New LMS delivers students personalized content and allows CCA to evolve with technology

Edio, CCA’s new learning management system, gives teachers ability to customize lessons and provides engaging content for students.

It was a busy start to the school year with the launch of edio, CCA’s new learning management system. The primary focus at the start of the year was supporting families and making sure they had a successful transition to the new platform. 

CCA administrators like to refer to edio as a “relationship management system” that is more individualized and family focused than anything else in the market. They had high praise for the staff and families who stepped up to the challenge of working in a new learning management system. 

“This was an exciting change and there were a lot of people who worked hard to implement it,” said Dr. Joyce Good, senior director of learning at CCA. “There are a lot of LMS systems on the market. We reviewed about four to five of them in depth but decided none of them met our needs. So we decided to create our own LMS.

“We wanted something that was able to deliver our content in a manner that was more interactive and individualized than what we could find on the market.”

While there were some initial bumps in the road with edio at the beginning of the school year, many students and families have said that edio is easier to navigate and the information is readily available. From a teacher’s perspective, edio gives them the ability to edit and personalize lessons for their students. 

Natasha Shane is the director of family services at CCA. She has the unique perspective of seeing how edio works not only from an administrative side, but from a learning coach and student perspective as well. 

“My kids love edio,” said Ms. Shane, who has two students who have been enrolled at CCA for 12 years. “They love the format and guided instruction. They love the Live Classroom opportunities they have now and the ability to have things more individualized and personalized to their style of learning.”

There are a lot of great design features within edio and it gives students access to a more personalized learning experience. Students’ lessons can be customized to enhance their understanding of the material being taught in the virtual classroom. Families and students have reported that they love being able to engage with the content.

“We have heard from students that it’s a clean interface,” Dr. Good said. “The navigation is simple. The goal of edio is to deliver instruction seamlessly. 

One of the advantages of designing our own LMS is that it allows teachers greater flexibility to make changes and updates to the platform. 

“From a teacher perspective, the other aspect of a learning management system that we were looking for was to give our teachers the ability to personalize and edit and change content. We didn’t have those aspects before (edio).”

The focus of developing edio was to get the course delivery in a great place to deliver instruction to students and provide some new features for teachers and students to use, Dr. Good said. 

“Edio is a living, breathing program,” said Jake Ramsey, regional enrollment ambassador and co-host of the WeAreCCA podcast. “The evolution is driven by feedback from teachers, students and families. We release updates and upgrades based on that feedback.”

New features of edio

Some of those updates and upgrades have already started to occur. Since the debut of edio this fall, some of the enhanced features that have been incorporated include larger Zoom rooms for Live Classroom instruction, the rollout of webmail to enhance communication with families and the implementation of projected grades so students and learning coaches can get real-time updates on how they are performing in classes.

“We noticed that more students wanted to come to Live Classrooms than they have in the past,” Dr. Good said. “That’s a good problem to have because it shows that students are engaged.”

Since cyber students have the flexibility to work at their own pace, projected grades were implemented to help students keep track if they are working ahead or falling behind on coursework. 

“Your projected grade shows the work you still need to do to maintain your grades while your current grade is an accurate representation of the work you have completed and the quality of work you are doing,” Mr. Ramsey said. 

Another feature that helps students and learning coaches get a good snapshot of student performance is the addition of personalized dashboards. The dashboards are meant to provide information relevant to the user. 

“We want to make sure that students and parents have all of the information they need to succeed for the school year,” Ms. Shane said. 

For students, they can get an overview of current courses, gradebook and a calendar that shows upcoming Live Classroom sessions. For learning coaches, they can get an overview of each student they have enrolled at CCA from their dashboard. Learning coaches can see any overdue lessons, absences and view how students performed on each test and assessment.

Classroom sessions

Edio has helped CCA reassess how they are providing instruction to students. Edio provides guided learning and Live Classroom experiences for students. With guided instruction, students can have teacher instruction every day in their courses. Live Classroom sessions are used to go more in depth with a lesson or for tackling more difficult topics and are great opportunities for students to engage in discussions.

“I have noticed that students are more engaged in guided instruction in the center,” said Allen Fernandez, co-host of the WeAreCCA podcast and an administrative assistant at the Capital Campus & Family Service Center in Harrisburg. “Students thrive in that schedule and want to participate in it.”

Another benefit of edio is that students have their Live Classroom sessions displayed right in their calendar. Students know exactly when sessions are being held and recordings of the Live Classroom sessions are available for students and learning coaches to watch whenever – and however many times – they want.

“Students haven’t lost flexibility because everything is recorded and you can go back at your own pace,” Dr. Good said. “Those things have all been successful tools and I think the learning has increased,” 

CCA administrators said that their statistics show that students who attend Live Classroom or watch recorded lessons perform better. 

Another feature of edio that appears to be popular with students is the “jump back in” feature. The jump back in feature allows students to pause what they are working on to do something else.

“It just happens. It’s part of life,” Ms. Shane said. “You start a lesson and sometimes you have to go do something else. You might start and then go to a guided instruction or start and then have lunch. 

“It can be hard to remember exactly where you were within that lesson. But with the jump back in feature, you can click the button and it takes them right back into the lesson exactly where they left off.”  

Students also have the safety net of reviewing the recorded lessons. The recordings also allow parents to see what their students are learning in class and how the teacher is delivering the content. 

“Edio providing a choice on how you engage with content makes students feel empowered,” Mr. Ramsey said. When you give students choice it empowers them to make decisions that best fit them.”

Family engagement

Perhaps the most important aspect of edio is that it encourages engagement between students, learning coaches and teachers. Learning coach involvement is a key component of student success at CCA. Learning coaches can log in at any time to monitor their student’s progress and performance. 

CCA feels that parent involvement is a key component of student success.

“Learning coaches become more of an advocate for their students,” Mr. Ramsey said. “In order to be an effective advocate, you have to be informed and know what’s going on. You don’t have to rely on a CCA staff member to give you that information. You have the freedom to access it. We want our parents and learning coaches to be part of that team that is putting the student at the center.”

So what does the future of edio hold for CCA families? 

There are about 25 different tools and functions coming in the near future, Dr. Good said. There will be an enhanced sorting and filtering option for students and families to view materials. CCA teachers and administrators are continuously looking for ways to enhance the edio experience for their families.

“Our school, staff and team are never stagnant in the development of edio,” Mr. Fernandez said.

The ability to customize and adapt edio to accommodate our teachers and families is the main reason CCA decided to develop our own learning management system. This platform will allow CCA the flexibility to personalize content to meet the growing needs of our students and continue to be innovators in cyber education.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

February 20, 2019

Category

Learning Lab

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