MAP and Khan Academy – We Heard You

MAP and Khan Academy - We Heard You

I don’t want to bury the big idea, so if you are already using the link between MAP scores and Khan Academy, just read the next paragraph. If you are less familiar with the link, Khan Academy exercises, or are unsure how to use them together, I will summarize briefly what MAP and Khan Academy are providing.

New Feature: Word Document

The link between MAP goal scores and Khan Academy exercises has proven to be a hit with many partners. But partners have asked us to make it more useful. Some partners want to be able to create playlists for individual students or groups. It is a cumbersome process working from a .pdf. So this year in addition to the .pdf version we will be offering a read-only Word document that makes copy and paste much easier. We are offering two versions to try to meet the ways the link is being used. If you are giving the linking document to students to pick and choose exercises in their zone of proximal development, the .pdf is probably the way to go. For teachers who want to create playlists or copy links into plans or a learning management system, then the Word document will make that process easier. By the way, we have just refreshed both versions to reflect the most recent changes to the Khan Academy exercises.

What is this Link?

NWEA is committed to linking MAP scores, particularly goal area scores, to instructional materials in the student’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). One way we suggest appropriate content is by applying our 2015 normative data. We use the norms to suggest appropriate content aligned to the grade level where the student seems ready to learn. This is what we have done with the Khan Academy exercises that are aligned to grade level standards. NWEA sorted the exercises by topic into our goal structure at the sub-goal level. The result is a learning sequence of exercises sorted by RIT ranges for each sub-goal.  This method of suggesting differentiated content has proven successful both in this link and in our Instructional Content Provider Program.

How can teachers use the link?

The linking document really allows for a variety of individualized learning applications:

  • Working on low goal areas
  • Providing student choice for topics to explore
  • Progressing through an instructional sequence in a goal area
  • Remediating and Enriching
  • Working at home (internet available)
  • Creating learning paths

Because each student sees work in their ZPD, the link supports a number of digital content delivery models. Students can work in a lab setting, independently, or as part of rotational groups.  One district even implemented a program where everyone, including teachers, worked on Khan Academy for 30 minutes a couple of times per week. The link provides flexibility in the instructional needs you can meet and the delivery models you choose.

What are Khan Academy Exercises?  (I thought Khan Academy was videos.)

Over the last few years, Khan Academy has been developing one or more exercises to align to each Common Core grade-level math standard. Each exercise is a series of problems aligned to the standard.  Each item has hints (instructional supports), and the student gets immediate feedback about correct or incorrect responses. The exercises also have links to traditional Khan Academy videos for additional instruction and links to related exercises. If a student gets 5 items correct in a row without hints, Khan Academy deems the exercise successfully completed. If a student has created an account in Khan Academy, their system keeps track of student progress through the exercises. Teachers can also create accounts and monitor class progress through Khan Academy.

The instructional resource that NWEA has developed and the instructional materials Khan Academy have created support differentiated instruction and allow students to take responsibility for and monitor their own learning.

Blog post

Helping students grow

Students continue to rebound from pandemic school closures. NWEA® and Learning Heroes experts talk about how best to support them here on our blog, Teach. Learn. Grow.

See the post


Put the science of reading into action

The science of reading is not a buzzword. It’s the converging evidence of what matters and what works in literacy instruction. We can help you make it part of your practice.

Get the guide


Support teachers with PL

High-quality professional learning can help teachers feel invested—and supported—in their work.

Read the article