Online Learning January 24, 2023

What is Online Adaptive Learning? The Pros and Cons

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Online Adaptive Learning Pros and Cons

Any e-learning software or tool in today’s market will likely include some online adaptive learning systems. And it’s not hard to understand why. Institutions worldwide are utilizing technology to improve their learning and training programs and save money and time. However, do you know the pros and cons of online adaptive learning?

We will break down the positive and negative components of adaptive learning and offer you more insight into why and when to incorporate adaptive learning into your training courses.

What is Online Adaptive Learning?

The main idea behind adaptive learning is simple; students learn best when learning materials are adapted to meet their needs. Therefore, online adaptive learning harnesses the power of technology to provide personalized learning content to each student.

What is Online Adaptive learning

In practice, adaptive online learning relies on an LMS or LXP for data collection. In addition to the information manually input by users, this includes statistics about how they use the platform. Then artificial intelligence uses this information to determine what to serve the users. It enables the technology to provide content and training methods customized to each student’s requirements and preferences—even at scale.

The learning is centered around the student in adaptive online education. Rather than giving the same content to everyone, each learner has unique learning pathways and is only shown content, modules, and materials that will benefit them. Hence, this educational method makes learning more effective.

Pros of Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning has plenty of benefits, so it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are adopting it. Here are the clear advantages of online adaptive learning.

Pros of Adaptive Learning

Learning Courses Adapted to Each Learner’s Needs

The first advantage of adaptive learning online is that it makes learning personalized to individual needs. As a result, students get customized learning courses. The artificial intelligence engines used for adaptive learning make selections and refine choices in real time to offer increasingly tailored content to every student as it gains more information and data about them.

Learning Courses Adapted to Each Learner's Needs

For instance, this process may start by asking students to fill out a questionnaire through LMS. Additionally, some platforms use technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (e.g., SimpliTaught) to gather information over time to analyze and map out training courses that perfectly fit learners’ existing knowledge levels and the pace at which they want to learn.

Higher Retention Rates and Better Results

Another benefit involves its ability to improve retention rates. Alternatively speaking, students are more likely to retain what they learn during classes, which eventually leads them to develop new skills without much difficulty. Finally, adaptive learning is an effective way to consolidate knowledge.  

Higher Retention Rates and Better Results

To help consolidate learning, the student’s LMS or LXP will allow them to put their knowledge to the test using virtual workshops. Such platforms can also jog students’ memories by providing them with online content, like quizzes, at different intervals or at the end of their courses.

A Smart Coaching System

Artificial intelligence has enabled online platforms to offer comprehensive support to students studying remotely. The adaptive learning systems have coaches, instructors, and virtual tutors to help students through their educational journey.

A Smart Coaching System

More precisely, these coaches are chatbots, which are powered by data provided by the users. The more the student interacts with the virtual coach, like asking them questions or letting them know which skills they want to learn, the better the coach can comprehend their needs and provide support and relevant answers. Moreover, as these tutors are virtual, learners do not need to book a specific time slot to talk to them. They are available at all times.

Enhanced Student Engagement

Adaptive learning takes pride in providing an exceptional user experience. It sets it apart from previous forms of e-learning and makes the learning and training process much more engaging and exciting.  

Enhanced Student Engagement

The online learning courses now adapt to fit the student’s strengths and weaknesses and their existing experience and range of skills. It enables them to learn at their own pace, as no one wastes time on unnecessary activities. Learners are only provided with content that meets their interests or helps them build required abilities.

Moreover, unlike traditional online education modules, adaptive learning gives a highly engaging environment. It offers group activities such as online discussions, virtual classes, serious games, and group activities. Hence, there’s plenty to keep students stimulated and motivated.

Reduced Admin Work

Automation is at the center of how adaptive learning works. Thus, it empowers the stakeholders to skip tedious administrative work and save time to create an adaptive learning course that simplifies the educational journey.

Reduced Admin Work

Cons of Adaptive Learning

Though there are many pros of adaptive learning, there are also some drawbacks.

Cons of Adaptive Learning

Getting the Hang of It Can be Challenging

Adaptive learning systems are impressive and rich in features, but they are not always easy to get the most out of. To maximize its benefits, instructors and teaching staff need to put a lot of effort into planning a course. The courses require creating suitable, high-quality adaptive learning content, such as interactive elements and video and audio content. This can prove challenging and demands a strong understanding of using specific software.

Needs Integration into Blended Learning Strategy

Undoubtedly, it is the age of digital technology, but moving the learning process online has disadvantages. Students will likely feel isolated and unmotivated without physical contact with others. It is proven from time to time that human interaction is paramount to helping us retain knowledge easily.

So, it would be inaccurate to assume that adaptive learning will take the place of all other forms of education. Instead, online adaptive learning should be one of the many tools in our arsenal to broaden our digital learning strategy. More appropriately, it should be incorporated into a blended learning system, allowing a combination of face-to-face sessions and other online learning techniques.

Team must Correctly Interpret its Results

Online adaptive education systems generate a lot of data. Hence, your team needs to sort through, interpret and analyze it. However, while you get through so much data, it can leave you with more queries than answers. For instance, a group of students performed poorly on a test, and you need to find out why. Of course, there can be multiple reasons for this, like did they fail to master the course content, or were there issues with the questions themselves? 

At the same time, your adaptive learning software might provide statistics, graphs, and figures. However, it can be overwhelming if you are indecisive about what to look for. That is why it is vital to concentrate on data that will help you to achieve your goals and execute your learning strategy.

LMS Platforms Need Optimization for Adaptive Learning

Investing in a learning management system can take time and effort. You must choose an adaptive learning platform that can provide adequate support and suitable features to help you to roll out your teaching and learning strategy. One platform using adaptive learning technology to make learning as seamless as possible is SimpliTaught.

Final Thoughts!

Learning is inherently personal, so education should also feel like it. To build that future of education to be unique, adaptive learning technologies can help us get there faster. The main goal is to empower students and educators to tap into their personal potential in and out of the classroom.

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