Ivy Global School
Case Study: Implementing Digital Curriculum to Support Students’ Success at Ivy Global School
Implementing Digital Curriculum to Support Students’ Success at Ivy Global School
Ivy Global School is a Private K-12 American Virtual School established in Tampa, Florida, with students across Asia and the United States and is home to many educators who are passionate about educational technology and online learning. The school provides students and families with a complete curriculum that meets state and national standards in the United States. The curriculum is available for any time zone around the world, and students can work independently and with teachers supervising in real time.
Mr. Armstrong, Honorary President at Ivy Global School, comments on the school’s mission “to create a learning community in which every type of learner will utilize their strengths to seek knowledge and strive for the exceptional through high-quality instruction in our virtual platform. We are also committed to ensuring that students feel connected to their peers. Through interactive functions (i.e., threaded discussions or live chat rooms in the learning management system), students are provided consistent, regular, and quality interaction, creating a rigorous and relevant learning environment.”
“Ivy Global School is moving education forward to drive student success.”
Supporting Ivy Global School’s Mission
To achieve this mission, the school has chosen Courseware, a digital curriculum provided by Edmentum for students in grades 6-12. Courseware offers over 600 courses and is used by many schools worldwide.
Dr. Konold, Principal at Ivy Global School, who has 25 years of experience in education, comments on why the decision to implement Courseware was ideal: “we offer education for elementary, middle, and high school students, and our teachers are US-certified. We have students across Asia and in the United States, so we need flexibility with what we offer. With Courseware, we can offer all core classes, electives, Advanced Placement (AP), and SAT and Career & Technical Education (CTE) test preparation. Students can also learn independently with their own courses at their own pace, which is particularly ideal for our overseas students. Courseware is ideal for credit recovery and to improve students’ Grade Point Average (GPA) scores.”
Embedding Digital Curriculum Software Into School Lessons
Upon choosing to embed Courseware at Ivy Global School, staff had to understand how to implement the program into their lessons to benefit from its features fully.
Ms. Choi, CEO at Ivy Global School, who has a great passion for educational technology, comments on how they embedded Courseware into learning: “to make the best use of Courseware, we have live lessons with US-certified teachers. Students are required to do a pretest and a tutorial before the lesson. I love the guided notes that Edmentum provides alongside these tutorials, as they are very helpful. They really help the student understand concepts step by step and summarize the knowledge they need for lessons.”
With Courseware, the school has found that students can utilize the resources and practice concepts independently before they come to lessons. This means they can be at the center of the classroom. Students can hold the discussion, talk about the material, and help each other with any parts they may find difficult during the lesson altogether.
After lessons, learning continues with Courseware. Students must review the material and take the mastery test, which assesses whether students fully understand a concept. Students can revisit content if they do not understand it, and teachers can then review the data from the mastery tests and see how they performed. Staff at Ivy Global School enjoy looking at the ‘time on task’ feature to review whether students are fully undertaking a mastery test and follow up on any anomalies to help with students’ attainment and progression.
Supporting Ivy Global School’s Virtual Learning Environment
Staff at Ivy Global School also noticed that Courseware is ideal for supporting their virtual learning environment. This was ideal for their overseas students in Asia and teaching to their needs.
Ms. Choi comments that “Courseware became an integral component of our school education and our virtual learning environment. Learning online can be more effective, and research shows that students can retain 25%-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8%-10% in a classroom. This is mainly due to students being able to learn in their own time and at their own pace. Therefore, Courseware is ideal for us as we are a virtual school offering education to students worldwide, particularly across Asia.”
The school often uses the assessment features on Courseware to prepare their students for a college or career path, which can be taken at any time. When the assessments are then completed, staff can look at the reports on Courseware remotely and draw their own conclusions easily.
“The platform provides interactive instruction with assessments that prepare students for a college or career path. We have lots of positive feedback from staff, students, and parents throughout their journey using Edmentum alongside our virtual learning environment.”
Furthermore, Mr. Armstrong also mentions how Courseware goes hand in hand with their virtual learning environment and says that “virtual learning means we can deal with learning at any time. We can deliver lessons whenever. Courseware allows us to keep track of students’ progress to see how students are progressing at any time. It’s intuitive and easy to use and is a great tool for us in terms of continuously progressing students through the program.”
Ivy Global School’s Cognia Accreditation Journey
Recently, the school has undertaken a journey to become Cognia accredited, which Courseware has supported.
Cognia is a non-profit organization that provides quality assurance for school districts in the United States, schools, and education service providers. Formerly known as AdvancEd, Cognia is committed to advancing learning and has accredited 36,000 institutions in over 80 countries that serve and support nearly 25 million students and five million educators every day.
To achieve accreditation, the school had to demonstrate its experience under three domains – leadership, learning capacity, and resource. The leadership strand focused on the school administration and how the staff could use tools such as Courseware to improve learning practice.
The learning capacity strand saw the school needing to show the rigor of their curriculum and the impact of teachers on learning. The school reported that reviewers enjoyed this strand as they liked hearing from the staff and students about how they used Courseware for their curriculum needs.
Finally, the resource strand measured the resources available to meet the school’s mission, vision, values, and goals, which came back to Edmentum.
“For this strand, we were able to get a lot of what we needed, such as the syllabus and standards, from the staff at Edmentum who were helpful during the Cognia accreditation process. We enjoyed working with Edmentum, who made the accreditation process smooth, which may not have been the case with a different vendor. We wanted to thank them for the work they did.”
The school has found that having a digital curriculum through Courseware has benefitted teachers, students, and parents and has positively impacted teaching and learning.
“We appreciate the partnership with Edmentum, and they have been a great partner who offers a credible curriculum. Having a good curriculum like Edmentum has been a great joy for us and the parents and students too.”
“The parents find it easy, and they can take a look at the curriculum and follow along to see their child’s progress. It’s so much easier for the teachers too. I spoke to another school that has to prepare all their lesson plans from scratch, and it’s hard to keep up with. For me, having a curriculum such as Courseware was a ‘win, win’ and a no-brainer when I established the virtual school. I have a strong belief in online learning, and it all starts with a good curriculum.”
Another teacher at the school has commented on the positive impact of Courseware and says that “Edmentum is one of the best online platforms I’ve used, and I’ve used quite a few. Edmentum offers advantages over others. There is real-time feedback as students work their way through the platform, and we can assign dates so students easily know when work is due. In general, Courseware is incredibly user-friendly.”
One student at the school has also said that “it’s a fresh learning system and has interactive lessons. The learning platform means we can easily track our progress. It’s fun, and we can obtain knowledge. The simplicity is what makes Edmentum so appealing and easy to use.”
Finally, a parent has also offered insight into their experience with using Courseware with her child: “I’m a mother of a sixth-grade student. This platform has many valuable resources. We love how Edmentum posts the problem as it requires the student to think deeply.”
In the Future
In the future, the school and Edmentum will continue to work together to maintain the positive impact that Courseware is having on teachers, students, and parents.
The school also has exciting plans, and Dr. Konold says that “the accreditation is just the beginning of our journey, and Edmentum has been helping with our future plans. Our next steps are to get NCAA approval, and also obtain the ability to teach AP courses and achieve CollegeBoard approval.”
In summary, Edmentum will support the school in achieving its upcoming goals and ensuring they work side-by-side for its continued success and growth.
To read more about how Ivy Global School is supporting virtual learning, you can visit their website.
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