Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices, and to orchestrate the allocation of human and mediated resources according to the unique needs of each learner.
Not only a concept but it can also be referred as a tool to deliver the best of education. Some of the advantages of this pedagogy are personalized learning, automated teaching, and addressing education’s greatest pain points.
Personalization in teaching and learning happens best when content delivery, assessment, and mastery are “adapted” to meet students’ unique needs and abilities. Adaptive technology, while dependent on at least some engagement with an educator, replaces the traditional classroom model with automated and more scalable formats less dependent on in-person instruction. The point here is that in-person instruction does not fall out of the picture in most cases; in fact, it many strengthen instruction as faculty take on a more supporting, coaching role, with less time devoted to delivery of content, which students may or may not already have mastered, and more time focused on one-to-one student engagement and self-paced guidance through a curriculum. And lastly adaptive learning does promise to significantly innovate teaching and learning in remarkable ways, and may also prove to be the next generation solution many institutions would benefit greatly from adopting.
In this post I am sharing some great case studies form some of the best adaptive learning platforms.
With solutions offered by Pearson, Elk Grove Virtual Academy, California shares how a virtual academy, teachers and families relate learning to the real world. In 2010, the Elk Grove Unified School District in California launched the Elk Grove Virtual Academy (EGVA) for grades K–8. EGVA draws a variety of students for whom a traditional brick-and-mortar school is not the right fit — athletes and actors, students with special needs, students whose parents must travel for work, and those looking for a fully supported homeschool program. In the 2015–2016 school year, EGVA replaced its online curriculum, which was not meeting its accountability needs, with Connections Learning, a set of online courses and services part of the Pearson Connexus suite of offerings.
EGVA focuses on providing personalized learning. Students’ course of study is determined by their instructional level, not by their age. “Every student is getting an individualized approach to their education,” remarked Miriam Lyons, the K–3 teacher and online program coordinator. Referring to herself and her colleagues, she added, “We see the need to engage and instruct in different ways and in different modalities, as well as using different curriculum. And Pearson’s curriculum provides that.”
The fact that the online learning curriculum is “portable” is critical to students and their families. “Because the curriculum is available 24/7, students can access their lessons anywhere anytime,”
“I think our students are performing better by just the fact that we can see how they are doing on any given lesson,” Lyons said.
“[We can] reinforce the right factors and provide immediate feedback on work relating to any concept or standard that might not be heading in the correct direction. The platform allows us to catch any issues very quickly.”
Check the complete story here.
On the use of DreamBox Learning software on student achievement in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and the Rocketship Education charter school network lead to the following results:
1. Most students did not reach the recommended levels of usage of the DreamBox software.
2. Some schools used DreamBox software to target low-achieving students and after-school learning, while others did not.
3. The variation in DreamBox software use was driven largely teacher- and school-level practices, as opposed to student preferences.
4. Students who spent more time on the DreamBox software saw larger gains in achievement.
5. Students who followed the DreamBox lesson recommendations, as opposed to going back and repeating content, saw faster gains.
6. The DreamBox progress measure was positively associated with achievement gains on state tests and interim assessments.
7. The evidence for the causal impact of DreamBox on student achievement is encouraging but mixed.
Check more success stories from DreamBox here.
For Knewton, the following institutes speak on their experience as follows:
When Arizona State University started using Knewton-powered developmental math courses, pass rates rose by 17%, course withdrawals dropped by 56%, and 45% of students finished four weeks early.
“Before [Knewton], I worked on the assumption that all students were at the same place. Now I meet them where they are.” – IRENE BLOOM, SENIOR LECTURER, ASU
At Northeastern Illinois University, students who used the Knewton-powered Study Plan earned higher exam scores.
Students at City Springs Elementary/Middle School, a high-poverty public school, enjoyed significant academic gains with Waggle Powered by Knewton. In reading, the percentage of students in grades 3 through 8 who met projected growth on the NWEA MAP assessment was at least 25 percentage points higher than in 2014, without Waggle. In math, the increase was more than 20 percentage points except for seventh grade, which saw a rise of 13 percentage points.
Other than these, A Knewton study on “More Adaptivity, More Improvement” of approximately 288,000 students enrolled in college-level science courses found that students performed better in courses with adaptive assignments. The more adaptive assignments were used, the more students improved, up to an average difference of four percentage points — almost half a letter grade.
Check more wonders of Knewton here.
There are some other great platforms like BrightBytes, Kidaptive, PanoRama Education and more doing a wonderful job. Check out their case studies and find out how adaptive learning is changing the face of education and helping educators across the globe.
What’s your take on the adoption of adaptive learning in education?
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