Ahrash Bissell's EdReady Reflections at Year One
April 8, 2015 at 7:32 am #1049
April 1, 2015 marked exactly one year since we publicly launched EdReady, our platform for personalized learning and college readiness. It seems like a good time to reflect on the journey thus far.
EdReady, like any new product, took several years to plan and develop, and had by then been pilot tested for nearly a year. So we were definitely (Ed)ready for our members to try it out and help us learn what impact we can make. Nonetheless, the public launch marked a significant transition, away from rapid development and towards awareness-building, adoption, and troubleshooting. We got out of the launch gate with a bang and it does not feel like it has let up since.
Soon after launch, we realized that there were a number of additional administrative features and functions that would be critical for any larger-scale rollouts. We knew we had to learn many of these things on the fly, but the pace of uptake and experimentation exceeded our expectations and we found ourselves scrambling to keep up with the necessary improvements to support such a diversity of implementations. Just a few months in, we already had EdReady being used in middle schools, high schools, higher education (both community and four-year colleges), and adult education centers. We had EdReady being used in fully online programs, brick-and-mortar classrooms, and everything in between. We had EdReady targeting struggling students, advanced students, and students that are right on pace, all of whom benefitted from the personalized-learning approach and differentiation afforded by the EdReady platform. And we had teachers and administrators at many different institutions re-thinking their notions of “readiness,” considering how EdReady can help them to implement competency-based models, co-requisite approaches, accelerated dev math programs, and pathways to success.
In short, our hope that EdReady could be customized to meet a variety of institutional contexts seems to have been fulfilled in spades. And new approaches continue to emerge every week.
In our original concept documents for EdReady, we wrote of our distaste for the word “remedial,” which implies some sort of universal deficiency for students so-labeled. In our view, no one is remedial, just as no one is perfectly prepared. Everyone has goals, and everyone is some distance from those goals. All we need to know is how far away they are and exactly what gaps there might be. Eliminating the remedial construct can radically alter our current programs and processes to focus more squarely on student learning and long-term success, as opposed to simply jumping through hoops like placement exams. It may be some time before we really see this shift in practices, and for now EdReady is doing a great job helping students to jump through those placement hoops more successfully. But where we might have once questioned whether we will succeed, we are now wondering how long it will take.
It has only been a year. Patience is hard to come by. But we are learning more every day, improving EdReady with the help of our members and users who are banging it, stretching it, and honoring our collective work with their efforts. It would surprise me if EdReady did not fail in some situations. It would surprise me even more if we did not learn from those failures and find ways to overcome or work around them, improving EdReady and learning outcomes all along the way. Are we making a positive difference in student success? Undoubtedly. Can we do even more? Clearly. The EdReady train has barely left the station and I, for one, could not be more excited to see where we go from here.
April 9, 2015 at 10:22 am #1054
Nice Summary – glad to see and know how far EdReady has gone in just one year. I would love to know the plans for future enhancements of this great tool.
April 15, 2015 at 10:21 am #1074
Congratulations. You’ve kept pace with all of our requests from JSU, AL and helped make our roll-out as successful as it has been. Thanks for the vision to launch EdReady and the awesome support.
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