Improving Student Progress in 2021

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    William C. MichaelWilliam C. Michael

    Dear friends,

    This is a significant announcement, but I don’t have time to make more of it than a forum post at the moment.

    First, some history. When I started the CLAA in 2009, students began studying and made very great progress. Unfortunately, internet technology was changing and the system I initially built had to adapt to the changes. In doing so, the effectiveness of my original setup was lost and studies became very inefficient and, in my opinion, remain so to this day.

    I believe it is too difficult for students to make progress in courses and that too much time is spent spinning tires, talking about scores, points, etc.–all of which are irrelevant. What matters is progress through courses, through the curriculum, up into the higher subjects of classical Catholic education.

    Not enough students are getting there–and I believe I can fix this.

    I am making three improvements to do so:

    1. I am moving to Google quizzes for CLAA lesson exams.

    This will allow me to publish exams very quickly (I published three today), but the real benefits are for the students. At the end of every exam, students will immediately see their score and which questions they have wrong. They can then begin reviewing their lesson and working to master the exam–with a 100% score. When the students earn a 100% score on a lesson exam, they will notify us, we’ll mark their lesson complete, and they’ll move on in the course. This will be a very great help for parents.

    If you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll see that I said 100% scores will be required for promotion from one lesson to the next–that is, on the Google quizzes. Thus, every student’s “grade” will be 100%. The question will simply be, “How far along in the course are you?”–which is all that matters.

    This is how the CLAA worked when it started in 2009, and I believe this is the reason students progressed so well then.

    Here’s an example of a new Google quiz that I published today:

    Feel free to complete and submit the exam to see how results will appear.

    2. Students will be promoted in courses manually.

    As I mentioned in the section above, when students earn 100% on exams using Google quizzes, they will notify us that they have done so, we’ll confirm their scores, and then manually mark their lessons completed. All students are welcome to use live chat for this, and we’ll update lessons on the spot.

    (Note: This only applies to lessons that are assessed with Google quizzes. Existing exams will automatically advance students as before. They will be replaced over time.)

    3. Scores will no longer be tracked in the CLAA

    Obsession with meaningless statistics and numbers is a modern dilemma caused by artificial K-12 schooling and all of its testing and fake busy-ness. What matters is progress through real courses–the completion of lessons and learning of new concepts. It doesn’t matter that a student has a 94% average if he has only completed three lessons in 6 months. He’s not making progress in his studies.

    In the CLAA, we will again focus entirely on curriculum progress as the only measure of student achievement. On the transcripts available in the right menu, students will only see record of their course progress–not their numberical test averages, which are irrelevant. From now on, everyone’s test average will be 100%–and their lesson progress will be all that matters, the true test of their studies.

    I’ll post more on this and am happy to take any questions you have.

    God bless,
    William C. Michael, Headmaster
    Classical Liberal Arts Academy

    Leslie HickmanLeslie Hickman

    Thank you, Mr. Michael.
    I gave the example assessment a try and have a question. Do you receive notification of the score the students receive to be able to verify that they really did receive a perfect score, or should the parent verify this at home before the student sends you a message?

    Leslie Hickman

    Leslie HickmanLeslie Hickman

    Nevermind. I just reread your post and saw that you will confirm the 100%. Do you also see the scores of the students who receive lower grades?

    William C. MichaelWilliam C. Michael

    Yes, every single quiz taken is recorded and accessible to us.


    AvatarMiriam Gulding

    I was wondering, when you replace the old exams, should students go back to complete them? or does it not matter, as the content will be the same? Thank you for your time! 🙂
    God bless,

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