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Learning Personalisation – Adaptive Learning to Adaptive Content

Ever heard the term Adaptive Learning? If the answer is yes, there is a strong possibility that you have some exposure to the education industry. My guess is that you are either a teacher, educationist or a Machine Learning professional with an interest in education.

For over a decade, industry and academia have been working hard to address the problem of education. Educational psychologists have been working along with technologists to provide an engaging learning experience.

One of the most exciting stories that I have been following, since my early days at college, was of Knewton.com. Their website was loaded with articles citing their research and their vision. They were betting on the potential of adaptive assessment & learning have arguably managed to deliver on the promise.

Having worked in the education technology domain, I have observed that achieving this milestone is a mammoth task. This is because it requires a fairly large spread of content for every concept in the curriculum.

For the benefit of those who are new to this subject, let me answer a question.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Imagine that a student is presented with a problem too easy or too difficult for him/her to comprehend. In the former scenario, he/she might get bored if it's too easy and in the latter scenario, he/ she might get demotivated if it's too difficult to solve. Adaptive Learning ensures that the difficulty of the content is aligned with the skill level of the learner. This helps manage the learner's motivation.

Coming to the aspect of learning preferences, learners might prefer different modes of learning. These may include videos, ebooks, audio, animations or even simulations & games (and maybe even VR going forward).

Managing Skills and Motivation are the core of adaptive learning. This is because you need the student to be motivated to stay hooked to the experience for longer sessions. Adaptive curriculum requires the same content in multiple ways to address this condition.

Knewton.com moved from a test preparation provider to a platform which works with the leading publishers in the world. Does it connect the dots?

Technology has come a long way over the last decade. With this advancement, comes a new promise for adult learners

Wondering what is beyond Adaptive Learning?

Simulation-based learning is one of the best performing ways of adult training. In SBL programs, the learner is placed in the simulated scenario as he/she is taught how to perform a task. A template-based training session to give the learner a taste of the real world scenario.

Adaptive Content Generation is a step forward in that direction. Imagine that you as a learner are continuing what you are doing and the system notes the mistakes you are doing. Based on the mistake patterns, it presents a learning recommendation highlighting the mistake and the right way to do the task.

Would you rather learn faster by knowing the exact mistake you have done and the right way to do that task OR would you be satisfied with a reference to a similar event?

Would appreciate your comments on this thought.

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