The Benefits of Piloting Exact Path Before Purchasing
The Benefits of Piloting Exact Path Before Purchasing
Second Street School, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, has been a customer of Edmentum since 2015. As the years have passed and student needs have changed, Edmentum’s Kentucky team partnered with Second Street School (SSS) and determined that Edmentum’s newest program, Exact Path (our K–8 individualized learning path tool) might be the best fit for its current needs. To ensure that Exact Path would meet SSS student-outcome goals, the school purchased a six-month pilot of Exact Path to gauge the effectiveness of the program for both its teachers and students. At Edmentum, we offer both pilots and trials—two different options to best serve our partner’s needs. How are Edmentum trials and pilots different?
Trials vs. Pilots
Edmentum trials are typically three weeks long. Educators receive access to a trial account in order to explore an Edmentum program hands-on. SSS wanted to experience Exact Path’s personalized learning pathways and reporting features with its students to gauge effectiveness. The school needed access to its own account for more than a couple of weeks to fully evaluate Exact Path and generate its own student data to make an informed decision for the following school year.
Edmentum pilots provide schools with access to Edmentum programs for their students, and the schools pay for professional services to ensure a successful implementation. Schools receive a dedicated Edmentum Consultant and both on-site and virtual training support throughout the pilot. There are check-in calls throughout the pilot to ensure that teacher and student needs are being met and that the program is effectively implemented. A key to a successful pilot program is clear communication.
Communication Is Key
- Defining Goals: If a school needs long-term data to make a decision on the effectiveness of an adaptive diagnostic assessment, then Edmentum would recommend a pilot. We begin the process by defining short- and long-term goals for the pilot program to determine how success will be measured. It’s important for us to make sure that the goals the school is hoping to achieve are in line with what our programs have to offer, and it’s equally important for us to offer the school ample time to explore our programs for themselves.
- Professional Services: Once the decision is made to pilot, we schedule a time to introduce our customers to their dedicated consultant, review goals, and schedule trainings. We work with the school on creating a plan to determine what type of program development our Professional Services team can create to ensure that our program will be the best fit based on the goals the school is hoping to achieve.
- Checking In: The check-in process doesn’t stop when training ends. It’s a best practice to schedule regular check-in calls to monitor the pilot implementation and to ensure that program goals are being met. We monitor the implementation against the program goals throughout the pilot and provide ongoing support.
After working with SSS to ensure that we could help with achieving the school’s long-term and short-term goals and after finalizing how our Professional Services team could support them through the pilot, we were poised to work toward setting up SSS for success!
We want to ensure that the schools and districts that we partner with feel like we’re right there beside them along for the ride, actively listening to their needs and goals. We appreciated Samantha Sams, rigor alignment coach, and the SSS staff members for being so willing to take time out of their busy schedules to connect with us for short, targeted, and valuable conversations to uncover their needs and work together to determine a good plan so that they could make the best use out of their Exact Path six-month pilot.
Assessing Needs and Determining Goals
After discussing the changing needs of SSS, Edmentum’s Kentucky team determined that the school was shifting away from needing a standards-based program and more toward needing a skills-based program. Teachers were wanting to view growth across students on a tiered-intervention program, and Exact Path fit the need perfectly.
When students log in to Exact Path, they’re prompted to take a placement test so that the program can then create a specific personalized learning path for each student based on the answers. Teachers can view reports on each student to efficiently pinpoint areas where students are struggling and to determine if they’re working below, above, or on grade level. SSS’ main goal was for teachers to be able to tell quickly if the students in need of intervention were falling behind and, if so, in what area so that they could take immediate and informed steps to help students get back on track.
Continuing a Partnership
During the six months that SSS utilized the Exact Path pilot, teachers were able to see growth, as well as movement, across students. We discovered areas of focus to improve the Exact Path experience for students:
- Emphasizing progress checkpoints throughout the learning paths to ensure that students are understanding the lessons
- Setting up challenges with the students for added student motivation and for teachers to have more of a hands-on role with the program
We are confident that the new enhancements we made to Exact Path and additional teacher training will contribute to greater results this school year. In the meantime, Edmentum’s Kentucky team is committed to continue partnering to actively listen and respond to Second Street School’s overall goals (as well as individual educator goals) to come up with a consistent and long-term plan for success so that the school can continue achieving its goals year after year.
For more information about the benefits of piloting Edmentum programs, take a look at this blog post!