What are Adaptive Learning Technologies?


Adaptive learning technologies refer to software and online platforms that adjust to individual students’ needs as they learn. According to a paper commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and authored by Education Growth Advisors, adaptive learning is a “sophisticated, data-driven, and in some cases, nonlinear approach to instruction and remediation, adjusting to a learner's interactions and demonstrated performance level, and subsequently anticipating what types of content and resources learners need at a specific point in time to make progress." In this sense, contemporary educational tools are now capable of learning the way people learn; enabled by machine learning technologies, they can adapt to each student’s progress and adjust content in real-time or provide customized exercises when they need it. In higher education, many faculty envision these adaptive platforms as new, patient tutors that can provide personalized instruction on a large scale. There are two levels to adaptive learning technologies — the first platform reacts to individual user data and adapts instructional material accordingly, while the second leverages aggregated data across a large sample of users for insights into the design and adaptation of curricula.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Providing remediation/acceleration data and next step content. Starting to see more of this through dashboards for students, teachers and parents. Data has been tracked, analyzed and typically with visuals to help understanding. Some of this is to streamline administrative function, but more is starting as schooling moves more towards personalized learning. (- jbillings jbillings May 21, 2015)I agree with Jbillings- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015
  • add your response here
  • add your response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • one of the themes missing is that as more education is driven through and by technology, home use and connectivity should always be considered. Depending on local, numbers may be high or low. Because public education has a responsibility/morality of being for all, home connectivity issues can impact fidelity of adoption. If 30% of students in a classroom don't have the connectivity for xyz, getting xyz adopted in a district/school/state, becomes very difficult and can stagnate. It's a real issue, which is part of why we are all participating here. (- jbillings jbillings May 21, 2015)
  • add your response here
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry?

  • some of the early adaptive technologies are struggling with the "creative inquiry" piece of learning. Adaptive and personalized can sometimes be very prescribed. Instead of human-based whole group instruction (sage on the stage), one can't explore beyond level 3 in some software, until they pass 2. Maybe the student is curious about something, but the "go" button isn't there, haven't earned that badge yet. Sage on stage might be replaced by robotic inquiry only. Just thinking out loud. (- jbillings jbillings May 21, 2015)
  • add your response here
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • A real interesting and recent one I've experienced deeply is a launch group out of Harvard think tank called School Yourself. I just completed their MOOCs from edX. (- jbillings jbillings May 21, 2015
  • Summit Public Schools in northern California- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015
  • Lindsay Unified School District in Lindsay, California- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015~
  • EAA in Detroit, MI- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015~
  • Gates NGLC grantees- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015~

  • wcet.wiche.edu/connect/2015-adaptive-learning-summit - mabbiatti mabbiatti May 31, 2015Mike Abbiatti


Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.