10 Ways Outstanda Improves Education
Outstanda is a new program (launching summer of 2023) designed to improve many elements of education while not disrupting current systems. If students, teachers, and institutions choose to use it, there are many benefits. It does not replace any other activities that are working well in your classroom or learning experience.
The main premise of Outstanda is to pay students to master the core elements of the modern curriculum that everyone should know. Because payment is involved, identities need to be verified and knowledge assessments need to be proctored. Because materials are clear and focused, students who are making an effort could make significant monthly income.
This program is free to the public but requires funding and donations to support payment to approved students and schools.
The top difference between Outstanda and any other educational program is the commitment to pay verified students for demonstrating mastery through a mastery assessment. The current trials will pay students in cash. The long-term goal is to move this to a Web3 blockchain environment where students can save and cash out as needed. Once that technology is fully developed, the system will be globally scalable. This will fight poverty and encourage families to keep girls in education in parts of the world where that is an issue.
While payments will encourage students from lower-income families, motivation for more well-off students will come via the gamification and credential program. Outstanda allows students to move at their own pace, meaning students can start showing mastery at the college level at a young age. Instead of straight A’s without trying, students can work independently and move up to graduate early (if allowed by the school system) or enter college early.
The clarity in materials is always a design emphasis. By clearly providing what to study, and asking questions directly aligned with the materials, students are not guessing what they need to know. This cuts down on frustration and a sense of education being stacked against them.
Clarity is also a way to eliminate cheating. Students just need to study and they will pass. To be paid, they must be verified and the exam is done online as well as in person proctoring. When working through a course, a couple of questions from previous assessments are asked to unlock the new assessment. If a student has not mastered the previous materials, they cannot continue. So if they do manage to cheat on an assessment, they will not be able to continue in future assessments because they will not be able to answer questions for continuation. At first, students are not expected to like this, but once the system is clear and the expectation is understood, it is simple to progress.
While students are slowed down by the assessments, nothing stops a student from studying ahead. All materials are open and accessible other than some materials that could be age-restricted. Honors materials allow more academically-minded students to dive deeper into materials and receive the honors designation.
Curricula are designed with classrooms in mind. However, it will not be one 6th-grade English class, for example. It could be a number of literature classes to choose from. And students can work slower or faster depending on their interests and comfort levels. Outstanda does not follow the traditional grade levels, and only uses those terms to help other people estimate the level of learning.
If students can work faster or slower, how is grading done? Teachers can work out their own system, but we recommend A+ for honors on time, A for Mastery on time, and a percentage for slower completion. So if a student completed 7 out of 10 lessons based on the teacher’s schedule, they would get a 70% and probably a C. Students can still continue to complete the course for mastery. Outstanda does not grade nor set time limits on learning.
Reduce Classroom Boredom
When students are working with any mastery system, there should be more independence. Students who are ahead should not be sitting through lectures they already know. Students who are behind should not be sitting through lectures they do not understand. Everyone should be working most of the time on materials that are exactly the correct level for them. While the topic may not be the favorite way for a student to spend their time, mastery, steady progress, and frequent wins make the process far less boring.
Location Independent Learning
While assessments will require proctoring and verification, most studying and access can be done on the phone or computer without logging in. Students will have access to things like vocabulary lists, which they can study while waiting in line, on the bus, etc. The Outstanda program will support schools, blended schools, online schools, and homeschooling. The goal is to provide clear educational material and motivate learning from anywhere.
Materials are carefully designed to accurately depict facts and allow for multiple viewpoints when those viewpoints are not driven by hate, discrimination, intolerance, or bias. Materials are expected to be suitable for people in all parts of the world. This obviously poses some challenges, but we are respectful of cultural differences and expect local institutions to adapt discussions and materials to the local standards. College-level courses can be on any approved topic and may be restricted based on age and location.
Diversity, Tolerance, & Appreciation
Materials are presented by a diverse group of people. This includes age, gender, race, culture, accent, sexual orientation, caste, and personality. Materials are always presented in a fun and professional way. The person’s traits are typically mentioned. However, by seeing a wide range of people present materials, we hope people from all over the globe feel more comfortable and inclusive towards people different from themselves. It is a subtle thing, but after years of these diverse educational experiences, we expect to help people grow up more tolerant of others’ differences.
Future Educational Pathways
Finally, Outstanda provides a more clear future pathway for students. While it can be used to show college readiness at a younger age, it can also provide pathways to early graduation, summer enrichment, trade training, and more. Even college-level courses do not need to be provided by a college. Any credential a student earns simply has more or less reputational weight depending on the institution. However, anyone mastering the core materials demonstrates core mastery of the materials.
This means people can study at a college level, without going to college. We still recommend going to college if it is right for a student, because of the atmosphere, the enrichment beyond core materials, and the network of people they will work with.
But students are masters of their own pathways, and there are going to be more options and less cost than ever before.
Please consider donating to Outstanda, a nonprofit committed to making a real difference in the lives of learners everywhere.