A Software Engineer by training and an Instructional Designer by heart, Sapna has worn multiple hats in her career spanning over 10 years. In the ID career of 5+ years, she has developed learning solutions for various domains. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and watching movies.

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Adaptive Learning – The Key to Personalized Experience in eLearning

Adaptive Learning – The Key to Personalized Experience in eLearning

Sapna Gujar | July 31, 2019

In the corporate industry, keeping ourselves updated with the latest trends around the world is the need of the hour. To manage this need, many of us choose eLearning courses available online. However, most eLearning courses offer one-size-fits-all packages. That means all learners are forced to cover the same content. If a learner is already expert in some topic, he or she may find the course dull and may lose interest.

To overcome this, a personalized course that suits an individual’s distinct needs will yield better results. The million-dollar question, though, is how to achieve a personalized experience in eLearning? It is not that difficult, as, with rapidly changing technology and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is possible to provide 100% unique training for every learner.

Adaptive learning is a computer-based educational method that uses various algorithms to analyze the performance, needs of the user, and modifies the presentation according to his /her requirement. In simple terms, the flow of the course depends on how the learner answers a given question. If the question is answered correctly, the next learning content is provided; else, the learner needs to go through the basics again.

In his Annual L&D Global Sentiment Survey conducted in 2017, Donald Taylor said that adaptive learning is one of the popular trends in learning, along with other trends such as micro-learning, social learning, and augmented reality.

The Changing Face of Learning
There are numerous learning apps in the market that are changing the way students learn their lessons. These apps are removing the traditional constraints that students face in learning and have introduced a highly adaptive learning methodology to make learning more interesting and enjoyable.

Based on the principles of adaptive learning, these apps enable students with different capabilities to learn lessons at their own pace, make the lessons interactive with animations, videos, and help them track their progress through a detailed performance analysis report after each test. This personalized way of learning has more and more students registering and using various learning apps available in the market.

Benefits of Adaptive Learning
Adaptive learning is the future of eLearning. Many organizations are increasingly adopting adaptive learning to ensure that everyone learns the same skills at their own pace and according to their level of understanding.

Here are some benefits of adaptive learning in eLearning.

  • Saves time on learning
    One of the major benefits of adaptive learning is that it saves time and effort taken by the learner to understand the concepts. As adaptive learning technology works in real-time, content is personalized according to their level of understanding, which makes learning simpler and faster. It also saves the time of employees who have to spend time off the floor for the training.

  • Identifies competency gaps
    Across every industry, identifying and remediating competency gaps is crucial. However, in many cases, employees are not aware of the gaps in their understanding. According to Nykki Yeager, this unconscious incompetence affects the performance of about 40% of employees in every department. Adaptive learning uses a question-based approach to understand what the learners know and where the gaps are. Based on the inputs, it provides the most appropriate content to fill the gaps.

  • Tailor-made focused training
    Adaptive learning plugs the holes in the current eLearning methodology by providing focused attention to every individual learner. It also offers personalized feedback to the learners, which enables them to understand the concepts better. Adaptive learning leverages upon algorithms and data that it receives from the learner in the form of tasks and responses, and adapts the content accordingly.

  • Adjusts to different learning styles
    Unlike the one-size-fits-all courses that could intimidate some groups of learners, adaptive learning is suitable for all kinds of learners, irrespective of whether they possess a beginner, intermediate, or advanced knowledge of the concepts. A well-designed adaptive learning system learns how students learn and focuses on delivering learning materials that suit their individual learning styles

  • Updates when information changes
    One of the crucial challenges when delivering online content is to provide the most up-to-date material. Adaptive learning system keeps track of what a learner has learned. When changes to the course are introduced, it can differentiate between the material a learner has already covered, and new areas to be mastered. This helps the learners to update themselves without going through the entire content again quickly.

Final Thoughts
Adaptive learning has undoubtedly encouraged learners to take an interest in their lessons by tailoring it according to their needs. However, implementing adaptive learning requires sizeable investment and skilled resources who can strategize this new method of learning and integrate it without posing any challenges to the trainers and learners. Educational institutes and organizations should invest a considerable amount of time in choosing the right providers to launch a successful program.

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