Addressing educational disadvantage
CENTURY is addressing the challenge of educational disadvantage by providing the world’s most vulnerable learners with an outstanding education. All learners who use CENTURY benefit from a truly personalised learning experience, delivered by our artificial intelligence-powered learning platform.
CENTURY seeks to improve the lives of learners globally by overcoming barriers to access to high-quality education. . For example, CENTURY is used by Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. The school population in Lebanon has almost doubled since the refugee crisis, meaning resources are spread thinly, and teachers have limited time to address the complex needs of individual learners. Yet we know that education is at its most powerful when learning is tailored to the needs of each individual. The Lebanese education system is working to accommodate these vulnerable young people, yet inevitably, with significant demand on their services, additional support is required to make this possible.
CENTURY partnered with the Lebanese Ministry to implement the platform in those communities most impacted by increased student numbers. By using artificial intelligence (AI), the platform is able to judge the unique needs of every learner, understanding not only what they need to learn next, but why, and create an individualised path to mastery for every individual. CENTURY gathers data on students via their interactions with the platform: every click, every score, every movement is tracked. This data feeds into machine learning algorithms that learn each individual’s needs. A pupil could have gaps in their knowledge that are impeding their progress. They might need new material that stretches them further. Or they might need greater support on a given topic. A pupil could require additional practice, or they might be at risk of forgetting a topic if they don’t recap soon. Whatever a pupil requires, the platform will identify that need.
If a pupil struggles with a nugget on Pythagoras’ theorem, the platform will be able to identify why. There are a number of reasons a pupil might struggle with this topic, and the particular reason (or reasons) will vary from pupil to pupil. Issues could include not having a good understanding of triangles, being unable to rearrange formula, or not understanding square numbers amongst others. CENTURY will identify the particular reason a given pupil has not yet mastered a topic, and will recommend material to them that will allow them to improve understanding.
No matter how well a pupil has done in a particular topic, they cannot just learn that topic once and expect to have mastered it forever. Through the memory boost function, CENTURY learns how each individual retains information, and calculates the time at which pupils should recap a particular topic for optimal memory retention
To empower some of most marginalised learners across the globe we will build upon the successful implementation of CENTURY in Lebanon.
In Lebanon, four public schools use CENTURY as a resource to boost the impact of lessons, and add value to home learning. In lessons, each pupil learns by completing bite-sized modules of learning, called nuggets. These nuggets, which span topics from maths, science and English, are created by outstanding teachers and contain high-quality learning material and assessment activities. The learning material that pupils access is tailored to suit their individual needs, meaning that in a large class every learner gets a unique learning experience; something which has never before been possible to even the most advantaged learners. Outside of school, pupils can continue to access CENTURY on any device with an internet connection.
Personalised learning on CENTURY plays a role in bridging structural disparities between different groups. Our impact data has shown that although pupils with SEN learn differently on CENTURY, both groups (those with and without special educational needs) achieve the same level of understanding. This closing of the gap is also seen between less advantaged and more advantaged pupils.
CENTURY is also helping students in Alternative Provision schools, where students who have been permanently excluded from mainstream UK education are taught full time. These students typically are severely behind in their schooling, largely due to classroom absence. We collected data on six students in an Alternative Provision school, who suffer emotional difficulties and are considered to be at high risk of negative outcomes. The data showed that on CENTURY, these students put in high amounts of effort. As a consequence, these students were amongst the highest scoring pupils on CENTURY.
Even the most ‘challenging’ students, whose needs are often most critical, engage with CENTURY, and thrive as a result. This provides strong evidence that CENTURY can be a powerful resource to challenge educational disadvantage amongst marginalised groups.