IMS Global Announces 2013 Learning Impact Report
e-Texts and Adaptive Learning Leading the Way to an Emerging World of Educational Apps
Lake Mary, Florida, USA - October 16, 2013 - The IMS Global Learning Consortium released today the 2013 Learning Impact Report to help educational authorities identify impactful projects and potentially repeatable implementations of educational technology to achieve institutional goals, such as increasing access, creating personalized learning environments, improving student engagement, or improving student success.
The Learning Impact Report is based on the analysis of the top technology projects that won medals in the 2013 Learning Impact Awards competition. The Learning Impact Awards (LIAs) created in 2007 by IMS Global is the only global awards program that recognizes the effective use of technology in context to support and improve learning based on evidence of impact. Through analysis of the 2013 LIA winners, as well as the cumulative history of previous winners, this report is intended to help institutional leaders determine whether their institution, district or state has considered a wide range of potentially impactful technology innovations.
“The fundamental question at the bottom of the Learning Impact Awards since 2007 is what are the sustainable innovations coming down the pike that institutions and states should be prepared to take advantage of?” said Rob Abel, Chief Executive Officer of IMS Global. “Whether an innovation is sustainable or not is a difficult thing to predict, but the LIA process provides a framework that enables thinking through the key issues.”
The 2013 Learning Impact Report recognizes the continued growth of the adaptive learning applications market, namely online homework, adaptive tutors, and adaptive assessment systems as an investment with high impact and straightforward implementation. The 2013 LIA awards in this area featured Hawkes Learning Systems (implemented at Greenville Technical College) as an example of a highly effective adaptive learning product for developmental math, Smart Sparrow (implemented at University of South Wales) as an extremely innovative product for authoring adaptive content, and Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) promising new product in R&D phase that pre-assesses English-language learners in order to choose the most effective learning path.
Another trend observed from the analysis of the winning projects is that e-texts are beginning to show signs of enabling viable strategies for institutional-level digital content adoption as evidenced by three 2013 LIA winners. Coursesmart showed that e-text providers can and will provide useful analytics data, something that textbooks cannot provide. Courseload is partnering with Indiana University and other institutions to enable e-text/e-content alternatives with sophisticated features that are lower cost than textbooks. The Korea Education & Research Information Service (KERIS) demonstrated an interoperable advanced e-text format via a combination of ePub3 and IMS standards, which addresses the critical problem of cross-platform compatibility for e-texts.
Trends over the last few years have confirmed that there is large payoff to projects that IMS has been tracking now for over seven years and has termed Digital Learning Networks (DLN). These DLNs are generally a scalable and flexible portal platform from which a wide variety of learning applications and digital resources can be accessed across a set of connected institutions. DLN projects are continuing to take hold in school districts/local K-12 authorities, and there is increasing interest at the state educational authority level. Implementation of these DLNs is becoming easier due to more sophisticated digital content management or learning object repositories (LORs). One such example in the U.S. is at Forsyth County Public Schools in partnership with the K-12 highly penetrated SAFARI Montage product. Education Services Australia provided a novel entry that combined the power of a Digital Learning Network (DLN) with adaptive learning by offering a DLN featuring diverse assessment content with a DLN repository of digital learning objects.
One interesting observation of the award winners is that blended learning optimization, outcomes-based learning and pathways for student success are slowly evolving, albeit not as sexy as MOOCs, but appear to be a lot more impactful. While MOOCs may have potential to improve access and affordability, there is not significant evidence that MOOCs have improved student outcomes over previously deployed (smaller scale) online programs. What’s more, to address the “leaks in the educational pipeline” new models for education are required as opposed to massive versions of models that have not worked for underserved students. The 2013 LIA finalists included such breakthrough entries from Nisai Virtual Academy, Victoria University and Charles Darwin University.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Learning Impact Awards competition. All global submissions are due by December 31, 2013. Nominations for the 2014 Learning Impact Awards can be submitted at http://www.imsglobal.org/learningimpact2014/awards.html.
About IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global)
IMS Global is a nonprofit organization that advances technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment. IMS members are leading suppliers, institutions and government organizations that are enabling the future of education by collaborating on interoperability and adoption initiatives. IMS sponsors Learning Impact: A global awards program & conference to recognize the impact of innovative technology on educational access, affordability, and quality. For more information visit imsglobal.org.