This website was supported by ED-IES-12-C-0004, the 2012-2017 Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest.
Funding for this contract has expired and this website is no longer being maintained.
Please visit for more information about the Regional Educational Laboratory Program

Navigating the Challenges of Online Credit Recovery: Lessons from a Rigorous Research Study

REL Midwest partnered with its Virtual Education Research Alliance to host a webinar that described the findings from the first rigorous research study examining the effectiveness of online Algebra I for credit recovery, relative to standard face-to-face versions of the course, for helping at-risk ninth-grade students get back on track toward graduation.
The event featured a presentation by Jessica Heppen, Ph.D., and Kirk Walters, Ph.D., of American Institutes for Research who described the findings from the study, Efficacy of Online Credit Recovery in Algebra I for At-Risk Ninth Graders. The event also featured a discussion from Michele Nickels of Wisconsin Virtual School and Cale Roe of Iowa Learning Online about the issues schools and educators should address when considering the use of online courses for credit recovery. This event was designed to address the U.S. Department of Education’s priority areas of effective teachers and principals and college readiness, access, and completion.

Peggy Clements, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Education Development Center

Jessica Heppen, Ph.D., Managing Researcher, American Institutes of Research

Pamela Jacobs, Ph.D., Senior Technical Assistance Consultant, American Institutes of Research

Michele Nickels, Director, Wisconsin Virtual School

Cale Roe, Student Services Consultant, Iowa Learning Online 

Kirk Walters, Ph.D., Principal Researcher, American Institutes of Research


Related Resources
Heppen, J., Walters, K., Allensworth, E., Sorensen, N., Pareja, A., Satchel, S., & Nomi, T. (2013, November). The struggle to pass Algebra I in urban high schools: Online vs. face-to-face credit recovery for at risk students. Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 35th Annual Fall Conference.