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 30 blog entries.
11 09, 2019

3 Powerful Project Evaluation Practices for IDs

2019-09-19T14:17:30-05:00 September 11th, 2019|assessment, Instructional Design, project management|0 Comments

As an instructional designer (ID), you have carefully designed and developed useful content, engaging learning activities, and challenging assessment items for a project. You feel good about what you have created, but ‘So What?’  The important question is, Does the instruction actually address the learning need?  To answer this question, you should consider three important project evaluation practices.  Formative project evaluations Summative project evaluations Reflection Formative Project Evaluations The first practice to consider is formative evaluation. It is a method for judging the worth of the instructional project while the content and activities are in development or in progress. This type of evaluation focuses on the process.  Remember the goal is for learners to master new skills and knowledge. Thus a formative evaluation is a useful tool for instructional designers, teachers, and students to use during the design, development, and implementation of the project. Its main purpose is to monitor how well the content, learning activities, and assessment items align with the learning objectives. This will help you address any deficiencies immediately.  Download the article: Launching [...]

4 09, 2019

How to Make a Content Vendor Partnership Work for You

2019-09-04T09:05:48-05:00 September 4th, 2019|content development, Course Creation, course design, vendor|0 Comments

  Partnering with a content vendor offers you several benefits.  Whether you need lesson planning, micro-credentialing, item writing, or full course development, you can benefit from outsourcing your project. Some vendors even offer customization to suit your specific project needs. In such instances, the development options are endless! Below are several ways how you can make a content vendor partnership work for you.   Large number of contractors With content vendors such as A Pass, we have access to a large number of contractors with diverse specialities. This provides you with a workforce that is ready to tackle any project on nearly any timeline.   A successful vendor-client partnership accurately conveys project specifications and ensures development meets your needs. Download this free article, The Key to Successful Client Vendor Relationships Experienced subject matter experts In a large pool of contractors, you will find workers with varying backgrounds. Each contractor will bring their own expertise to the course development. A vendor has experience working with different industries and will pair contractors with the right backgrounds to your course development. [...]

28 08, 2019

3 Connections Between Learning Standards and Performance-Based Assessments

2019-08-27T19:58:01-05:00 August 28th, 2019|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

What are performance-based assessments (PBA)? Here's an example to help you understand PBAs. Let’s think about verbs. Regardless of your level of interest in sentence structure, the word verb most likely brought one thing to mind: action. The physical act of doing something. Now, what verb in the following standard do you consider most significant?  Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the Sun and the force of gravity. If you picked develop, congratulations! That’s what the middle-school science student has to do in this case: create something to describe something else. Both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards are all about action, regardless of the age of the student. So, how does a student develop a model on a traditional multiple-choice assessment? Chances are, this question made you pause a bit and think about it. Can a model be made by choosing A, B, C, or D? Kind of. You can definitely complete a model by selecting the correct answer. You [...]

21 08, 2019

Online Course Development: Start to Finish

2019-08-21T06:26:25-05:00 August 21st, 2019|eLearning|0 Comments

As more learning becomes digital, the mysteries of instructional design unfold. Luckily, the secrets to developing a great online course follow a logical process. But before developing an online course, there are several wh-questions to ask. These questions determine who the course is for, why the course is needed, and so on. The answers to the wh-questions will differ for each developed course, but the steps for developing each e-course will follow the same basic pattern. Analyzing your online course objective(s) Once an online course objective has been decided, it must be analyzed. Breaking the course into manageable chunks will give the online course structure. One pitfall of chunking a concept is to make the pieces too large. Each chunk should be small enough for a learner to cover in one module. This may mean dividing chunks into smaller pieces. Revision may be necessary along the way.     Assembling the online course development team  Developing an online course requires a team of experts. These include subject matter experts, instructional designers, project managers, graphic [...]

14 08, 2019

3 Tips for Writing Great Alt-Text Descriptions

2019-08-15T09:48:56-05:00 August 14th, 2019|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 alt-text so to interpret visual information as well as text. A lot of thought goes into the decision to use particular images. This 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. Curious to learn more about how we can help you with an alt-text project? Download [...]

7 08, 2019

Productive Struggle: An Approach that Fosters Critical Thinking

2019-08-07T09:45:22-05:00 August 7th, 2019|Critical thinking, STEM, Supporting Students, Teaching|0 Comments

This guest post was written by Kristin Owens, Assistant Director of STEM area. Why is math class not the setting for most made-for-TV movies? Frankly, it is often lacking many of the elements we find most entertaining: suspense, drama, edge-of-your-seat action. TV audiences are not particularly engaged by lectures, note-taking, and example problems. And neither are students. An approach called productive struggle could change that! What is productive struggle? Imagine a group of students hunched around a worksheet containing a set of block figures. Each figure has the same shape, but the number of blocks in each increases consistently from the first figure to the last. The students must formulate an equation to calculate the number of blocks in each figure. And that is the extent of their instructions. While you may not be on the edge of your seat, the opening scene has set the stage for an exercise in productive struggle. Watch what happens next! The process of productive struggle Now that the teacher has assigned the worksheet, this is how the process of productive struggle [...]

31 07, 2019

Improving the ID/SME Partnership for Effective Online Course Design

2019-08-07T09:48:34-05:00 July 31st, 2019|course design, eLearning, Instructional Design, subject matter expert|0 Comments

Most colleges are creating online courses that serve the learners’ needs for flexibility and convenience. A positive partnership between an instructional designer, or ID, and a subject matter expert, or SME, can lead to a dynamic online course. It’s all about teamwork!  Are you facing challenges, such as limited resources and time constraints to create an online course? What about faculty buy-in? Developing an online course involves more than moving textbook content to slides. It also involves understanding how to engage a learner online. Sometimes faculty don’t understand the role and contribution of an instructional designer. IDs work with SMEs to create engaging and interactive online courses. But, most importantly, it is the SMEs who have the expertise to bring meaning to it. Therefore, partnering a SME with an ID will result in an effective and engaging online course that serves the learner.  Here are some best practices that will ensure a successful partnership:  Create a good match  Partnering a SME with an ID who has expertise in the same area will strengthen the partnership. They [...]

24 07, 2019

3 High-Impact Openers for a High School eLearning Course

2019-08-07T09:38:36-05:00 July 24th, 2019|content development, course design, eLearning|0 Comments

Online learning is not only popular for college courses, it's an equally important part of high school learning. A critical part of developing an engaging eLearning course is to understand what motivates the learner; in this case it is the high school student.  We can describe a high school student's learning profile using these 6 characteristics. Critical thinker Goal setter Engages in self-reflection Prefers active over passive learning Highly curious thinker Seeks connections The first goal of the beginning of an eLearning course is to grab the learner's attention. If the learner is initially hooked, it’s easier to keep their attention.  Here are 3 ways to trigger your high school student’s attention.   Download the infographic, 8 Factors that Lead to an Engaging eLearning Course 1. Increase interactivity in eLearning To spark your student’s interest, incorporate interactive elements that will help them drive their learning. Instead of having a slide progress automatically, include a feature that will allow students to drag, drop, and hover. This will trigger your student to stay alert and involved in the [...]