Instructure Unveils New Learning Mastery Gradebook in Canvas
New Learning Management System Feature Will Give 11 Million Teachers and Students the Option to Implement Mastery- or Competency-Based Programs
SALT LAKE CITY, March 19, 2014 – Instructure today unveiled a new Learning Mastery Gradebook for its Canvas learning management system (LMS) that will enable more than 3 million K-12 teachers and students from more than 150 school districts to track mastery of concepts. The mastery grade book, which will be embedded alongside the traditional grade book in Canvas, will give teachers a real-time dashboard to monitor students' progress in a prescriptive way and to make real-time interventions as needed.
"While the traditional summative approach to education still prevails, there is growing interest in instituting mastery-based assessment practices in classrooms around the country," said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. "This new view into student learning will give millions of educators who use Canvas the ability to more seamlessly incorporate reporting on formative, authentic assessments using either model."
Canvas’ Learning Mastery Gradebook allows teachers to create outcomes for each teaching module and evaluate students' understanding of those concepts based on a percent of mastery. Because Canvas is content-agnostic, teachers will be empowered to choose any learning outcomes, ranging from state and Common Core standards to custom benchmarks. Canvas already has the functionality to create grading rubrics that align to outcomes or standards, and the new grade book will have the ability to connect with the measures outlined in those rubrics.
"I've been teaching for 26 years, and until now I've never had a way to visually inspect my students' progress in real-time and give them highly individualized feedback based on that information," said Dave Anderson, a teacher-trainer with the Logan City School District in Utah, which piloted Instructure’s mastery-based grade book. "The Learning Mastery Gradebook in Canvas is the kind of dashboard a teacher needs to truly personalize the learning experience for a classroom of dozens of students and help each one make meaningful academic progress toward mastery of concepts."
Mastery-based education is nearly a century old as a concept and championed in modern times by the likes of Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy. Because this style of teaching and assessment, which is commonly referred to as "formative learning" due to its iterative nature, requires a high degree of customization to students' individual needs, the development of cloud technology has played an important role in making it a practical possibility.
"One of the most valuable roles technology can play in education is giving teachers, students and parents greater transparency into the learning process," said Tom Vander Ark, CEO of the education advocacy firm Getting Smart. "The Learning Mastery Gradebook in Canvas is a good example of the technology sector giving educators a resource to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational process."
Beyond its application in K-12, the nearly 11 million educators and students from more than 600 colleges and universities who use Canvas can also use the grade book to measure academic progress based on outcomes.
The Learning Mastery Gradebook is now a standard feature in Canvas and available to all users, including teachers using the free version. Teachers can sign up for free at: www.Instructure.com/try-canvas.
Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. Instructure provides instructors and students modern tools and resources that empower and simplify the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas, the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system, as well as Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses by educators everywhere, from Ivy League institutions to community colleges. To keep learning visit www.instructure.com.
Devin Knighton, Director of Public Relations at Instructure
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Brad Plothow, Method Communications
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