The Sherwood Advantage : Adaptive Curriculum

Sherwood Advantage : Adaptive Curriculum

Overview

Students today have diverse educational backgrounds, varying abilities, unique learning styles, and different test prep needs. We recognize that courses must be adaptive in nature; not only at the curriculum level, but at the student level as well. Sherwood Test Prep courses adapt to students needs and are for all scoring levels. Instructors monitor and adjust the classes to the scoring level of the students. Our instructors have been trained and are equipped to expertly adapt the course curriculum to student needs, and at the same time, present the curriculum in an engaging manner that focuses on our easy-to-learn, building blocks approach. With our adaptive courses, students learn what they need, at their own pace, and in the most effective way possible. We know that each student is unique and will benefit the most from a tailored curriculum.

Sherwood Test Prep instructors are concerned about their students’ success and will work hard to develop an optimal, overall study plan for each and every student. Students thrive in our classroom based format; a class where instructors adapt the course, further enhanced by a small class size. We make sure that everyone, regardless of initial starting score, will have a curriculum that leads to success. We want each and every student to succeed.


The Human Mind: the Best Adaptive Engine in the World

Many test prep companies have begun touting “adaptive technology,” where a computer program or algorithm adapts the curriculum to the students’ scoring level. There are many flaws with this approach and no technology based solution is better than the human mind.

Companies who tout a computer program are focusing on the wrong technology. They use many buzz words, such as “pioneering technology,” “adaptive curriculum,” or “technology enabled assessment-based learning,” and utilize marketing hype and fad phrases to differentiate their company and products. The technology, unfortunately, doesn’t work nearly as well as hyped and functions no where near the capacity of the human mind. Students find that working with an instructor who has experience and who has been through it before is superior to sitting in front of a computer screen and having an algorithm dictate their studies.

While other companies are touting an adaptive curriculum by computers, they seem to forget one important thing: the human mind is the best adaptive engine in the world. We believe that real instructors, in a classroom, adapt best to students when compared to any other medium or fad technology. No technology can ever replace the real value of having a live instructor in the classroom.

Instructors have been working directly with students and adapting in an interactive classroom setting longer than machines have existed, and they can sense things that a computer program can not. Humans can instinctually detect and sense students’ subtle cues and signals, and realize firsthand interactions and knowledge of students’ strengths and weaknesses. They can react to student inputs, hone in on where students need the most help, and can teach according to student improvements and results from students’ practice tests. Technology is great, but it can’t make up for the human interaction of a classroom course nor an instructor’s perceptual ability to interpret all of the direct and indirect signals emitted from students.

The power, the abstract thinking, and the intuition of a live classroom instructor combined with the context that a live classroom environment provides makes for a remarkably more efficient and intuitive test prep experience compared to any computer based program. Sherwood Test Prep instructors know how to adapt the curriculum to your needs, and to your level. While technology is not necessary in the classroom, the human mind is. The human mind is the best adaptive engine in the world, period.



Research and Development

Our Research and Development Team of PhD’s and Professors, led by our CEO and Founder Jeffrey Sherwood, ensures that you are up to date with the latest test strategy and content. We are classically trained in psychometric theory (a fancy way of saying Test Design and Development) and conduct real-world research which provides our students with the most current methods and strategies for each test. We are one of the few companies invited to test preparation conferences on critical test changes and updates by the test makers. Our development team regularly takes the tests and reports any changes to management. We continually conduct research and field test new strategies and content reviews to add to our courses. We solicit and integrate student course feedback and instructor feedback to continually enhance and update our curriculum. You can trust that our comprehensive curriculum is cutting edge and is continually updated to reflect recent test changes. Sherwood Test Prep students prepare with the most current methods and strategies available.



First Hand Knowledge of Critical Test Changes: We’re invited to the Test Makers Conferences

Sherwood Test Prep is one of the few educational companies that are invited by the test makers to their test preparation conferences and workshops. As one of the small number of national test preparation companies, we attend invitation only test preparation conferences held by test makers such as the Educational Testing Service and the Graduate Management Admissions Council. We learn first hand about new changes and recent developments from the test developers and division heads. Our management team has talked with and met the people who actually make the tests. Most smaller and regional companies are not afforded this important opportunity. We incorporate all that we learn from these sources into the most up-to-date and comprehensive test preparation curriculum and courses offered anywhere.



Our Instructors Adapt at the General Class Level and the Individual Student Level

Our classroom based test prep courses are for all scoring levels. Instructors keenly adapt the curriculum and pace of our courses to the general class level. Instructors utilize initial starting scores, practice test scores, student content and strategy mastery progress, and student feedback to adapt the course. Instructors monitor and adjust the class to the scoring level of the students; they will hone in on where students need the most help. Instructors adapt the course based on group dynamics, such as interactions and class participation. They also adapt the classes to the learning styles of the students. We solicit advanced student feedback and input to create the most adaptable curriculum for all students.

Our small class sizes allow instructors to additionally adapt the course to individual student needs. Individual progress is assessed through homework completion, practice test results, participation, and mastery of concepts. Instructors pinpoint deficiencies and suggest and provide additional instruction and resources. They work through the areas that you need the most help with, and focus students’ activities and efforts on areas that are of the greatest concern. They take into consideration individual’s learning styles and academic level. General and Individual level adaptability ensures that instructors are providing a custom curriculum for your test prep needs and learning style. A Sherwood Test Prep course ensures that every student is getting the best test preparation possible.



Individual Game Plans for Students and Personal Attention

Each student will have a plan of attack to maximize their study efforts and time. Instructors create individualized, overall plans for each student, based on their weaknesses and strengths. This allows each student to maximize their study efforts, both inside and outside of the classroom. We have a game plan that is tailored to you, so you can focus your time and efforts on what is most important. This includes homework, practice tests, and extra assignments to focus students’ attention, clarify weak areas to focus on, and solidify strong areas so students can solve problems faster and more efficiently. Everyone, regardless of initial starting score, will have a program that leads to success.

Our small class size affords personal attention from the instructor as well as direct interaction with classmates. With our custom curriculum and personal attention, we ensure that everyone will have a test prep program that is uniquely tailored to their needs. Regardless of initial starting score you will have a program that leads to success.

Committed, personal attention from instructors is a Sherwood hallmark. Student needs are placed first, and instructors facilitate positive relationships between students. You can feel comfortable to ask your instructor questions and feel validated by his or her personal touch. Students also have the opportunity for personal attention briefly before or after class, via question and answer periods during class, and through e-mail help. This personal attention allows students to fill in the gaps to their own knowledge and understanding, and tie in the pieces and loose ends so that everything comes together. Our personal attention ensures that no student is left behind or is too overwhelmed.

Individual game plans for students and personal attention ensure that every student has a test program that leads to success.



Updated Resources and Materials: Everything You Need

At Sherwood Test Prep, we strive for excellence, and that includes a constant updating of our products. We continually update our test preparation courses so that they are aligned with newly designed tests, changes and developments. We have our staff continually take the tests and report back to our research and development team. We utilize our knowledge from the test makers conferences and incorporate it into our curriculum. We update for the latest trends in test preparation and go to the test centers to obtain new information on procedural changes. We conduct significant research into new and improved ways of attacking tests through updated strategies, techniques, and content specific to each test. We update our curriculum based on newly released official tests. We do formal updates each year and periodic updates throughout the year as necessary. We also update our resources and materials though student feedback and evaluations.

Our class materials incorporate all of our updates and provide students with the most up to date prep available. Our student materials are continuously updated to reflect test changes, however minor they might be. The structure of our courses, which tests we use, the flow of our materials, and the included homework assignments reflect the most current design of each test. You can trust that all of our materials and students resources are the most current. Our instructor manuals and the material the instructors use to teach the classes are continually updated as well. When the test makers release an updated version of their study guide/textbook, we incorporate that into our curriculum.

All of our courses come with everything you need to thoroughly prepare for the exam. Your course fee includes all of your materials, so there is nothing more to buy; everything is included in the course. You don’t need to do additional studying before your first class, because our courses begin at the introductory level and progress into the most advanced areas of the test. You get everything you need for the course on the first day. You also get a course schedule and syllabus so you know exactly what is covered each week, and what homework is assigned for each class. Our streamlined materials provide an efficient test prep experience and maximize the use of your time. Our directed homework and take home exams reinforce our concepts taught in class. Sherwood students spend time on what counts, and have the most updated resources and materials available to them to do their best on the exam.



We are All Original

Sherwood Test Prep is all original. We develop all of our materials and curriculum in-house and have our own research and development team. None of our management or development team members have ever worked for another test preparation company. This exacts a unique focus and interpretation to the test prep material.

We’re focused at a higher academic and educational level compared to other test prep companies. We have deep educational backgrounds and years of academic research experience. Most of us are Professors, Ph.D.’s or Ph.D. candidates. No other test prep company can match our education level and experience. We focus and test our strategies in a controlled research environment and we develop our content reviews from the ground up. Sherwood Test Prep offers the most advanced and tested approach to test preparation available.



Small Class Sizes Allow Adaptability

To facilitate an enhanced learning environment we limit our courses to 15* students or less. Our small class size ensures that students spend more time with their instructors. With a small class size, instructors can adapt the curriculum better so that students are learning at or above their performance level. Instructors can see first hand how each student is performing and can therefore adapt the lesson plan accordingly. Small classes afford personal attention and a closer interaction with the instructor, as well as with classmates. Learning and instruction is facilitated with a smaller number of students; with a small class size each student has a better understanding of the material.

Instructors can adapt a smaller class to a greater degree of precision than one with an uncapped limit. Small classes allow students and instructors an easy and on-going dialogue in which students can ask questions as they arise and instructors can recognize student difficulties as they occur. Small classes afford more personal attention and put students and instructors on a first name basis. Students can get advice and feedback that is specifically tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. Instructors work through an interactive process of identifying weaknesses, and learn how to address them. This is because they get to know their students and they can adjust to individuals’ needs better. In our opinion, small classes offer students a personal touch that uncapped classes cannot, a touch that is extremely important to student progress and development.



Instructors Provide Extra Help

Instructors are available for outside class help as an added benefit to students. Our instructors are available to meet briefly with students before or after class. They also will provide brief make-ups should students miss a class. Students can e-mail their instructor with questions, and instructors provide e-mail help throughout the course. Time is built into each class for student questions, for difficult problems students bring into class, and for homework problems they can’t seem to solve.