Educational professionals are always looking for ways to implement technology in order to improve the current state of education. From the emergence of start-up companies to the surge of education apps, educational technology is a steadily growing field.
One of the most popular types of educational technology is called adaptive eLearning. Adaptive eLearning seeks to blend personalized instruction with computer targeting capabilities in order to teach individual students better on a large scale.
This type of smart, adaptive technology is currently used in many different fields. Consider how Google ads can perfectly target a user’s interests or how some computerized standardized tests adapt questions based on a user’s demonstrated knowledge and abilities. Educational development companies are now harnessing that power to pinpoint how people learn and to teach in that favored manner.
It is a commonly understood thought that students learn in different ways. Therefore, they must be taught differently. In response to this, educators now seek to implement personalized learning into their classrooms.
Personalized learning refers to educational methods which, acting on analysis of individual learning needs and circumstances, seek to enable the highest probability of learner success. There is no “one size fits of all” education in this field of thought.
Educators personalize instruction through many different means. In a traditional classroom, a teacher might personalize lessons by grouping students based on skill level or need, assigning different projects based on what a student needs to learn, or by structuring class time so that he has a chance to meet with more students one-on-one.
With the rise of computing capabilities, adaptive eLearning, a form of personalization, is gaining popularity..
Computer and Human Element
Technology is hardly absent from any educational arena. Even traditional classrooms, let alone online or blended ones, use computers for some aspects of the course, like research or grading. This serves as a great boon to magnify the extent of personalization.
Sophisticated computer programs analyze how students learn. Some, like Smart Sparrow, an Australian company, create interactive lessons which adapt questions and explanations based on a user’s answers. Its goal is to recognize where there is a learning gap and to fill that in when necessary. Other programs, like Knewton, build a user profile based on careful analysis of a user’s level of proficiency and system interactions. Then, the platform issues recommendations to the user instructing him how to proceed in order to fully understand the concept at hand.
Currently, most adaptive eLearning programs are expensive and, in some cases, in the early stages of development. With time, however, these tools may also be among those that revolutionize the classroom.
The Adaptive Advantage: How E-Learning Will Change Higher Ed by Tim Zimmer on Forbes.com