Davidson College in North Carolina has announced nearly $2 million in funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to test a suite of online instructional units designed to improve educational outcomes in Advanced Placement courses in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
The Davidson Next initiative, a partnership of the college, the school system, edX, the College Board, and 2Revolutions, aims to incorporate AP-level course units in Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools. The units — in calculus, physics, and macroeconomics — will combine online learning with classroom discussion and practice and will include interactive assignments and video lessons taught by experienced AP teachers from across the country. Developed by Davidson faculty, the units use data from the College Board to pinpoint the most difficult concepts in each AP subject.
To date, the four online units have been distributed to twenty-eight teachers who will pilot the program in twenty high schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district, a Broad Prize winner that enrolls more than 145,000 K-12 students in one hundred and sixty-four schools. By the end of 2014, the initiative hopes to be delivering ten instructional units per AP course. After the pilot phase of the program ends in 2015, the units will be posted on the edx.org website, where they will be freely available to students everywhere.
"Davidson Next is exemplary of the college's dual commitment to educational excellence and access, and we are grateful to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for their support of this initiative," said Davidson College president Carol Quillen. "This partnership demonstrates how colleges and universities can take an evidence-based approach to technology to build a wide, strong bridge from high school to higher education for every able student."