DNP Launches Learning Model that Provides Individualized Teaching Materials Matching Each Pupil's Ability Characteristics

Adopted by all forty three elementary schools in Nara City

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) will commence a new service from September that automatically analyzes in a cloud format the results of elementary school tests, conducted once or twice per month, and including those following the completion of text-book based units and end of term evaluations*1, and will provide individualized teaching materials designed to match the ability characteristics of each pupil. The Company is also pleased to announce that ahead of the official launch of the new service, a decision has been reached to adopt the same service in classes for fourth grade pupils at all forty three elementary schools in Nara City near Osaka.
Amidst the demand for efficient and effective educational services that leverage the digitzation of education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), DNP has developed a service to support the classroom with learning styles that fuse ICT with printing on paper that are the strengths of DNP, and has been working to solve a variety of education-related social challenges.

[Service Background]

Currently, many routine tests implemented in Japanese elementary schools are created based on easy to approach questions that emphasize the fundamentals and basics, but with which it is difficult to measure the ability characteristics of the pupils. In addition, there are also calls for measures to help support younger instructors and improve their teaching abilities.
In answer to this challenge, DNP will launch a service that emphasizes the integration of evaluation and teaching, and automatically analyzes test responses in a cloud format following once or twice monthly tests conducted, and which also provides short-term, (approximately three-day of) individualized teaching materials designed to match the ability characteristics of each pupil.

[Service Summary and Features]

In recent years, progress has been made in the classroom adoption of adaptive learning techniques that provide optimum learning based on the proficiency of each individual pupil. Many adaptive learning teaching materials use tablet terminals, and in line with progress in ICT installation, DNP has made it possible to operate tests and ability characteristic-based review materials in both paper and digital formats. With this new service, test answers are scanned following marking, and the data forwarded to the DNP cloud server, where the results are automatically analyzed. It is now possible to perform a detailed analysis of the ability characteristics of each pupil from the answer data, facilitating the provision of individualized teaching materials that match 60,000 possible ability characteristic variations from the results of a single arithmetic test. This compares with the current situation which is limited to preparing only several levels of review materials following each test.
Service Features:

  • The new service is the first of its kind in Japan to employ Modern Test Theory*2 in unit and end of term tests. By using statistical processing that takes in Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven analysis techniques in a cloud system, it is now possible to analyze such tests, and provide individualized teaching materials designed to match the ability characteristics of each pupil*3. Learning management functions include the ability to confirm the average percentage of correct answers on a school or class basis, the status of distribution and use of individual questions, ability characteristic distribution, and the process by which pupils arrived at their responses, including careless reasoning, misunderstanding the question, or responses that were correct merely by chance. As a result, it is possible for teachers to boost the learning motivation of pupils, and provide more appropriate teaching.
  • Taking into consideration the adoption of tablets as a national policy and classroom conditions, ability characteristic-linked review materials can be selected in either a paper format or as digital teaching materials for tablet terminals. And, when providing paper-based teaching materials, DNP also operates a service for the delivery on a pupil-basis of individually designated test sheets in a booklet format, to save the time and labor taken by teachers in the preparation of such prints and the collating of the same.
  • Local authorities normally confirm scholastic achievement at schools once or twice per year, but with the new service it is possible to perform such tasks once or twice per month, making the results much more useful in actual teaching.
  • The tests, ability characteristic-individualized teaching materials and analytical techniques have been developed in conjunction with Wao Corporation (Wao) that operates tutoring schools in all of Japan's forty seven prefectures. Based on the teaching know-how of Wao, a verification testing was carried out in collaboration with Nara City from September 2016, consisting of 10 unit and 2 end of term tests, along with encouragement for pupils, explanations to guardians, and absentee responses. The results have been embodied in a teaching materials service that reflects actual classroom usage.
  • The whole learning model, providing the individualized teaching materials, and designed to be useful in teaching, has been created under the supervision of Professor Tamaki Hattori director of The Japan Association for Research on Testing. 

[Looking Ahead]

DNP plans to substantiate test effects targeting adoption by more local authorities in the present FY, and to provide digital review materials for tablet terminals. Apart from unit and end of term tests, class and homework-driven results will also be accumulated as data, and by analyzing these using the new system, we aim to employ them in classroom teaching.

    *1 Evaluation materials to be carried out after completion of textbook unit and at the end of term.
    *2 Modern Test Theory is set to be used in reforms aimed at integrating high schools and universities into a seamless unit, otherwise referred to as the reform of the university entrance exam system. This theory makes it possible to measure response capability characteristics, and by statistically processing answer data on a problem basis it becomes possible to objectively set the degree of difficulty of such problems, and to visualize individual ability characteristics.
    *3 The data used in this service is managed and operated by the DNP Kashiwa Data Center. The Data Center provides high level security measures in order to protect the important information entrusted to us by consumers and our corporate clients. Such measures include IC cards, biometric gateway management, monitoring cameras and 24 hour manned monitoring to keep out external intruders.
       * Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.

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