A new report examines how adaptive learning is changing both the institutional and supplier landscapes

It’s changing the way faculty teach, building new features into technology products for institutions, and is slowly coming out of the test pilot bubble. These are just some of the ways adaptive learning has evolved for 2016.

The evolution of adaptive learning is largely focused on five concepts, some of which have changed rapidly in recent years, according to a new report from research and advisory firm Tyton Partners.

Learning to Adapt 2.0 notes that institutions will need to address cost, access and quality of adaptive learning tools to ensure success. It also provides an overview of the supplier landscape.

In the report, the firm defines adaptive learning as “solutions that take a sophisticated, data-driven, and in some cases, non-linear approach to instruction and remediation, adjusting to each learner’s interactions and demonstrated performance level and subsequently anticipating what types of content and resources meet the learner’s needs at a specific point in time.”

Specifying the Changes to Adaptive Learning


1: While institutions have more experience with learning through product pilots, the path to broader implementation is uncertain.

A few years ago, institutions were experimenting with adaptive learning products and pilots, but with few implementations in play. Now, many more institutions are implementing products and pilots, though implementations at large scale are not yet widespread.

What’s slowing the road to adoption? Difficulties integrating solutions into existing tools, particularly learning management systems, plays a role. Vendors report support for the most widely-used technical standards, but institutions note that technical integration is still a big challenge. Some institutions might not address integration concerns during a pilot phase, which makes it more difficult to bring the pilot to scale.

Faculty skepticism remains high as well, the report notes.

(Next page: More changes in adaptive learning)

Laura Ascione