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About APass Education

A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We work with organizations of all sizes and types, developing assessment questions, lesson plans, curricula, and eCourses. Started by Andrew Pass in 2009, the company now employs more than 1,400 experts in multiple disciplines. Our clients include education giants such as Pearson Education, Scholastic, and Britannica.
So far APass Education has created 286 blog entries.
7 12, 2017

Instructional Design Is a System that Begins with You

By | 2017-12-15T19:15:14+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Educational Content, Instructional Design, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Your project needs quality instructional design elements or modules. Finding the best vendor for the work can be a challenging proposition, especially when you have never done it before. This post is designed to provide an actionable checklist that you can use to ensure you are hiring the best possible instructional design vendor. Strong credentials in instructional systems design. It is often tempting to place a large amount of content into a template and present it as a learning course. With educational standards in place, this seems to be a logical and quick process. This approach, however, often ignores your learners’ needs and learning styles while negatively impacting your enterprise’s goals. Look for vendors whose instructional designers are skilled in modern learning methods for varying audiences and topics, and have instructor-led training (ILT) and eLearning as integral aspects of their focus. Pre-established and clearly defined processes. Qualified vendors will maintain a core group of instructional design professionals that understand adult learning approaches and adhere to solid project management methods. With these sound qualifications, a professional group of [...]

28 11, 2017

Putting Assessment to the Test: 3 Characteristics of Good Multiple Choice Items

By | 2017-12-07T21:29:01+00:00 November 28th, 2017|assessment|0 Comments

It’s the question at the forefront of every assessment writer’s mind: “How can I really find out what students know?” All types of assessments have limitations, and multiple choice items are certainly no exception. However, if written well, this type of assessment can give you a good (and quick) sense of student knowledge. If written well, multiple choice items can assess many levels of thinking. While there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating great multiple-choice assessment items, there are a few characteristics of good questions that test writers working in almost every type of educational content should know. Here are three of them. They assess higher-level thinking. Although multiple choice items are certainly appropriate to test concepts in lower taxonomic levels, they’re not limited to asking students to do tasks like simply choosing the right vocabulary word or solving a problem. While it will definitely take some work to construct a scenario that has the information a student needs to answer a Level 3 or Level 4 item, the investment is worth the insight you [...]

21 11, 2017

Communication Is Not Just A Word

By | 2017-12-07T19:53:26+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Communication|0 Comments

Communication. The word is everywhere. We are aware of its importance, but the constant use of the word often desensitizes us to the critical nature of efficient idea exchange. Nowhere is it more important than when working with your educational consulting firm; a successful project outcome demands valuable communication. Leading practices for reliable and useful communication demand constant communication. Following are actionable steps you can take to ensure your project has every chance at success. STEP 1: Communication Plan Your project should begin with a mutually acceptable communication plan. A highly qualified vendor has experience building effective and intentional communication plans, and will make recommendations which work with your team’s schedule and style. The plan’s routines are designed to ensure information exchange is constant, bidirectional, and able to resolve issues quickly. STEP 2: Team Agreement Both teams invest time and resources in the project’s success. Typically, your subject matter experts contribute to more than one project at a time, and time is at a premium. It is critical for a sound communication plan [...]

15 11, 2017

Benefits of Micro-Credentialing in Higher Education

By | 2017-12-04T19:39:39+00:00 November 15th, 2017|education, micro-credentialing|0 Comments

For years, institutions of higher learning have been diversifying their course offerings to appeal to more students. Not only are they offering a wider range of subjects in traditional study areas, they are capitalizing on technology to mix and match face-to-face and online learning for degree work. Not surprisingly, ambitious colleges are also turning their attention to a somewhat underserved market: people who need continuing education but cannot afford the cost or time commitment of regular college courses. More mainstream colleges are following the lead of professional organizations, technical institutes, and community colleges, and are adding micro-credentialing opportunities to their academic offerings. What Exactly is Micro-Credentialing? People without the time, money, or inclination to be full-time students can enroll in short,     relatively cheap online courses designed to impart knowledge in a limited subject area related to a career skill, such as coding. For the effort, the student earns a digital badge testifying to competence in that area. By stringing together a series of badges, the student can qualify for a certificate in a wider subject—say, [...]

8 11, 2017

5 Strategies for Giving Learners a V.O.I.C.E. in Competency-Based Educational Programs

By | 2017-11-29T20:13:42+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Competency Based Education|0 Comments

I recently asked a friend of mine, Elizabeth, a student enrolled in a competency-based program, why she chose that program instead of a traditional program. Without hesitation, she said, “The ability to learn on my own terms and to make the process work for me.” Elizabeth selected the program because its freedom and flexibility allowed her to juggle school and work. What she described is what we call student-centered learning. As described in this document jointly prepared by Jobs for the Future and the Council of Chief State School Officers, there are four characteristics of student-centered learning: 1. Learning activities allow learners to personalize the learning experience to meet their needs. 2. Learners demonstrate competency as a measure of learning. 3. Learners can choose when and where they learn. 4. Learning activities and course structure allow learners to take responsibility for their learning. During Competency Based Education (CBE) course development, course designers make many decisions about the content and delivery of the learning experience. To help students thrive in a CBE course, designers can give learners [...]

2 11, 2017

3 Tips for Writing Terrific Alt Text Descriptions

By | 2017-11-02T17:11:21+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Alternative Text|0 Comments

Alt text, or alternative text, is one of the critical components of good content design. For those newer to the topic, alt text sometimes is referred to as alt attributes, alt descriptions, or alt tags. Great instructional designers, course developers, and content writers keep the audience in mind as they develop content- and that includes associated images! Why is alt text important? Screen Readers Individuals relying on screen readers will use the alt attribute so they can interpret visual information as well as text. A lot of thought goes into the decision to use particular images- and that effort should continue over onto the alt text design to convey meaning effectively. Imagine reading a course question about a map showing a geographic location. Without a well-written alt text description the user is left wondering and unable to access all of the course content. Unloaded Image Files If an image file cannot be loaded the user is also left to wonder what information and context might have been provided by the broken image link. Indexing Alt text [...]

17 10, 2017

Learning by Doing: 5 Strategies to Increase Learner Engagement in Competency-Based Education

By | 2017-11-29T20:16:32+00:00 October 17th, 2017|Competency Based Education, Students|0 Comments

Most students who enroll in a competency-based education (CBE) program start out excited, motivated, and ready to learn. For too many students, that enthusiasm starts to wane a few weeks into the course. This is bad news for students and the enrolling institution. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Lack of engagement is a serious issue. Disengaged, discouraged students are more likely to drop out than their enthusiastic and engaged peers. Students may drop out of a CBE program for several reasons, including the actual learning experience. Students may become discouraged and quit if learning materials are too difficult to understand or poorly presented. Students may become disinterested and quit if learning activities are dull or uninspiring. Students may become frustrated and quit if they believe they’re wasting time on material they already know or view as irrelevant. While students may become disengaged for reasons that are beyond the control of the educational institution, course designers can strive to create engaging courses that discourage student drop out. An engaging CBE learning experience [...]

12 10, 2017

Supporting Students During Weather Disasters

By | 2017-12-05T21:51:44+00:00 October 12th, 2017|Supporting Students|8 Comments

Severe weather events can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially devastating for families. As we’ve seen from recent weather events, storms can cause property damage, food and water scarcity, and, unfortunately, injuries and loss of life. Children may struggle to understand how to cope with the loss and destruction resulting from weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, thunderstorms, floods, and blizzards. To supplement what students are learning at home about severe weather, educators should be ready to teach students about different types of weather disasters, where they occur, and how to prepare for them. Download Our Hurricane Lesson Plan, Mapped to NGSS Standards 1. Types of Weather Disasters Educators should be prepared to teach students about different types of weather disasters, especially the events that take place most frequently where they live. In teaching the different types, it is important for educators to focus on: What the weather event is and how it is formed What terms are associated with each weather event Where the weather event occurs When the weather event tends [...]