- Improvements to copying Plans: We've heard a lot of excellent feedback about how we can enhance the Project and Math Unit plan experience. We’ll be adding an easier way to recopy plans and switch between your personal plans and shared templates.
- Submitting and Scoring Multiple Final Products: This was one of the top requested feature last year, and we’re very excited to announce that it’s coming soon! Student will be able to submit one final product at a time for projects with more than one final product. Teachers will also be able to score one final product at a time and send those scores back to students.
- Updates to the Assigning Projects and Math Units: We made improvements to the assignment process to make assigning work even more effective and efficient! You are now able to more quickly assign sets of activities and resources to students and see assets designated for differentiation.
- Receiving Base Curriculum Updates for Projects and Math Units: Now you can see notes from our curriculum team on what’s changing and swap out your Project or Math Unit with the newest version.
- Parent SMS Alerts: If you choose to turn on this feature, the Platform will send automated text messages from your school to all of your parents in the Summit Learning Program about their child’s academic coursework and progress, as well as tips to support their child academically. Parents will receive approximately 2 messages per week per child, and can opt of these messages. To turn on these alerts, talk to your mentor. Learn more here.
- Improvements to mentoring and projects based on teacher feedback: We've made improvements to the mentoring tool and to projects based on feedback that teachers have sent in through the help desk.
- Britannica School: You'll now see Britannica School integrated throughout the Base Curriculum. Britannica School contains thousands of learning resources in multiple formats- text, video, image and practice assessments. These resources are free to use for teachers and students when accessed through the Summit Learning Platform. Britannica School offers great features such as the ability to change reading levels and font size, English and Spanish definitions, cross-references, and citation support.
- Mathalicious: We're offering free and complete access to math activities created by math curriculum creators Mathalicious. These lessons are designed to kick off projects and stimulate interest. We have only integrated Mathalicious activities into the Base Curriculum for 6th and 9th grade teachers, but all teachers have access to the materials. You can find these interactive, teacher-facing materials in the Plans tab of 6th and 9th grade Math Units.
While normally paid sites, we're offering free access to both Britannica School and Mathalicious materials through the Summit Learning Platform.
- Progress Reports: We’ve heard your feedback that grade reports can be difficult to distribute to parents and students. You can now download easy-to-print PDF progress reports of student grades. Learn more here.
- Mentoring: We launched a major new feature to make mentoring easier over the summer. The feature includes a set of in-Platform research-based mentoring agendas with the ability for students to complete a guided reflection before the check-in. Learn more here.
- Focus Area Onboarding: Focus Area Onboarding is an interactive introduction to Focus Area pages and the Self-Directed Learning Cycle. Students will see the onboarding experience when they click on a focus area for the first time.
- Learning Strategies: The Summit Learning Platform maintains a library of learning strategies that is accessible both to students and to teachers. The strategy library contains templates that teachers can use or print out, examples of student work, and videos that may be shown to classes or to individual students. Teachers can also recommend that their classes (or certain students) visit certain strategy pages. Learn more here.
- Student Resources: Students will see a new Resources tab in their left side-tab. This tab houses all non-curriculum student resources, such as cognitive skill instruction, information about habits of success, and common learning strategies.
- Platform Status Page: We created Status.summitlearning.org to alert you of platform outages. Visit this website if you think the platform might be down, and subscribe to it for updates.
- Typeface updates: We added some small typography updates as part of a larger effort to make the platform more readable, higher contrast, and easier to use. You’ll see these text changes on page titles (such as “Year” on the Year page) and some sub-sections (such as checkpoint titles).
- Updates to the Project “Overview” and “Plans” pages: In response to teacher feedback on Projects, the Summit Learning Platform team made changes to Projects for the 2018-19 school year. We made these changes with the following goals:
- To pull in information from the project puides into the platform
- To create a more structured system to organize scaffolds and know who they are for
- To make it easier for teachers to plan their day to day facilitation
- Update to the Data Tab: We updated the school data tab for Administrators.
- Base Curriculum Preview: We launched a preview where you can see the first Project in every course and an overview of each focus area. The Summit Curriculum and Instruction team will be adding continuously to the Base Curriculum between now and the end of June, and you’ll see new Projects appearing in courses as they're uploaded! Please hold off on setting up your 2018-2019 curriculum so you can take full advantage of these improvements. You’ll be able to copy the Base Curriculum once it is completed by the end of June.
- Data exports for unenrolled students: We heard your feedback that it’s important to access grades for students after they leave your school. We added a grades export for unenrolled students under “Students” in the “Setup” menu. Learn more here.
- Last login data for parent and student exports: In an effort to make frequently requested data more accessible, we’ve added a “Last Access Time” column to the Parent and Student exports (also under “Students” in the “Setup” menu).
- Student Notifications: Students will be notified when teachers provide feedback, score Projects, write notes or respond to assessment requests. Learn more here.
- Rich text formatting in Projects: We made updates to allow you to bold, italicize, hyperlink, bullet, number, and undo/redo text in Project descriptions, essential questions, and enduring understandings.
- Year Page Zoom: We added the ability for students to zoom in and out of the year page. You can check out this feature here.
- Eliminating Content Assessment Choices: We added the ability for students to virtually 'eliminate' answers in diagnostic and Content Assessments.
- Pacing Line in Teacher Data Tables: We heard teacher feedback that the pacing line in data tables was not accurately portraying student focus area progress. The line is now tailored to reflect each student’s expected focus area completion.
- Teacher Data Pages: We made minor changes to data pages to help teachers and students better understand how students are doing on particular objectives. We added a new yellow "almost passed" state for objectives where students got half of the questions in that objective right and expanding the "passed" state for objectives to show as green when students get 80% right (70% for AP classes). Previously one or more wrong answers on an objective would change its color to red, even if the student mastered the focus area. These changes apply to the student's focus area page and the teacher's focus area objectives report.
- Year Page Hover Information: We’ve received a lot of feedback about how the year page can be more useful for students. Now we show additional information about Projects and focus areas without having to click on the item from the Year Page. Read more about why we made these changes and what changed here.
- Improvements to the assessment approvals page: You’ll now see more information that will help you decide whether you should approve a Content Assessment request. The assessment approval page now shows if the student hasn't clicked on any resources or is skipping around between focus areas.
- Notifications: This feature should make it easier for teachers to keep up with student requests for feedback on checkpoints, Project submissions, assessment take requests, and notes from your mentees on their progress pages. Look out for this feature in the lower left of your screen. You can read more about the feature and see an video of it in action here.
- Goal Setting Update: We’ve received a lot of feedback about how the student goal setting tools could be more useful. To address this, we launched a set of usability improvements that help students write SMARTer goals, be able to create goals from focus areas or Projects, and generally make the features easier to use.
- Content Assessment Integrity: We heard your feedback that students take Content Assessments for each other by logging into each other’s accounts or trading computers. We added student names to the orange bar at the top of Content Assessment windows to help you ensure that students are taking the correct assessments.
- Desmos Calculators: Desmos calculators are available on-platform during eligible focus areas and assessments. Calculators are present in all tagged focus areas (in Math and Science), but teachers can add or remove calculator access for any focus area assessment.
- Student Start Dates: Many teachers have written thoughtful comments asking us to improve the experience of students joining school mid-year. Upon request, we’ll now be able to shift the pacing of student work on the Year page to reflect custom start dates! This feature will often be used in conjunction with Focus Area exemptions, as a year of work may be squeezed into a shorter time period. If you’d like to set this up for one of your students, please send in a help ticket with the student’s name and entry date!
- Shuffled Assessment Questions: Diagnostic and Content Assessment questions are now presented in randomized order, with questions interleaved with one another, rather than blocked by objective. We heard this great feature request from several teachers, and it has many benefits for students and classrooms:
- "Interleaved" practice, in which learners apply multiple skills in one session, has been shown to both improve memory and lead to an increased transfer of learned skills (Rohrer & Taylor, 2007)
- Randomizing increases students' ability to identify which type of question is being asked and which concepts or skills are required on each type of question. (Kornell and Bjork, 2008)
- Randomized assessments provide more "authentic" preparation for later academic testing, such as college admission testing.
- Rubric Highlighting: We heard your comments that students would benefit from more actionable and specific rubric feedback. We launched a new tool that allows teachers to highlight rubric language when evaluating checkpoints and Final Products. Students can see exactly where they succeeded and where they still have room for growth. Here's a guide to the highlighting colors:
- Green = Strong Evidence
- Purple = Focus For Next Time
- Focus Area Design Update We launched a redesign to the student focus area page. Your students should have seen an announcement and walkthrough on the platform introducing them to the page the first time they saw it. Learn why we are making these changes and what will be different.
- Rate this Project/Math Unit: Now you can rate Projects that are derived from the Base Curriculum. On the Projects page, you can click a link to a Google form that surveys how satisfied you are with the Project, what went well and what could be improved.
- Improvements to the goals page: We heard that it’s frustrating to see student goals day by day. Now, rather than simply navigating back-and-forth day-by-day, you can now see goals for the full week (or all of last week or all of next week) using a new drop-down. Learn more.
- Section management: You can now add students to sections without passing out enrollment codes. Learn more.
- Lockdown Browser: We built a chrome extension called Assessment Companion that prevents students from viewing other tabs or windows when taking Content Assessments. Someone in your school’s IT department will need to install the extension on student computers. Once that’s complete, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to turn on the Lockdown Browser. Learn more.
- Observation Tool: We built an observation tool that allows coaches and administration to provide feedback to teachers. Learn more.
- Calculators: We added calculator tags to math focus areas! Tags in focus areas tell teachers and students which, if any, calculator is allowed. Students will see what type of calculator they can use in two places: on their view of the focus area, and while taking Content Assessments.
- Color scheme update: We’ve heard feedback that text in the platform can be hard to read for people with vision impairments who are using low-quality displays or who are using a projector. We made a small update to our color scheme that increases the contrast of all of our text.
- Data table update: We updated the course table to allow teachers to drill down on the "overdue Projects" column to see which specific Projects are overdue in the course. Similarly, teachers who are viewing a student group table can drill down on either the "incomplete courses" or "overdue Projects" columns to see which specific courses are incomplete or have overdue Projects.
- Improvements to the Observation Tool: We improved the observation tool to include Look Fors, Math, PLT, Learning Center, Mentoring, and Habits / Community / Culture.