Posts Tagged "publishers"

Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 3)

Books shelf ebooksOver the past few weeks, we have been working our way through a series of 15 questions that are most commonly asked of Learning List by those who develop and deliver content. The series began with Part 1: the first five questions and answers; that was followed by Part 2 – the answers to the second five. In this final installment, we’ll address the remaining questions.

  1. Who are Learning List’s reviewers?

Learning List’s reviewers, called Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), are experienced, certified educators with prior standards-alignment experience. To be eligible for selection as an SME for Learning List, a candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • He or she must have at least five years of teaching experience, though most are far more experienced;
  • He or she must be certified in the grade and subject related to the product(s) assigned for review; and
  • He or she cannot have been employed by a publisher or K-12 online content provider for at least two years immediately preceding his or her relationship with Learning List.

2. How does Learning List protect the security of materials that are submitted?

Learning List is acutely aware of and respects publishers’ security concerns. Publishers upload all product data and access information directly into Learning List’s secure database. Products are accessible only to the subject matter experts assigned to review the material through the database; materials are not emailed during the review process.  Six weeks after product reviews are published on LearningList.com, the product access information is deleted from Learning List’s database.

3. How many districts does Learning List have as subscribers?

The number of Learning List’s subscribing districts is continuously growing, with over 500,000 students now served through the districts that subscribe to our service. While Learning List’s subscribers include very large urban and suburban districts, there are many small rural districts and private schools located inside and outside of Texas.

4. Can publishers subscribe to Learning List? What features are included in a publisher subscription?

Yes. Publishers may subscribe to Learning List. With a subscription, publishers have full access to all of Learning List’s reviews and have all but two of the same privileges as subscribing districts. The two exceptions are: 1) publishers cannot request the review of a product published by another company and 2) publishers are not able use the educator ratings feature. Subscribing publishers have commented that Learning List is an incomparable source of market intelligence (identifying gaps in the market) and competitive intelligence (better understanding competitors’ products). We offer a 15% discount for publishers that have submitted materials to Learning List for review. For more information about publisher subscriptions or submitting content, contact Christopher Lucas, Director of Publisher Relations, via ChristopherL@learninglist.com.

5. Can we get a trial subscription to LearningList.com to see what the reviews look like?

Learning List does not offer trial subscriptions for publishers. However, we are happy to schedule a webinar to introduce our service and enable the publisher to see how product information and the reviews are presented  on LearningList.com.

If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in reading:

Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 1)

Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 2)

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Perfection Learning: Earth Science and Marine Science

Source: Perfection  Learning

Source: Perfection Learning

Two of the most recent instructional materials reviews published on Learning List are science subjects. Perfection Learning provides comprehensive textbooks for introductory high school courses in earth science and marine science. Earth Science: The Physical Setting is a full-year course that explores topics in astronomy, meteorology, geology, and oceanography.  The course introduces fundamental concepts while developing students’ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Instruction includes connections to mathematics, but most problems can be solved with skills learned in middle school and do not require high school algebra.

Marine Science: Marine Biology and Oceanography is an interdisciplinary course in marine science that combines topics in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Chapters include sections that introduce students to historical events and pioneers in marine science (e.g., Jacques-Yves Cousteau), ongoing marine science research, the role of technology in studying marine life, and issues in conservation. Frequent research projects and lab investigations allow students to explore topics in depth and make connections to real-world issues and events.

Source: Perfection Learning

Source: Perfection Learning

Both textbooks are organized to support readability and comprehension. Chapters begin by clarifying objectives and identifying new vocabulary. Content is presented in manageable blocks of text with vivid visual elements, such as photographs, illustrations, tables and charts. Student editions are easy to use and are written with clear language that will be accessible to most high school students. Teacher’s Manuals for each textbook are available separately from the publisher. Teacher resources include comprehensive lesson plans that clarify learning objectives and the materials required for each lesson. Lesson plans suggest the sequencing and pacing of instruction and provide activities to motivate and develop student learning.

Founded by two educators in 1926, Perfection Learning provides high-quality, innovative curriculum solutions to K-12 schools across the country and internationally. Through its Kinetic Books digital curriculum, the company provides cutting-edge math and science programs for high school and higher education that are designed for 21st century learners. More information is available at the Perfection Learning website.

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Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 2)

Note: Each Trademark is Property of its Respective Owner

Note: Each Trademark is Property of its Respective Owner

Earlier this week, we began our series on the 15 questions that are most commonly asked of Learning List by those who develop and deliver content. The series began with the answers to five of those questions. In this installment, we’ll address five more.

  1. Why do I need Learning List if my products have already been reviewed by a state agency and by the general public?

Many state agencies only verify alignment to standards, while Learning List adds an editorial review to that. The review describes the product’s features and highlights important qualitative information about the product, as well as educator reviews and ratings. Additionally, we market to the same schools that publishers do – in ways that they might not be able to. We believe that by having products reviewed by Learning List, a publisher can increase its marketing reach to districts and schools across the country. Finally, LearningList.com can generate sales leads. On each review, we place a link to the publisher’s website in order to drive high quality sales leads from subscribers that have already read the reviews. To ensure that the information on Learning List is as robust and informative as possible, we actively invite publisher participation. Participating publishers provide us the correlation to the standards and advise us which customers to interview for the editorial review as well as which reference districts to list. Additionally, publishers can preview the editorial review and alignment report in order to correct any errors before reviews go live on the Learning List service.

  1. If we chose not to submit, why is there a review of one of our products on Learning List.com?

Learning List exists to provide districts with unbiased, independent information about instructional materials to enable them to choose the materials that can best meet students’ needs. When a district requests the review of a specific product, we contact the publisher and invite that publisher to submit the product for review. If the publisher declines to participate in the review, Learning List will attempt to review the product using publicly available information. While Learning List invites and values publisher participation, we are committed to responding to each districts’ needs. The reviews on Learning List clearly indicate if the publisher did not participate. Publishers that do not participate are offered a one-week period to preview the reviews before they are active on Learning List.

  1. Can I withdraw a product if I’m not happy with the results of the review?

No. Because Learning List begins investing its resources in the review as soon as a product is uploaded, a product may not be withdrawn once it is submitted. However, participating publishers do have a lot of input into the reviews. Learning List’s alignment process begins with the publisher’s correlation. Furthermore, the editorial reviews utilize feedback provided by the publisher and the publisher’s customers, as well as from Learning List’s subject-matter-experts. Publishers are able to preview the reviews before they are published, correct errors in the editorial reviews, and submit additional citations for Learning List to review for alignment.

  1. Does Learning List review for coverage of only the TEKS standards?

Currently, Learning List verifies alignment to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and College Board AP framework.

  1. How long does the entire process take?

Once a product is submitted and Learning List receives all necessary information, the final reviews are published on LearningList.com within about 30 days of receiving the comprehensive materials.

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Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 1)

20140709 educational-material-wordle-2-380x800Being an independent instructional materials review service for schools and districts, Learning List focuses on serving educators. However, in meeting the needs of districts, we also create value for publishers of instructional materials. We have identified 15 questions that are most commonly asked by those who develop and deliver instructional content. In this and two subsequent posts, we’ll answer each of these questions.

  1. What criteria does Learning List use to rate/rank the materials?

Learning List does not rate or rank instructional materials. Our purpose is to provide districts with unbiased, independent information about each instructional material to enable them to choose the materials that are most appropriate for their students. To accomplish this, we provide three types of reviews: a verification of the material’s alignment to state, Common Core, and other relevant standards, an editorial review that describes the product’s features and highlights important qualitative information about the product, and educator ratings and reviews based on specific criteria aligned with effective teaching practices.

  1. Does Learning List re-review materials that have been reviewed by the state and are state-adopted?

For products that have gone through the state’s adoption process: if the state produces a detailed alignment report showing specific citations that the state checked for alignment to state standards, Learning List features the state’s alignment report. If the state does not produce a detailed alignment verification, then Learning List will produce an independent verification of the material’s alignment to state standards.

For products that have not gone through a state-adoption process (e.g., non-adopted materials), Learning List produces an independent verification of the material’s alignment to state standards.

For all materials, Learning List develops an editorial review and educator ratings and reviews.

  1. Do publishers get to preview and/or respond to the information before it is published?

Yes. For each product, we give publishers one week to preview the information before it is made available to subscribers on LearningList.com. During this period, publishers can correct any errors of fact in the editorial review and provide written comments and/or additional citations for Learning List to review in response to the alignment verification. The publisher’s comments on the alignment verification are published on LearningList.com along with the alignment verification.

  1. How much does it cost to submit materials?

Submitting materials to Learning List for review is free. There is no out-of-pocket cost for publishers to submit materials.

  1. If it’s free for publishers, where does Learning List’s revenue come from?

Learning List is a subscription-based service. Schools and districts subscribe to Learning List to access our reviews. Subscribers may also request that Learning List review materials that are not yet available on LearningList.com. Stay tuned for the next two parts of this series. If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read Teacher Collaboration: A Key to Success.

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To Be or Not to Be: Are Publishers Aligned to Standards?

Today, Learning List released market insights drawn from hundreds of alignment verifications we have completed.  Although Learning List reviews both comprehensive and supplemental instructional materials, this analysis only included materials that publishers claimed to be aligned to 100% of the relevant standards.  Learning List’s Subject Matter Experts (experienced educators) found that, on average, those materials were aligned to:

To Be or Not2B jpeg

(c) 2014 Learning List

  • 87% of Common Core State Standards; and
  • 88% of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Thus, there was an average gap of 13 percentage points between publishers’ claimed alignment percentage and the alignment percentage determined by Learning List’s independent reviews. The largest gap was 50 percentage points for Common Core materials and 32 percentage points for TEKS materials.

Why the discrepancy?  One reason is that publishers and educators may be using different definitions of “alignment”.  The impetus for Learning List was the need to address a common frustration among school board members, superintendents, and curriculum directors. District and School executives asserted that publishers often say that their materials are aligned to 100% of the standards, but once districts purchase them and teachers start using the products, they find that the materials are only “superficially” aligned. One plain-spoken superintendent explained it this way, “Publishers align to the nouns of the standards, but our students are tested on the verbs.”

Learning List reviews instructional materials from the educators’ perspective, looking for alignment to the content, context and cognitive demand (or performance expectation) of each standard.  Having already reviewed hundreds of instructional materials for alignment to both the Common Core and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, our experience corroborates that most publishers do a good job of aligning their materials to the content of the standards (what students are expected to know), but do not routinely ensure that the material also addresses the cognitive demand of each standard (how the students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge) at the requisite level of rigor for the grade level.  Hence, that is the most significant reason for the discrepancy between the publisher’s claimed alignment percentage and the percentage determined by Learning List. So, prior to purchasing any instructional materials that span multiple grade levels, it would be wise for schools and districts to review the material’s alignment to each grade level’s standards.

 

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