Distance Learning | News

Report: Credit Recovery Most Common Use of K-12 Online Programs

Among districts offering online programs, credit recovery is the most common use, at 82 percent, according to a new report from K12. Online courses are gaining ground, though, growing to 81 percent in 2013 from just 66 percent in 2012.

Blended learning programs are more common than fully online initiatives, according to respondents, accounting for 66 percent of all online programs. "However, full-time online programs in districts with 10,000-plus students grew significantly from 27 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013," according to a K12 news release.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents told researchers that "having engaging and highly interactive curriculum was extremely important," to a successful online program, according to a news release;
  • The best way to demonstrate the quality of an online program is "for students to demonstrate significant academic progress," according to 87 percent of respondents;
  • Respondents were most likely to tell researchers that their district had fewer than 50 students participating in an online program, at rates of 57, 50 and 46 percent, respectively, for credit recovery, online courses and full-time online programs;
  • Respondents told researchers the three most critical factors in a successful online program are "tracking student progress with reporting tools, offering rigorous and engaging curriculum and having teachers available to intervene/assist struggling students," according to a news release; and
  • Thirty-three percent of respondents said that online learning programs are less expensive than traditional education, 29 percent said it costs about the same, 15 percent said it is more expensive and 23 percent said they don't know how the costs compare.

"The survey, conducted by MDR's EdNET Insight, targeted district- and school-level leaders, specifically superintendents, assistant superintendents, curriculum directors, principals and teachers who have had experience implementing online learning programs," according to information released by K12. Respondents from schools and districts with no online programs were eliminated from the survey.

"Educators across the country increasingly see online learning as an excellent way to provide students more options to meet their individual needs," said Gregg Levin, senior vice president of K12's Institutional Business, in a prepared statement. "With so many curriculum and content options available today, district leaders recognize that it is critical to support online learning programs with technology that not only provides detailed tracking and reporting, but also that can simplify administration of all programs and enable course personalization, all in one place."

To see the full report, visit educators.k12.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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