Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Personalization and Quality Assurance Will Be Central to Higher Ed’s Shifts in 2016

Deb Adai, The EvoLLLution, January 4, 2016

The prospect of identifying trends that will have the greatest impact on higher education in the very near future does not seem too arduous a task.  Amidst all of this pushing and pulling, the trends that appear to be getting the most attention in 2016 are, in part:
Competency-based learning
Adaptive learning
Learning analytics (big AND small data)
Badging and alternative credentialing
Alternative pathways to completion
Non-traditional education providers

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The Relationship between Learning Outcomes and Adaptive Learning

Rochelle Diogenes, acrobatiq, November 24, 2015

Both the science of learning outcomes or objectives and adaptive learning originated at about the same time in the 1950’s. They have been connected ever since. The goal of both is to enhance cognition which comprises the mental processes involved in knowing, understanding, and thinking.

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning has come a long way from its 1950’s origins in B.F. Skinner’s primitive teaching machine which focused on immediate feedback, individual pacing, and incremental learning.
Adaptive learning today involves the use of technology to provide students with a customized experience based on their previous accomplishments and progress with subject content, practice activities, and assessments. The student is offered hints to help them succeed and is presented with more or less challenging materials based on their learning process and performance.
In order to measure and adapt based on “progress,” adaptive courseware has to articulate the objectives of that progress. So as in formative assessment, learning objectives or outcomes are integral to adapting student learning pathways.

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Personalized Learning Meets Higher Ed

Dave Doucette, Ed Tech Magazine, December 1, 2015

Blame it on the human condition, but it seems that people are more receptive to information when they are shown how it relates to them — their lives, their interests, their needs. As educators picked up on that fact years ago, we saw the beginning of the shift toward more personalized learning.
Since then, the train hasn’t stopped moving, and recent innovations have only stoked the engine. Adaptive learning technologies, in particular, seem to provide educators with new and better ways to reach students at an individual level, all while bringing personalized learning to scale.
I recently read a March study from McGraw-Hill Education and Hanover Research, which found that 85 percent of students surveyed experienced a moderate or major improvement in grades after using adaptive-learning technologies. And the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition predicts that adaptive learning will play an even greater role in the future.


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Monday, November 16, 2015

Land-grant university group backs adaptive learning with new grant project

Paul Fain, insidehigheredn.com  November 16, 2015

A national association of public universities is throwing its weight behind the use of adaptive courseware, an emerging form of online course delivery that responds to students’ learning styles and levels of achievement.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities already had begun working to help some of its 237 member universities give adaptive learning a try, typically through the development of an experimental course.
This week, however, APLU is taking that effort to the next level with a competitive grant process for members that want to use adaptive courseware in multiple general education courses that enroll large numbers of students, or ones with high failure rates.
The project, which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding with a $4.6 million grant, also will focus on universities' use of online tools to be proactive in advising students.


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Adaptive Learning Technologies: Repersonalising Education

Emma Lundy,  Adaptive Learning, Publishing, August 20, 2015

Although EdTech is an ever-expanding field in which innovative developments are being made at an increasingly fast pace, one of its most exciting areas is adaptive learning. Adaptive learning technologies are changing education in order to ensure that every student receives the level of attention that could previously be attained only during expensive one-to-one sessions with private tutors. Such sessions provide students with the full attention of an experienced educator who is intimately familiar with their educational abilities, challenges, and progress, creating a fully personalized learning experience that has traditionally been absent from many classrooms due to limitations such as time constraints and a lack of information. The primary role of adaptive learning technologies is to bring this level of personalization to every classroom by empowering teachers to deliver their attention where it is needed most.

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Behaviourism and Adaptive Learning

Adaptive Learning Theory, October 3, 2015

In ELT circles, ‘behaviourism’ is a boo word. In the standard history of approaches to language teaching (characterised as a ‘procession of methods’ by Hunter & Smith 2012: 432[1]), there were the bad old days of behaviourism until Chomsky came along, savaged the theory in his review of Skinner’s ‘Verbal Behavior’, and we were all able to see the light. In reality, of course, things weren’t quite like that. The debate between Chomsky and the behaviourists is far from over, behaviourism was not the driving force behind the development of audiolingual approaches to language teaching, and audiolingualism is far from dead.


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AL Research Update

Philip Kerr, adaptivelearningelt.wordpress.com,  October 29, 2015

Decent research into adaptive learning remains very thin on the ground.  Disappointingly, the Journal of Learning Analytics has only managed one issue so far in 2014, compared to three in 2014.  But I recently came across an article in Vol. 18 (pp 111-125) of Informing Science: the International Journal of an EmergingTransdicipline entitled Informing and performing: A study comparing adaptive learning to traditional learning  by Murray, M.C. & Perez, J of Kennesaw State University.


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