Last week, DreamBox Learning announced the release of a new feature for its award winning K-8 Math curriculum. The new feature, AssignFocus™, takes a single assignment request from a teacher and automatically generates individual, personalized lessons for each student based on their needs.
How is that possible?
Even before the release of AssignFocus™, DreamBox Learning’s Math program included powerful assessment and reporting technology that provided teachers with a complete picture of student progress and proficiency. According to DreamBox, “the same continuous formative assessment that delivers personalization of path, pace and sequence for every learner also captures the instructional insights and learning data needed to make informed decisions about instruction and instructional programming.”
Now DreamBox is using the data to inform its own instructional programming. With AssignFocus™, DreamBox has built an internal feedback loop into its curriculum by leveraging the student progress and proficiency data it collects to generate lessons that are uniquely matched to each student’s level. Now, not only is DreamBox providing teachers with the ability to understand what students have done and where they are at, but it helps determine what comes next.
How does it work?
AssignFocus™ enables teachers to instantly create individually supported assignments. Teachers choose the applicable math topic or standard, which links to students’ real time data relative to the selected topic. Student’s names and progress levels are displayed and they are grouped into one of three categories based on their progress: Not Started (if they’ve not completed any lessons pertaining to the topic or standard), In Progress or Proficient. Teachers then can elect to create lessons for whole groups or student-by-student and DreamBox will personalize learning by sending different lessons on the same topic to each student.
A student who hadn’t started any work relative to the focus area will receive a lesson geared towards early introduction to the topic. A student “in progress” will receive the next lesson in the unit and a student who is already proficient will receive a review assignment for an advanced lesson in the unit.
Furthermore, because DreamBox uses formative assessment, AssignFocus™ can also differentiate lessons based on how well students perform in the first lesson of a new unit. Based on their performance, teachers can opt to provide lessons that prepare them for the next unit, give homework assignments or require review for an upcoming assessment.
Why is it awesome?
Because AssignFocus® keeps students’ math work appropriately linked to their place, path, pace and potential, it encourages them to understand and believe that they are good at math, which increases the likelihood that they enjoy it and promotes the desire to continue pursuing the development of math skills. As noted in our April 13th edition of EdTech 10 (check out the number two slot!), personalized math technologies such as AssignFocus™ have the power to help change students’ mindsets around their math abilities and positively impact their future.
For more on personalized learning or the importance of math skills, check out:
- What Is Personalized Learning?
- Defining and Differentiating Personalized Learning, Blended Learning and Competency Education
- “With Math I Can” – Changing Our Mindsets About Math
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