Several years ago, we realized that in order to have any kind of meaningful impact on a student’s math education, we needed to integrate ourselves into their daily math experience, especially their curriculum. At the same time, Illustrative Mathematics and Open Up Resources released their openly-licensed core middle school math curriculum. We loved the coherence of their curriculum, the way they told middle school mathematics like a story. We then asked 68 teachers how they liked their current curriculum using a tool called a Net Promoter Score, and Illustrative Mathematics was the clear winner.
A negative NPS means more detractors than promoters. Positive means more promoters than detractors. Anything positive is considered good. 50 is considered excellent. Illustrative Mathematics was the only curriculum in our sample with a positive NPS.
But Illustrative Mathematics was built for paper. It includes a few digital applets, but they’re supplementary, not core to the student experience. Meanwhile, at Desmos, we work with paper and computers. We get to decide on the best medium for whatever mathematics we’d like to help students learn.
So we built a Desmosified version of an Illustrative Mathematics unit, and later, all of Grade 8. Here is how those teachers responded to the same Net Promoter Score question.
We’re very proud of those results and want to share some of the labor and love we think they represent. So, periodically, we’re going to give you folks a look inside our digital mathematics playbook.