Copyright 2017 LTS Education Systems

A plenitude of adaptive learning technology products have become available on the market, each offering to help educators improve student learning outcomes by automatically simplifying the work of catering to individual students' learning needs. **With so many options, how do you choose the most effective adaptive learning program?**

Most adaptive learning technologies involve monitoring student learning activities, interpreting the results, understanding unique student requirements, and using the newly gained information to facilitate the learning process.

**Stride Academy's F.A.S.T. 360™ (Foundational Adaptive Skill-Building Technology) is unique and proven more effective than other adaptive programs for four reasons:** 1. F.A.S.T. 360 is **diagnostic from the very first student session.** 2. F.A.S.T. 360 **works more efficiently** than any other adaptive program.
3. F.A.S.T. 360 **unpacks each standard into foundational skills**, so intervention is fine-tuned at the skill level -- not by the overall strand for a skill, as other adaptive programs do.
4. F.A.S.T. 360 has the ability to **integrate with test results data** from third-party assessments. **Diagnostic from the very first session.**

Faster than any other adaptive product in the industry, F.A.S.T. 360 goes immediately to the core root of the issue for a student, diagnosing areas of weakness -- the exact foundational skills that need improvement -- which need to be mastered before the student can persist in more challenging work to make it up to grade level.

Other adaptive products require a considerable amount of work to be completed by the student before any scaffolding or differentiation can begin to take place. For example, many adaptive products require students to complete a lengthy diagnostic test, then review lessons on areas where they struggled, and next answer questions in those areas before deciding whether to scaffold them down one grade level in the same strand, so they can finally begin remediation. Learning time is precious, so it's incredibly important to get to the core root of a learning issue right away!

As soon as students begin answering questions in Stride Academy, F.A.S.T. 360 automatically begins monitoring a student's responses in real-time. Within several questions, the adaptive technology makes instructional decisions about a student's strengths and weaknesses at the skill level in specific content areas (reading, mathematics and science). By making instructional decisions in real-time based on student performance, learning is efficient, students experience success and are motivated to keep learning. For struggling learners, filling in the knowledge gaps and accelerating their learning is key to getting to grade level proficiency and staying there as they progress up through the grades.

**Unpacks each standard, so intervention is fine-tuned at the foundational skill level.**

In educational accountability today in the U.S., the focus is on measuring proficiency on groups of content standards that have been selected as important enough to be included on summative assessments. These specific content standards, whether Common Core (CCSS) or state standards, are typically relatively broad in their coverage. For example, consider this grade 5 standard from the CCSS in mathematics:

**Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.**

1. Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.)

If a teacher were to look at data that showed Student A did not show mastery of this content standard, he or she would have to continue to evaluate Student A to diagnose what skill(s) need remediation. Did Student A understand:

- Addition?
- Subtraction?
- Like denominators?
- Unlike denominators?
- How to add fractions with like denominators?
- How to add fractions with unlike denominators? etc.

This process of unpacking each standard to specifically identify each student's particular learning weakness is key to efficient intervention, but takes considerable teacher time. This is where the F.A.S.T. 360 adaptive engine saves valuable time for teachers.

The F.A.S.T. 360 adaptive engine automatically unpacks each standard into its foundational skills so that every student receives intervention exactly where needed. Progress through foundational skills and up to more and more complex skills supporting more rigorous content standards is driven by each student's own learning. Students move up or down the learning hierarchy to ensure that weaknesses are remediated so that students are better prepared for success in school and on state assessment.

**Easily integrate third-party test results to drive adaptive learning.**

Another key differentiator for F.A.S.T. 360 from other adaptive technologies is its ability to integrate test results from third-party assessments. The richness of this test data in identifying very specific competencies allows for a 360-degree view of the student's work, informing and guiding the adaptive process to make sure the student's learning experiences in the Stride Academy online program are efficient and will equip them for success.

**F.A.S.T. 360 Feedback Loops**

Stride Academy's "F.A.S.T. 360" Foundational Adaptive Skill-Building Technology is driven by continuous data and **feedback loops**. A feedback loop provides valuable information about each completed learning task and its consequences, then accordingly modifies instruction and recalibrates the adaptive engine for the next appropriate learning task.

**1. Learning -** Student attempts the learning task; even if he/she is wrong, learning takes place!

**2. Measurement - **Information about the learning task is captured and measured (right or wrong answer).

**3. Feedback -** Feedback that is relevant and meaningful to that learning task is delivered to the student (you answered correctly/incorrectly + an educational rationale for understanding "why").

**4. Consequence -** The information gathered illuminates the next steps in the learning process for that task.

**5. Modified Instruction -** The consequence triggers targeted instruction via video lessons and printable lessons.

**6. Recalibration -** The F.A.S.T. 360 adaptive engine re-calibrates for the next appropriate learning task, either scaffolding down to foundational skills or up to more complex content.

**Next: Individualized Intervention **