Design Principles for Effective Online Credit Recovery

Carolyn Heinrich | Vanderbilt University

Design Principles for Effective Online Credit Recovery at a Glance

Instructional Design

Blended Learning: Students are most likely to benefit from online credit recovery when it blends online instruction with face-to-face time, rather than being conducted fully online.

Class Size & Grouping: Grouping students into smaller, subject-specific classes allows for stronger instructional support.

Progress Monitoring: Course monitoring data and student check-ins help instructors develop personalized learning supports for students, which improves their likelihood of successful course completion.


Student Selection: Carefully targeting which students are offered the opportunity to repeat courses online may increase the chances that students will learn the missed material.


Student Support: Instructors who are trained to deliver both academic and nonacademic support are better positioned to help students succeed.

Professional Development: Instructors often need professional development in using online credit recovery technology and accommodating special student learning needs in an online environment.


Vendor Selection: Selecting a vendor and negotiating a contract that supports blended learning and individualized curriculum adaptation increases the likelihood that students will learn the material they missed.

Technical Capacity: Investment in sufficient Internet connectivity, devices, and technical support reduces disruptions and increases the quality of the student experience.