Have you heard the term ‘Adaptive Learning’? When you get a 5 minute tea break window do you Google the various notions that have floated in and out of your subconscious since breakfast? How do you decide what to learn about in the time you have? Decisions, decisions...
Navigating your unique learning path
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Robert Frost shows us we have been encountering the same issue for over a hundred years now. Too much to learn, too little time. Life has only sped up since then, so when learners are aware that they can only spread themselves so thinly – how do they decide what they need to dedicate their much-sought-after attention?
Mr. Frost took the path less travelled; and so learners would (and should) take the path that contains the information that is most crucial for them and the way they work. No filler or attention grabbers, but simply littered with the morsels of learning that they really need to indulge their brains in to do their job well. However, learning paths are not so well illuminated to us with thickets, brambles or bushel. Indeed the most crucial path, the one that contains the stuff we don’t understand, may be very well hidden! We simply cannot know what we do not know, until we start to learn it.
As with so many of life’s ills, technology is here to help us. An Adaptive Learning model can create a personal learning environment which is engaging, useful and most importantly unique to every user – and guide us to where we (and our L&D teams!) need to focus our time and resources and meet business and learning objectives.
What is Adaptive Learning?
Adaptive Learning is the use of algorithms to customise a unique learning path that meets the specific needs of each learner. True Adaptive Learning will taking into account each learner’s strengths and weaknesses and how well they are performing. It learns from the learner. It uses the learner’s responses to guide the presentation of the learning, and the difficulty of the learning experience being presented. It will tweak and adjust over time, depending on how well each learner is learning and retaining.
It is becoming less realistic to produce one sole course that will meet the needs of hundreds or thousands of students’ learning styles. To meet each learner’s expectations, and to save L&D time and money, Adaptive Learning techniques should be considered as part of a personalised learning checklist. Relevancy of content is vital in increasing user engagement. Our comsumer-led Learning Experience Platform Percipio cuts classroom training and meets learning needs with off-the-shelf high quality courses, ebooks, and videos.
Is Adaptive Learning just another fad?
Adaptive Learning is not another buzz word. You only need to look at modern marketing or how our social media feeds are curated to see the trend. Modern technology is increasingly user driven and in time modern workplace learners will come to expect this too.
It is nothing new either. As far back as 1960 Patrick Suppes’ Dial-A-Drill programme was delivering training assessments using a computer automated program and touchtone phones. The personalised learning strategy adapted the routine for students that answered two questions incorrectly. Even then, students that took advantage of this system were outperforming their peers.
Adaptive Learning vs. Personalised Learning
As for Personalised Learning, it is subtly different. When did you last sit through a TV programme that was just ‘ok’. Your answer could vary depending on your living situation, but chances are you did not sit through it for long. We as users no longer have the patience to sit through content that is demonstrably not to our taste. Streaming services are already accumulating our preferences, from duration to style to subject matter, and presenting us with the material that’s best suited.
Personalised Learning is doing this for our online training too. It will present learners with content that is deemed most interesting or appropriate, based on their preferences, browsing history or work role. It is the modern encyclopedia - huddling related information together for us so we don’t miss out on any of those ‘hitch hiking learning nuggets’. Read more about this in our blog about 'the reluctant elearner'.
How can I use Adaptive Learning?
However, if true Adaptive Learning sounds far fetched at the moment, don’t worry. Incorporating Adaptive Learning can be done by simply running some surveys and social polls on a frequent basis. But if you are ready to dive in to a fully automated solution, there are scalable technologies available to you that will give your learners 24/7 access to adaptive learning programmes with your own custom content. These platforms will engage, boost confidence and provide a highly convenient way to learn.
Thankfully, it’s not even a complicated solution. There are now modern Learning Experience Platforms that have a built-in adaptive layer as standard - all you need to do is build the learning elements for your learners.
For example, there is Logicearth’s fully-managed adaptive learning service Verify. It’s your gateway into a modern world of individually tailored learning programmes - a complete, scalable service where we help you create only what you need, when you need it. Plus, our Learning Experience Designers will guide your way, allowing you to sit back and let sophisticated AI algorithms do that adaptive magic.
Adaptive Learning is a path that not everyone has travelled down yet. But with the appeal it will have for learners and the burden it could take off of L&D’s shoulders; it will not be long until it is well-trodden!