Alta User Story – Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl
Central Oregon Community College
Why did you choose alta?
As I’m sure happens in many college classes, students do not read the textbook with the consistency or the depth that they should. I chose to use alta because, in the digital era, we needed a more engaging way to give students content. I wanted to use a system that was more exciting for the students, where I could hold them accountable, and where they would actually engage with the material outside of the classroom.
How do you use alta?
I have forgone a traditional textbook and I’m using alta as the sole source of outside content, aside from some student activities. I assign sections of alta based on how the table of contents aligns with what we are covering in class. I give credit in the course for completion of the assignments in alta. It represents 5% percent of students’ grades.
How effective was alta in helping your students achieve proficiency?
To measure alta’s impact on student proficiency, we analyzed the results that Jesse's students achieved working in alta.
What is your favorite thing about alta?
My favorite thing about alta is knowing that my students are engaging with course material outside of class. In the past, I couldn’t guarantee that students were reading the book or even thinking about my class. Thanks to the seamless integration with my LMS, I can see when they’ve completed their assignments and I know that they are working toward mastery on their own time and will be ready for class.
What advice would you give instructors considering adopting alta to help get them started?
alta is doing what I hoped it would do. I wanted participation, and I’m definitely getting that.
Knewton's 2017 Student Data Insights
To measure alta’s impact on mastery across instructors, institutions and disciplines, Knewton analyzed the results of more than 10,000 students who used alta in 2017. The high-level findings:
- Students using alta demonstrate proficiency by completing assignments at high rates.
- Completing alta assignments is directly correlated with better performance on summative assessments.
- Alta provides the biggest benefit to students who need it most.