Ease Learning breaks new ground in learner measurement with Learnosity
Painting a portrait of learner skills
Ease Learning develops custom online learning solutions. With over 20 years’ learning design and tech expertise each, Ease Learning’s principals are on a mission to foster learner success through a blend of innovation in both technology and pedagogy. Their Ease Skillways product is a game-changer for higher education institutions and corporations aiming to deliver equitable, skills-based learning.
“We’re obsessed with measuring outcomes, seeing if students are succeeding or not, and understanding what we can do to foster that,” says Laurie Pulido, CEO of Ease Learning. “If we ask the questions the right way, and if we set up a series of things for them to show us, it’s like painting a portrait of their skills.”
-A flexible, embeddable assessment engine
-A wide breadth of engaging, feature-rich question experiences
-Actionable insights on how to improve content performance
Innovative measurement to build learner momentum
The needs of community college students have changed. On top of their course work, these students typically manage additional pressures, like full-time jobs and family care, meaning that they require more digital options and greater flexibility.
While researching how best to serve its users, Ease Learning discovered that learners demanded modular content, flexible learning pathways, and skill mapping at a granular level. These learners want access to career-changing opportunities and they want it their way.
While Ease Learning could design curriculum approaches to meet changing learner needs, the limitations of a standard learning management system (LMS) held them back. They would need to develop their own solution to deliver a new approach without compromising on academic integrity.
Ease Skillways, a groundbreaking learning delivery system that integrates directly into any LMS, was conceived to create measurable outcomes by design, emphasizing activities that demonstrate higher-order critical thinking skills.
“I think a lot of people make the mistake of going out to measure knowledge and not skills, not actually applied knowledge, or the ability to really do something with the knowledge,” says Laurie. “That’s where the learning design comes in. You can really give the students some currency for the job market.”
However, it quickly became clear that building a high-quality assessment component for Ease Skillways was simply not feasible after considering the constraints of time, development resources, and expertise.
“We weren’t looking for a SaaS product or a user experience from the top down,” says Chris Vento, Chief Product Architect at Ease Learning. “We were looking for the actual assessment engine that we could manipulate and merge into our Skillways platform to measure the achievements that are so key.”
After considering their options, the best path forward was obvious.
Having a robust, mature solution like Learnosity just allowed us to get the most power possible in the shortest amount of time.
Chief Product Architect at Ease Learning
Integrating the gold-standard assessment engine within Skillways
Ease Learning wanted to drive assessment in a new direction, but limited resources were holding them back. Learnosity provided an embeddable engine that propelled their product forward.
“It would’ve taken us an enormous amount of time to put the level of effort in to get even an adequate assessment equivalent, which we just didn’t have the time for,” says Vento. “And so having a robust, mature solution like Learnosity just allowed us to get the most power possible in the shortest amount of time.”
Harnessing the power of assessments
To better serve the diverse needs of modern learners, Ease Learning required the transformational out-of-the-box capabilities that Learnosity had to offer.
“We use different techniques to approach a subject from many different angles with many different modalities, such as visual and auditory,” says Laurie. “And all of those great tools were what made Learnosity so attractive to us, because we use them all. We mix and match them to make sure that we’re not leaving any learner behind.”
Ease Learning needed a partner whose dedication to equity and inclusivity equaled their own and, thanks to its ongoing commitment to accessible assessment, they found that in Learnosity.
“Accessibility is covered, which lets us focus more on how we’re meeting the learning outcomes and not overlooking any learners. The fact that accessibility is baked in and that it’s screen reader friendly just enables us to really focus on the design.”
Thanks to the flexibility afforded by Learnosity’s assessment engine, Skillways could reach more learners in a greater variety of ways.
“There’s so much value in being able to offer instructional feedback to learners in lower stake activities,” says Alison Reynolds, Lead Learning Experience Designer at Ease Learning. “Like the ability to offer hints or provide supplemental resources. Being able to combine the math question generator with an audio recorder question type also allows learners to explain their work. And we lean on the video feature a lot. The overall result is a very diverse course with a variety of question types that speak to universal design for learning. There are just so many ways to be creative.”
The overall result is a very diverse course with a variety of question types that speak to universal design for learning. There are just so many ways to be creative.
Lead Learning Experience Designer at Ease Learning
A data-driven flywheel for learner success
In one notable case, the authoring team was able to build more than 2,000 questions and more than 450 assessments using Learnosity over a five-month period for a Southern California community college continuing education program.
“We were able to identify concepts that a whole cohort was missing,” says Laurie. “And then we start looking at what features were turned on? Did they have unlimited attempts? Did they use the feedback? Did they start applying the feedback?”
Combining diverse question types, flexible learning pathways, and granular analytics resulted in a virtuous cycle where better assessments lead to actionable insights that supported continuous refinement of the learning experience.
“By taking Learnosity’s rich assessment universe, coupling it with our skill mapping, and then being LTI-integratable as a unit, we can make any deficient platform incredibly efficient at quantifying skills without our customers having to depart from their current LMS,” says Chris. “That’s really what we’ve achieved by bundling this powerful engine inside of the wrapper that we’ve created.”
About Ease Learning
Ease Learning develops custom online learning solutions by building close ties to their clients and fully understanding their needs.