It's the ultimate balancing act: Educators want to meet the unique needs of their students but have limited time and high-quality resources. Manually connecting assessment data to instructional content is a great way to personalize learning, but it is often time-consuming and difficult. I sat down with NWEA CEO Chris Minnich to learn more about what NWEA is doing to alleviate this common pain point for educators.
What have teachers shared with you about the challenges around differentiation?
We've heard from our partners about some of the challenges they face after an assessment is over. They say things like, "We took MAP Growth. We have this great information, but how can we connect it to what we teach in the classroom?" Our assessment data is most useful when educators can implement those next steps with ease. To tackle this issue, we knew the solution had to be reliable, flexible, and easy to implement in the classroom.
We joined forces with Khan Academy to develop MAP® Accelerator™, a tool for grades 3–8 that seamlessly connects MAP® Growth™ data to personalized learning pathways with Khan Academy math content. It simplifies differentiation so teachers can help students at every level make learning gains in math.
How will this tool help teachers personalize learning?
A viable solution to this issue needs to be teacher-forward and teacher-driven. As we speak, classroom teachers are doing the manual work of connecting assessment data to curriculum content. We recognize that this commitment, while important, may infringe on valuable instructional time. MAP Accelerator solves this by quickly generating personalized pathways for each student based on their MAP Growth results.
Also, great technology can't replace a great teacher. Full stop. High-quality solutions should enhance the classroom experience, not replace it. That's why teachers have maximum flexibility on where and how to implement MAP Accelerator in their classrooms. They can also adjust goals or pathways as students learn new concepts.
And how about students? How will the solution improve their classroom experience?
Students will be able to practice new skills and concepts with content that is customized to be in their zone of proximal development: not too easy, not too frustrating. They can drive their own learning with personalized goals and celebrations of progress along the way.
What's the value in having a partner for this work?
Khan Academy is really a natural partner for us. Both of our organizations are trusted not-for-profits driven by a shared mission to help students, teachers, and districts succeed. Our partnership helps teachers make better decisions about the next instructional step for every student by connecting MAP Growth results with personalized Khan Academy resources.
What excites you about this work, and solving this problem in particular?
Saving teachers time, keeping them in the driver's seat, and helping kids grow. It's always all about the kids.
To learn more about MAP Accelerator, visit nwea.org/map-accelerator.