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Adaptive Learning

Adaptive Learning

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, you will learn what adaptive learning is, its key features, and why you might use it in your classroom.

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Source: Image of keyboard, Public Domain, Image of girl on computer, Public Domain, Image of computer lab, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Hi, my name is Ashley, and this lesson is titled "Adaptive Learning." In today's lesson, we will define adaptive learning, we'll look at the key features of adaptive learning, and why it should be used in the classroom.

Adaptive learning is an instructional tool that uses technology to function. Students advanced to more challenging levels as they are guided through the various pathways according to their personal learning needs. Tasks are completed on the computer as students are engaged and responding to questions and other learning tasks. The system itself accelerates students to the next appropriate learning level for students based on the progress already made. Once the system acknowledges a student has mastered a particular content area, it advances the student to more challenging levels.

On the other hand, the system can also identify if a student is struggling with a particular learning concept. The program will give the student more practice for that particular topic, maybe present it in a different format until the student master's the skill. Adaptive learning also involves mastery learning and students working at their own pace.

What are the key features of adaptive learning? Adaptive learning provides an abundance of resources. The computer-based program sometimes includes spoken instruction, visuals, tutorials, and additional resources to meet the needs of students. Spoken instruction can be a powerful tool when it comes to students with diverse learning needs who may have difficulties with reading.

Adaptive learning programs also offer immediate reinforcement. One thing I like most about adaptive learning technologies is that students can answer questions and immediately receive feedback in order to be informed of their progress. It also gives direction on how to do better in a certain area by giving tips and more information.

There is flexibility with ease of adaptive learning. Adaptive learning systems are designed to respond as students adjust and adapt to the material. So as the students learn more, the system is flexible enough to grow with them and to give them even more challenging information.

Why use adaptive learning? With the use of adaptive learning, classrooms are more diverse than ever. Since adaptive learning is personalized, each student in the classroom can be receiving personalized instruction all at the same time. We are aware that students abilities, and interests, and learning styles vary, and adaptive learning meets the individual needs through the computer-based learning experiences.

In today's lesson, we defined adaptive learning. Adaptive learning as an instructional tool that uses technology to provide individualized instruction for students. Some key features of adaptive learning is that there are many resources, it provides immediate reinforcement and flexibility, and that it grows with the student. Adaptive learning benefits students because it provides individualized learning experiences that cater to the needs and interests of the user.

Consider how adaptive learning can be beneficial in your classroom. As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Notes on "Adaptive Learning"


(00:00 - 00:11) Introduction

(00:12 - 00:23) What Will You Learn Today?

(00:24 - 01:19) What is Adaptive Learning?

(01:20 - 02:19) What are the Key Features of Adaptive Learning?

(02:20 - 02:46) Why Use Adaptive Learning?

(02:47 - 03:18) What Did You Learn Today?

(03:19 - 03:37) Reflection


Additional Resources

Adaptive Learning Theory: Are We There Yet? 

This article by John K. Waters explores the different types of adaptive learning. Waters stresses that adaptive learning and personalization have been around longer than technology, and that there are strategies for adaptive learning with and without technology. Included in the article are helpful videos that explain the concept further.

Meet the Classroom of the Future

This blog post by William Huntsberry explores changes in the classroom as a result of blended learning and adaptive learning. It suggests that adaptive and blended learning may be useful strategies in keeping students engaged and motivated to complete their education.