adaptive-ASU, knewton

8 steps to get the most out of adaptive learning


4. Choose your technology wisely. While one tool may make extensive use of technology to time-shift instruction, another may focus exclusively on instructor involvement, with technology functioning in the background. One tool may offer a faster pace of personalization, whereas another may be far more infrequent. Some offer a continuous flow of assessment, whereas others bring students through milestones throughout a curriculum, closer to mastery-learning. “Understanding the diversity of tools out there is a critical step, as some tools will work better for different institutions, and the costs of investing in the wrong tool far outweigh the cost of a slower and more discerning approach to matching the right tool to the right institution,” emphasizes the report.

5. Involve faculty at all stages of adoption. Generating buy-in from faculty members is important, since adaptive learning changes not just the form of instruction but also the method and the philosophy, the researchers explain. Faculty members should also be central to conversations with vendors and should have their needs and concerns heard early and often.

6. Launch in a controlled environment. A critical strategy is to facilitate a randomized controlled trial run of concurrent sections of an adaptive and non-adaptive course, and then measure the results.

7. Leverage adaptive learning only where it is best suited. “Institutions are advised to adopt adaptive learning only in subject areas where it is best suited and only in subjects where adaptive technology provides clear solutions for problems and pain points,” advises the report. “Even if starting with only a handful of remedial tools within a course, or as a tool for use in a single online course, a conservative approach helps establish a framework for efficacy at a smaller scale and only in areas where this technology is best suited.”

8. Quantify the benefits. Bring data to bear on bigger problems facing an institution, including outcomes, workforce alignment, cost-reduction, State and Federal policy demands, and the delivery of a transformative learning experience for every student, recommends the report. “Institutions can include demonstrating the added value of technology over face-to-face tutoring, showing how technology enhances learning outcomes, and sharing data on how more subjective forms of learning disrupt traditional teaching practices in radical but promising ways.”

For the full report, which details these recommendations in more detail, click here.