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Benefits of Adaptive Learning

Non-linear Lesson Sequence

Traditional classrooms and the majority of online courses require that students learn topics in a linear order. Adaptive technology provides instructors with the ability to map out the course curriculum in non-linear, branching sequences as well as providing students with a visual course map to lead them along. These course maps can feature a rich and varied order of topics and prerequisites, allowing students to follow individualized pathways that are adapted for each student to eventually cover all of the required learning objectives.

Branching Lesson Map Example 1

Image of Branching Lesson Map Example 1

Branching Lesson Map Example 2

Image of Branching Lesson Map Example 2

Creating an adaptive course can be the perfect opportunity to re-examine the order of topics that a course currently offers and make changes to that order in new and engaging ways.

Personalized Instruction

Using standard techniques, instructors often find themselves “teaching to the middle,” and moving at a pace that benefits the mid-range students in the classroom the most. Those high and low performing students in the class are either given too much or not enough instruction and practice because their educational needs are not within the average. Adaptive technology allows each student to progress at their own pace through the coursework. High performing students can demonstrate their mastery of more fundamental concepts and be allowed to move quickly to spend their time on more lofty areas, and students requiring more practice and remediation can go through lessons as many times as needed. In effect, the instructor is now teaching each individual student, instead of teaching the entire class as a whole.

Focus on Practice and Remediation

Students will interact with a variety of instructional content, activities, and assessment questions to give them an understanding of a concept rather than having them memorize specific practice questions. The adaptive technology helps students focus on the areas they haven’t yet mastered through adaptive remediation, providing real-time feedback on their progress.

Visualize Learning Progress

Using a graphical interface, the adaptive platform helps to simplify the gauging of the learning process for both instructors and students.

Students can visually determine their achievements though the learning map’s color-coded display. In the student view shown below, the green circle indicates a lesson in which a student has demonstrated a high knowledge state. Yellow circles are moderate knowledge states, and red circles indicate low knowledge states. Using this system, it is easy for students to detect which lessons they should revisit before their next exam.

Image of Learning Map for a Chemistry Course

Instructors can also quickly determine how the class as a whole is proceeding through the required lessons. The adaptive platform provides comprehensive data that enables instructors to provide more meaningful support to the learners.

Incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) provide students and instructors free access to a wide variety of high-quality instructional resources. Combining OER and the adaptive platform makes it possible to adopt a variety of course materials to fit within specific online courses and differentiate individual learning pathways to meet the needs of specific learners.