Adaptive learning helps personalize instruction for students

The Effectiveness Study includes firsthand perspectives from professors who have reported great success with the LearnSmart tools.

“LearnSmart has helped engage the learner in a way that I didn’t think was possible,” said Professor Frank Wray of the University of Cincinnati. “It has also helped me to be a more reflective teacher and pinpoint class issues with a topic.”

McGraw-Hill lets students access LearnSmart using their computers, iPhones, and iPads. Last year, McGraw-Hill Education reported nearly 10,000 downloads of its LearnSmart mobile app, and this year that number hovers around 70,000 app downloads. The program is available for direct purchase for students at a starting price of $24.99.

Remedial math is a national issue in higher education, as many students struggle to master fundamental math and often end up dropping out of college as a result.

To combat these issues, Carnegie Learning developed four subject-based Adaptive Math Solutions that provide interactive instruction to complement college math courses. The four solutions are Bridge to Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Each subject solution is individually paced based on a student’s “problem areas,” and reinforces tricky concepts.

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Students have to demonstrate mastery of all skills required to solve math problems before they can move through the curriculum.

The software offers formative and summative assessments, as well as immediate feedback, positive reinforcement, and help at each step of a mathematics problem, if necessary. Students can use the products’ “Review Mode” to practice key skills before tests and exams.

The solution’s administrative reports help teachers and school leaders pinpoint trends regarding how students use the software. A “Skillometer” helps students track their progress.

(Next page: How Arizona State has used adaptive learning technology to cut withdrawal rates for remedial math in half)

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