Why we still don’t know our learners

We’re only capturing 10% of the learning data out there.

You know there is a side of the moon that can not be seen from earth? It took going there to see the other side- until then it was a mystery.

In the same way, there’s a whole side of the student’s learning experience that we can’t see. Schools and districts attempting to understand their learners are missing a large facets of their learner’s experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Why is this? Why don’t we understand our learners like we should?

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Differences between an LMS and LRS

What are the differences between an LMS and LRS? Do you need both? What can and can’t each piece do?

We’ve compiled below a list of capabilities of an LMS. This is to illustrate the point that the LRS will not, and is not intended to, replace the LMS. The LRS simply stores all of the learning data as a component of an LMS.

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3 reasons education needs an LRS

Education needs an LRS. Here are three reasons why

We have a very rudimentary understanding of how our students and teachers actually learn.

We can’t tell how and when they are learning or what their preferred learning style is. We can barely even see our learners data without (practically) begging for it.

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Data driven observation tools give you a clearer picture of your classroom.

Most classroom observation tools are not based on data. ClassGather, a data driven observation tool, gives you a clear picture of what is happening in your classroom.

Based on Dr. John Tenny’s whitepaper Observation Checklists vs. Observation Data

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All professions have a system that measures performance. Employees establish measurable goals and document progress toward attaining those goals. Throughout the process, employees most likely meet with their supervisor to discuss progress and determine if change is necessary.

In education, a Professional Growth Plan (PGP) is equivalent to this in the business industry. Teachers use student and performance data from the year prior to establish goals for improvement in the current school year. After the PGP is approved, an administrator will conduct classroom walkthrough observations which are informal as well as district required observations which are formal as part of the performance evaluation system.

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How xAPI will change K12 education forever

A Learning Record Store, powered by xAPI  is the vehicle to the land of personalized learning in K-12 education

This post was originally published on February 4th, 2016 and we are repurposing it here. We’ve revised it to fit in with our discussions about how xAPI technology can be used with a Learning Record Store. 

So that title is…bold to say the least. But the use of a Learning Record Store (LRS) that has xAPI powering it has the ability to give administrators reporting and analysis capabilities never before seen in education.

It will also give learners (students and teachers) the best chance at success.

But let’s back up just a bit…

First, just what is xAPI?

xAPI is a new e-learning software specification that allows content and learning systems (i.e. LMS) to speak to each other in a manner that records and tracks all kids of learning experiences.

What does xAPI do?

We’ve been going on, for a few days, about how powerful the use of a LRS can be for education. xAPI is the engine that gives the LRS it’s power. Check out a few of it’s capabilities and benefits:

  • Capture formal and informal learning experiences
    • xAPI allows teachers to break down barriers. Learners can be assigned work outside of an LMS and the activity is still recorded.
  • Better, more robust reporting
    • It allows administrators to analyze the performance of content, tools, and apps to gauge effectiveness. Those reports can then be used to adapt each learners experience to the way they learn best (i.e. personalized learning)
  • Interoperability
    • xAPI communicates with more than just eLearning courses. It’s flexible allowing an LMS and LRS to communicate with courses, knowledge bases, document management systems, helpdesks, games, social media, eBooks, and more!
  • Invisible
    • It works behind the scenes within the LMS to collect data on the formal and informal learning activities and then store them seamlessly in the LRS.

This is definition of game-changing.

Using the xAPI learning specification to capture a learners formal and informal learning experiences and funneling that data into the LRS; teachers, administrators and stakeholders can obtain a much more complete picture of that learner.

With that complete picture of the learner in front of them those same teachers, administrators and stakeholders can then craft and/or adapt a learners experience to best match their skills and learning styles within the learning management system.

The use of xAPI technology and an LRS within an existing LMS or as a standalone product will completely transform the way we do education.

The demand has been there for quite sometime. Now we have the technology to meet and satisfy that demand for K-12 education.

Come and join us.

 

Why have a Learning Record Store?

You know what a Learning Record Store is but why do you need one?

learning record store

That’s a quote from an outstanding blog post by the good people over at Learning Locker where they explain why a company or organization would need a Learning Record Store (LRS).

It’s a broad and basic quote for sure but, in our minds, is extremely applicable within the context of education.

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Thrivist and the Learning Record Store

Why Thrivist exists and how the Learning Record Store supports our mission

Today’s education market demands technology that is easy-to-use, intuitive, adapts to an individual’s learning style and creates actionable insights from the data collected.

Adaptive learning and actionable insights from data, we feel, are what is currently missing in education solutions today. There isn’t anyone in K-12 education working to solve those two problems.

Thrivist exists to solve those two problems.

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How ESSA supports personalized learning

What is the link between ESSA and personalized learning?

essa and personalized learning

A while back we came across a great webinar put out by the good people at iNACOL about the link between ESSA and personalized learning. Obviously we were keen to check out how the new education law would support the increased personalization of learning.

Here’s what we found out:

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