itslearning is a learning platform and the purpose of our product is tosupport our customers’ educational practice.The development is inspired by proven practice, feedback from our users and our product principles. We have decided to focus on features that will improve the teaching and learning processes – and make a difference for students and teachers.The wheel is a simplified model, but it identifies important issues in the learning process. It can be viewed from both a macro and micro perspective. For example: Planning and measuring accomplishment of teaching in a semester and planning and measuring accomplishment in a single assignment.The teaching and learning processes and workflows in schools also include stakeholders other than teachers and students – such as parents, headteachers and other educational leaders. All stakeholders share a common goal: the success of the student!A major driver behind the development is user experience. The learning platform’s full potential can only be reached when all stakeholders experience the benefits of the platform, clearly see that it makes a difference in their daily work, and work together to solve any important problems and challenges.
Educational research has revealed that both teaching and learning must be visible in order to have impact for the students.“Visible learning” means that both teachers and students experience that learning takes place. When teachers see learning in the classroom, they know what works and can plan the next phase in the learning process. When students see and experience the learning, they also know what works and will hopefully use this experience in future learning. If the learning is invisible, it is hard for both teachers and students to know what’s next.It is important to collect information about each student, so that all stakeholders (including the learner) have enough information to get a clear view of the present status.Educational research reveals that involving students in the assessment processes is one key to success. Our vision is to support formative assessment and provide a wide range of tools to help students see their own learning.Information and evidence about learning is important for those related to the student – including parents, all subject teachers and headteachers. We plan to make a learner record with aggregated information about the learner and the learning. Today, much information is found in individual courses; this will be aggregated into one central place, giving stakeholders easy access to the information they need.We will also improve the ILP and workflow with options to include subject teachers.The tools we use for formative assessment will be enhanced. This includes improvements to the ILP.A new progress report was introduced last year, and it will be further enhanced.We will also create tools that makes it easier for students to assess themselves.And last, but not least, we’ll introduce a brand new tool for skill mapping.
Clear learning intentions and clear success criteria are identified as two of the most important ways to enhance learning outcome. To make learning visible, we want to help teachers and students answer two simple questions:- Where am I?- Where am I heading?When these questions are answered, teachers and students have to figure out: “How do I get there?”In order to enhance criteria-based assessment in itslearning, we plan to improve the learning objective repository in order to make it easier to measure learning in regards to the objectives. Assessment rubrics may be a tool in this process. What are assessment rubrics? A rubric is an assessment tool used to measure students' work. It is a scoring guide that seeks to evaluate a student's performance based on the sum of a full range of criteria rather than a single numerical score. A rubric is a working guide for students and teachers, usually handed out before the assignment begins in order to get students to think about the criteria on which their work will be judged.The rubrics can be used at different levels, for example at course level or on individual elements, such as assignments.Probable question: Will the learning objective library be updated with, for example, national curriculums from my country?Answer: This must be discussed with each local market. When the solution is in place, the subsidiaries/branch companies can inform their market.
Making teaching visible is also vital for a good result. Visual teaching occurs when learning is the explicit goal. If the teaching is visible for the students, they are more confident as to where they should be heading, and also know how to get there.User feedback has made us realise that the lesson planner can be made easier to use, so that’s one of the tasks this year.School hours will be added to the calendar. Why school hours in the calendar? The learning platform is not an office application. It is a school application and must relate to the school context.Last year we did quite a lot with the parent portal, and this year we’ll add more features. Most schools wants to involve the parents in the learning process, but parents need to know what the teaching is all about in order to be a helpful partner in the learning process. Our planned enhancements in the parent portal will empower parents to become important and supportive resources in the learning process.Homework and workload overview: Wedon’t have any design, butwe have identifiedsomeimportantissuesthatwewant to focus on.New tool: Reporting (see next slide).
Introduction of a new report generator will help several stakeholders to gather information about the teaching and learning.We’ll work on reporting for all stakeholders, including school management. At the moment, we are in early planning stages and we cannot say anything more specific about it.We’ll also focus on better support for analysing data from reports.As many countries need reports that conform to national standards, we’ll make sure these standards are supported.Finally, custom reports may be made as part of the itslearning pedagogical service.
This example shows how a report may look. Here we see an advanced attendance analyser, with advanced sorting possibilities and different views.
In itslearning, a lot of information is exchanged between many different participants, and it is important that this information is easily available. We are focusing on improving the information flow in the learning platform. Our goal is for users to be able to find the information they need without having to look for it.According to research, formative assessment is one of the most effective ways of achieving enhanced learning outcomes.The integration with Microsoft Live@edu will make it easier for schools or school districts to establish a secure email solution for students and staff – seamlessly integrated with itslearning. This feature is already released in beta, and will soon be released for all customers. New content blocks on dashboards will aggregate information from different parts of the learning platform, so users do not need to search for important information. This year we plan to add notifications and aggregated news content blocks (pictured on the screenshot).As mentioned in a previous slide, the parent portal will be developed further so that parents can find useful information about their children, and enable them to better support the student.We also plan to make a better solution for homework and other workloads across courses. This is closely related to the features in France and the Netherlands, called cahier de textes and klassenboek respectively.
A large part of a teacher’s workload is connected to assessment. In addition, teachers are the source of information about the students’ attendance, behaviour and attitudes. We realise that collecting this data takes up much of a teacher’s time, and so it is important for us to help teachers be efficient. Time saved in collecting and sharing data can be used on teaching and following up the students.How formalised this communication is varies, but most schools register this information and communicate it to students and teachers – either as an ongoing process or at the end of each semester.Most schools also need to store assessment data in other systems. We’ll add more export possibilities next year, including the ability to export attendance, behaviour and final assessments to different MISs.
Learning packagesplay a central role in schools, and handling learning packages is an important part of the learning platform.Schools use both self-made and external learning packages – and SCORM compliant packages are used a lot. SCORM is by now a rather old standard with obvious limitations. Development seems to be moving towards cloud-based resources and tools, and our APIs will be extended to handle this.Self-made material is getting increasingly popular, and we want to improve the sharing possibilties. The first step is to make the test tool available in the library, which means tests can be reused easier than ever before.
We gather a lot of information from our customers and users using different channels, such as beta feedback forms in itslearning, the idea portal and feedback submitted through our helpdesk. These are often minor details or errors, but in each release we update the system with corrections and enhancements to existing functionality – also known as bug fixes. A lot of the feedback concerns workflow and usability. In order for students, teachers, parents, school leaders and others to make the most of the learning platform, the user experience must be positive. User experience is all about supporting the correct processes, and making it simple to use the different tools. This means improving both the workflow and the graphical user interface. Based on feedback from our users, we know that they use a lot of self-made videos, animations and other forms of ’living images’ in order to motivate students. Our support for embedding video and animations from external vendors is already very good, and we are happy to announce that we will soon arrange for better handling of self-made content.A new standard theme is planned that will replace the current look and feel of itslearning.We recommend all of our users to provide us with feedback – both positive and negative. We get a lot of really good ideas and input from them. People can submit new ideas at: http://itslearning.accept-ideas.com
Background: Much of proven practice is described by Professor John Hattie at University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has done a large study on 800 meta-analyses of education research in the US, the UK and Australia covering more than 50,000 studies, and has used this to summarise proven practice in the field of education. Hattie’s analysis has resulted in a table of 138 different approaches to raise achievement in schools – and his main conclusion is that both teaching and learning must be visible for all stakeholders in order to have an effect. The illustration shows the front cover of his book “Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement”.As a summary of our roadmap, here is a list of measures (or factor inputs) that contribute to an increased learning outcome.The list is put together based on different sources, and the conclusion is clear: What teachers and learners do matters.
(This slide is hidden, right-click the thumbnail to unhide it)The wheel is the core of our learning platform.We can connect other services and applications to this core in order to make the best possible solution for all stakeholders in school and education. The learning platform is flexible and can be expanded.
(This slide is hidden, right-click the thumbnail to unhide it)Additional screen shot from the attendance analyser.
(This slide is hidden, right-click the thumbnail to unhide it)Additional screen shot from the attendance analyser.
Product RoadmapHelge Hannisdal, Product Director
To submit new ideas, please visit:itslearning.accept-ideas.com
Inspired by proven practice Visualise learning Visualise teaching High quality teacher-student relationship and interaction Clear learning intentions Clear success criteria Formative and summative assessment Support for a wide range of learning strategies High quality parental engagement