completed other credit recovery options. However, on measures of longer-term success, students who completed state-provided online credit recovery courses and did not subsequently drop out were more likely than other credit recovery students to graduate on time.
Among credit recovery participants in state-provided online courses, Black students were less likely to reach proficiency in their recovered courses but more likely than their peers to succeed in later coursework after their online experience.
Because of limitations in the analyses possible with available data, it is not possible to directly attribute these outcomes to participation in online credit recovery, but the results do point toward intriguing and potentially beneficial areas for future, more rigorous study.