Adaptive Learning – Because One Size Doesn’t Fit All!
No one can possibly deny the fact that we are moving towards a data-driven world. With the growth of technology, our abilities to mine and scrutinize data to generate actionable insights have also grown exponentially. With the insights obtained from data, we are able to understand our users better and meet their needs more efficiently. When we talk about serving users better, higher education space is no exception. Technology plays an integral role in our academic spaces with both teaching and learning becoming increasingly dependent on it.
Anyone who has ever been in a class whether as a student or as an instructor knows that all students don’t learn at the same pace yet our courseware has been designed to do just that. In such an educational curriculum, there is no space to accommodate the wide skill/interest sets that different students bring to the classroom. In recent years, educational organizations have discarded the view that instruction must be imparted in the traditional way, everyone being taught the same courseware. It is in sync with this belief that adaptive learning has gained currency.
What is Adaptive Learning:
Adaptive learning means a customized, technology-enabled, data-driven approach to education.
It stands for online learning methods, courseware that has been customized according to the unique needs of individual learners. Along with aiding student learners and allowing instructors to use class time in a more productive way, adaptive learning methods ensure greater outcomes for the educational organizations. With our Learning Management Systems already producing actionable insights about the student interactions, their performances, we can use data-driven technologies to design educational pathways to close the various gaps in learning.
Tools known as “adaptive e-learning systems” are primarily concerned with adaptive content and adaptive assessment.
Adaptive content is about designing specific courseware based on data-based findings obtained from learning management systems and various other e-learning tools. Based on what a student has been learning, how he/she has been performing, what interests him or her, content can be customized to help him/her excel in the academic endeavors.
Adaptive assessment means customizing a student’s assessment tests based on past evaluations, perceived level of understanding of a set of target topics.
A lot of field research reveals that adaptive e-learning has a real impact on students’ success. For example, a white paper published by Education Growth Advisors at Arizona State University reports an 18 percent increase in pass rates. Another interesting case is from the University of New South Wales where the introduction of adaptive tutorials in a foundational first-year Engineering Mechanics course led to a decline in the course drop-out rate from 31 percent to 14 percent.
The bottom line is:
While we may not be in for a pedagogical renaissance, we are certainly looking at a complete overhaul of the education system with the proliferation of adaptive learning techniques in our academic spaces.
Making use of data-driven findings, adaptive learning methods do away with the one-size-fits-all approach because one size doesn’t fit all!