Without a doubt, implementing personalized learning programs powered by a digital curriculum requires technology such as hardware, software and the digital curriculum itself. While these are essential components of personalized learning programs, they are simply tools. Tools alone will not meet or support your school’s or district’s needs.
Introducing a digital curriculum into the learning environment can be complex, and this change requires time for educators to develop the skills and competencies necessary for quality adoption. For this reason, a well-devised implementation strategy is critical to launching, evaluating and sustaining a successful personalized learning program. A well-designed strategy:
- Creates a clear vision and establishes conditions for success
- Ensures key decisions that impact teaching and learning are defined with academic goals in mind
- Aids in driving buy-in and support from faculty and community stakeholders
- Establishes a timeline for rolling out the program(s)
- Ensures factors that require advance planning are considered, such as master schedule changes, staffing needs, technology requirements, funding, and ongoing professional development
Build Your Implementation Strategy
Most schools and districts follow a four-stage implementation cycle. These stages are continuous since maintaining successful programs requires monitoring and evaluation for continuous improvement. At the end of each term, plan to implement improvements that will contribute to the ongoing success of the program and improved student outcomes.
Stage 1: Plan: Identify goals and design the instructional model.
Prior to implementation, identify specific problems the program(s) will solve. For example, many students are unprepared for Algebra I, leading to a high Algebra I failure rate. Digital curriculum can be leveraged by teachers to increase Algebra I readiness and course passage by identifying individual learning gaps and providing adaptive remediation of the prerequisite concepts necessary for success. After clearly defining the problem the program will solve, determine how digital curriculum will be integrated with traditional instruction. Involve both administrators and teachers in this process, and allow teachers to preview the curriculum to explore units of instruction and to validate its rigor and quality.
When you’ve outlined your vision and goals, create an implementation plan with a timeline and a breakdown of resources needed to execute the program successfully.
Stage 2: Prepare: Communicate the vision and gather resources.
Prior to launch, it is important to clearly communicate with all stakeholders so that everyone understands why you are implementing the program and how it will directly address the academic challenges you’re facing to positively impact student outcomes. There is a lot to consider at this stage, from finalizing the master schedule to identifying and providing initial training for staff to fulfilling technology needs. Communicate program guidelines, staff roles and responsibilities, student participation requirements, and the metrics you plan to track in order to measure program impact.
Stage 3: Develop: Expand instructional and administrative expertise and explore best practices.
Upon initial launch, orient students to program policies and procedures and to explain how they will use the digital curriculum to meet their goals. During this stage, participating staff with regular access to the digital curriculum benefit from additional in-classroom coaching and opportunities to meet regularly and share best practices. Evaluate progress and performance often during these meetings to understand what’s working, what’s not and how the program is advancing toward stated goals.
Stage 4: Evaluate: Assess success and chart a path to further improve results.
The goals and evaluation metrics you established in Stage 1 are essential to evaluating program success. Consider ways you can improve after reviewing performance metrics and talking to teachers to gather input about issues they’ve faced and how they’ve resolved them.
Download our infographic for a step-by-step look at our four-stage implementation strategy.
Implementation Success Management from Apex Learning
Apex Learning is committed to helping schools and districts ensure the success of their digital curriculum programs. We offer services and professional development workshops aligned with each stage of our four-stage implementation strategy. All of our implementation services are coordinated by our Implementation Success Managers. These experts are committed to helping you build and execute thoughtful implementation strategies that will ensure the ongoing success of our digital curriculum.