Advanced Placement

New Product Review: CodeCombat

Code CombatLearning List has reviewed CodeCombat. This comprehensive product supports computer science instruction in grades 4-12, including Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles courses. Content is available online and includes printable resources. Instruction is game based and addresses the structure and syntax of computer programming using the JavaScript and Python programming languages. [Read more…]

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Rural Districts and Advanced Placement Courses

An August 2017 report from the Education Commission of the States and the College Board explores rural students’ access to and participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as their performance on AP exams, relative to students who reside in urban and suburban areas. Below we summarize some key findings from the report, which relies on data collected across 15 school years (i.e., 2000-01 to 2014-15):

  • Access to AP courses has increased significantly for rural students. In 2001, only 56% of rural high school seniors had access to at least one AP course; by 2015, this percentage had increased to 73% of high school seniors.
  • While access to AP courses improved for rural students (73%), it still lagged that of urban (92%) and suburban (95%) students in 2015.
  • Of the rural high school seniors who had access to at least one AP course in 2015, only 31% took an AP exam. This compares with 40% of urban and 39% of suburban high school seniors.
  • On average, rural students earned an AP exam score of 2.6, compared with 2.73 for urban students and 2.98 for suburban students in 2015. Note that AP exams use a standardized score that ranges from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 indicating the highest level of performance. Scores of 3 or higher are often awarded college credit by post-secondary institutions. [Read more…]
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New Product Review: Texas Instruments 10 Minutes of Code

TI Codes

Learning List has reviewed Texas Instruments’ 10 Minutes of Code. This supplemental online product introduces students to programming concepts and the basics of coding using Texas Instruments’ TI-84 Plus and TI-Nspire™ graphing calculators. Instruction is provided in short, hands-on lessons that may be completed in about 10 minutes. Resources may be accessed at no cost on the Texas Instruments website and support instruction in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles courses. [Read more…]

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Trends in Advanced Placement: Increasing Supports for Students and Teachers

Increasing the available instructional supports for Advanced Placement (AP) teachers and students is one of the key themes that emerged from College Board’s AP Annual Conference 2017.  At the conference, the College Board announced that in 2019-20, it will roll out a new dashboard that enables AP teachers to create instructional materials tailored to their students’ individual needs. The dashboard will provide access to AP assignments, benchmark tests, unit guides, and related unit tests, as well as other materials to help teachers prepare their students for AP exams.

Learning List applauds the increased emphasis on supporting teachers in the College Board’s plan for new services. As our subscribers know, any material included on the College Board’s “Recommended List” must have been reviewed by Learning List. Our AP reviews consider how well each product is aligned to its respective course framework; the product’s instructional content and design, including supports for teachers; and the product’s technology specifications.  Taken together, our reviews provide a holistic view of a product that enables educators to understand whether a product will meet their students needs. [Read more…]

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What We’ve Observed: Trends in AP Materials

The College Board is engaged in several related initiatives to help teachers prepare a broader, more diverse group of students to succeed in AP courses.   AP courses in several disciplines are being redesigned and new courses are being introduced to create AP courses that strike a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.

A critical next step in supporting AP teachers is ensuring that the instructional materials for AP courses address the knowledge and skills articulated in the new course frameworks.  To that end, the College Board partnered with Learning List™ to provide educators with independent, professional reviews of AP materials[1]. [Read more…]

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Looking for a Way to Boost AP Scores?

In order to help students succeed in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, instructional materials must address the knowledge and skills articulated in the new AP course frameworks.  To that end, the College Board partnered with Learning List™ to provide educators with independent, professional reviews of AP materials[1].

As part of the review process, Learning List verifies a material’s alignment to each of the Learning Objectives (LO), Essential Knowledge statements (EKs) and Skills/Practices in the relevant course framework.  The alignment reports identify the “citations” (e.g., pages, lessons, videos) listed in the publisher’s correlation that Learning List verified to be aligned and not aligned to each LO, EK and Skill/Practice for the course.

The College Board used these reviews to decide which materials to include on the 2016 and 2017 Example Textbook Lists for each of these courses. However, educators should be aware that a material’s inclusion on an Example Textbook List does not mean that the material is aligned to 100% of the Learning Objectives or Skills/Practices of the course.  [Read More]

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