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Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning refers to learning environments where technology is used to assign human or digital resources to learners based on their unique needs. In adaptive learniong, computers adapt the presentation of educational materials based on students’ needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks, and experiences. Adaptive learning is typically an element of personalized learning.

Adaptive approaches are often discussed in relation to assessments. In this context, computers adapt the educational materials (e.g., assessment questions) to meet the needs of individual students?—?providing a much more accurate assessment of student ability, particularly for students who are significantly above or below the mean. But adaptive learning can apply beyond just assessments.


Adaptive learning in practice

For examples of adaptive learning, check out Arizona State University’s experiment with Knewton and Pearson to help students who enter ASU needing additional support in math (Steve Kolowich, “The New Intelligence,” Inside Higher Ed, January 25, 2013) or the School of One program in New York City.

The Smarter Balanced assessment of the Common Core state standards is an example of a large-scale adaptive assessment.


Persoalized learning

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