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General Info

What are learning modules?

PALMs (Perceptual and Adaptive Learning Modules) are advanced learning tools, designed to accelerate instruction in a particular learning domain. We call them PALMs or modules for short.

Each module is a web-delivered application that will run directly in your web browser.

Modules are personalized for your learning speed and strengths. Insight analyzes your learning data in order to optimize instruction.

PALMs engage students in a form of learning that is somewhat different from other kinds of instruction that are more familiar to both students and teachers. PALMs are designed to engage humans' natural capacities to recognize and process patterns and relationships through repeated interaction with the input. Students will complete many short, interactive problems, with immediate feedback provided each time.

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What are apps?

Apps are groups of PALMs that you can subscribe to at the Insight Store. An app contains one or more modules.

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How can I use modules?

Subscribing gives you unlimited access to an app or apps during the payment period (one year). Access your subscribed apps from any computer at any time.

When you log into the Insight website you will have access to all of your subscribed apps.

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System Requirements

In order to use a module you need a computer capable of accessing the Internet. The most recent versions of the following web-browsers are supported: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer. Some modules required the Adobe Flash plug-in to be installed (please see individual product pages for more information). Please contact if you have trouble accessing a module.

Currently, only some of Insight's modules are accessible on iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). Please see individual product pages for more information. All of our modules can be accessed through a tablet capable of displaying Adobe Flash (e.g. Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab), via your device's web browser.

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Learning Technology

What is perceptual learning?

A characteristic of experts in any domain is that they selectively pick up relevant information, discover important patterns, and see key structure in new cases or situations. They are able to extract structure quickly and fluently with little effort (cognitive load), freeing up attention for higher-level problem solving. It was thought that this kind of learning could not be systematically taught and could only be slowly acquired through experience.

However, from recent applied research we now know how to teach and accelerate the development of perceptual learning. This has been a crucial missing link in learning. In mathematics, for example, students are ordinarily taught facts, concepts, and procedures, but there have not been effective ways to teach students to SEE — to classify what they are looking at in novel situations, to know which procedures or facts are relevant, and to be able to process fluently so that basic information extraction does not overload complex problem solving.

See more about our research in these news sources

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What is adaptive learning?

At the heart of our learning products are patented procedures for determining the order that items appear during a learning session. Our algorithm takes into account both the accuracy and speed of the learner on every presentation. Each item is tracked individually to determine the optimal order of learning material.

Our automated sequencing procedures guarantee that items will not be repeated too soon or too late — both of which can impede learning. Less well-learned items will return sooner, whereas better-learned items are spaced further apart. The algorithm attempts to space out presentations for as long as possible, fostering long-term retention of the material.

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Using Modules

Log in and Instructions

As students begin using a module, you'll want to make sure that they understand the interface — how to log in, how to enter a response, how to move to the next problem, and so forth. The modules are designed to be intuitive to use, so most students catch on quickly. When a student launches a module for the first time, he or she will see some brief instructions and then will start on the short interactive problems that make up the learning experience. Modules usually contain several different problem formats, and students will encounter these naturally as they work with the module.

Instructions for modules are available directly here:
Algebra Insight™
MultiRep Insight™

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Multiple Sessions

It is important for students to understand that the software is meant to be used over multiple sessions. Just as you need to play a video game repeatedly until you get good at it, so, too, do you need to work with the modules over multiple sessions spread across a number of days. Teachers and parents can help students experience this learning process successfully by planning and scheduling repeated sessions with a module over a couple of weeks and communicating to students that they are not expected to complete the module in just one or two sessions.

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Adaptive Learning

The software is designed to adapt in a unique way to each individual student based on his or her performance and progress to date in the module. Thus students should not work together on a module and students should not share their accounts or log in information with each other. Having more than one student working under the same account or having the same student accessing the module from different accounts will defeat some of the module's most powerful learning features. If a student changes log in accounts midway through a module or if more than one student uses the same log in account, the software will not be able to track the performance history appropriately and the adaptive features will not work properly. Students can, however, use their unique account log in to access the module from different computers. For example, if students have Internet access at home, they can continue working on a module as homework.

When you log into the Insight website you will have access to all of your subscribed modules. You can log in at from any computer (also see system requirements).

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Errors and Feedback

Students may make frequent errors at first — that is normal and is part of the learning process. On every problem the learner will get immediate feedback that will help them identify errors and see the patterns that underlie correct responses. Most students start to self-correct as they gain experience, and this is how the modules are intended to work, so you shouldn't feel that you need to intervene too early, while students are gaining experience with the module. It is not important to get every problem right from the beginning. Some students may find it uncomfortable to make errors and may worry that their grade is going to suffer. You can reassure them that it's okay to make errors and that they can use the software to learn from errors. The errors they make are between them and the computer, which won't judge them or grade them but will help guide them. Some students find it reassuring to think about this kind of learning as being similar to learning a new video game, practicing a sport, or learning to play a musical instrument. When acquiring a new skill like this, no one gets everything right from the beginning.

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Response Time

Another unusual feature of the modules is that they encourage the student to respond relatively quickly — trying to develop an eye for seeing what structures and relations are important in a problem rather than engaging in long chains of calculations or problem solving. If a student is unable to respond quickly enough, the problem will time out and offer feedback on the correct answer. The amount of time available is relatively generous, so students should not feel that they are racing against the clock. However, they should expect to run out of time occasionally when they are first learning. Getting faster—becoming fluent—is a learning goal, and when students meet the module's mastery criteria, you (and they) can be sure that their performance is fully fluent. Because the learning trials are paced a bit like a video game, many students approach them with the same focus. You'll notice, though, that while the problems are timed until the student enters a response, feedback is available for as long as a student wants to look at it. Indeed, paying attention to feedback helps students make faster progress.

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Progress Indicators

As students work with the module, they'll see progress indicators - usually a row of bubbles or a continuous bar that gets filled in as they make progress toward meeting the mastery criteria for the types of problem categories in the module. After every 10-12 problems, students will also see a summary feedback screen that shows them their average accuracy and speed for previous blocks of items. Students generally take this feedback seriously and understand that the way to improve is to increase their accuracy while decreasing the amount of time they take to answer a problem. When they have met the mastery criteria for all of the problem types, the software will automatically congratulate them for having completed the whole module.

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Achieving Mastery Criteria

As students make progress and they see that they are getting faster and more accurate, they should concentrate on trying to avoid errors while not going too slowly. Errors matter more as the student gets closer to mastery. For the program to retire a category of problems as "mastered," the student must be correct and reasonably fast on a high percentage of the most recent problems of that type that they've seen. Thus a careless error or a slow response can delay meeting the mastery criteria. Students are generally motivated when they see that they are advancing on the progress indicators and are close to completing the module. If they are getting fatigued or distracted, they may want to take a break so their performance doesn't deteriorate; otherwise, they should concentrate and work carefully but not too slowly. (Note that meeting the response time criteria for mastery should be comfortable for a student who has learned the material well. They don't need to race the clock.)

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Parents and Teachers

How do I get started?

As a parent you'll need to set up an account and subscription for each student that will access the app. As a teacher you should set up a class or school subscription (for more information on school subscriptions contact First you will need to subscribe to the app you wish to access. It is important that each account be used by only one student because the learning software is tailored to the learning data in each account.

Modules use web-based software that tracks and adapts to each individual student's performance in real-time. To do this, the module operates from a secure remote server that tracks each student's performance within and across sessions and adjusts the learning experience for that student. All information transferred is confidential and secure. You and your students may choose usernames that are anonymous as well, and no other personal identifying information is transmitted or stored.

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Student accounts

Each student will have a unique individual account where they can access their subscribed apps. To access his or her account, the student logs in with a username and password. Students can access modules repeatedly, working with a module for as many sessions as needed until they meet all mastery criteria and complete the module. It's very important that each student uses the same account log in every time and that no other student shares that account.

With a valid subscription, a student can log in to his or her account and use a module from any internet-connected computer, including home computers. However, to get the full benefit of the module's adaptive learning features, which automatically customize the learning experience for each individual student, students should not work together or share accounts.

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How can I monitor students' work?

Every module comes packaged with a tool called Score Reporter, which provides detailed information about your students' performance. You can use this tool to monitor your students' strengths and weaknesses, and if necessary, decide which topics need extra attention.

You can access Score Reporter from the account that your student is using to run the module. If you are using a teacher account, you will be able to see the scores of all of your students from within your own account.

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Spacing learning over multiple sessions

Modules are designed to be completed over multiple sessions of about 20-40 minutes, spaced approximately one to three days apart. This feature, known as spaced study or practice, is strongly supported by research on learning as a great way to make learning long-lasting. It is much more effective than "cramming" by trying to complete a module in one long session. Spacing multiple short study sessions over time is a much more efficient and effective method for maximizing the strength and durability of learning in less total time.

Students will vary in the number of sessions it takes them to complete a module, but plan on multiple sessions — typically between 3 and 10 sessions. Some students already know more than others at the start of a module; some students work more quickly or persistently than others; and some modules may be longer or contain more complex content than others. Because the modules are adaptive, they constantly diagnose how accurate and fluent each student is for all types of learning items contained in the module. The automatic adaptive features of the software also provide teachers with a powerful and effective tool for differentiating instruction in classes with students who have different ability levels and backgrounds.

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Learning to mastery

When a student demonstrates that he or she is reliably accurate and fluent for a given type of problem, the software automatically "retires" that category, allowing the student to concentrate time and effort on other types of problems that are less well learned. Because learners vary quite a bit, the amount of time needed to complete a module will also vary quite a bit. It is important to give slower students sufficient time to reach mastery. Although it may take them longer, they can nevertheless achieve the same level of proficiency as their peers. For many students who struggle in math, this can be a very empowering experience.

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About Subscriptions

What are subscriptions?

Subscribing gives you unlimited access to an app during the payment period (one year). Access your subscribed app from any computer at any time.

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How do I subscribe?

Subscribe by finding the app you want to purchase in the Insight Store and pressing the "Buy a Subscription Plan" button.

How long do subscriptions last?

Subscriptions last for a period of one year and are automatically renewed. You are free to use a product as often as you like while its subscription is active. Subscriptions are not transferrable and cannot be resold. Only one user may actively use an account at a time (sharing will interrupt the powerful adaptive sequencing features).

We will preserve your learning data if your subscription lapses and you want to renew your plan at a later date.

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How do I cancel a subscription?

Subscriptions can be cancelled easily from your account settings page. If you cancel your subscription before the renew date, you will still get full access to your subscribed product for the duration of the subscription period.

You may cancel your subscription at any time by clicking your name in the top left corner of the Insight website, then going to the "Account Settings" page. Your subscribed apps will be listed here, along with their renew dates. Find the subscription you wish to cancel, click the button under "Status," and click "Cancel This Subscription." A window will pop up asking that you confirm the cancellation. Once you have cancelled a module, the renew date will be replaced with the date that your subscription period ends.

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About Payments:

How do I pay?

Payments are processed using Stripe's secure payment services. You will not have to leave the Insight website to make the purchase, but all transactions are managed by Stripe and all payment information is stored on their secure server.

Once the transaction is complete you will immediately see your subscribed app(s) on your dashboard.

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About Stripe

Stripe payments are safe and easy. They automatically come with Stripes's industry-proven fraud protection. For more information see:

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About Insight

Security and Privacy

Insight is committed to the safety and privacy of your personal information. We will not give your name or information to third parties without your consent. You can read our privacy policy here.

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