District Administration November 2017 - 31

SPONSORED CASE STUDY

Engaging online study tool
helps social studies students
succeed at Ohio high school
McGraw-Hill Education's LearnSmart® assesses students'
knowledge levels and addresses areas that require further instruction

B

rent Fruhwirth has taught social studies at Little Miami
High School in Morrow, Ohio, for two decades. He
was surprised last year when he was asked to pilot
McGraw-Hill Education's LearnSmart, an online study tool, in
his American history classes.
"At first, I thought they had chosen the wrong person
to pilot a technology tool," says Fruhwirth. "I know nothing
about technology, but I was willing to try it."
LearnSmart is an online, interactive, adaptive study tool
that assesses a student's proficiency and knowledge within
a specific course. It also tracks which topics have been
mastered and identifies areas that need more study.
Fruhwirth was quickly won over. "LearnSmart is quite
simple to use," he says. "I suddenly had a lot of data on my
students, such as how many times it took them to answer a
question correctly. It has been very beneficial."
Fruhwirth adds that he uses LearnSmart as a homework
tool, and assigns certain questions that are due on test days.
"That way I can look at the results and see how much
studying the students did," Fruhwirth says. "If I assigned a
set of questions and a student did only half, it gives me an
opportunity to provide encouragement."
Student engagement
Fruhwirth says some students complained about the added
work in the beginning. Then they realized they could use
LearnSmart on their Chromebooks in study hall, and they
began to see the benefit when they got their test results.
Fruhwirth also appreciates having the ability to monitor his
students at every stage.
"LearnSmart is very useful in terms of knowing what
students have covered," he says. "I am able to connect what
we are learning to how they are studying, and I can control
what they are able to access so that they don't work ahead. I
can also leave what we have already covered open for them,
so that they can go back and review."
Positive results
As a result of the LearnSmart pilot, the majority of Fruhwirth's
students performed very well on state tests. Ohio state
test scores are distilled down to a 1-to-5 rating scale, and
students are required to score a 3, 4 or 5 in order to pass.

"LearnSmart is quite simple to use. I
suddenly had a lot of data on my
students, such as how many times it
took them to answer a question
correctly. It has been very beneficial."
"Almost all my students scored 3s or 4s on their state tests,
and a surprising number scored 5s," Fruhwirth says. "Only
three of my students scored 2s, and one was a first-year ESL
student. Even those students benefitted from LearnSmart
because it met them at their own levels."
Fruhwirth points out that LearnSmart prepares his
students for digital test-taking platforms as well as for the
content.
The future
Fruhwirth says Little Miami will soon be a 1-to-1 technology
school with Chromebook laptops for all students.
"We were just approved for 1-to-1,
so our social studies department will
continue to use McGraw-Hill Networks™
core content with LearnSmart embedded.
It is very reassuring for me to know what
my students have read and learned."

For more information, visit mheonline.com/LearnSmart
View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/learn


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration November 2017

District Administration November 2017 - Cover1
District Administration November 2017 - Cover2
District Administration November 2017 - 1
District Administration November 2017 - 2
District Administration November 2017 - 3
District Administration November 2017 - 4
District Administration November 2017 - 5
District Administration November 2017 - 6
District Administration November 2017 - 7
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District Administration November 2017 - Cover3
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