them to skip the sections of the course
they remember and help them learn
the parts they didn’t understand. In
addition, they can take the courses
during a class period or after school.
OnlineOptions.org offers credit recovery, core classes, electives, AP courses, and college
credit courses through Aventa Learning, Florida Virtual Schools, SK Online, and Lane
training in Moodle and have Lane
ESD provide a Moodle server that
was not tied to a calendar of any type.
This allowed College Now teachers to
migrate their courses to our Moodle
server. The partnership works well,
and we continue to find partnerships
that bridge K– 12 and the community
college through online learning.
Next was the need for credit-recovery
courses, and finally a mixture of
We built three profiles and used
them to design the web portal:
With Moodle support planned and a
timeline for development of services
in hand, we gathered data to find out
just what the school districts needed.
We had a goal of visiting at least one
high school in every district in the
county. We talked with principals,
students, and counselors to assess the
needs. As we completed visits, three
distinct types of needs for online
courses emerged. First, and the most
obvious, was the need for courses
that smaller districts could not offer,
including AP courses, electives, and
some advanced mathematics courses.
A fresh challenge. These students
need challenging courses or courses
not offered at their school. Occasionally, at rural schools, students may
have scheduling conflicts that are
serious enough to warrant an online
A different pace. Often students needed the flexibility to work on a class at
any time and from any place. Students
who cannot come to the campus need
full-time enrollment in online courses.
This is problematic because of the project’s commitment to blended learning,
but so far, this hasn’t been done.
Credits in a hurry. Some students
want to retake a course they have
failed. Online credit-recovery courses
make use of assessments that allow
The second big task was to select vendors for the new service. We evaluated
13 potential vendors using the iNACOL
National Standards for Quality Online Teaching rubric and the Quality
Matters Inter-Institutional Quality
Assurance in Online Learning rubric.
The education district contracted with
Aventa Learning and Florida Virtual
School to prepare for fall enrollments.
We had planned to use a provider
from within our state, but scheduling
issues kept it from being used much.
We felt ready to begin in the fall. We
had the web portal ready with pre-assessments, talking points for counselors, and links to course catalogs.
We had narrowed the providers to
those that we felt had the highest student engagement and best content for
the cost, and we had an initial budget
to purchase courses so that districts
could focus on infrastructure, professional development, and equitable
methods for using online courses.
To our surprise, two districts requested to begin immediately, in hopes
of enrolling students in June 2010 for
summer school. We said yes, thinking all of the enrollments would be for
credit recovery, but remained flexible
when they were not. As a result, a gifted
incoming ninth grader was able to earn
high school credit before her first day
in high school. The two districts had an
overall passing/completion rate of 80%
for summer programs—much higher
than the previous year in both cases.