Remedial placement meets adaptive learning

Only 22.3 percent of remedial students complete remediation classes and graduate with associate degree programs in two years, according to the organization Complete College America.

The price tag for remedial education sits at $3.6 billion annually.

More than half of students at two-year colleges are placed in the wrong remedial courses, according to a 2012 report by the organization.

McGraw-Hill Education announced on Oct. 16 at the 2013 EDUCAUSE conference in Anaheim, Cal., that it found a new way of dealing with the problem – and it’s using adaptive learning technology that has been decades in the making.

The learning company acquired the software corporation ALEKS in June, but its artificially intelligent education software has been mining data for twenty years.

All that information, usually used to advance students through specific math courses, will now be used to support ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning.

It is the first original product to come from the acquisition, and the first open-response remediation tool in higher education, said Buzz Waterhouse, the CEO of McGraw-Hill Education.

“A majority of kids that go into community colleges drop out,” Waterhouse said. “Most students that go into community colleges need remediation, and there are studies that show the vast majority of them, up to 90 percent, are placed in the wrong remedial classes, courses that are more advanced than they are ready for.”

See Page 2 for details on how colleges are struggling to provide remedial courses for students.

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