Knewton Adaptive Assignments

Knewton Adaptive Assignments

W. W. Norton & Company has teamed up with Knewton, a leading adaptive learning company, to provide adaptive assignments in Smartwork5.  Adaptive assignments for Chemistry will guide students through the material where they need the most help according to the learning objectives selected by their instructor. Instructors can create Chemistry assignments that are entirely adaptive, or assignments that contain an adaptive component.

About Knewton

With Knewton, every student gets a more personal learning experience. Teachers, schools, and education companies around the world use Knewton to power digital course materials that dynamically adapt to each student’s unique needs. Knewton provides students with tailored recommendations for exactly what to study, teachers with analytics to better support each student, and publishers with content insights to develop more effective digital products.

Within Smartwork5, Knewton’s recommendation engine is optimized to help students meet learning goals set by their instructor. In adaptive assignments, instructors select the learning objectives they want their students to master. Students are then presented with a series of questions that encompass those learning objectives. They will continue to get questions until they demonstrate a level of mastery over those learning objectives. Each student will receive a different set of questions depending on that student’s current and past performance. During the process of proving mastery on an assigned objective, a student may be given questions on prerequisite learning objectives as a means to correct content knowledge gaps. The length of each student’s assignment will vary depending upon a student’s demonstrated performance of assigned and prerequisite learning objectives.

Learning Objectives

Each Norton question is tagged with a learning objective. A learning objective outlines a particular skill or learning goal that the student will practice when working through the question.

When creating adaptive assignments, you will select between one and six learning objectives that you want students to work on and master during the course of the assignment. You must select at least one learning objective in order to create an adaptive assignment.

You will also have the option to incorporate prerequisite learning objectives into your assignment. Prerequisite learning objectives are included to correct students’ gaps in content knowledge, thus better preparing them to answer questions tied to the learning objectives instructors specifically included in the assignment. By default, adaptive assignments incorporate prerequisite learning objectives from all previous chapters; however, this can be turned off at the discretion of the instructor.

Mastery

Mastery is a way for students and instructors to measure a student’s proficiency in a given learning objective. The metric for mastery is unique to each student. This means that there is not a set number of questions that all students must answer correctly in order to “master” a learning objective. Many factors are in play when Knewton assesses mastery for an individual student, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The length of time a student has to complete the assignment
  • The number of questions the student answers correctly, including multiple attempts
  • Question difficulty
  • The student’s demonstrated performance of related prerequisite learning objectives

Students can track their mastery of learning objectives via star icons located at the bottom of their student player. Once a student is 50% of the way to mastering a learning objective in Knewton, the star corresponding to that learning objective will fill in halfway. When a student completely masters a learning objective, the star will fill in completely. A student’s performance in questions tagged with prerequisite learning objectives does not directly factor into the filling in of a star.

Instructors can set mastery to either “Standard” or “Advanced.” Standard mastery is more forgiving than the Advanced mastery setting, resulting in a shorter adaptive experience for students. In an Advanced adaptive assignment, students must correctly answer more questions in order to obtain mastery over a learning objective than they would in a Standard adaptive assignment.

Creating Fully Adaptive Assignments

In Smartwork5, you can create assignments that are fully adaptive, or assignments that contain an adaptive component.

To create a fully adaptive assignment, take the following steps:

1) Select the Student Set for which you would like to create the adaptive assignment. Then, click the “Create Fully Adaptive Assignment” button.

2) The new assignment page will appear in a new tab. Click on the “Edit Assignment” button to enter the Assignment Editor.

3) Name your assignment, then set a Grades Accepted Until date. If desired, add a brief description that accompanies your assignment.

Note: The GAU date impacts Knewton’s understanding of urgency. The closer a student starts his or her assignment to its GAU date, the less likely it is that the student will see material that is prerequisite to the learning objective you selected. This means that the student will see more questions tagged to the learning objectives, than questions associated with their prerequisites, giving him or her more opportunities to demonstrate mastery before the assignment must be submitted.

4) Add learning objectives to your assignment by clicking on the “Add Objectives” button.

5) Select the learning objectives you would like to include in your assignment. You can include up to six learning objectives.

Note: The more learning objectives you include in your assignment, the longer the assignment will be for students. For an average student to have an hour-long experience, we suggest selecting 3–4 learning objectives.

a) You can filter the learning objectives by clicking on the “Chapter” dropdown menu and selecting the chapter that contains the learning objectives you would like to use. 

b) Select the learning objectives by clicking on the checkbox next to the learning objectives you would like to use. Once you’ve selected your learning objectives, click the “Add” button in the lower right corner to add them to the assignment.

c) If you want to include prerequisite learning objectives in your assignment, click the checkbox next to “Include previous chapters’ prerequisites.”

d) To remove learning objectives from your assignment, click on the X next to the learning objective you would like to remove.

6) Select the mastery level you want students to attain when completing the assignment.

7) Save the assignment. Click “Save Assignment” to save the assignment only to the Student Set you selected in step 1. To save this assignment to all of your Student Sets, click the “Save to All” button and follow the prompts. 

8) Publish the assignment by toggling the Publish switch, located in the upper left corner, to “On.”

Creating Assignments with an Adaptive Component

An assignment with an adaptive component blends questions that you hand-select for your students with Knewton’s adaptive functionality. You can choose to include the adaptive component at the beginning of the assignment, or at the end of the assignment. Adaptive components at the beginning of the assignment are called Warm-Ups, while those at the end of the assignment are called Follow-Ups.

To create an assignment with an adaptive component, take the following steps:

1) Select the Student Set for which you would like to create an assignment with an adaptive component. Then, click the “Create New Assignment” button.

2) The new assignment page will appear in a new tab. Click on the “Edit Assignment” button to enter the Assignment Editor.

3) In the Assignment Editor, name your assignment. Then, set the Grades Accepted Until date. If desired, add a description of your assignment.

Note: The GAU date impacts Knewton’s understanding of urgency. The closer a student starts his or her adaptive component to its GAU date, the less likely it is that the student will see material that is prerequisite to the learning objective you selected. This means that the student will see more questions tagged to the learning objectives, than questions associated with their prerequisites, giving him or her more opportunities to demonstrate mastery before the assignment must be submitted.

4) To set additional settings, such as a Time Limit, click on the “Show Additional Settings” bar. For a full description of each assignment setting, see the Editing an Assignments help notes.

Note: Assignments with adaptive components cannot have penalty periods, late penalties, or time limits. If you wish to use these settings, leave the adaptive settings off and consider creating another assignment that is fully adaptive.

5) Save your assignment. Click “Save Assignment” to save the assignment only to the Student Set you selected in step 1. To save this assignment to all of your Student Sets, click the “Save to All” button and follow the prompts. 

6) Create the non-adaptive portion of your assignment by clicking on the “Add Question” button and selecting the questions you want to include in your assignment from the Question Library. For instructions on how to do this, see the Creating an Assignment help notes.

7) Adjust the question-level settings as desired. For an in-depth explanation on these settings, see the Editing an Assignment help notes.

8) Toggle the switch next to Adaptive to “On.” This will open the adaptive settings.

9) Determine if you want the adaptive component to be a Warm-Up, or a Follow-Up. A Warm-Up will be presented to students before the rest of their assignment, while a Follow-Up will be presented to students after the rest of the assignment.

10) Select the learning objectives that you would like the adaptive component to cover by clicking the “Select Objectives” button.

a) By default, the learning objectives selected will be those that are covered in the questions that you selected in the non-adaptive portion of this assignment. You will not be able to select learning objectives beyond those covered by the questions you selected in the non-adaptive assignment.

b) Although you cannot choose specific learning objectives outside those covered in the non-adaptive portion of the assignment, you can choose to include questions that meet prerequisite learning objectives.

11) Select the level of mastery you want your students to achieve. For an in-depth look at mastery, see the Mastery section of this page.

12) Select the number of points you would like this adaptive section to be worth in your overall assignment. Please keep in mind that the adaptive experience may be long. Therefore you may want to set the point value of the adaptive component accordingly.

13) Save the assignment. Click “Save Assignment” to save the assignment only to the Student Set you selected in step 1. To save this assignment to all of your Student Sets, click the “Save to All” button and follow the prompts.

14) Publish the assignment by toggling the Publish switch, located in the upper left corner, to “On.”

Student Experience

Fully Adaptive Assignments

When students enter a fully adaptive assignment, they will first see a list of the learning objectives you selected, as well as a set of stars that corresponds to the learning objectives.

Once students click “Start Assignment,” they will see a brief introduction to the assignment, which reiterates the learning objectives that they will work through in the assignment.

Once in the assignment, students will see Smartwork5 questions that meet the learning objectives you selected. They will continue to see these questions until they master the learning objectives.

Students will have three attempts to answer each question correctly before Knewton moves them on to the next question. If you opted to include prerequisite learning objectives in your assignment, students may also see questions that highlight skills the student learned in previous chapters. These prerequisite questions do not count toward mastery of the learning objectives you assigned. None of the questions contain any indication of which learning objective they meet.

After working for 30 minutes, students will receive a Check-in reminding them that they can take a break and continue where they left off at a later time.

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Once they have mastered all the learning objectives, students will earn full credit and see a brief conclusion. At this point, students may choose to leave the assignment or continue answering Smartwork5 questions for ungraded practice.

Assignments with an Adaptive Component

When students enter an assignment with an adaptive component, they will see the adaptive component listed among the questions you’ve selected.

An adaptive Warm-up will appear at the top of the list for students to complete before moving on to the assigned questions.

An adaptive Follow-up will appear at the bottom, for students to work on after completing all the assigned questions.

Once students click “Start Assignment” for assignments with a Warm-up, they will see a brief introduction with the learning objectives you’ve selected for the adaptive component.

As for assignments with a Follow-up, clicking “Start Assignment” will take students to the first assigned question. Upon completing all the assigned questions, they will then see a brief introduction to the Follow-up, with the learning objectives you’ve selected for the adaptive component.

Once in the adaptive component, students will see Smartwork5 questions that meet the learning objectives. They will continue to see these questions until they master the learning objectives.

Students will have three attempts to answer each question correctly before Knewton moves them on to the next question. If you opted to include prerequisite learning objectives in your assignment, students may also see questions that highlight skills the student learned in previous chapters. These prerequisite questions do not count toward mastery of the learning objectives you assigned. None of the questions contain any indication of which learning objective they meet.

After working for 30 minutes, students will receive a Check-in reminding them that they can take a break and continue where they left off at a later time.

Once they have mastered all the learning objectives, students will earn full credit on the adaptive component and see a brief conclusion. At this point, students may choose to leave the assignment or continue answering Smartwork5 questions for ungraded practice.