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On a quest to make education as effective, engaging and scalable as possible, adaptive learning has risen in the ranks. It has become a successful tool in creating a positive educational environment for students.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive learning refers to personalizing the learning experience for each individual learner. It typically harnesses technology to create a more effective learning path based on each individual’s pace of learning.

Adaptive learning often takes place on web-based platforms that use algorithms or other technology to personalize the students’ journeys. These personalizations include adapting the content, sequence and assessments for students, as well as communication and collaboration among teachers and administrators. 

Types of Customizations for Adaptive Learning

The exact form adaptive learning takes will vary from platform to platform. Most will use one or a combination of the following customization methods:

Adaptive Content

One of the first ways adaptive learning customizes the learning experience is by adapting content based on the individual learner. This method of adaptive learning provides “hints” or feedback based on a student’s responses to a question, but may not necessarily change the overall sequence of the curriculum.

Adaptive Sequencing or Pathways

Another type of adaptive learning includes adaptive sequences or pathways. This uses key indicators of each student’s progress to adapt their individual learning pathway. For instance, if a student is struggling in a content area, the adaptive learning platform may add additional practice and delay introducing a new subject until the previous subject is mastered. If the student is advanced, they may be accelerated through easier topics to get to more challenging content.

Adaptive sequencing can also refer to allowing a student to choose what they would like to learn next instead of setting them on a predefined learning path.

Adapted Assessment

Adaptive learning may also include adapted assessments, which change the type of questions or difficulty of questions in an assessment based on a students’ responses. This acts as an effective benchmarking tool to understand a student’s progress.

Communication & Collaboration

Adaptive learning may also take place by offering the teacher or administrator actionable insight to know when a student may require additional instruction or support, as well as providing resource materials for this assistance. Teachers, students and administrators may also be able to set target goals, progress scales for the class or individual students, or prescribe additional content for individual students, classes or grade levels.

Benefits of Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning offers several benefits to students, teachers, and administrators.

  • More effective learning. Every student learns differently and at different paces. Adaptive learning helps to nurture each students’ unique needs for a more effective learning environment.
  • Improves engagement. Learning paths are specifically designed for each individual student, helping to increase practice opportunities for those who need extra help or accelerate learning for students who advance more quickly. This helps students stay engaged with learning as it matches their individual pace.
  • Increased scalability. Adapting learning to each students’ unique needs is an ideal in education, but is typically impossible for instructors to manually sustain. Using technology to support adaptive learning makes the process infinitely more scalable and sustainable.

Learn More

Learning.com’s EasyTech keyboarding program utilizes adaptive learning for an effective, engaging learning environment for K-12 students. Learn more about this program by clicking the button below.