What is Adaptive Learning and why is it important to your learners?


Our e-learning consultant Callum Craig discusses adaptive learning and the potential impact in the workplace.

One of the great things about people is that everyone is different, yet education at all levels is frequently delivered to encompass “the masses”, hindering the ability of each individual to process the information provided.

Engagement is one of the most repeated topics in the history of education. Even now, we hear about blended learning, flipped classrooms, m-Learning and e-Learning, to name but a few of the 21st-century techniques used to “engage learners”. So what actually is adaptive learning, and how can it support varied learning methods? This short video by Donald Clark explains the concept:

Donald teaches us that the use of clever algorithms analysing “big data” has already revolutionised the online business world, most notably with Google, Amazon and Netflix (who analyse your data to predict your searches, purchases or watching habits). If this can be personalised, why can’t we use this methodology to tailor an individual’s learner journey?

Ultimately, you have to ask what it is you want to achieve through the use of online learning. Personally, I want rich engaging content that’s quick and easy to access through different devices, with the ability to work both online and offline to allow learning on the commute to and from work. Above all, it has to be personalised to my role and future ambitions.

xAPI (Tin Can), an e-learning software specification, allows content and learning systems to speak to each other in a manner that records and tracks all types of learning experience. It harnesses an organisation’s potential to turn a vision of “adaptive learning” into reality. Imagine having a learning record store (LRS) that processes all the data received from your learning platform and then synchronized with 3rd party systems to capture learning statements. This can allow you to analyse the “big data” to personalise learning by division, job roles, preferred learning methods etc (online and offline).

The start of this process is to first understand that the the methodology behind “adaptive learning” is to transform the learner from passive receptor of information to collaborator in the educational process. How are you personalising learning?

If you’d like to learn more about adaptive learning, or you’d be interested in integrating xAPI into your learning systems, contact us for a consultation.