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5 Things to Look for in a Curriculum Provider to Address Learning Gaps

5 Things to Look for in a Curriculum Provider to Address Learning Gaps

Now more than ever, partnering with the right curriculum provider is critical to your students’ success. It’s critical to find a partner that not only can help identify your learners’ unique needs but also provide educators with the right tools to properly address student learning gaps.

However, not all providers are the same, especially in the race to bring resources to the market to support district needs. To help every student progress toward grade-level expectations, your digital curriculum provider should fulfill the following requirements to address and accelerate learning recovery in your school district.

1. Efficient identification of critical learning gaps

Most mandated state and federal testing was paused during the outset of the pandemic, which reinforced many educators’ beliefs that equity gaps in learning limit the value of the tests. A panel of experts from the Center on Reinventing Public Education suggested, “The priority should be on assessments closest to classroom instruction that help teachers know what to do next.”

Most traditional, long-form placement tests from digital curriculum providers establish a grade-level equivalent for a student without alerting districts to identify potential learning problems. Alternately, short, skill-focused pretests should help to quickly identify skill gaps that teachers can immediately address. This focused, topic-by-topic approach helps teachers know exactly where each student is before beginning instruction.

2. Prerequisite skills instruction tied to grade-level goals

Look for curriculum partners that pave learning paths focused on the most critical prerequisite skills for grade-level success. Too often, struggling students are dropped down to lower levels of educational content that never expose them to on-grade skills. Tutorials help teachers employ remediation strategies targeted specifically to the needs of students, which are immediately followed by grade-level instruction so that they can apply what they’ve learned.

With this pragmatic approach, teachers can help accelerate their students’ learning and progress more quickly.

3. Interactivity

Students will quickly tune out if the curriculum doesn’t capture their attention. Students should not just “sit and get” as they would with passive video content. They need to continuously interact with the content and apply what they are learning to build context and connections.

Bite-sized chunks of instruction; a wealth of embedded scaffolds and support; and formative, answer-specific feedback create captivating environments that engage, educate, and entertain students to maximize outcomes. In fact, Michigan State University found that when the right subject matter and interactive elements are in place, online learning is just as effective as face-to-face learning.

4. Data and flexibility to make educators’ lives easier

Teachers play an essential role in identifying learning gaps, but technology barriers may obstruct their line of sight. Multiple educational platforms, requisite proprietary hardware, and a lack of integration between systems mean that educators are devoting more time to administrative duties and less time to lesson plans.

Digital instruction should build on what educators are teaching in the classroom and provide them with real-time, actionable data regarding the progress and performance of each student. And when their district adopts a digital ecosystem in which all curriculum platforms seamlessly communicate with one another, aggregated data are even richer and more accessible.

5. Proof that the solution works

Digital curriculum providers can say their solutions are successful, but a true educational partner will deliver research-based proof that their curriculum empowers students and elevates their learning. When vetting providers, ask for third-party efficacy studies that compare the success of students who used the program to those who didn’t. Potential partners should also be able to provide student growth and progress data based on high-stakes assessments.

Apex Learning Tutorials lead the industry in filling learning gaps and accelerating students forward. Apex Tutorials are intentionally designed to meet students where they are and deliver “just right” digital instruction that gets and keeps them on track.

Check out this blog post to see five ways that Apex Learning Tutorials by Edmentum, our modular instruction and targeted remediation program, can help prepare students for grade-level success and meet summer learning goals.

Edmentum Team's picture
Edmentum Team

This blog was written in collaboration with multiple Edmentum team members.