Tales From the Front Lines of Adaptive Learning

Administrators and faculty members of Shoreline Community College and Northeastern University took part in a training program to implement adaptive learning in college courses. Adaptive learning technology is said to produce beneficial results, but it is still in its beta stages so a number of faculty members are struggling to incorporate it into their classes.

(Photo Credit: Campus Technology)

Four professors from SCC initially signed up, but only two of them made it through the first round of course development. The implementations were said to be exhausting and involved a large amount of work. Cogbooks, a vendor for adaptive learning courses, never worked with colleges and universities at a quarter-long scale, so it was challenging for both Cogbooks and the professors to adapt to the new system.

Dutch Henry, an English professor in Shoreline, mentioned that adaptive learning is easier with math, science and economics classes rather than English and writing because of how the system worked. Students showed more persistence and success in the classes where the adaptive learning worked well on.

One of the advantages of adaptive learning is that, since it’s in the name, it can adapt to the students’ learning and working speed. Students take a pretest at the module level, then based on that pretest the system adapts to a path that seems to better suit your learning preferences. On top of that, students get to have a more personalized learning experience with the system. A professor at Collin College, Rebecca Orr, implemented Adaptive Follow Up into her biology classes to accommodate for her wide spectrum of students. As a result to this change, Orr saw a 5-point improvement in the exam average by the end of the semester.

The article can be found in this link