How I Use It
At our school, some classes are set up for individual learning plans (ILPs). In those class periods we have a several students using different tools to help learn all subjects from Algebra through Calculus. When we were preparing to help our students who were in need of support to pass the Smarter Balanced Assessment, we wanted to create an opportunity for students to do so independently at a pace that worked for them. It also needed to be available for students to receive support at home when they were learning outside of the classroom.
Last year we ran a teacher led class specifically designed for Smarter Balance Prep, it was successful as 95% of the students who took the class passed the SBA in the Spring. I wanted to make this class available as an option for students who did not pass the Spring SBA and did not take the prep course last year. I also wanted it to be available for students when they began this school year before retakes in November. I decided to use Khan Academy as the platform to creating this opportunity to occur for equal accessibility and visibility for both the student and myself as the teacher. I wanted this ILP course to be set up for my students to complete the assignments and practice in a timely manner, but with the ability to connect for support with a teacher inside or outside of the classroom.
I was able to set myself up as the "coach" for the class seeing the overall progress of my students as they made their way through the assignments. We set up a mastery level of passing the exercises at 80% or better, as we do at our "School of Choice". The students had the opportunities to go back to make repairs, watch more videos, or ask for support and help from me or their peer tutors during our class period. It was close to having a hybrid style of class. After checking in for support and additional clarification from a teacher or a peer, as well as gaining additional more practice, the students were able to go back in and make corrections to their practice or retake the exercises prompts in order to earn a Mastery Level of 80% or better.
It took some time for me to go through the SBA crosswalk (more than 15 minutes) to find the Common Core Standards that were going to be measured on the SBA, but it was simple to search for those standards word-for-word in Khan Academy when finding support and supplemental assignments for the class. Khan provided many options for me to select from to assign for the ILP class. I broke the SBA down into 9 weeks of material to learn. I was able to assign the material in the order I thought appropriate building up my students skills regardless of grade level or previous math experience.
It just takes some time to set up initially. After the set up it can be used over and over again. You can also make changes as you see fit or as the standards change. Also there are some standards that they do not have specific support for, so you may need to look it up through another way using the concepts or the procedures. It may also be not specific enough in some situations.
I really believe that Khan Academy is a great resource for students regardless if they are in an independent learning plan or in a teacher led course. Teachers can select these videos and practice exercises as supplementary material in their teacher led courses. Yes, it takes time, but it is helpful to have these available for students who maybe miss a class day or are someone who needs another way to learn the material and most importantly have the opportunity to apply the material to practice exercises or assessments. The teacher has the opportunity to select what each individual student may need support in.
My students who completed the ILP class with the support study material from Khan enjoyed that they were able to go at their own pace. They liked that they could connect with me when they were stuck on material outside of the classroom, but they also said they went back to watch the videos when they were really stuck. Their performances on the the SBA retake were much better, all achieving a higher score than last Spring.
I believe using Khan has been extremely helpful for my students. For those Independent Learning Plan students in Algebra through Calculus, I have selected videos and practice from Khan Academy for those students and made a class for each subject. Students will have the opportunity then to quickly select those videos based on the topic/concept/procedure that they made needed additional clarification. As a coach I can see what students are investigating on their own and connect with them regarding those topics when we are in class again together.
In my end of course reflection 88% of my students reference that they have used Khan Academy as a support material during their time in math. I encourage students to utilize the support material I have found for them and to share with me any material they find on Khan they find to be helpful for themselves. I am then able to add those materials to my Khan Academy Course and Schoology Resources.
It is not a perfect system and does take a bit to find what works best for you. I had some struggles at first when creating the course adding students in an efficient manner. I believe it just takes more than a short period of time to really get into this as an option for your students, but after finding out what works for you, it becomes a breeze to operate. Students seem to catch on to this option quickly as well, they sometimes teach me a thing or two regarding Khan Academy.