Teaching Tools

Edgenuity Unveils UpSmart to Help Middle School Students Achieve on Assessments

upsmart

Edgenuity has today launched UpSmart, a supplemental solution designed to help students in grades 6-8 demonstrate mastery of state standards in English language arts and math.

Using an adaptive learning engine and technology-enhanced assessments, UpSmart aims to provide the right level of instruction and practice on each topic for each student. The computer-based product will be ready for implementation in the 2017-18 school season beginning this summer, a spokeswoman said.

According to a news release, UpSmart personalizes the learning environment for every student as a companion to the core curriculum or as a test-readiness program, and can be used in a variety of settings — as part of a classroom-based blended learning program, in an advisory period or study skills class, or as homework.

UpSmart drives mastery of state standards in English language arts and math through the following:

  • Targeted assessment: Places students into the optimal level through short, targeted assessments for each topic, then continuously evaluates what each student is ready to learn, providing the appropriate instruction and practice.
  • Adaptive practice and instruction: Features highly adaptive tasks to assess students’ mastery of skills and triggers appropriate support and instruction on each level as they progress through topics. The program continuously accumulates data about each student’s understanding and adjusts the difficulty of tasks and instruction as well as the amount of practice accordingly.
  • Just-in-time instruction: Provides “scaffolds” as needed to help students complete a task and develop a deeper understanding of the skill being assessed. These scaffolds include topic introduction videos, hints, answer-specific feedback and direct instruction and modeling.
  • Motivation and rewards: Encourages students, through a dashboard and digital badging system, to monitor their own progress and celebrate their successful mastery of skills. Students accumulate trophies for productive behaviors like increasing time on task, showing persistence while working on a difficult assignment or completing challenges.

Teachers can implement UpSmart as a supplement to their core curriculum, and the tool can be customized to align with each unique classroom scope and sequence. Teachers can assign, reorder and prioritize topics in the way they prefer.

In addition, real-time reporting on student progress can help teachers understand the skills and standards students have mastered, which students may be struggling, and how students can be grouped for re-teaching.

Pricing varies depending on the size of a district or school, a spokeswoman said.

To learn more about UpSmart, visit Edgenuity’s website. A demonstration video is also available on the site.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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