In Partnership with Achieving the Dream, Every Learner Everywhere Releases “Adaptive Courseware Implementation Guide” for Faculty

Second, student-centered iteration increases focus on equity

SILVER SPRING, MD Every Learner Everywhere today released a new “Adaptive Courseware Implementation Guide” to help post-secondary institutions effectively implement adaptive courseware with a particular emphasis on ensuring such efforts benefit minoritized  students. The practical resource, which is an update to the original guide released two years ago, better reflects the network’s present mission and focus, including equity and racial justice; digital courseware, learning technology, and sustainability; and evidence-based teaching in gateway courses. The guide, intended as a resource for faculty and course directors, is a collaborative resource from Every Learner in partnership with Intentional Futures (iF), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Achieving the Dream (ATD).

“When combined with quality curriculum redesign, integrating educational technologies such as adaptive courseware has the potential to transform the classroom experience, improve student success, and reduce student costs,” said Megan Tesene, Associate Director of APLU’s Personalized Learning Consortium. “Through deep engagement with four-year institutions to effectively adopt adaptive courseware, the Personalized Learning Consortium at APLU has been actively building an implementation knowledge base. This updated guide reflects the lessons learned by faculty, instructional designers, faculty support staff, and academic administrators in classrooms and across campuses.”

The 2018 version was written with only one year of data available from many of the original eight institutions that participated. The new guide provides a more complete picture, with additional depth and breadth of research-backed best practices and recommendations, as well as hands-on workbooks. Additionally, instructors will notice an expanded glossary of terms, a self-assessment tool to help them determine where their institution is in the process (along with knowledge checks to guide them), direct quotes from students, case studies based on faculty experience and data collection, a more detailed description of the design process – with an emphasis on equity, links to dozens of external resources, and more.

“We have learned a tremendous amount more since the original guide launched two years ago,” said Jessica Rowland Williams, PhD, director of Every Learner Everywhere. “Our learnings, coupled with a higher education landscape ripe for quality resources, made this the perfect time to release a second version of the Adaptive Courseware Implementation Guide.”

The resource was created for course instructors at two- and four-year institutions interested in adopting and implementing adaptive courseware. The guidance and resources are based on feedback from faculty, course designers, and project leads who have successfully implemented adaptive courseware at their institutions. While the guide is written with faculty in mind, it notes that successful adaptive courseware implementation requires a collaborative effort and is a long-term project. The guide breaks down the transition by outlining three phases – Design, Pilot, and Optimize – and identifies workstreams within each phase to guide a university’s progress and help it work toward scalability.

The guide includes findings from several ATD institutions, as well as an additional resource – a Backward Design Workbook – which was developed by ATD’s Instructional Designer Susan Adams in conjunction with input from instructional designers and technologists at Cuyahoga Community College.

“The new Every Learner Everywhere Adaptive Courseware Implementation Guide and Backwards Design Workbook are invaluable, in-depth resources for our network colleges to support their student-centered teaching and learning innovation,” said Dr. Ruanda Garth-McCullough, ATD’s Associate Director of Teaching and Learning. “This version features faculty and instructional design perspectives, centers racial equity, and highlights the need to amplify the student voice in meaningful ways. We know these elements will resonate with the ATD network and we’re proud to showcase the great work of ATD colleges in these new resources.”

“The ‘New Majority’ of higher education students are relying on us to get this right,” continued Williams. “We must be intentional in our next steps so that we can provide the personalized support that they need to succeed, and digital learning can help us do that in a way that is not only efficient and cost-effective but also equitable. Equity needs to be at the forefront of this conversation, just as you will see in the guide.”

Every Learner recently released a report, Student Speak 2020, in collaboration with GlobalMindED and the Equity Project, in which it identified the “New Majority” – often thought of as minorities – of students as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) identities; first-generation college students; students living with disabilities; rural audiences; white and poverty-affected students; and non-traditional students. The report shares minoritized student voices to illustrate that while the college model was not created with them in mind, they can succeed when given the right resources.

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Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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