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The Role of the Teacher in Using Adaptive Learning

The Role of the Teacher in Using Adaptive Learning

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, you will learn about the role of the teacher in adaptive learning.

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In this tutorial, we'll explore the role of the teacher in using adaptive learning. We'll begin by discussing the teacher's specific role in adaptive learning. Then we'll reflect on the teacher's role in traditional classroom environments. And finally, we'll compare the teacher roles in the two models. Let's get started.

Let's begin by identifying a few key elements of the teacher's role in adaptive learning. In an adaptive learning environment, the teacher manages student learning. Though adaptive learning technology can do a great job of individualizing instruction to meet the needs of each learner, a technology system cannot do everything. The teacher needs to help students stay engaged and on task, and if students are not making adequate progress toward their learning goals, the teacher may need to intervene and provide more support.

Second, the teacher in an adaptive learning environment needs to provide enrichment opportunities. Though the adaptive learning technologies can provide instruction in basic concepts, the teacher should supplement with authentic hands-on learning activities in addition to the activities provided in the software.

And finally, the teacher creates personalized content for students. Though adaptive learning systems are programmed to identify students' weaknesses and strengths, teachers know their students personally. Therefore, the teacher can create content that peaks students' interests and supplements the learning that is happening with the adaptive technology.

Now let's reflect on the teacher's role in a more traditional classroom environment. The teacher in this environment is the keeper of all of the knowledge. The teacher has all the answers and the students are responsible for learning those answers. The teacher uses direct instruction techniques, such as lectures, and assigns seat work for the students to complete.

In the traditional classroom environment, the teacher is the one making most, or even all, of the decisions. The traditional classroom is very teacher centered. Students have little to no input on what topics are going to be taught, how those topics are going to be taught, how assessment will take place, or what the procedures in the classroom look like. And finally, the teacher in a traditional classroom is responsible for the transmission of information. All of the students receive the same instruction using the same materials, not taking into account individual student abilities or interests.

So let's compare the two models. In a traditional learning environment, there is little to no variation in content, whereas in adaptive learning the teacher uses the adaptive learning technology along with supplemental materials to provide a wide variety of content to students. In the traditional environment, learning is restricted to a select group of students in the middle of the pack. In contrast, in an adaptive learning environment, learning is accessible to all students regardless of disabilities, differences in language proficiency or skill levels, and other unique challenges that students bring with them to the classroom.

In a traditional learning environment, there are often low levels of student motivation. In contrast, an adaptive learning environment may result in increased student motivation as students are working along their own individualized learning paths that are more aligned with their unique background knowledge and skill levels. In this tutorial, we examined the teacher's role in an adaptive learning environment and the teacher's role in a more traditional classroom environment.

Finally, we compared the traditional classroom model versus the adaptive learning model. Here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Can you see yourself fulfilling the role of the teacher in the adaptive learning environment?

For more information on how to apply what you've learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "The Role of the Teacher in Using Adaptive Learning"

(00:00 - 00:21) Introduction

(00:22 - 01:30) Teacher's Role in Adaptive Learning

(01:31 - 02:25) Teacher's Role in Traditional Learning

(02:26 - 03:19) Traditional vs Adaptive

(03:20 - 03:33) Review

(03:34 - 04:01) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

What Faculty Should Know About Adaptive Learning

This article by Michael Feldstein suggests best practices in implementing adaptive learning in the classroom. Although this article is intended for faculty in higher education organizations, the best practices apply to the role of the teacher in any adaptive learning environment.

The Adaptive Dimension in Core Curriculum

This is an in-depth report on adaptive learning in the classroom and the role of the teacher. Although the report is from 1992, the research and the strategies still apply today. Beginning on page 14 are applications within the framework of adaptive learning that provide strategies and best practices for teachers.