5 Ways to Reverse the COVID Slide

In 2021, Learning Upgrade will be working with our partners to help reverse COVID-19 related learning loss globally. With personalized smartphone learning, every student can accelerate their growth in math, reading and digital skills to overcome losses and reach grade level.

By Learning Upgrade

COVID Learning Loss

The COVID pandemic has dramatically altered the traditional learning growth path of students as they move through their grade level curriculum. Students attending school may have achieved a full year of gains through one school year. However, many students working remotely, even those who were previously high achievers, are now making slower gains or even losing ground. NWEA research has found that COVID learning loss has been greatest in math, with a loss of 5-10 percentile points.

NWEA Covid Slide Research

The education system is now faced with a daunting challenge: how to accelerate learning to bring millions of students back up to grade level in a short period of time. If students just return to school and do the same activities as before, with the same pace of learning growth, they will not be able to overcome the COVID learning loss. The result could be a generation of students who are permanently behind and never catch up.

Reversing the COVID Slide

The learning loss reporting in the NWEA research data is being referred to as the “COVID Slide”, similar to the summer learning loss often referred to as the “Summer Slide”. To assist education providers in reversing the COVID Slide, we have developed a model to identify student learning loss and have established five action items that schools can put in place today.

Our Accelerated Intervention Model

The first step in reversing the Covid Slide is to identify the learning loss for each individual student. Once a student’s learning loss has been established, we can begin to visualize the slope of their intervention curve. With our internal data, we know that it takes a student an average of 25 hours on Learning Upgrade to advance one grade level in reading or math. For students with a high degree of learning loss and/or students that were already behind pre-Covid, the slope to catch up by January of 2022 will be steep. Remote instructor-led classes and traditional classroom time will not be enough to accelerate this path to proficiency. New strategies will be needed to bring every student up to grade level. To assist education providers in this challenge, we have developed 5 helpful ways to start reversing the Covid slide.

Want to Learn More? Join Our Webinar

Title: Reversing the COVID Slide
A Panel Discussion

The COVID pandemic has dramatically altered the traditional learning growth path of students as they move through their grade level curriculum. Students are now making slower gains or even losing ground. Educators need new solutions to move each student back up to grade level as soon as possible. In this discussion panel, we will explore creative ideas from education thought leaders committed to reversing this ‘COVID Slide’. Join us to hear their innovative solutions and take part in the discussion as we work to stop learning loss globally.

5 Ways to Reverse the COVID Slide

1. Personalized Learning

Help each student fill in their unique gaps

Each student has had a unique path through the period of COVD-19 with school closures and remote learning. The result is that each student has their own gaps to fill.  The solution is personalized learning, where a program automatically assesses and adapts to the needs of each student.

In the Learning Upgrade program, students take a placement test to start their journey at the right place.  Then in each lesson, the program monitors student answers and gives them remediation through voice, animation, and text.   This personalized approach is designed to bring each student up from wherever they are to grade level proficiency.

2. Intervention for All

Assume every student needs systematic remediation

The education system has developed a system of intervention for students who are behind in learning: special needs, Title I (low income), and English learners.  Students are identified often at a young age and given intervention in pullout groups. 

Now, however, educators should assume that every student needs intervention.  The systems created for assessing students and providing individualized remediation should apply to all students.  For example, the IEP or Individualized Education Program that special needs students receive should be available for all students so they can catch up. Programs like Learning Upgrade that are effective for intervention can now be universally applied to every student with real-time monitoring by educators and parents.  

3. Accessible to All

Deliver remote learning on smartphones, tablets, computers

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected low-income and minority students disproportionately due to a lack of access to private tutors, computers, the internet, and online learning programs. Thus is it critically important that the solutions for intervention are delivered in a way that every student can benefit.

Over 90% of low income families now have smartphones, enabling learning anywhere and anytime. Solutions like Learning Upgrade work on smartphones, tablets, and computers with students able to switch to any device at school or home as needed.

4. Tracking with Feedback

Weekly review of progress discussed with students

To ensure that every student is reversing the COVID slide, real-time data on student progress should be available to teachers, administrators, and parents. Programs like Learning Upgrade have online reports that show summaries of classes or whole schools, as well as detailed reports on each student with every session and lesson listed. The key is to watch how students move along the path to proficiency and react accordingly. This means giving extra support when a student is falling behind and setting goals and dates for achieving milestones.

5. Celebrate Success

Find ways to honor each student for their achievement

Everyone likes a party! Whether online or in person, educators and parents should celebrate the success of students as they accelerate their learning and catch up to grade level. This can take the form of giving out certificates, reading out names, or sharing prizes. For example, in Learning Upgrade, students receive a course certificate that they can share online with their parents or friends. The key is to acknowledge the hard work and achievement so that students are motivated to keep going and “binge learn” all the way to proficiency.

Reaching our Goals

Every student at grade level by the end of 2021!

A Message from Our CEO

Our mission at Learning Upgrade is to transform lives through fundamental educational breakthroughs.  Helping to reverse the COVID slide is a key part of this mission.  We are partnering with a wide variety of organizations globally to bring life-changing learning to everyone who needs it.

Vinod Lobo

Learning Upgrade CEO