Personalized Learning

Walker County Schools Adopts Personalized Learning

Walker County Public Schools in Jasper, AL has implemented a personalized learning system to support students in need of remediation or more advanced coursework.

In 2011, the district was grappling with a dropout rate of 14 percent, which was almost twice the state average of 8 percent, and a graduation rate of 73 percent, which was slightly ahead of the state average but not as high as the district would have liked. In an effort to better support its students academically, the district introduced digital learning courseware from Fuel Education (FuelEd).

Students at Walker County Schools started using FuelEd's Anywhere Learning System, which includes more than 160 courses, 5,600 lessons and 130,000 test items that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and state objectives, according to information from the company. "The content is presented to students using sequenced direct-instruction aids such as study guides, quizzes, mastery tests and essays. Its built-in assessment and reporting tools help track and analyze all aspects of individual and class performance in order to benchmark progress and refine curriculum plans," stated a news release from FuelEd.

When students begin using the program, they take a pre-test, and then the system offers customized learning paths for each student based on their results. Students who are struggling academically receive remedial instruction, while more advanced students have the opportunity to move on to more accelerated coursework.

The district has implemented the Anywhere Learning System in a variety of different models. Younger students use the program in blended learning centers, which combine online and face-to-face instruction; older students use it for credit recovery and grade repair; and the district uses it to continue instruction when a teacher is away. The system is also the key component of the district's alternative school program, summer school program and two programs for at-risk and credit-deficient students.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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