Supporting Progress & Attainment at Garden International School with Assessments, Data Reports & Learning Tools

One of the world’s leading international schools, Garden International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, caters to students from ages 3 to 18. The school has a widely diverse community made up of 2,000 students from over 60 nationalities, creating a mix of expatriates and locals, where around 50% of students are Malaysian. A well-established school set up in 1951, it has a primary section with around 800 students and bases its curriculum on British standards.

Garden International School’s mission, which is “to lay the foundation of lifelong success for our learners,” aligns in part with that of Edmentum’s, which focuses around “being educators’ most trusted partner in creating successful student outcomes everywhere learning occurs.”

Finding a Solution to Support Teachers’ Needs

Mr. Alex Turner, Digital Learning Leader, who manages how the school uses technology, has commented on why EducationCity is a good fit for them: “our planning is based on the national curriculum. We needed a digital resource to help the teachers with progress and attainment and supplement the learning that was taking place. That’s been the main impetus for choosing EducationCity.

“With the updates such as integrating it with Google and having single sign on, we have been using it more and more, and the fact that there is iPad integration is really important for us. Every student from years three to nine brings an iPad into school, so for us, EducationCity is the perfect fit.”

 

Using the Assessments, Data Reporting & Learning Tools for Progress & Attainment

To support progress and attainment, in year four, the assessments within EducationCity were deployed. Ms. Anna Goh, year four class teacher, comments on her class’s usage of EducationCity and its assessments:

“Year four has been using EducationCity because the children find it really engaging, and it motivates them to want to learn. I love the assessment feature. When students have done an assessment, it automatically sets them a Revision Journal to consolidate the areas that they need to. They’re the main reasons as to why we’ve used it more this year.”

Garden International School Student & Teacher

Anna also comments on how the assessments help her overall with attainment and progress: “we’ve tried the formative and summative assessments, and we do them before a unit or after so we can respond to what the students know. We will continue with this because it self-marks, and students can immediately see what they got right and what they need to improve on. I love the tasks it sets them in their revision pathway, and the parents really love that too. We direct parents to the Revision Journals as they help with consolidation and fill in those gaps. They can see how beneficial that is, so they’ve been really positive about that aspect.”

In year four, Anna also uses the assessments for lower-attaining children in particular and looks at areas and topics they may be struggling with, after which, she sets follow-up tasks for students on EducationCity to fill the learning gaps discovered.

The data reporting that Anna receives from the assessments is significant as it gives Anna the information needed to help her students: “you can see immediately which children understand it, which children need intervention and because it’s so immediate, if you did it a different way, it would take a while to get the information yourself. Through the assessment data, we decide which children are going into different groups and what support they need at that moment.”

The school undertakes many progress tests such as CAT4 and is knowledgeable in analyzing data. Alex says that “having another data source through EducationCity is ideal.”

In terms of classroom use, Alex comments on how the school can use EducationCity in a blended learning format to support learning progress: “the staff know how to use it as a blended learning tool as well. They could set a Learn Screen, then do an experiment, do a task, and then do an assessment on EducationCity, so that is where it is very much embedded.”

The grouping tool within EducationCity is also used to support progress and attainment for different ability levels. Anna says that it helps her with personalizing learning:

“I like the fact you can set work for different groups. With this, you can really personalize it to each child’s individual needs, so they can have their own learning path and learning journey that they go on.”

Garden International School Students

Year three teacher, Ms. Zoe Harris, also uses EducationCity in her classroom, which supports her students with their attainment: “EducationCity is a great educational tool. The children can listen to the content and engage with it. To help with learning, the children can actually then say exactly what’s happened afterward, so that’s benefitted our students.”

How Garden International School Have Used Online Learning Programs for Distance Learning

Garden International School has found using EducationCity throughout the distance learning period for supporting progress and attainment highly beneficial. Anna says that “we have used the assessments more through the lockdown. It’s supported learning from home and continuous learning.”

Year three teacher, Zoe, has noted her increased usage of EducationCity since the migration to distance learning: “we’ve really started using it this year, more so than we did last year. As we have spent a lot of time online and we knew that there was the possibility of going back into a lockdown in Malaysia, it was great just to make sure that the kids were able to use it.”

A lesson on “rocks” was also set recently for year three by Zoe, during which children tested the properties of rocks. A few students were unable to retrieve the materials needed for the experiment that was going to be conducted over Zoom. Zoe was able to use a Learn Screen on EducationCity to support their progress and attainment and to still deliver this experiment for the students.

Commenting on the lesson, Zoe says that,

“Some students were able to do the experiment with the resources, but for others, I set a Learn Screen, and they were able to watch the characters who talked to each other, and it was exactly how we would speak to the class in real life. So the characters talked about their senses and watched the experiment, and it was a great way to engage them. They’re not just being told about the rocks, but they’re watching something. I also do think the children would be able to repeat it by themselves in school as they’ve watched someone else do it.”

Garden International School Teacher and Pupils

In terms of parental engagement during the distance learning period, the school has found that EducationCity has also been very useful in supporting parents and home learning. Zoe says that “for the parents that I’ve spoken to, they say EducationCity is so easy for the children to access themselves and get the feedback they need, so it does take that pressure off the parents a little bit as they don’t have to be there all the time. Parents and students can also access scores themselves, which means they can see progress easily.”

Noticing this benefit too, Alex also says that, “EducationCity is easy and accessible for parents to use. It’s perfect in a distance learning situation because we’re not having that many emails from parents and complaints saying how to do this and this, so it’s been very beneficial to use.”

 

Supporting EAL Students with Learning

As the school has a large EAL student population, EducationCity has also improved this group of students’ progress and attainment. Ms. Rachel Jones, a year three teacher, says that “we have realized just how accessible EducationCity is and how good it is for our EAL learners. If you want to look at how to explain a concept better, you can search for it and find a Learn Screen or Activity, so it’s easy to use for us and the students. For EAL learners, it’s also very clear, and students can rewatch the Learn Screens and consolidate their learning.”

The learning resources on EducationCity have also given EAL students a lot more independence in their learning. Zoe says that “I’d say that because we do have a lot of EAL learners, it can give a bit of independence for those children without them having to rely on the teacher. That’s a real immediate impact that you can see straight away. It’s nice for them to take a bit of ownership and be able to access those Learn Screens to help them then complete the activity, and that’s something I’ve really noticed this year.”

Success with Using EducationCity at Garden International School

Garden International School has seen a lot of success from using EducationCity in supporting the school with learning and teaching delivery. Commenting on the ease of use of EducationCity, which has been a primary benefit for the school, Zoe says that, “it is so easy to use, and I think that’s the thing that’s been most attractive about it. It’s just so accessible for people like me who find it really difficult to use iPads and get a little bit scared when something comes along. It’s easy to navigate on your own without having to ask people. It’s easy for the children as well.”

Anna also comments on this: “Anyone could pick EducationCity up and use it, and so it’s user-friendly to all teachers, whether they’re confident with ICT or not. You can set learning for your children easily.”

The school also noted that EducationCity has helped with building student confidence, and in turn, progression and attainment. Anna comments on this:

“We’ve noticed that it’s really developed the children’s confidence because they have that immediate feedback so they can feel that success and they develop that high success rate. It helps to develop their engagement and their progression and attainment. Whenever we set EducationCity in year four, it has that buzz, and the students are excited to learn.”

Lastly, Alex commented on the positive impact teachers have experienced through the support received from Edmentum, which has been a welcomed addition: “Edmentum, as a company, is really proactive in getting in touch with us. Hannah has been really helpful in setting up the account, so I would tell any school to get in touch with Edmentum first because they’ve been great in driving usage forward. Other companies sometimes aren’t like that, but they have been really good at pushing that, and we appreciate that.”

Garden International School and EducationCity will continue to work together to support the school’s goals and its progression and attainment. They will also closely monitor the ongoing situation and ensure their distance learning needs are well met to enrich and support each and every student’s potential.

Using Virtual Learning and Online Courses to Support Learning During School Closures at the American School of Nouakchott in Mauritania

Situated on the west coast of Mauritania, the American International School of Nouakchott (AISN) is a small school of around 100 students ranging from pre-K to 12th grade that is situated on the grounds of the US Embassy.

Before the major events of 2020, the school incorporated traditional methods of providing curriculum using textbooks, which were given annually to the students. The school had just started its journey to integrate technology into the classroom and had recently installed high-speed internet for the first time.

The challenge COVID-19 presented

As more countries were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year, AISN, like all schools around the world, was given a set of challenges that were more challenging and unpredictable than any they had experienced before.

Ms. MaryAnn Przekurat, the Director of the school, told us that, “by February we, like the rest of the world, could see that schools were starting to close down. We prepared to move online, but we had no online curriculum whatsoever.

“The country shut down literally overnight. Our first case in the country came in on a Friday. At that time, our high school was out on a three-day field trip. They came back on Sunday, and the government announced that all schools had to close immediately, followed overnight by the airports.”

Although the situation was evolving rapidly, the school had put a learning continuity plan in place: “in a very short period of time, we ended up online. We were able to move online immediately because we knew [COVID-19] was coming. However, this response had a huge impact on our teachers, who were spending most of their time creating new online assignments and delivering Zoom lessons. We got through it, and our teachers were champions.”

MaryAnn found that the teachers were spending up to 80% of their time developing curriculum, while only 20% of their time was spent teaching that curriculum to the students. Something had to change to make this new way of teaching and learning more sustainable, as MaryAnn comments:

“By late April, I felt that it was clear that we would not be having a normal school year from August, and that we needed to be delivering different curriculum and quality education that can transition between being online and in-person easily. At that point, we started looking at different companies, and through AISA, I heard of Edmentum.”

Using courses through Edmentum for flexibility and school closures

When MaryAnn and the school came to Edmentum, they were looking for a company that could support them with their specific needs and had the flexibility to adjust: “Edmentum was willing to work with us and make adjustments and let us change their model to work for us.”

Together with Edmentum, the school embarked on a project to deliver their fully customizable digital curriculum, Courseware and Calvert, to their students. In the background, their teachers were also receiving professional development and being mentored by Edmentum’s own virtual teachers on the best ways to teach virtually. This mentoring program was new for Edmentum, as the teachers from the fully accredited virtual school had previously focused on students only. With a quick turnaround, MaryAnn says that Edmentum and AISN were ready to start:

“The teachers were understandably very nervous about this program. Up until a few months before the pandemic, we were not a technology savvy school. One of the things that Edmentum was able to do for us was to train our teachers. That was a huge benefit from the program. Our teachers spent three weeks with two Edmentum instructors who taught them everything, from the basics of Zoom to then going through the actual curriculum and how to use all the features and adjustments. The teachers’ confidence really built over that time, and so by the time we were ready to open school, the teachers felt they knew what they were doing. They have made huge progress because they had to, and they stepped up to do that.”

To start the new academic year, MaryAnn decided that the school would spend the first four weeks completely online. This was so that they could iron out any issues and ensure that the school could become comfortable enough with their blended model that they could switch from on-site to online teaching as seamlessly as possible. The initial online period was a success, and the students were then able to come on-site, with around 20% choosing to remain online.

“We remained on campus and were in the middle of our seven-year MSA Accreditation when we experienced our first positive case of COVID-19 from a teacher who had been in contact with the whole school population,” explains MaryAnn.

Success with using online learning during COVID-19

This came at a very inconvenient time, but reinforced how successful working with Edmentum had been, as MaryAnn says, “so we had to shut down, reaching out to families at 8:30 pm then by 8 am the next morning, 100% of students were being taught online continuing to use Edmentum’s Courseware and Calvert; it was seamless.

“The MSA was teasing us, saying that they thought we had staged the whole thing to show how well this worked! We were online for eight school days, and then we were able to come back in person.”

One of the biggest changes for the school has been the program’s benefits for staff. Using a virtual environment has brought new roles for teachers that they wouldn’t have imagined before 2020, as MaryAnn says,

“We started using our teaching assistants in a completely different way. Our teaching assistants all speak multiple local languages. They now manage the breakout rooms on Zoom, so we will be able to move a student with a particular native language into a breakout room with an assistant and give them the instruction that their child needs.

“Our teaching assistants have said they have never felt as valuable as they have this year. Before, they were another person in the room, and now, they hold a critical role here at school because of the changes that we’ve had to implement.”

The future of the American International School of Nouakchott and online learning with Edmentum

Moving forward, the school are about to take an extended winter break to allow their families to return home for the first time since the outbreak began in February. They will continue to use Courseware and Calvert for credit recovery while they are away and have also implemented Exact Path, which provides a learning path of content to students automatically based on the gaps in their learning. When they return, they will leave their textbooks aside and commit to the digital curriculum for at least the remainder of this academic year.

Reflecting on the year so far, MaryAnn tells us that her digital curriculum program has not only helped the school stay open but has transformed its outlook.

“If we did not have this program, I do not know what we would have done. There was no way we could continue education the way we were doing it. One of my thoughts at the time was, ‘what if we just close for a year and we’ll reopen back in a year from now?’ That was something we had proposed to the board; I didn’t know what to do.

“So, this really did save us, and it’s moved us so far ahead of all of the schools in town. Our parents say that if we were back in the USA, our kids would be online, but they would not be getting this. They cannot believe they’re in this small country and they’re getting a better experience than if they were in their school back in the US.”

How Summit International School Embedded Exact Path into School Policy & Reward Methods to Support Attainment & Growth

Summit International School in Abu Dhabi is an American curriculum international private school.  The school has 932 students from 30 different countries worldwide, and all learners are English language learners (ELLs).

Recognizing Summit International School’s Challenges

In 2017, the school recognized that they faced several challenges. These included a need for more practice in reading and math, a strategy for differentiated teaching and learning to teach to their higher-attaining students and lower-attaining students, more familiarity and comfort with the curriculum, and reliable data sources for their assessments.

Lee Dabagia, Principal at Summit International School, recognizes these challenges and says that “our school had been classified as “Weak” and “Acceptable” in the ADEK inspection ratings until about 2017. In the last four years, thanks to Exact Path and our teachers, we’ve moved the school into the ‘A’ range with the local inspection. In 2018-2019, we did away with textbooks.”

Indeed, the school chose Exact Path as it directly adhered to its vision and mission statements. The school’s vision includes providing “…every student individualized learning, opportunities for growth, and the confidence and creativity to climb higher every day.” The mission also consists of the school’s aims to “…create a happy and safe environment that cultivates individualized learning paths through active learning and reflective teaching.”

Lee agrees with the synergy between the school’s mission and Exact Path and says, “So there you have the vision and the mission. The watchword is ‘individualized learning.’ We wanted growth opportunities and for the children to know what growth means for them. We wanted to give them confidence and allow for creativity to solve their own problems. We also believe that a happy environment is a better learning environment and wanted everybody to have an individualized learning path.”

Putting the Focus on Growth & Attainment with Exact Path

After the vision and mission were created, a four-step climb was produced. Samar Barakeh, Director of Assessment & Student Services at the school, explains more: “we came up with a four-step climb that revolved around a warm-up, active learning and/or use of technology, differentiation, and a check for understanding. Here, we questioned the differentiation more because teachers have different experiences with differentiation. The challenging part was that teachers had to base their differentiation on reliable data, but our internal assessments did not reveal reliable data.”

The school soon recognized a problem with its data and needed a solution to sort it. Lee explains more: “what we discovered was our MAP® data was at one level as far as grade-level is concerned and our in-class teacher-graded levels were higher. As the students matured through the school, the gap got wider to a point where our 8th-grade students scored MAP® at a 5th-grade level. Yet, somehow, they were getting A’s in an 8th-grade curriculum marking by our teachers. We presented this data to our teachers and had some very open and detailed meetings and discussions about the journey forward. We showed them the graph of what grades were being given versus what the MAP® assessments said about the very same students in their classrooms. There was an ‘oh my’ moment.”

The school explained the results to the parents and knew they needed a solution to address the gap. Several issues were explored, such as how the school would bring students up and still teach the grade-level curriculum simultaneously, how they would teach individual children, and how they could gather reliable data. Lee says that,

“We needed a tool to reflect on data and to make the classrooms active, and the answer for us was Exact Path.

“Exact Path allows us to give the students time to catch up to their grade level and what’s going on in their classrooms at the same time. It gives the teachers data that supports them with differentiation and helps them translate the grade-level curriculum into lessons every day. That was the advantage for us of Exact Path.”

Implementing NWEA™ MAP® & Exact Path to Increase Growth & Attainment

The school had already integrated NWEA™ MAP® to measure the children’s attainment and growth. They recognized that NWEA™ MAP® was all about growth, and so the staff looked to incentivize their learners when they used Exact Path to support them with their learning.

Jeffrey Sykes, Assistant Principal at the school, comments that:

“When we partnered with Exact Path, and as you can see from our mission statement with individualized pathways, we felt like we had found a perfect partner. We had found a place that was going to take our MAP® scores and enable our teachers to see their students’ levels and what they were working at.”

Summit International School began working with Edmentum to set up Exact Path, implement it, establish what reports they would receive, and then rolled it out to their teachers. They soon found that Exact Path acted as a “life-saver” for staff and was predominantly a curriculum tool to support them. The school needed a way to increase its trust of Exact Path with the staff, which was when they decided to embed it into the school culture.

The school challenged students with a “#tothetop” trophy tournament where students from grade 1 to grade 8 were tasked to meet learning time goals. Students who completed their grade-level criteria were rewarded with a trophy, and this was when Exact Path became more embedded in the school.

However, looking at the data, Jeffrey and the school saw interesting results: “we noticed that in middle school, students completing this challenge dropped compared to the lower school. So we thought about how we can connect those kids to the platform on Exact Path. So the next thing was to look at the data.”

Summit International School Average Time Spent Report

The school set up a Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet to report on the average time spent on Exact Path, skills mastered, and students’ passing rate. These reports could all be generated in Exact Path. They saw a trend in statistics from week 1, the start of the school’s 2020 lockdown, to week 14.

Jeffrey comments on the spike in data from week 1 to week 11: “we took this data and began to communicate it to our staff. We switched our focus on time and focused on skills mastered. We noted what happened from week 1 to 11. In grade 1, we were mastering four times the amount of skills.”

The school also noticed that as they shared this data with staff, staff began to use Exact Path more frequently. When seeing the data, parents used Exact Path more too. Indeed, Jeffrey states: “parents began to catch on to conversations that were driving Exact Path use at school and why we were using it as part of our curriculum, and they supported children in using it.”

Embedding Exact Path in School Assessment Policy to Support Attainment

To drive usage and as a result of the school seeing growth, they also embedded Exact Path into the assessment policy and made it a part of the assessment component. Samar explains more:

“Part of how students are evaluated and assessed includes the Edmentum reports. Assessment using Exact Path applies to students from grade 1 to grade 9. For transparency, the assessment policy is on our school’s website. Fifteen percent of a student’s final reporting grade goes to Edmentum reports; 10% is how many challenges students complete, and 5% is the skills they master within their learning pathway. As a result of this, our students and teachers take Exact Path very seriously.”

The school began to create a triangulation of data by using the NWEA™ MAP® reports to track students’ attainment and progress, using Exact Path for skills mastered and the number of challenges completed, and aligning it with internal assessments. Samar says that due to this, “our questioning techniques are now more effective as we have reliable data.”

Additional Methods to Improve Growth Gains with Exact Path

However, the school is moving to a new focus to reward students for skills completed. New challenges have been created this year to improve growth. These new challenges are described by Ian Power, Exact Path Expert, and Grade 5 Teacher: “What we’ve learned is that we needed to incentivize the kids a little differently, so we’ve come up with new challenges this year. Each week, we still do our time challenges. Each term, we do ten time-based challenges, which equates to 10% of our “report card.” However, we wanted to see more learner progress, so we introduced two different challenges based on skills mastered. Each fortnight, we have a bi-weekly champion, and this is just inside the class. We have a winner for English and a winner for math. The rewards range from homework passes to sitting in the teacher’s chair. The children really became enthusiastic about it.”

Rewards have progressed since then for success too, as Ian says, “the rewards do vary, but traditionally, they get to have a movie party in the month. These results are significant, and incentivizing the kids is really working.”

Improving Students’ Growth & Attainment With Exact Path Reports

Teachers also recognized that they could use Exact Path to support them with personalized learning in particular. When a MAP® test is completed, the school uploads their NWEA™ MAP® data to Exact Path, generating a learning path. Ian says that “I can click on my skills report, and I would know 63% of my class are not ready for grade 3 number sentences, so I would need to move down a level. These reports, moving forward, will help teachers with their planning and being able to see different students’ progress.”

Summit International School Class Report

Teachers also show Exact Path reports to parents as it shows what level students are working at and influences the way they teach.

Ian particularly thinks the curriculum is ideal for Exact Path. As an Irish teacher who has moved to the UAE, Ian says, “many teachers would not be familiar with the curriculum, but Exact Path shows you all you need to know. It’s on Exact Path clearly and simply – it helps you enormously and does the hard work for you.”

Success with Exact Path at Summit International School

Finally, all the methods implemented have meant the school is seeing success from using Exact Path.

Following the momentum the school saw in trimester 3, they did not want to lose the momentum of Exact Path and the growth they had seen. Therefore, the school introduced the “Summit Summer Exact Path Challenge.” The challenge was time-based, and students had seven weeks to complete it over the summer. Students were tasked with completing 420 minutes in grade 1 in math and English, and grade 8 students were tasked with completing 800 minutes. Ian comments on the success of this challenge: “we managed to have 167 students complete it throughout the course of the summer.”

Indeed, to reward these students, Ian created videos to send to the school and asked those students to give him photos where they were celebrating “success.”

Furthermore, Lee has said that Exact Path has further been a success in their school for growth and attainment and comments that:

“Students want to look at their own reports and take pride in it. When you do this, the program becomes more effective.

“Once the teachers know that you are pulling accurate data from it, they realize, ‘okay this is something I need to get involved with because it works.'”

Improving Growth and Success with Exact Path at Liwa International School for Girls

Liwa International School for Girls (LISG) is a K-12 international school in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. They provide outstanding international education and aim to inspire students to be self-disciplined, globally aware, and independent lifelong learners who are innovative leaders and critical thinkers. They are rated as a Band A school by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, which is the highest inspection grade available; the school has achieved this honor within eight months of opening.

Finding a Solution to Improve Attainment 

The school follows the American curriculum and has used the NWEA MAP for benchmarking since opening in 2016. Kate Hutchinson, Vice Principal (K-5) at LISG, states that the school is “continually aiming to improve, and we use a comprehensive self-evaluation process to identify our target areas. Improving attainment, especially in the MAP subjects, was identified as a key focus by us.”

They completed a thorough review of their existing teaching and learning resources, schemes of work, and lesson plans. They began identifying and evaluating potential new resources to support their improvement journey. Shakila Mohammed, Assistant Principal (K-5) has confirmed this:

We were looking for a resource that:

  • would help us raise attainment and progress;
  • is aligned to the Common Core State Standards;
  • contained a wide range of differentiated content and resources;
  • would support the majority of our students who have English as their second language;
  • would introduce them to MAP-related vocabulary;
  • would support parent and student engagement;
  • had digital and paper-based content; and
  • would help their students become confident in being assessed via MAP.

LISG is part of a school group; Kate and Shakila learned that another school in their group was using Edmentum’s Exact Path.

Liwa International School for Girls Students

Exact Path – The Solution to Improve Attainment

Shakila quickly realized that Exact Path was exactly what we were looking for. MAP shows you your students’ learning levels, and we were looking for something to provide us with the interventions, content, teaching, practice and mastery material that is required to improve students’ scores. Exact Path does and is, therefore, a perfect partner for schools looking to improve their MAP scores. It uses the MAP baseline scores and generates a learning pathway for each student, which is personalized to their needs and learning level.

Additionally, Kate states, “The program takes the students’ learning levels, sets up lessons for them and gives them resources to improve on where they are at. Reports are generated for the teacher to see, so it was easy to analyze how students progressed. Now the students are automatically receiving the right content at the right time. Our teachers are receiving real-time formative assessment data and can make informed instructional decisions. The teachers were thrilled with it, and the students’ results are improving.”

Implementing Exact Path  

Liwa International School for Girls StudentsThe school began its journey with a free trial. The feedback from using the product was very encouraging, and a decision was quickly made to purchase Exact Path and make it available to all K-12 students. Kate was very impressed with Edmentum’s Implementation Team, “who provide unparalleled support, advice and guidance and develop a bespoke plan with the school needs at its centre. Exact Path is now fully integrated onto our Maths, Language Arts and Reading curriculums.”

Shakila confirms this, “We have adapted our scope and sequence to ensure Exact Path is embedded within it. Homework is completed through Exact Path too. It has become a core component of our teaching and assessment regimes.”

Parental Engagement

Parental engagement is crucial, and the senior leadership team created videos to help parents, most of whom are Arabic-speaking, to understand Exact Path and guide them on how it links with MAP assessment preparation.

At parents’ evenings, the school makes sure the Edmentum video is on a loop, so when parents enter the room, they can see Exact Path and its benefits. The parents have been “very impressed with Exact Path. It is easy for the students to use, has engaging content, is standards-aligned, and they can immediately see the progress that is being made.”

Student Engagement and Usage

Student engagement and usage are both critical components of a successful online tool. Shakila and Kate know their students and teachers are all motivated by competitions and reward usage and improvement by having awards for “best class for Exact Path” and “teacher of the month.”

They also have an early morning club where staff members work with individual students on their learning path to improve their attainment.

They have embedded Exact Path and promote its usage and benefits. As Kate says, “We just make sure we mention Exact Path whenever we can. If we see a child on a tablet, we might see if they are on Exact Path and what learning goals they are going through. It is used for face-to-face teaching, whole-class teaching and as part of station rotation.Liwa International School for Girls Students

Exact Path’s Impact 

“It has worked brilliantly to support face-to-face, blended, hybrid and distance learning, all of which have taken place at different times in the last year.”

The school has also been successful in raising attainment, and Kate has confirmed:

“We’ve seen the most successful attainment jumps from term 1 to term 2 in the 2019 to 2020 academic year, which we are really pleased with. A major part of this success is our usage of Exact Path.

“Furthermore, teacher workload has reduced, and teachers are able to focus their time on providing interventions and improving learning. It is a great resource to support MAP preparation, and as everything is digital, we don’t have to worry about loads of printing, and our preparation workload has definitely reduced.”

Shakila is also pleased that Exact Path gives her students “what they need to make progress, such as instructional lessons, practice and mastery sessions, worksheets and more, so they can build their own knowledge on a certain area.”

The formative real-time feedback has also been important. As Shakila says, “we know teaching has been taking place during lockdown, but Exact Path enables us to measure the amount of learning that has taken place, monitor progress and intervene where necessary.”

Autumn/Fall 2020

Some researchers advocate the viewpoint that all learners will have learning gaps due to the unanticipated school shutdown in Spring 2020 and ongoing unpredictability in the current year, warranting a “Universal Double-Dose Plan.”

To make rapid progress in current grade-level learning and recover from COVID learning loss, schools may approach instruction in the 2020–21 school year with a dual approach to accelerating learning. Students will need to begin immediately on the current grade level’s curriculum with a focus on essential knowledge and simultaneously get to work on addressing targeted learning gaps in a high-powered differentiation model.

 

Universal Double-Dose Plan

 

Kate and Shakila have both confirmed that they have been using Exact Path to deliver their version of a “double dose learning plan,” as they say, “the automatic creation of a personalized learning pathway ensures that there is a differentiated focus on closing individual learning gaps. Students are working hard on their own pathways, and the formative feedback embedded into Exact Path enables our teachers to monitor progress and provide specific targeted instruction through Zoom or through ‘Station Rotation’ when it is needed.

Liwa International School for Girls Students“The on-grade-level instruction is being delivered by our teachers, and we use Exact Path to measure the learning that is taking place. We manually allocate our students on-grade-level homework through Exact Path, which enables our teachers to closely monitor progress and focus on delivering targeted interventions so that our students can make progress.”

Conclusion

Personalized, mastery-based learning is the ambition for all schools. Exact Path integrates instruction, practice, and feedback and allows students to work at their own pace, only moving on when they have fully grasped the material. The formative assessments are continuous, immediate and reduce teacher preparation and marking workload. Kate states that,

“It allows our teachers to focus on the core component of their jobs – improving learning. It is flexible and is a core component of our double dose learning plan and is a very effective tool for scheduling retrieval practice opportunities.”