We all know students learn at different speeds.
Some kids have no problem picking up complex topics really quickly, while others may need more time to work on foundation skills first. That’s why many students (and their anxious parents) wish they had more options to work at their own pace and take more ownership over their own learning.
Let’s face it, traditional learning methods don’t always cut it and can leave many students bored or struggling.
That’s where adaptive learning technologies come in.
What is Adaptive Learning?
Put simply, adaptive learning is a form of learning that uses online software or apps to try and personalize learning by changing what questions or information is presented to a student based on how well they’re understanding the material.
Adaptive learning systems can watch your child learn and, based on their responses, can speed up or slow down,or even change up what questions or material is presented.
What is an Adaptive Learning approach?
At its heart, an adaptive learning approach tries to use software to create a personalized learning experience for each student.
Like a good teacher or tutor would, adaptive learning technology first tries to assess how well the student understands the subject matter.
Depending on the software and methodology of the adaptive learning technology, it will then change the material presented depending on the needs of the student.
If the student is learning quickly, it might present tougher questions to really dive into the material, or if they are having trouble it may present easier questions to try and fill in any gaps in knowledge.
Some systems even drop hints like a tutor would to try and get students to work things through on their own.
What are some advantages of Adaptive Learning Technology for my kids?
Adaptive Learning technology is a great way to work on student skills at home and can be a great way to enrich and deepen their understanding of subjects or give students extra help in subjects they are having trouble with.
Some advantages of adaptive learning technology are:
It’s very student-centered
Because it picks up on where each individual student is stronger or weaker, and then adapts to them, adaptive learning is by its nature a personalized learning experience that is more student centered, like tutoring.
It encourages self-directed, at your own pace learning
Because the technology is generally online and mobile, students can use it to access learning materials when they want and from anywhere.
Trying to keep kids engaged is always a struggle. Because adaptive learning systems usually involve a lot of input from the student (answering questions, quizzes etc) it keeps them involved in their own learning rather than passively learning, for example, by watching a lecture or video explanation.
It can give valuable insights about kids strengths and weaknesses
Because the technology monitors student responses it can often reveal insights into gaps in skills and foundational knowledge, or let you know in which specific areas your student is already strong.
What are some drawbacks when it comes to Adaptive Learning?
It can frustrate
It frequently assesses students to figure out where they’re strong or weak
Some students don’t like getting a lot of quizzes and assessments, especially on topics they don’t have a lot of confidence in, and may get discouraged or annoyed, especially by an app that keeps testing them on their weak spots.
It needs good technology behind it
At its core, adaptive learning is based around software that can figure out how well your student is picking up on the material. That means it has to monitor, analyze and then change based on the information it is getting, and that’s getting pretty sophisticated.