Clients who have successfully implemented Acrobatiq recommend planning for time to train and adjust teaching style. It takes time for all stakeholders to train and adjust.
Karen Vignare, former vice provost at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), in a story in EdSurge in 2016, shared her view that, “It is early in terms of courseware, and we need pilots that have lasted a little bit longer than one or two semesters to actually figure out what we are doing.”
Piloting will help you gain an understanding of how Acrobatiq works in your unique environment and which levers you can adjust to promote greater success.
For example, one client ran a pilot and noticed students were doing poorly on quizzes. After consulting the data, they assigned Personal Practice and grades jumped two letter grades. In both cases, many students weren’t doing the readings, even though Acrobatiq is used as a textbook replacement. The Personal Practice became a key method for students to learn before the quiz.
By piloting, you can determine:
- Faculty and staff readiness and acceptance.
- Student behaviors with the materials, practice, and quizzes.
- The types of courses that benefit most from this approach.
- Any problems with integration between the courseware and the courses, or between courseware and the other technologies.
- The right workload for all stakeholders, and where and how to streamline processes.
When implementing Acrobatiq, you have an opportunity to check the alignment of your course.
- Do the assessments give strong evidence of the learning objectives?
- Do the readings and practice support preparation for the major assignments?
- Do the teaching methods support the learning goals? (See the Models for more information on teaching methods.)
There are two types of alignment to consider: (1) alignment of the components within AQ courseware, and (2) alignment between AQ courseware and the rest of your course elements.
For alignment within Acrobatiq, using the skill map and skill tagging features will promote alignment between skills, practice, and assessments when you are designing courseware.
For alignment between Acrobatiq and the broader course elements, Acrobatiq content should be placed to correspond with the matching course activities – at the right time and on the right topics.
Some clients have shared that their students reported feeling as if there were two different courses, because the course learning objectives and Acrobatiq learning objectives were not well aligned. This can lead to a disjointed experience that makes learning more challenging. You may need to do a finer-grained analysis of the skills and objectives in your course to make this
Alignment also enhances some key benefits of the platform. When course tasks are matched to the right type of practice and assessment in Acrobatiq, there are advantages for students and instructors. Students can master skills more effectively and instructors are freed from repetitive grading on more basic topics.
If the Acrobatiq content is deemed supplemental, i.e., not necessary to support the major course assignments and assessments, most students will put their efforts where they are most likely to see a return on their time. Most clients recommend that their faculty assign points for work in Acrobatiq and communicate explicitly to students how time in the platform will support their other classwork.
Grading schemes will change from course to course, and partner to partner. However, clients have reported better success when points are given for work in Acrobatiq. A possible grading scheme might be:
- Some points for participation (e.g., class-based or LMS-based discussions),
- Some points for work in Acrobatiq (e.g., scores on Personal Practice or Quizzes or participation points for completing these assessments),
- And, some points for major assessments (e.g., class projects, essays, group work, exams).