A MasteryConnect Case Study: K–12
Strengthening Virtual Instruction With MasteryConnect
Educators at Epic Charter Schools adopted MasteryConnect in 2019 to fuel teacher collaboration and track student growth with common formative assessments. With MasteryConnect, educators at Epic have been able to frequently evaluate their own instruction and make timely decisions that positively impact learning—all while providing students with the flexibility to take assessments wherever they are, on any device. Keep reading to see how this online school system is using MasteryConnect to facilitate data-driven instruction and find common ground in virtual classrooms.
As the third-largest public school in the state of Oklahoma, Epic Charter School was founded with the mission to “fulfill every student’s individual potential by personalizing an educational plan.” For the 1200 teachers at Epic, ensuring students receive a personalized approach to blended learning is a top priority. To achieve this, teachers pair online learning with one-on-one instruction, allowing students to learn at their own pace.
With a blended online learning model, teachers at Epic needed an assessment management system that would allow them to create common formative assessments that could be delivered to all student devices and help provide insight into student learning at all levels.
Epic selected MasteryConnect, part of the Canvas Learning Management Platform, as its assessment and curriculum solution. In many ways, teachers at Epic view assessment as the beginning of the learning process, rather than the end. Once teachers have a clear understanding of what their students know, they identify resources for remediation efforts to ensure students can study, practice, and achieve mastery at their own pace.
With standards-based data at their fingertips, teachers at Epic can frequently evaluate their own instruction and make timely decisions that positively impact learning. In addition to fueling teacher collaboration, MasteryConnect provides a flexible assessment model to capture evidence of learning wherever students are.
“It’s important to have an online assessment platform because students can access it wherever they are. If they have a smartphone, iPad, laptop, or desktop, they can take the assessment. It’s a great model for Epic in general, but has been especially useful during coronavirus.” Robert Lowery, Epic Charter Schools Instructional Coach Team Lead
Implemented in August 2019, teachers at Epic began using data collected through MasteryConnect to target students for interventions setting up a study program called Epic Live. Here, teachers assign students into small study groups that can meet in person or online. Each group's membership stays the same, but because each teacher teaches all subjects for all grades, the person teaching the lesson can change day-to-day.
To create a sense of consistency in an ever-changing virtual classroom, teachers at Epic follow this instructional process, regardless of subject or grade level:
Teach Standard → Deliver Assessment → Evaluate Data in Mastery Tracker → Use Data to Drive Instruction
By using the common assessment creation and sharing feature in MasteryConnect, Epic’s teachers aren't reinventing the wheel each time they build and deliver an assessment.
To make it easier for them to share resources, establish consistency, and simplify assessment creation and evaluation, teachers used the following MasteryConnect tools:
With MasteryConnect Resource Pins, teachers can find and upload resources that have been aligned to both state and Common Core standards and pin them directly to a playlist that they can share with students, or to a Curriculum Map that they can share with other teachers. Epic has created over 2,400 resource pins through its own internal state-standards-aligned resources and third-party content, allowing teachers to share individualized content with students and keep all shared standards-aligned resources in one place.
The Mastery Tracker allows teachers to view and evaluate assessment data by standard in an intuitive, visual way. Once student assessment data is in the Mastery Tracker, any teacher can see the assessment data and gain valuable insight into what the students know and don’t know. This feature allows Epic to collaborate around common data, compare data across standards, and track mastery over time.
Since implementing MasteryConnect, Epic is seeing positive results from its efforts. Leaders and teachers at Epic feel strongly about the support and flexibility MasteryConnect can provide its students.
In the first year of using MasteryConnect...
- 3,600+ Formative Assessments Were Created
- 72,700+ Formative Assessments Were Given
- 800,000+ Standards were Scored on Benchmarks
Delivering common assessments has made way for enriching data discussions among teacher teams. By delivering the same assessment across subject and grade levels, teachers are able to evaluate their own efficacy and adjust instruction when it will have the greatest impact on student growth.
After experiencing meaningful results in Oklahoma, Lowery is now creating a plan for expansion in the California Epic Charter School system.
“Building those formative assessments has really helped us identify areas that students need to work on,” concludes Lowery, “It helps drive the instruction for our teachers to help students achieve remediation and mastery. MasteryConnect has helped us look at standards, identify what our students know and don’t know, and adjust as necessary.”
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