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10 ways adaptive learning can help students succeed

Adaptive LearningIf you’re thinking about implementing adaptive learning technology in your school district but are unsure if it will generate any results, here are 10 key ways in which intelligent adaptive learning can help students succeed:

1. Personal tutor
Hiring a personal tutor for each student would be extremely expensive (not to mention the fact that such a proposal would have a tough time getting past the school board), but intelligent adaptive learning programs make this possible. Research shows that tutoring can be twice as effective as classroom instruction, which is encouraging given that intelligent tutoring systems achieve results are comparable to those of their human counterparts.

2. Students set the pace
One of the major challenges that teachers face is setting a pace of instruction that isn’t too fast for struggling students or too slow for those who are gifted. Allowing students to work at their own pace can significantly increase their achievement, particularly if they are given feedback as they learn. Intelligent adaptive learning makes this possible.

3. Path of learning shifts
IAL systems differs from other learning programs in that they have the ability to shift the sequencing of curriculum as students learn. In other words, the system determines a path of instruction based upon each student’s level of understanding and the range of his or her learning experiences and prior knowledge. As a result, the path of learning for each student is different and tailored to his or her particular needs.

4. Steady progress
Teachers are tasked with helping students steadily progress toward the targeted learning standards laid out by the district and government. The distance that needs to be traveled between a student’s current skill level to these goals differs for each child. If students begin learning new math concepts at a level that is too challenging for them, they may become discouraged and never reach the end goal. IAL continually monitors students’ learning and builds on prior knowledge to make sure they are making steady academic progress.

5. Engagement
Students can spend hours at a time playing video games, but when it comes to getting them to pay attention in class the process can be like pulling teeth. Adaptive learning systems engage students by masking instruction in the form of games. Students complete sequenced challenges, must demonstrate competence before moving forward, and receive timely and specific feedback – just like in the video games they love so much.

6. Constant rerouting
Rather than limiting students to one particular learning path, IAL systems constantly reroute instruction. Highly adaptive systems make this possible because they don’t just focus on whether a student’s answer is right or wrong, but also evaluate how students solve each problem – adjusting instruction after every click of the mouse. This optimizes the student’s learning experience – it’s like having a personal tutor!

7. Reevaluation
The rerouting of instruction takes place through constant evaluations of each learner. Like teachers, IAL systems ask important questions after each math problem: What support does this student need to keep from getting stuck? Does the student understand this concept well enough to move on? Where should the student go next? This ensures that kids aren’t just going through the motions – they’re really learning.

8. Rigorous curriculum
The rigor of curriculum is important, particularly as many districts make the move to align their curricula with the Common Core State Standards. In order to build a foundation of knowledge that will help them succeed as they reach higher levels of mathematics, students need to be mastering appropriately challenging concepts early on. IAL programs make sure students truly understand what they’re learning before moving forward.

9. Students take control
Rather than passively listening to teachers introducing new math concepts, IAL programs let students take the reins and do some academic exploration. Students get to choose the lessons and games they enjoy playing, but the IAL program ensures that they are constantly learning.

10. Sophisticated analysis
IAL systems also give teachers the tools they need to help students succeed in math class. The programs provide sophisticated analysis of the data they have gathered, helping administrators and teachers make daily decisions that will move students toward targeted learning standards.