Master's Academy and College
PLS was founded by Tom Rudmik, Superintendent of Master's Academy and College, a K-12 lab school located in Calgary, Canada. Master's vision is to produce "Profound Learning," a 21st Century learning model that elevates student learning to heights not achievable using the traditional industrial age assembly line approach. Solutions needed to drive this vision forward, if you will, did not exist; hence, Tom Rudmik founded a privately funded company, PLS, to develop these breakthrough solutions.
Master's and PLS share the same vision and synergistically work together in the advancement of new learning systems. Master's living laboratory deploys and field-tests many of the concepts underlying the PLSystem.
Master's also pioneered best practice capture and transfer as part of its vision in developing breakthrough e-learning models that are truly replicable for mass customization. The professional development of teachers is at the heart of its breakthrough vision.
Grade 5 Pilot Study
In the spring of 2004, grade five students at Master's Academy participated in a pilot study using the PLSystem to deliver curricular content. The teacher developed her own science course (electricity unit) using the PLWriter (authoring tool). At the conclusion of the unit, the students were tested for their understanding and application of what they had learned; over half of the questions were higher order application questions. The class average was 91% and what was amazing was that the students attained these results without studying for the test. In addition, students were able to learn the core curriculum in less time thus freeing up time to produce a collaborative DVD movie on electricity.
Student comments after using the PLSystem
"PLS was a great source of learning. The PLS system was awesome. They emailed you if you were not practicing the unit. Also it told you if you needed to work on it or not. It also told the teacher how you are doing."
"Personally, PLS is the best way to study for any subject. Normally when I go to study it takes quite a while to get the information to your mind and for it to actually stay there. But as for PLS, not only do I know the content but also it is actually in my long-term memory! This is an amazing program, in which you get to use the computer to study, which is awesome when you don't want to study the boring way. This is an absolutely dream-come-true for those of us who suffer from studying ALL the time."
"I think PLS is a different and exciting way to learn. I enjoy how it goes through the key point review. I learn more than ever on the computer!"