About Quest Forward Learning

Helping every student succeed with rigorous academics and essential skills.

Quest Forward Learning enables high school students to take charge of their learning, to succeed academically, and to develop essential learning and work skills.

High schools offer Quest Forward Learning to their students like other academic programs, but with greater benefits: a project-based curriculum taught by existing teachers, feedback-driven assessments instead of frequent tests, and daily practice of skills students will need in college and career.

Quest Forward Learning was designed with five research-based Guiding Principles, with an emphasis on active learning, student ownership of their growth, and feedback from teachers instead of testing.


What is Quest Forward Learning?

Quest Forward Learning is a high school program designed for rigorous academic learning and the development of skills students need to succeed in education and their career.

The program consists of a teaching style we call mentoring; a project-based digital curriculum; a defined set of learning, work, and self-management skills each student practices; and feedback-focused assessments instead of traditional grading.

Quest Forward Learning is built on the insight that young adults need to own their learning and drive their own success. 

Download the Overview


Glossary of Terms

If you are new to Quest Forward Learning, you will encounter terminology that’s a little different from regular school lingo. This glossary provides you with all the basic terms for understanding Quest Forward Learning and supporting your students’ experiences at school.

Download the Glossary


Skills-Forward Approach

Quest Forward Learning uses the phrase “skills-forward” to describe its curriculum and courses because skills development is woven 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.

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

Three skills frameworks are at the core of Quest Forward Learning:

  • Learning Skills for learning effectively
  • Work Skills for working productively
  • Essential Habits for managing one’s emotions and reactions to others

By developing these skills, students become better equipped to take on any opportunities and challenges their future will bring them. Read about how we define each of the skills frameworks in the pieces below.

Course of Study

The Course of Study book provides an overview of the Quest Forward Learning methodology, and a listing of all the academic courses the program provides.

The book also offers insight into the approach to teaching, how student performance is assessed, and how mastery learning works in schools using Quest Forward Learning day-to-day.

Download the Book

How does pacing work with Quest Forward Learning?

For most of us, our experience in school was “lock-step” pacing: everyone did the same thing, every class, every day. While this might work some of the time, such as for a class debate, it’s not the most effective approach for every student all the time.

Quest Forward Learning aims to help students become more self-directed and develop self-regulation skills and independence. Semi-flexible and flexible pacing are great approaches for helping students to develop these skills. Also, these approaches provide opportunities for students who already have particular skills and knowledge to take on more challenges, and for those who need more support to get the attention they need.

Download the Guide

A diagram of a screen in the Quest! web app shows courses, journeys, levels, and quests.


At schools that use Quest Forward Learning, students and teachers use Quest, our web-based learning management system, for work at school and at home.

Students access the curriculum, observe their progress, explore topics and develop skills through academic projects, called “quests.” Students use Quest to share their work products with teachers, receive feedback, and reflect on their own progress and growth. Teachers provide guidance to students in a personalized way, give feedback on student work, and support student skill development with practical suggestions.

Go to Quest

Access for Parents/Guardians

Are you a parent/guardian of a Quest Forward Learning student that would like to see their work online?

Access for Parents


Our Mission

In some schools, students are trained to memorize old answers to familiar questions. Today’s world is dynamic, connected, and changing, raising new questions all the time. For students to succeed, they need more than fixed answers — they need the ability to keep growing and adapting to the world they find.

Opportunity Education created Quest Forward Learning to activate lifelong curiosity in each student and cultivate the mindset, essential habits, and skills to succeed in life and work.

Success isn’t about answering old questions. It’s about seeing opportunities to create value, and having the skills to do so.

Learn more about Opportunity Education at www.opportunityeducation.org.

Joe Ricketts, Opportunity Education’s founder, benefactor, and CEO describes his perspective on the challenges of education today, and his vision for the future of learning. Mr. Ricketts is a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the company that is now known as TD Ameritrade.

Learn more about how his story inspired his vision for education.