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Edmentum’s Individualized Learning Solution and Our Commitment to Simple Technology

Monday, November 21, 2016 -- John Bowie

Take a moment to consider all of the forms of technology in use in the modern classroom: smartboards, iPad tablets, Chromebooks, learning management systems, online courses and assessments, digital gradebooks, social media sites, cameras, recorders, and myriads of specialized educational apps too numerous to mention. Learning to use all of this technology and the data it produces can be overwhelming. Instead of saving time as promised, too often technology consumes time—precious time educators would rather spend individualizing instruction for their students. 

At Edmentum, we are committed to making it easier for educators to individualize learning for every student. As part of this commitment, we strive to create simple technology for educators and students—technology that is intuitive and easy to use, integrated and flexible, and designed to save time. 

Creating simple technology isn’t a simple process. Complicated technology is easy to design: you just code a bunch of features and functions, slap any old user interface on top of them, write a 500-page manual explaining how to use the product, and force users to learn, adapt, and cope with the complexity you built. But, to design effective, simple technology, before writing a single line of code, you must first cultivate a deep understanding of your users’ needs, pain points, and workflows. Only then, after extensive research, is a simple solution possible.  

To simplify the user experience for Edmentum’s Individualized Learning Solution, we embarked on a year-long research project to understand the challenges faced by educators today. We observed educators in their classrooms, conducted focus groups, sent out surveys, and formed an advisory council to help us create models of instructional workflow. 

Once we thoroughly understood how we could best support the goal of educators to provide individualized instruction to their students, we got to work designing the user experience for our new solution. We created prototypes and conducted usability tests with educators and students. Based on these test results, we revised the design and tested the solution again—and repeated this process until we were certain we could offer both educators and students an intuitive and engaging experience. 

The final step in our quest for simplicity was to conduct a beta program to gather additional feedback in real-world classroom settings to further refine the user experience. The result? We believe that Edmentum’s Individualized Learning Solution provides unsurpassed support for educators who are looking for a technology partner to help them save time and meet their students’ needs, regardless of whether students are working below, on, or above grade level.  

The assessments, content, and data visualization tools in Edmentum's Individualized Learning Solution make it simple to: 

  • Identify skill gaps
  • Provide each student with an individualized learning path 
  • Track each student's progress as skills and standards are mastered 
  • Identify struggling students and take remedial action
  • Group your students by skill proficiency and develop lesson plans for each group 
  • Prepare for parent-teacher conferences with detailed reports showing how each student is progressing through skills and standards 
  • Compare your student population to norm data and measure growth over time 

At Edmentum, we recognize that powerful technology is useful only if it is easy for educators and students to learn, understand, and use. This is why we begin each project by modeling the current user experience and then asking: How can we make this experience easier? How can we save educators time? How can we make learning more impactful and engaging for students?

These are complex questions, but they lead to simple, intuitive outcomes. As E.E. Cummings wrote, “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”

Want to learn more about Edmentum’s new Individualized Learning Solution? Check out this post to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we created the program’s quality content. And, stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out how Edmentum’s Individualized Learning Solution fulfills our commitments to actionable data and customer success! Ready to get started with personalized learning in your school or district? Download our Guide to Creating Personalized Learning Plan for Your Students!