Product Index
Post-Secondary

Adult basic literacy

Overview

Goals: Spark3000’s mission is to accelerate literacy gains for adult learners, helping them reach their personal goals, particularly those related to coursework and/or their career.

Approach: Spark3000 works very similarly to the Achieve3000 products designed for grades 2-12, but the content is uniquely bundled and delivered in a curriculum that meets the needs and interests of adult learners. The product provides differentiated literacy instruction by delivering nonfiction texts and current events stories at multiple levels paired with accompanying activities. Each text on Spark3000 comes in twelve levels so that all learners can read a text about the same topic, but at a level that is tailored to their needs and abilities.

Pricing: Pricing for these services varies based on the engagement. Inquire here for pricing details.

Who is Using It: As of Summer 2014, Spark3000 users include post-secondary programs, businesses for workforce development, and prison systems for literacy development.

Product Brief

Goals

Achieve3000 is most well-known for their online products that support differentiated instruction and practice for students in grades 2-12 (KidBiz3000, TeenBiz3000, and Empower3000). In 2003 the company launched Spark3000 to boost adult literacy through differentiated instruction. The company’s mission is to accelerate literacy gains for all learners helping them reach their personal goals, particularly those related to their coursework and/or career. Spark3000 aims to support adult learners by preparing them for college or vocational school, boosting career readiness, and supporting them in the workforce.

Approach

The Program

Achieve3000 provides web-based products for supporting reading comprehension and writing proficiency in grades 2 through 12 and for adult learners. The company provides differentiated literacy instruction by delivering nonfiction texts and current events stories at multiple levels paired with accompanying activities. Each text on Spark3000 comes at twelve levels so that all learners can read a text about the same topic at a level that is tailored to their needs and abilities.

Spark3000 works very similarly to the Achieve3000 products designed for grades 2-12, but the content is uniquely bundled and delivered in a curriculum that meets the needs and interests of adult learners. Spark3000 is applicable to adult learners looking to prepare for their GED, applying to a bridge program in higher education, or looking to enter the workforce. A commonly used feature of Spark3000 is the Career Center, where learners can explore careers of interest and see what Lexile range might be necessary to obtain a job in a particular field.

When Spark3000 is used in a classroom setting, there is a teacher edition, which provides teacher tips, lesson plans, tools and data reporting on each student. In these instances, a teacher can assign content to his/her students, and can grade student work. When Spark3000 is used in other settings (Ex: businesses for workforce development), there is typically a facilitator who is trained on the program and is responsible for setting up classes and managing the roster. In these settings, Spark3000 typically delivers the default curriculum, and allows learners to use the search functionality to browse the Achieve3000 archives to find texts and activities of interest. Regardless of the setting in which Spark3000 is used, it is recommended that each learner completes 2 lessons per week.

When a learner begins using Spark3000, they are administered an initial assessment (developed in conjunction with MetaMetrics), which gives them a Lexile score. After the assessment, the learner’s academic profile is automatically updated so when they enter the site, all content is displayed at their level. After the initial assessment, the learner begins to move through the curriculum. The initial Lexile score drives the content at first, but Spark3000 has an adaptive engine built in that regularly monitors progress as a learner moves through the curriculum. Their progress impacts the level of texts that are delivered to them.

The curriculum follows the same, five-step literacy sequence as the Achieve3000 products for grades 2-12 (KidBiz3000, TeenBiz3000, and Empower3000), which is designed to target vocabulary, comprehension, critical thinking, fluency and writing skills. Learners typically complete 2 lessons per week, each containing a text with accompanying activities including poll questions, multiple choice questions (typically 8 per text), and written responses. Ongoing formative assessments are built into the product.

The routine for each lesson is as follows: 

The Content

Each piece of content on Spark3000 is available at 12 levels, so an entire group of learners can read about the same topic at various degrees of difficulty. Progress is measured along the way through the 5-step approach (see image above) that is the foundation of all of Achieve3000 products. Every lesson on Spark3000 is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and is available in English and Spanish. There is a full Spanish version, or users can opt for the partial Spanish version in which the texts appear in English, but the instructions and navigation tools appear in Spanish.

Learners can access content through the curriculum, or by searching through Achieve3000’s archive to find texts of interest. The content in the archive is the same for learners of all ages. The Spark3000 curriculum bundles content specifically for adult learners.

Spark3000 adds two new pieces of content each week (typically focused on current events). All texts are authored by Associated Press writers and modified to 12 levels by the content development team at Achieve3000, which has both native English and Spanish speakers. When the content development team receives a text from Associated Press, they can choose to add the text if it is relevant and appropriate for all age levels. The team rewrites the text at 12 levels and checks for consistency of the key concepts across all levels. In Fall 2014, Achieve3000 will be adding 105 lessons to their archive (35 ELA, 35 career, 35 science). Lessons include an article and activities that align with the five-step routine.

The company has a vast archive of lessons and leveled texts, and is willing and able to package custom curriculum for a company or institution looking to use Spark3000 to support adult literacy.

Business Model and Pricing

Spark3000’s program is available for purchase at the institutional level. Customers include community colleges, businesses (for workforce development), and prison systems (for literacy development).

Pricing for these services varies based on the engagement. Inquire here for pricing details.

Data Collection

Spark3000 has an administrator panel, where either a teacher or program facilitator can access data reporting on learners. There are a number of reports including learner work reports (data on the 5 steps for each student), usage reports, and performance reports (data on how each learner’s Lexile level is changing over time).

Who is Using It

The majority of Achieve3000’s customers are K-12 school districts. Achieve3000 is used by over one million students in the US. As of summer 2014, Spark3000 users include post-secondary programs, businesses for workforce development, and prison systems for literacy development.

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

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PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES

Standards

State-Standards Aligned State-Standards Aligned

Audience

Adult Learning Adult Learning

Characteristics

Assessment Assessment
Blended Learning Blended Learning
Differentiated Learning Differentiated Learning
Individualized Learning Individualized Learning