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Adaptive Learning Changing Teaching

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

By Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO & Co-founder, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd

Adaptive learning, an educational technology that responds to a student’s interactions in real time, which is a major breakthrough in the whole teaching-learning gamut. Rooted in cognitive psychology, adaptive learning has been around since 1950s. However, the lack of appropriate technology delayed its implementation. With artificial intelligence gaining momentum, adaptive learning has got a renewed boost.

The need of adaptive learning
The dearth of quality teachers has often been attributed to the declining quality of education. Lack of an effective classroom ecosystem led to a rise in tuition classes in India. However, this too failed in bringing forth  personalised learning in a true sense. Artificial Intelligence (AI) working as an intelligent tutor facilitates adaptive learning and caters to specific learning needs of each student. It is based on the philosophy which believes that with right means and proper individualised guidance all students can attain the complete understanding of a concept. This true democratic approach can make education accessible at anyplace and anywhere. Every child can have the opportunity to access the best in learning.

Different facets
The aligned Learning Management System (LMS)  with its comprehensive documentation, tracking and reporting progress functionalities facilitate adaptive learning. Adaptive learning tools  can be categorised into adaptive content, adaptive assessment and adaptive sequence:

Adaptive content: Based on a student’s response to a particular question, tools provide relevant hints, corrective feedback and resources. There are different means like simulations, YouTube videos, notes, etc for imparting lessons.

Adaptive assessments: A mid-level question is presented to students. If they answer it correctly, the difficulty level of subsequent question is raised and if they give an incorrect answer, the difficulty bar is lowered. Thus, within a shortest period of time, the learning progress and gaps in understanding the concepts of a student can be identified.

Adaptive sequence: The more complex one as compared to the other two. Making use of predictive analytics and algorithms, this feature collects and analyse data and uses it to recommend the fastest learning path for a student. Based on the learning progress that a student makes while choosing a particular medium, the tool recommends the appropriate medium to  students. For instance, it would recommend a student whether to use a YouTube video over simulations for learning.

Benefits of Adaptive Learning

  • Differentiation made between a ‘smart’ and an ‘average’ student has often hampered the  progress of learning because of these so called groups. However, adaptive learning identifies the gap in learning for all and then address the gap. Therefore, all types of learners are enabled to master concepts.
  • Students are able to learn at their own pace and space without one being termed more smart than the other. This process would also make them more confident and self-assured.
  • Teachers have always complained about insufficient class time. However, with these means of learning being implemented, teachers would be left with more time to spend with students. More and more activities and one-on-one interactions can be taken up.

For time immemorial, Indian education system has been plagued by many problems, and we have attributed poor education as the reasons for rising crimes, poor economic performances, etc. With the adoption of adaptive learning technology we could  not only break down the hurdles that come in the way of quality education, but make the present generation learners ready for a better future.

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