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Promoting Growth and Proficiency with a Double Dose of Learning

Promoting Growth and Proficiency with a Double Dose of Learning

The need to power student learning forward, both toward grade-level proficiency and in individual growth areas, remains a top priority in current education. Following the shutdown of many schools in 2020, conversations around unfinished learning made headlines, while pressures remained around helping students meet rigorous grade-level standards. This balancing act can be difficult. So, with a limited amount of time and resources, what’s the best way to approach this challenge?

The Universal Double-Dose Model

In the spring of 2020, our Learning Design team at Edmentum published a research paper about getting a smart start at the beginning of a new school year, where we introduced what we call a double-dose model.

What exactly does a double dose of learning entail? At Edmentum, we look at it as a way of ensuring that your students receive instruction that combines meeting individual growth needs with providing proficiency skills in the necessary areas to be successful in advancing to the next grade level. The research about unfinished learning and significant learning gaps is well-documented at this point. This means that a double-dose plan is both warranted and encouraged in order to make rapid progress in grade-level learning.

Promoting Growth and Proficiency with a Double Dose of Learning

Edmentum’s Support of the Double-Dose Model

At Edmentum, we’re fiercely committed to working with our education partners to support these types of challenges through technology. While the academic drivers have shifted between proficiency and growth over the years (check out this blog post to see how), Edmentum remains committed to providing research-based programs that align with these measurements of success. Using our standards-based practice and assessment program, Study Island, in addition to our diagnostic-driven, direct-instruction program, Exact Path, educators can rest assured that their students are receiving a two-pronged approach to their education—essentially, a double dose of learning.

Promoting Growth and Proficiency with a Double Dose of Learning

Study Island: Your Secret Weapon for Standards-Based Practice

To target proficiency, educators need to instruct all learners with content that is aligned to their rigorous grade-level standards. This is where Study Island comes in—the first dose. The first step of the double-dose method entails providing equitable access to everything a student needs to meet grade-level standards through tier 1 instruction and targeted tier 2 and tier 3 support for grade-level learning. Data from student’s practice sessions and flexible formative assessments offer insight to exactly what you need to cover to ensure that your class is actively working toward this standards mastery and that they are prepared for summative state tests. The following are a few ways you can begin utilizing Study Island for a two-pronged approach:

  • Assign independent practice to build knowledge retention and create low-stakes opportunities to apply learning
  • Create custom Built Tests as pretests or posttests that mirror standards and items on state assessments
  • Launch on-the-spot fun (and even competitive) checks for understanding after a full-class lesson with Group Sessions
  • Use formative assessment data to drive instruction, reviewing performance in aggregate or aligned to each standard

Exact Path: A Way to Promote Growth by Meeting Students on Their Level

The second dose of learning is all about meeting students where they are and providing them with tools to achieve individual growth goals. By recognizing which students aren’t performing on grade level, Exact Path supports differentiation according to their individual needs. This dose is also great for students who are performing above grade level and need additional enrichment. Check out a few ways to use Exact Path for the second dose of learning:

  • Pinpoint academic strengths and needs with adaptive, diagnostic assessments
  • Personalize instruction and practice via the learning path in an independent, self-paced environment
  • Automatically group students based on skill level
  • Cultivate a positive classroom culture with a growth mindset through interactive individual reports that reflect mastery of individual skills

Together, Study Island and Exact Path allow teachers to recognize strengths and needs and deliver data-driven instruction and practice to students. By utilizing the double-dose plan in our start smart research paper to pair these programs together, educators can ensure that growth and proficiency priorities are well balanced.

Interested in seeing how other educators are utilizing their Study Island and Exact Path accounts to promote growth and proficiency? Check out this blog post highlighting how a former Edmentum Inspiring Educator Award winner uses these two programs in tandem in her classroom!

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Brittany Becker

Brittany Becker currently serves as a Marketing Specialist at Edmentum, and has been with the company since 2016. Before her time at Edmentum, Brittany studied both Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and eventually went on to teach 4th grade in Title 1 schools. Because of her background in education, Brittany is passionate about providing educators across the United States and the world with the tools and best practices to empower their students each day in the classroom.