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Tips & Strategies for Mitigating Skill Gaps This Spring with Exact Path

Tips & Strategies for Mitigating Skill Gaps This Spring with Exact Path

In a recent live webinar, we dug deep into Mitigating Skill Gaps This Spring with Exact Path. If you listen in, you’ll hear that: “It’s never too late to start something great” became our battle cry for this session, as we explored the what, how, and why behind kickstarting a spring implementation in our K–12, diagnostic-driven, individualized learning program. Check out a few of the key takeaways that are perfect for those considering Exact Path for the spring semester, piloting our program, or kicking an existing implementation into high gear.

Foundational Features & Their Role in Spring Success
  1. Diagnostic: Our adaptive diagnostic assessments identify specific skill gaps that students may have in order to determine both the floor and the ceiling of where each learner’s needs may lie. During a year where the collective teaching focus has shifted to mitigating learning gaps and clawing back the COVID-19 slide, beginning a new semester with a mechanism to uncover where those gaps lie is the perfect place to start.

  2. Learning Path: In Exact Path, students receive an automated, individualized learning path based on their diagnostic assessment score (we can also generate learning paths using NWEA® MAP® or Renaissance Star® data). No two students’ learning paths will be alike, which is part of the beauty of our program, as every student requires something a little bit different. With this last semester in the school year, focus on shoring up the right foundation for students so that they can move forward and accelerate into grade-level content and beyond successfully.

  3. Reporting: Our interactive data views and exportable reports focus on both the assessment and learning path. Assessment reporting is all about getting students to “show what you know,” providing educators with a benchmark scale score and growth data as the academic year moves forward. Reporting on specific details on grade-level readiness within subject domains also becomes a powerful tool for organizing larger-scale intervention to design a successful final push before time runs out on this school year. For day-to-day check ins with students, using learning path data enables rich, student-centered conferencing that aligns to the exact moments where students may be struggling and need additional help.
Key Considerations for a Spring Start

Do you know if your approach from the fall is working?
The prior semester challenged so many educators to explore different learning models and tools, with constant pivots being required along the way. Undoubtedly, those disruptions affected the learning experience for students. Make sure that you have a benchmark data point that identifies each student’s needs and the tools to make real strides beginning right now, with more than enough time left to drive real growth.

What will summer school needs look like this year?
It may feel far away now, but summer school is inching closer and, with it, so is the need to gather insights that will inform program design, the number of students served, and the depth of their needs. Setting up a successful tool that can support a continuous and targeted learning program this summer will allow for even bigger gains. Put in the legwork now on roll out, and you’ll be prepped for a seamless shift into summer learning.

Lessons Learned from the Fall to Apply This Spring
  • Virtual learning calls into question the validity of any testing experience at home—what can be done?
    If parents or family members have become key administrators in the testing process, make sure that they have access to our Exact Path Diagnostic Administration Guide for Parents. After all, an overinflated assessment score fuels an inaccurate learning path that will feel too difficult to students.

  • Instructional time is in short supply (particularly this school year), but the list of skills that need to be covered and recovered is long—how can I broach this problem?
    Exact Path reporting will break down each domain and skill to tell you which students are ready to learn, which are struggling, which are practicing, which have mastered the skill, and which have assessed above, each and every one. Reporting becomes your snapshot to inform quick, data-driven decisions about what skills require intentional instruction versus which ones could be spiraled through in smaller ways.

  • Engagement this school year has been tough—what strategies can be employed to keep students on track this spring?
    Start by monitoring time-on-task closely and looking for disconnects between how long students are logged on and the activity that’s taking place during that time. Additionally, check out printable student and class trackers (found in Step 5 our guide on how to build and run effective contests) that you can align to mastery goals and challenges that you can customize for your students to inspire learning.

These strategies just scratch the surface of the richness recently explored in our Mitigating Skill Gaps This Spring with Exact Path webinar! Catch the on-demand recording to see these insights (and more) in action, as we shine a spotlight on the key features and functionality within Exact Path that are sure to inspire meaningful spring implementations.

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.