Scaffolding Strategies for Credit Recovery

Jun 06, 2024
Scaffolding strategies credit recovery 1b

At Edmentum, we regularly review research in learning sciences and education to ensure that our products align with evolving best practices. This research informs our learning design principles and how we apply the latest findings to our credit recovery programs.

Many of Edmentum’s partners use Courseware as an alternate option to support unit, grade, or full credit recovery programs. As such, we sought to understand how best to support students learning in these unique contexts from recent research, including a mixed-methods study of high school students enrolled in a credit recovery course on environmental science.

This research offered positive and negative results related to various types of scaffolding, including conceptual, metacognitive, and strategic scaffolding. The researchers' presentation of how scaffolding not only supported some learners with prompts for next steps, for example, but also frustrated other learners with more information than they needed or wanted, offered direction for the kinds of prompts to include while not overdoing such prompting.

Applying Scaffolding Research to Courseware Design

Edmentum courses include guided notes and audio and visual supports that provide scaffolding to ensure that learners can engage with and retain information from the content of lessons.

In this Guided Notes example from our new Ethnic Studies course, you can see the optional scaffolding available to students to help them organize and keep track of what they learn in Edmentum courses.

Students also receive metacognitive support through videos. In recognition of the complexities in discussing difficult content, this video in an early lesson in Ethnic Studies, for example, provides a scaffold for students to manage their feelings to mitigate disruptions to their learning in the course.

Courses also include prompts embedded in the instruction designed to strengthen students’ conceptual understanding, engage in metacognitive reflection, and strategically organize their learning. In many cases, these scaffolds are optional, so students can use none, some, or all as their learning needs require.

Learners in the English 10 course, for example, receive metacognitive scaffolding supports midway through a tutorial as they practice analyzing literature. As optional clicks for the additional information, students can opt to use these scaffolds or not.

In another example, the introduction of Unit 4 in English 9 recaps highlights of the previous units and offers strategic scaffolding to guide learners to think about the informational texts they read and evaluated while preparing their culminating research paper.

At Edmentum, we continue to buoy learning by providing specific supports within the learning environment when students need them and systematically removing them—leading to independence as they approach mastery.

The scaffolding learning design principle is one of six employed in Edmentum Courseware. Learn more about all six research-informed elements fueling our approach in Implementing Research-Based Learning Design in Edmentum Courseware.

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