Hot Topics: Adaptive Learning

One of the recent hot topics in higher education is adaptive learning. In short, adaptive learning can help students learn at their own pace, by targeting areas they need improvement in and quickly move them beyond areas they’ve mastered. While adaptive and intelligent web-based tools for instruction have been a part of the educational landscape for years, recent innovations in the field have renewed interest in the potential of adaptive technologies to address the customization of individual preferences, needs and capabilities to create personalized learning at scale.

UMUC is actively investigating and evaluating the incorporation of adaptive learning tools into our academic model. We’re currently reviewing adaptive learning tools for piloting in early 2015, and the hoped-for outcomes will be to decrease the drop, withdrawal and failure rates of students in undergraduate first courses. We will be piloting some of the most promising adaptive learning software, basing our tool selection on features that meet the needs of our students and curriculum.

I, along with my colleague Karen Vignare, have had the opportunity to contribute to The Evolllution, a grassroots online newspaper for the higher education community, with a two-part series. Karen and I co-authored the series, “How Adaptive Learning Can Make Higher Ed More Customized and Effective.”  Here, we explore the theory of adaptive learning, how the technology can support student learning for today’s students, and examples of how adaptive learning has been practiced at institutions across the United States, including UMUC.

You can read the series at the links below and please share any feedback you have by adding a comment.

Part 1

Part 2

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