Developmental Education


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At a recent SLATE meeting, Blackboard and presented a Blackboard-branded program about a service for higher education:  Developmental education.  This is a polished name for remedial courses.  The presenters stated that “60% of all students in higher education need at least one remedial math course.”  Blackboard has a small program that  provides courses (from K12’s Aventa Learning), instructors and supporting services in higher education.  Institutions can use this methodology in conjunction with traditional remedial programs, although the online program supports students with documented challenges, such as family, distance, and time constraints.  The program includes using video conferencing software, student services, and analytics.  The presenters stated that some students can move through multiple paths so that they can enter credit granting courses.  While current enrollment numbers are low, the presenters report high satisfaction with the program.  While I will not publish the costs that were cited in the presentation, the presenters reported that this program could save institutions about 30% of the their expenses in working students through remedial courses.  As this program continues, the proof will show in the long-term completion rates of these students as well as the cost savings.  Further, will these students be successful when they enter subsequent credit-granting courses where the remedial courses were foundational to the credit courses?

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