“You’ll have a great time,” the visitor center greeter said as we headed towards the trail in upstate New York. The hike was described as fun, but challenging, and we figured, despite rarely ever hiking, that we’d all be fine. Countless hours later we descended the trail thankful to be alive. Simply put, the trail was much more difficult than we could have ever imagined. While there were optional ladders and ledges placed at certain parts, in others we couldn’t figure out why these supremely helpful elements were frustratingly missing.
It is important when tackling a challenge or learning something new that there are certain supports in place to maximize desired outcomes, decrease frustration, and maintain motivation (at one point on the trail I told my friends it was best they just leave me there). Without the availability of these critical elements it’s all too easy to give up.
When building Knowre Math, it was critically important that we develop a powerful support system for students that would supercharge their math learning outcomes, while simultaneously empowering them with the tools they needed to stay motivated and focused. One critical component of this support system is Knowre’s proprietary, interactive Walk Me Through.
The Walk Me Through has two primary functions: to engage the learner in scaffolded skill development and to collect granular data about the student’s individual learning gaps. When a student needs help, the Walk Me Through takes them through the steps of solving the problem using a back-and-forth process inspired by the one-on-one interaction between a student and teacher. Just as a teacher would, the Walk Me Through provides scaffolded guidance and requires that the student prove what they know along the way. This learning process is not one size fits all. Students who demonstrate the need for more support are given just that.
Instead of simply providing a series of hints that students passively read or ignore, the Walk Me Through process gives each student the chance to actively develop their missing prerequisite skills in context. As math concepts build upon each other, this focused skill development also sets a student up for success on the lessons to come.
The Walk Me Through process is incredibly effective at promoting student learning and independence. It simultaneously allows us to provide information to each teacher not just about which questions a student answered incorrectly, but about why the student answered those questions incorrectly. Since Knowre Math support operates at the sub-skill level, we are able to continuously identify skills that are standing in the way of each student’s ongoing learning. Our proprietary algorithm also integrates that granular information in order to develop personalized curricula targeted to each student’s areas for growth.
One of the most frustrating parts of solving a math problem (or trying to make it through a complicated section of trail) is not even knowing where to start. With Knowre’s Walk Me Through, students have interactive "how to start" guidance at their fingertips. This support not only decreases frustration, but helps foster a sense of “I can do this” in our students.
On the hike, all I wanted was a few more strategically placed steps and hand holds to help bolster my confidence and decrease my impulse to ask for help every time I couldn’t figure out how to get up a particularly large rock. The Walk Me Through is that series of critically important, confidence-boosting, scaffolded steps for our students.