Teachers at the Douglas and Lusk schools say teens are embracing the computer-based delivery, are improving in their regular classes and are even logging in outside of school hours.
It’s too soon to say if the program is increasing scores on the state’s Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students exam, administered each year in April.
The Web-based SAM Learning program uses a series of modules covering different topics in several subjects. Students must read simply stated questions and select answers. They use a mouse pad to click and drag the answer into the question. Research by the company indicates that students who log 10 hours on SAM Learning can realize a 4 to 5 percent increase on standardized test scores.
The program is used in about 60 percent of English high schools and in about 1,000 primary schools, U.S. consultant and former Guernsey school administrator Bruce Heimbuck said. Heimbuck said a California alternative high school is also a pilot, and he’s recruiting schools in Florida and Washington, D.C.
U.S. pilot sites including Douglas and Niobrara County high schools are keeping track of student hours and will evaluate the program’s success after the next round of PAWS testing. At the same time, they’re communicating with the company ways to tailor the program to meet needs in the United States.