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Getting Started with Online Credit Recovery: Featuring North Carolina Virtual Public School


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Many districts are turning to online credit recovery to combat the challenge of lowering dropout rates while meeting the needs of 21st century learners. Often called the "silent epidemic" in our nation's high schools, the negative consequences of dropping out do not stop with low graduation rates but also pose challenges to our nation's economic and social well being.

Join North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) as they discuss how they created and implemented an online credit recovery program. Already equipped with classic online courses for AP and first time credit, NCVPS decided to offer a credit recovery option as well.

Michelle Lourcey, Curriculum and Instruction Division Director, Credit Recovery and Modular Learning, NCVPS and Jeff Page, Credit Recovery Specialist, NCVPS will describe how they got started creating their 10 courses, complete with content aligned to state standards, and describe their mastery model. They will also share how the program allows students to move at their own pace and provides flexible learning opportunities.

We'll also explore how Blackboard is providing the foundation for this statewide online credit recovery program and review the tools and features NCVPS is using within the Blackboard platform including Adaptive Release.

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Getting Started with Online Credit Recovery: Featuring North Carolina Virtual Public School

  1. 1. Thursday February 11, 2010 Michelle Lourcey , Curriculum and Instruction Division Director, Credit Recovery and Modular Learning, NCVPS Jeff Page , Credit Recovery and Modular Learning Specialist, NCVPS Mike Petersen , Manager, K-12 Solutions Engineers, Blackboard Getting Started with Online Credit Recovery: Featuring North Carolina Virtual Public School
  2. 2. 20 million users 9 global offices across 4 continents Born from education in 1997 1,000+ of us, working with 5,200+ of you Extended by 2,500 developers and partners +
  3. 3. <ul><li>Close the gap between the way students live and the way they learn </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver a 21st Century educational experience that is engaging, individualized and effective </li></ul>Our Vision:
  4. 4. <ul><li>An open, web-based teaching and learning platform for engaging and assessing learners in and beyond the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>3,000+ clients, 15+ million estimated active users, at all levels of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Local or hosted deployment </li></ul>Engaging and assessing learners at all levels
  5. 5. Client Community
  6. 6. NORTH CAROLINA VIRTUAL PUBLIC SCHOOL <ul><li>Blackboard Client Spotlight </li></ul>
  7. 7. Transforming 21 st Century Teaching and Learning North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Credit Recovery Program
  8. 8. Michelle Lourcey <ul><li>Curriculum and Instruction Division Director for Credit Recovery and Modular Learning </li></ul><ul><li>18 years in education (teacher, LEA curriculum supervisor) </li></ul><ul><li>With NCVPS since its inception in 2007; spent 7 years in online education prior to NCVPS as online teacher, course developer, curriculum coordinator, and Director of Curriculum and Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Created North Carolina’s first online, non-vendor Credit Recovery program </li></ul>
  9. 9. Jeff Page <ul><li>Credit Recovery and Modular Learning Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>10 years in education </li></ul><ul><li>Served as course developer for the first NCVPS Credit Recovery course development cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Served in Research Development and Innovation role with NCVPS </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible for the continuous improvement and course integrity of the NCVPS Credit Recovery model </li></ul>
  10. 10. NCVPS beginnings <ul><li>September 2002, NC General Assembly created BETA, Business Education Technology Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>BETA was chaired by then Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, now Governor of NC </li></ul><ul><li>The BETA commission, under the leadership of Gov. Perdue, established the E-Learning Commission and charged it with establishing NCVPS </li></ul><ul><li>NCVPS is available at no cost to all students in NC enrolled in NC public schools, Department of Defense schools, and schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (secured through legislation) </li></ul>
  11. 11. NCVPS’ start <ul><li>NCVPS began organization in the fall of 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>First slate of courses were offered for the first time in the summer of 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>NC certified teacher works with students in the online environment daily, both synchronously and asynchronously </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are part time only, receive contracts each semester for work </li></ul><ul><li>Sections are limited to 30 students for traditional courses and 20 students for Credit Recovery </li></ul>
  12. 12. 101 Ways to Meet Students’ Needs Culture Cafe Peer Tutoring LEO
  13. 13. NCVPS Rapid Growth Over 65,536 students served since summer, 2007 (20- 30% growth each year) 19,695—current active students (Spring and YL) 1200+ Credit Recovery enrollments for the Spring 2010— 50% growth from Spring 2009 (over 65% of state LEAs participating) Estimated by 2019, 75-80% learning in public schools will occur online in a blended design
  14. 14. On the Horizon
  15. 15. That was then, this is NOW . <ul><li>Composite course trends (the data tells the story of NCVPS’ quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2007 51% </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2007 62% </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2008 74% </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2008 77% </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 81% </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 82% </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2009 83% </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2009 TBD </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why NCVPS Credit Recovery? <ul><li>Needed in response to costly vendor programs that were not meeting the academic needs of students Such as… </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery of all goals of the NC Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation of the retaking of the End of Course exam </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation for the next level of instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Providing students an opportunity to gain success in a different learning environment with a NC certified teacher </li></ul>
  17. 17. Credit Recovery Model <ul><li>Philosophy developed first </li></ul><ul><li>No purchased content – completely develop own courses with NC certified “high flying” classroom teachers trained to teach online </li></ul><ul><li>Full course for credit, completely aligned to state standards </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery learning model </li></ul><ul><li>Self paced </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous teaching of a NC certified teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Student can work from home, school, or both </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mastery Learning Model <ul><li>Students pre-assess at the beginning of each unit – mastery is 80% or higher </li></ul><ul><li>Student can exempt all or most of unit with an 80 on pre-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>All units follow the flow of engaging instruction with the presentation of the concept followed by practice and then a formative assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Students then move to the Mastery Assignment – higher levels of Bloom’s. 80% or better, the student moves on. Less than 80% -- remediation </li></ul>
  19. 19. Mastery Learning Model <ul><li>Remediation redirects students to material to present the material again </li></ul><ul><li>Post Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>All steps happen with the student’s teacher working daily with the student through synchronous and asynchronous tools found in Blackboard, Wimba, and Pronto </li></ul><ul><li>Students do not move to the next unit until the unit before is mastered </li></ul>
  20. 20. Mastery Learning Model <ul><li>Continuous communication </li></ul><ul><li>Bi-weekly Mastery charts to students/parents/school contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Bi-weekly Status Reports to schools </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly synchronous contact between teacher and student </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching through the Announcements, through feedback on assignments through Blackboard messaging and the Gradebook, and through Pronto, Wimba and phone calls if needed </li></ul>
  21. 21. Course Development Process <ul><li>Six NC teachers per course team, highly qualified in certification area and usually NBPTS certified </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers work in pairs for collaboration, so three pairs per course team </li></ul><ul><li>One Literacy Coach per process </li></ul><ul><li>One Content Specialist from NCVPS per process to serve as Project Manager </li></ul><ul><li>One person to create course in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>All attend a two day training </li></ul><ul><li>Bi weekly deadlines, virtual meetings with teams and project manager </li></ul>
  22. 22. Course Development Process <ul><li>Spring 2008 trained teachers and developed English I and Algebra I </li></ul><ul><li>Field tested content as developed </li></ul><ul><li>Piloted two courses in the Summer of 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Algebra I and English I offered statewide in the Fall 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Developed six more courses in the fall of 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009, offered NC eight courses </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009, developed two more courses </li></ul>
  23. 23. Course Development Process <ul><li>Summer 2009, offered NC ten courses </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2010 developing two more courses </li></ul><ul><li>Development depends upon… </li></ul><ul><li>Course Development funds available -- can develop a course for approximately $20K -- no additional costs beyond learning object costs such as Explore Learning labs --revisions to course part of teacher contracts and not separate expenses </li></ul><ul><li>LEA need </li></ul>
  24. 24. Course Quality <ul><li>Continuous curriculum and engagement improvements each semester through targeted revision areas each semester </li></ul><ul><li>Bloom’s </li></ul><ul><li>Marzano strategies </li></ul><ul><li>21 st Century Skills and Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Clear Directions </li></ul><ul><li>Formative Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>EOC preparedness </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement/Interaction </li></ul>
  25. 25. Teacher Quality <ul><li>Required online class before application submitted </li></ul><ul><li>Training specific to Credit Recovery once placed in teacher pool </li></ul><ul><li>Refresher training every semester </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing Professional Development </li></ul><ul><li>Required bi-weekly documents </li></ul><ul><li>Required synchronous contact log </li></ul><ul><li>Spot Checks into Teachers’ sections </li></ul><ul><li>Formal teacher evaluations performed by Division Director </li></ul>
  26. 26. Enrollment numbers <ul><li>Summer Pilot 2008 143 </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 105 </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 667 </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2009 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2009 827 </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 1200+ </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2010 estimated 4000+ </li></ul>
  27. 27. Mastery Rates <ul><li>Summer Pilot 2008 50% </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 53% </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2009 61% </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2009 65% </li></ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 TBD </li></ul>
  28. 28. Challenges <ul><li>Overcoming the mindset of the vendor model </li></ul><ul><li>Rigor of the course </li></ul><ul><li>Length of course </li></ul><ul><li>Time needed for completion </li></ul><ul><li>Support level at the school </li></ul><ul><li>Working with state agency to change Credit Recovery perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Stay true to the philosophy developed </li></ul><ul><li>Working with state agency to find proper course coding, essentially meshing our philosophy with state requirements </li></ul>
  29. 29. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Know who you are as a program FIRST and be willing to stand behind what is best for students </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure to meet the needs of the LEAs must be weighed with what is best for the integrity of the program and for student learning </li></ul><ul><li>The easiest way may not always be the best way </li></ul><ul><li>NOs can often be changed with data, conversations, and persistence </li></ul><ul><li>Resistant school systems often come around after a “test drive” </li></ul>
  30. 30. Next 5 Years <ul><li>Expand online Credit Recovery course offerings to include courses from World Language and Career and Technical Education </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a remediation program for rising ninth graders in math and language arts </li></ul><ul><li>Expand our Modular Learning program to catch students who are struggling f2f before they need Credit Recovery </li></ul><ul><li>Expand partnerships in course development for the special needs population </li></ul>
  31. 31. Look Inside! <ul><li>Credit Recovery English II </li></ul>
  32. 32. Challenge: Increase Graduation Rates By offering credit recovery courses delivered both in online and in offline formats Blackboard Solution: Anytime, Anywhere Student Engagement Rather than selecting one model for credit recovery, the district chose to offer multiple models in order to address as many students’ needs as possible. “ While the program is still new, I know that it has helped. This is the only thing we are offering in our district as an alternative education offering. I definitely feel that we will make a difference in graduation rates.” - Rose Valderaz, Director, Virtual High School Ector County Independent School District Blackboard Case Study <ul><li>26,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual high school </li></ul><ul><li>Texas </li></ul>
  33. 33. Challenge: Diverse Learning Needs Offering enriched curriculum for all learners. Blackboard Solution: Anytime, Anywhere Student Engagement “ Students today are very tech-savvy and comfortable with technology and the flexibility of online instruction. Whether they are fine arts or magnet students, athletes, or those enrolled for credit recovery , they enjoy the individual choices they make in regards to when, where, and how long they participate in their virtual course.” - Becky Nunnally, Supervisor, eHigh School Cobb County School District Blackboard Case Study <ul><li>Suburban county </li></ul><ul><li>100,000+ students </li></ul><ul><li>8,800+ staff </li></ul><ul><li>113 schools and educational centers </li></ul><ul><li>Georgia </li></ul>
  34. 34. Blackboard Learn <ul><li>Common Challenges : </li></ul><ul><li>Raising graduation rates </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping students engaged in their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Providing varied means for students to recover lost credits </li></ul><ul><li>Operating within limited and declining budget </li></ul><ul><li>Solution : </li></ul>Blackboard Learn provides the foundation for a district-based online credit recovery program that engages students with personalized learning opportunities and maximizes district resources in order to increase graduation rates. 
  35. 35. Quick Start Solutions: Credit Recovery Challenge: “ Developing online credit recovery courses takes time and resources but I need to make the courses available right away.” --Director of Instructional Technology <ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Quick Start Solutions will help you get started quickly and achieve early success </li></ul><ul><li>Enroll up to 50 students in Florida Virtual School credit recovery courses </li></ul>
  36. 36. Quick Start Solutions: Credit Recovery Challenge: “ I don’t know how to start an online credit recovery program at my district. Who can I turn to?” - Director of Instructional Technology <ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in the Florida Virtual Leadership Course (1 seat) </li></ul><ul><li>Become certified to teach and learn online with 1 seat in 3 Blackboard Training Courses: Teaching and Learning Online Certification Series (Building Courses, Enhancing Communication, Assessing Learners) </li></ul>
  37. 37. Strong credit recovery programs help to knock out excuses for students not to succeed. Ms. Rose Valderaz Director, Virtual High School Ector County, Texas
  38. 38. Thank you! Questions? <ul><li>Michelle Lourcey , Curriculum and Instruction Division Director </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Jeff Page , Credit Recovery and Modular Learning Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>North Carolina Virtual Public School: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(800) 424-9299 ext. 2427 </li></ul>