By Yu-Chun Kuo
The use of educational technology appears to be a method to prevent students from leaving school (Harper & Boggan, 2011; Reimer & Smink, 2005; Roblyer, 2006; Smith, Clark, & Blomeyer, 2005). Fully online and blended learning are two of the most popular course delivery methods in K-12 education. The majority of these online or blended programs are provided for high school students; significantly fewer opportunities are given to middle and elementary students (DiPietro, Ferdig, Black, & Preston, 2008; Harper & Boggan, 2011). The potential of online learning may help remove learning barriers by increasing student motivation to learn or by improving student attitudes towards learning, which decreases the negative influences of individual and institutional factors contributing to student dropout issues (Rumberger & Lim, 2008). Developing an online program for credit recovery or for students at risk of dropping out may be challenging, and several factors related to online effectiveness need to be considered carefully. We provide several recommendations (see Table 1) through a summary of prior research that may be helpful for K-12 administrators or educators to consider when developing online and blended programs for at-risk students or those who have dropped out.
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