Adaptive learning thrives best among other technologies

Report: Flipped classrooms and other new models being integrated into instruction without much thought

A recent report suggests that while new technologies enable adaptive learning to play a major role in the future of higher ed, most instructors have yet to use the philosophy to its full potential because they are not connecting it with other important innovations.

In many cases those related innovations—such as blended learning, flipped classrooms and competency-based education—are integrated into instruction without much thought or discussion about the adaptive-learning base they were built upon, according to “Maximizing Investment in Adaptive Learning,” published this spring by the Eduventures Industry Thought Leadership Initiative and sponsored by Adapt Courseware.

“When you think about what competency-based education is and you think about what adaptive learning is, they’re really the perfect marriage, the perfect pedagogical formula for increasing student success and delivering higher education in an innovative way,” says Brian Fleming, senior analyst at Eduventures and author of the report.

The key to positioning adaptive learning so that it can flourish is to recognize that it needs to be used “within a broader ecosystem of learning tools and technologies,” Fleming says.

“You don’t want to think about educational technologies within their own silos,” he adds. “Adaptive learning is more than just a technology; adaptive learning is also a philosophy of teaching and learning. It uses technology to deliver upon that philosophy at scale and at a much faster pace—and, some would argue, in a much more impactful way.”

Fleming advises thinking about all these technologies in terms of how students can enhance their knowledge with adaptive learning in a way that they might not otherwise do by just sitting in a classroom.


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