Posted in Blog on 11 February 2016
Technological innovations have taken the entire world by storm and the field of education is no exception. Education is not restricted to the walls of brick-and-mortar institutions anymore; the present era offers flexible learning solutions on virtual platforms.
Unique technology innovations in the education sector have given birth to ‘adaptive learning’ which is redefining the traditional educational systems and learning processes.
What is adaptive learning?
Adaptive learning involves using technology to deliver targeted learning material, based on the specific aptitude and learning capacity of the student. Course modules and study materials are developed to personally suit each pupil’s learning needs and focus areas. Adaptive learning bears no similarity to the concept of adaptive testing where the test questions are modified in real-time depending on a student’s response to previous questions.
Why is adaptive learning needed?
Irrespective of the subject being taught, every classroom comprises a certain number of students who possess different intelligence levels, comprehension capabilities, differentiated aptitudes, and varied learning choices. Moreover, they also considerably differ in their weaknesses and strengths.
A teaching method that uses a single type of training methodology for all the students is not always effective, and catering to the individual learning needs of students can be daunting for teachers.
How does adaptive learning work?
There are two approaches to adaptive learning – “facilitator-driven” or “assessment-driven.” The process involves the collection of information on students’ aptitude and weak areas (either through assessments or through facilitators), thus creating targeted learning approaches. Through personalized study materials and innovative learning methods, pupils have the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge according to their capabilities and pace.
On the other end, with the reports and information collected through adaptive learning systems, teachers get a clear picture on the progress of every student and pay special attention to weak areas while dealing with each individual.
What are the challenges of adaptive learning?
Although adaptive learning seems to have a bright future, certain underlying challenges demand serious considerations. Since adaptive learning systems are highly technology dependent, there is a need for ensuring better scalability and usability. Moreover, the teachers must be willing to let students learn at their own pace. Participating institutions must have continuous access to high-speed internet and have a digital learning set-up in place. Although, the adaptive learning solutions are improving, they still have a long way to go in managing student data and adapting content accurately.
The future is bright for adaptive learning
A recent study regarding the use of adaptive learning technology in University of Georgia, found that 94% of the students agreed that their understanding of the course material increased as a result of using adaptive learning tools. 90% of the students believed that it positively impacted their exam scores.
There are many such cases for various institutions where learning outcomes and retention rates have improved with the use of adaptive learning tools. But while adaptive learning may not replace real-life teachers in the near future, it will definitely make the teaching and learning processes more efficient.Tagged in: adaptive learning, learning tools