A Family's Guide to Quest Forward Learning

Quest Forward Learning is a method for learning and teaching that helps engage students through active learning, skill development, and frequent feedback.

Quest Forward Academies use Quest Forward Learning processes, tools, and more in every aspect of the learning experience. Quest Forward Learning was designed to empower high school students to take charge of their learning, succeed academically, and develop essential skills to graduate with confidence and succeed in their path after high school.

Learn more about Quest Forward Learning in the sections below, and let us know what you’d like to learn about and see posted to this page in the future.


What is Quest Forward Learning?

Quest Forward Learning is a method for teaching and learning that engages students through active learning, skill development, and continuous feedback.

Quest Forward Learning was developed by Opportunity Education to incorporate evidence-based pedagogies and strategies backed by decades of research in the field of Learning Sciences. It is designed for rigorous academic learning and the development of skills students need to succeed in education and their career.

Quest Forward Learning is built on the insight that young adults need to own their learning and drive their own success, with five research-based Guiding Principles.

Glossary of Terms

If you are new to Quest Forward Academy, you will encounter terminology that differs from other schools’ lingo. This glossary provides you with all the essential terms for understanding and supporting your students’ experiences at school.

Download the Glossary

Active Learning

At Quest Forward Academy, students learn actively. Students engage with meaningful projects, do hands-on work, take ownership of their learning, and work with peers and mentors to gain perspective and feedback. While listening to lectures or memorizing facts might be part of some of their activities, it’s not the norm the way it can be in other schools.

Some key components of active learning at Quest Forward Academy include:

  • Projects and creating artifacts: Artifacts are work products students create to demonstrate knowledge and practice skills. Artifacts can be substantial, such as lab reports, essays, or designs. They can also be small, such as an outline or a sketch. Making can be a very effective way to learn and deepen understanding, so artifacts are common.
  • Options and flexible pacing: Individual students can work through their courses in different ways and at different speeds. All students aim to complete a journey per term, and students frequently work in groups. But individual students may choose to complete different artifacts or quests than their peers, or take extra time on something that helps them achieve a goal.

Learn more about these components and more in this booklet.

The front page of a booklet about active learning at Quest Forward Academy Omaha


Learn More

Skill Development

Skills growth is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. At other schools, students focus primarily on what they need to know (or memorize) to demonstrate learning on tests. Gaining skills like researching, analysis, or presenting findings might happen, or might not, as a byproduct of that effort.

At Quest Forward Academy, students gain academic knowledge through their work to develop skills. Developing an important skill is the top priority for every quest.

There are two skills frameworks that are at the core of Quest Forward Learning:

  • Learning Skills

  • Work Skills

By learning to use and develop these skills, students grow in countless ways and become better equipped to take on any opportunities and challenges their future will bring them. 

Feedback and Assessment

One of the unique features of Quest Forward Learning is the approach to assessment and feedback. Rather than administering a few high-stakes exams to measure student knowledge, skills, and progress, teachers can complete low-stakes assessments every day and week to provide feedback to students.

Teachers focus feedback in four areas:

  1. Engagement: Teachers can record students’ engagement after each class session, ensuring they are not just physically present but mentally as well.
  2. Learning Goals: Teachers provide feedback on artifacts and how well they meet the identified learning goals.
  3. Work Skills: Teachers provide feedback on artifacts and the skills students demonstrated while creating them (i.e., Work Skills).
  4. Learning Skills: Teachers provide feedback on artifacts and other work products and observations of students demonstrating the Learning Skills.
The cover of "Prioritizing Authentic Learning and Feedback"


Learn More

Course of Study

The 2022 Course of Study book provides deep insight into the thinking that underlies the Quest Forward Learning curriculum, including courses and journeys offered. For those who are eager to dig deeper into Quest Forward Learning, its foundational principles, its skills-forward design, and how these come together to constitute a secondary school academic program, they can find the answers in great detail in this 78-page book.

Read or Download the Book



Catalog of Courses

Learn about each of the core academic courses offered at Quest Forward Academy Omaha and see students’ options for sequences of courses for the four years of high school.

Get the Catalog

The Quest Forward Learning Management System

The Quest Forward Learning Management System (LMS) is a series of applications that power learning, mentoring, and content development. They can all be accessed in a web browser. 

Quest Web App

Quest is a web application where students and mentors access the curriculum, resources, assessments, feedback from mentors, and more. 

  • Students use Quest to complete quests, share artifacts, receive feedback, and reflect on their own progression and growth. Quest contains assessments for academic learning and skills growth, and produces weekly and term reports and transcripts. 
  • Mentors use Quest to provide guidance and detailed feedback to students, access target dates and pacing data, and view dashboards detailing student performance and growth.
Other Apps

The LMS includes other tools as well, including QuestCommunity (for school leaders and counselors), and QuestMaker (for curriculum designers).

A laptop displays a quest about beta testing a projectile launcher in a Quest Forward Learning science course.


Are you a parent/guardian of a Quest Forward Learning student that would like to see their work online? Learn more about how to log in and what you’ll be able to see:

Access for Parents

Quest FAQs

The Quest! web app login screen shown in a window of a Chrome browser.

Q: How do students and mentors access Quest for use in the classroom?

A: Quest is available at https://quest.questforward.org for both mentors and students. We recommend bookmarking this page on your web browser. Parents/guardians can access Quest too. Learn how here.



Q: What browser and device should your student use to access Quest?

A: Quest is supported on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on Chromebooks and laptops. It can also be used on Apple Safari on iPads. Quest will not function well on Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge.


Q: What is Aftersession and how does your student sign up for it?

A: Aftersession is a two week period after the end of the school year where students are able to sign up for additional classes. They can use these classes to recover credits or gain additional credits. The student would have to speak to the Director of Student and Family Services to discuss their eligibility for aftersession.




Q: What is my student’s username and password?

A: Each person’s username is their school email. Their password was emailed to them at the beginning of the school year. If they forgot their password, it can be reset from the Quest login screen.



Q: What should I do if my student can’t access Quest, has trouble with it, or thinks they found a software bug?

A: We have a support team that will help solve any issues you may have. Just send an email to support@opportunityeducation.org, and they’ll respond as quickly as possible! Include the browser that is being used, screenshots if possible, and as much information about the issue as possible.

Students and mentors can also check out the Help Center for a possible solution. The Help Center can be found at https://questforward.zendesk.com/hc/en-us. Use your Quest username and password to access the Help Center.



Q: Why do I sometimes see a green bar across the top of my screen that says “Some changes to Quest are available. Please save your work and update ASAP.”?

A: Periodically the Opportunity Education team releases updates to Quest including new features, updates to features, or fixes. Sometimes these require users to refresh the app in their browser, and this message bar lets mentors and students know they need to do this. If you’re in the middle of something, we recommend saving your work first. Then click the “Update Quest” button to log out and then log back in again. If it doesn’t seem to be working correctly after that, you may need to completely quit your browser and reopen Quest.


Deeper Dive

Publications and Research

Quest Forward Learning wasn’t created out of thin air. Years of research and thoughtful analysis paved the way for it to be established by Opportunity Education’s team of educators, innovators, and academics. Some of this work is available below. Learn why practice is integral to the learning experience, or take a look at the breadth of assessment methods across the secondary education landscape.