Skills Gap, Adaptive Learning

Like the tortoise and the hare, students move at different paces. Some learners pick up information quickly, while others take more time to grasp complicated concepts. Adaptive learning — a method which utilizes technology and provides students with customized learning programs [1] — aims to solve this problem. It’s proved popular in both the classroom and online. Seventy-seven percent of students say adaptive technology has increased their grades, for example [2]. Here’s how adaptive learning improves proficiency and sophistication by decreasing the skills gap.

Adaptive Learning Increases Student Engagement

E-learning providers tailor adaptive learning programs to an individual based on his or her background and educational experiences. In a conventional learning environment, a teacher stands in front of a class. Adaptive learning, however, utilizes the latest technology to inspire students. As a result, educational institutions and course providers can boost student engagement rates.

In an elearning context, adaptive learning lets students learn at their own pace at a time that suits them. Students can use adaptive learning solutions on both desktop and mobile device, for example.

This type of learning is flexible and highly customizable — and students love it. “One of the most advantageous features for students using adaptive learning is the regular feedback — the ability to know where they are in real time on assignments,” says American Intercontinental University [3]. “The best adaptive learning programs will assess what you know by asking a series of questions and then generating a learning map that you can follow throughout the module.”

Adaptive Learning Improves Educational Outcomes

Research suggests that adaptive learning improves educational outcomes for students across the board. In one study, adaptive learning resulted in an 18 percent boost in pass rates in maths courses. It also lead to a 47 percent decrease in student withdrawal rates [4]. In a separate study, adaptive learning resulted in a 55 percent decline in drop-out rates on an engineering course.

More e-learning providers are now investing in adaptive learning programs in order to save money and improve educational quality. Tutors no longer have to grade work or devise learning plans, for example. No, adaptive learning software does all the hard work for them. This technology also increases student retention and boosts online course development.

Adaptive Learning is Highly Personalized

Unlike conventional educational methods, adaptive learning is highly personalized. Clever software tracks a student’s actions and suggests course content based on their skill-set, experience, interests or projected outcomes. Consequently, students receive tailored e-learning solutions that help them grapple with complicated concepts.

“Adaptive learning comes from the idea of personalized learning — the concept that all instructors tailor their lessons slightly for the needs of each individual student — and it is a practice that most instructors learn intuitively in the classroom,” says Arkansas State University [5]. “By using technology in the classroom, teachers can more readily assess their students, which creates more finely tuned lesson plans.”

Adaptive learning programs are the future of online learning. This technology reduces skills gaps by increasing student engagement and improving educational outcomes. It’s also completely tailored to the learner. It’s no wonder, then, that the global adaptive learning software market is flourishing.