Desire2Learn Inc.



Desire2Learn Inc.

March 04, 2014 10:00 ET

Desire2Learn Acquires The Achievement Standards Network From JES & CO

The ASN maps learning activities to education standards, including Common Core, state-specific, and corporate learning standards; Ties experiences to outcomes for greater visibility, measurability, and accountability

AUSTIN, TEXAS--(Marketwired - March 4, 2014) - SxSW EDU - Desire2Learn, the EdTech company that created the world's first truly integrated learning platform, announced its acquisition of the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) created by JES & Co. with consulting support from the Information School of the University of Washington. The ASN creates digital data representations of the myriad of K-12, higher education, and professional/workplace standards, making it possible to map them to curriculum and to tie learning experiences to measurable outcomes. The acquisition extends Desire2Learn's data-driven product offerings, supporting educators in their efforts to improve learner outcomes.

Educators are under increasing pressure to ensure curriculum and content is mapped to specific standards in order to make learning more measureable and accountable. Whether the standards are developed by state or provincial governments, accrediting bodies, or professional associations, a clear connection to and measurement of achievement is critical to support decisions on the advancement of each individual learner.

"Traditional methods for assessing attainment of learning objectives are paper-based processes which are time-consuming and inadequate, especially as learners move from school to school or into the workforce," said Rick Tanski, Principal of Academy Online High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Often, the only evidence of a learner's achievement is found in transcripts that offer limited value to the learner, future educators, or employers. The education community is struggling to manage the volume of standards that differ from state to state, particularly with the conversion of materials to newer standards such as the Common Core for K-12. A technology like ASN will be a great benefit and time saver."

"The ASN provides educators with one of the largest open digital catalogues of government, workplace, and professional standards, enabling them to view, search, and download the appropriate standard and automatically apply it to current curriculum. This allows educators to ensure that learning experiences are directly aligned to learning outcomes, making outcomes more measurable," explains Diny Golder, executive director of JES & Co. and driver of the transfer of the ASN to Desire2Learn.

"The ASN is unprecedented in its provision of open access to competency framework data in forms that satisfy the needs of both teachers and learners as well as the data-hungry public and private sector applications shaping the education and training ecosystem," said Stuart Sutton, Associate Professor Emeritus at the Information School, University of Washington, and lead on the ASN's development. "The ASN's repository of competency framework data is the largest of its kind in the world and is poised to federate with other ASN-based repositories as they emerge globally in both public and private sectors."

"Educators around the world are faced with an increasing number of standards they must incorporate into the learning curriculum-demonstrating how learning outcomes are mapping to these standards has proven difficult. ASN ties learning experiences to objectives, making them visible, measurable, and portable, while also providing insight to the learner and instructor on progress and achievement," said Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer of D2L. "ASN will help eliminate the extraneous processes of managing, updating, and converting between sets of standards, freeing educators to spend more time working with learners on achieving greater outcomes."

ASN was founded by JES & Co., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and through the support of education stakeholders and grants from Ed-Tech companies, The National Science Foundation and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ASN currently has a repository of federal, state and provincial government, corporate, and professional association standards. The technology is currently free and will continue to be offered for free to everyone while also being tightly integrated into the D2L platform and other learning technologies. D2L is committed to maintaining ASN as an open service and available for integration with all learning technologies.

About Desire2Learn

D2L is helping to transform the way the world learns. Providing the next-generation learning environment and solutions to engage and inspire lifelong learners, D2L helps clients break down barriers to access the highest quality learning experiences and is recognized for its leadership in accessibility. A global leader in online learning solutions, D2L provides an open and extensible platform to over 1100 clients and 13 million individual learners in higher education, K-12, healthcare, government and the corporate sector, including Fortune 1000 companies. D2L has personnel in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Singapore. For more information or to contact us, visit: http://www.Desire2Learn.com.

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