As the school year shifts into high gear, we are getting a lot of questions about our service. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is Learning List?
Learning List is a subscription-based instructional materials review service designed to help improve student learning by empowering educators to chooseand use instructional materials most effectively.

We created Learning List in 2013 to help districts become better informed consumers of instructional materials. Initially, districts used our reviews to facilitate their selection of materials. Over tiime, subscribers began telling us that our reviews also helped them identify the best parts of their exisiting materials to use to teach each standard. As one instructional coach explained, “We use your alignment reports as a GPS through our materials to ensure that we’re using the pages that teach each standard fully.”

What types of materials do you review?
We have reviewed over 2500 of the most widely used instructional materials, including:

  • Materials in the four core subjects, 12 Advanced Placement courses, Tech Apps and 85 CTE courses;
  • Comprehensive and supplemental materials, including RtI, testprep, criterion-referenced test banks, and professional development resources;
  • Publisher produced and free open educational resources (OERs);
  • State-adopted and non-adopted materials (i.e., materials that were not submitted for state adoption); and
  • English and Spanish versions of materials.

Subscribing districts get access to all published reviews and may request reviews of additional materials as part of the subscription. That’s why Learning List is a service, not just a website. [Read more…]

What type(s) of reviews does Learning List provide?
For each material, we provide the three professional reviews described below. We also allow educators in subscribing districts to rate and review the materials they have used.

  1. Spec SheetSpec Sheet* – a two-page overview of the product’s key academic attributes andtechnology compatibility. As part of this review, we test the material’s compatibility with commonly used  devices, browsers and operating systems.
  2. Editorial ReviewEditorial Review – a description of the material’s instructional content and design using a researched-based protocol that includes approximately 200 criteria.Alignment Report
  3. Alignment Report – an independent verification of the material’s alignment to each grade level standard.

Caveat: Out of respect for the state adoption process in Texas, Learning List does not review the alignment of state-adopted materials to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). For Texas state-adopted materials, we publish the state’s alignment report and alignment percentage, along with our Spec Sheet and an Editorial Review.

How can Learning List be helpful to me?
As mentioned above, our alignment reports identify specific citations in each material that we have verified to align completely to each grade level standard. Moreover, tools on our site extract information from our alignment reports to make it easy for educators to:

  • Audit the alignment of the campus/district’s materials and identify gaps;
  • Comparison shop for new materials (including OERs) to fill those gaps at the best price;
  • Map the district’s resources to its curriculum;
  • Analyze connections between student test results and the alignment of the materials being used;
  • Develop targeted RtI plans; and
  • Comply with state and federal competitive procurement requirements (e.g., EDGAR).

What type of professional development is included with a subscription?
Brief “how to” videos and step-by-step guidance documents explain how to use Learning List for each  task listed above. We also provide free customized training webinars for individuals or groups of educators with the campus/district (i.e., PCL meetings).

*The Spec Sheet review was initiated in mid-2016. Products reviewed prior to 2106 have a Spec Sheet only if the publisher allowed Learning List to access the material to develop that review.