Steve Kapaun

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Adaptive Learning: Choices For The Learner

Adaptive Learning: Choices For The Learner

Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students' learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions and tasks. The technology encompasses aspects derived from various fields of study including computer science, education, and psychology.

Training Magazine sees adaptive learning strategies as a 2015 industry trend. It seems that Corporate America has been using adaptive learning strategies for years in eLearning courses. However, with the ability to more easily produce and provide access to rich media (video) and with the adoption of collaboration technologies, more options will be provided to the learner to accommodate various learning styles.

My prediction is that corporate learning organizations are going to continue doing what they’ve always done in the past in terms of assessing whether the learner has achieved the learning objective through pre-tests, post-tests, and testing throughout a curriculum. What will be new and exciting for the learner is that instead of completing the same topic of learning after failing an end-of-topic assessment, they will have access to the following types of content:

  • A video-based scenario that was captured by fellow employees using their iPhones and edited by an eLearning developer
  • YouTube videos that are publically available
  • An internal forum on particular role-based or task-based topics with the option to contact and interact with forum contributors (experts)
  • Internal Wikipedia-type repositories of company-specific content

The content may be served up when they are completing the topic or after an assessment to reinforce what they should have learned when they completed the topic initially.

Corporate America is not going to necessarily become more sophisticated in terms of assessing the learner and adapting the training strategy based on the learner’s responses to test questions or performance on tasks. Corporate America is going to become more sophisticated in terms of providing content and learning opportunities to the learners in different formats and through different technologies. These will allow the learner to pick and choose from a menu to accommodate their learning styles and immediacy of their learning requirements. Furthermore, corporate learning organizations are going to continue to become more sophisticated in their ability to quickly create, catalogue, and distribute chunks of learning that can be accessed at point-of-need informally on the job and formally within training courses.

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