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Adaptive learning leads to more individualized approach to learning

In the classroom, it’s known that not every student is going to absorb material at the same speed. Some pick it up quickly, while others often require more time and attention. Although it’s possible for each student to receive individualized help, there is usually only one teacher to go around. With adaptive learning technology, however, it may be possible for each student to proceed at his or her own pace and succeed in the classroom setting.

What is adaptive learning?
Adaptive learning, according to Edudemic, tailors the education process to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student. Many software programs are able to capture every decision a student makes while working in the program and adjusts the student’s learning path in real time. Therefore, there will be no gaps in understanding. With the availability of computer labs in schools, this method of learning is growing and offering insight into the ability of each student. With this form of adaptive technology, understanding even the most complex subjects can be made simple.

The concept of adaptive learning can be traced back to the 1950s. According to The Chronicle, a teaching machine was invented by the psychologist B.F. Skinner, then a professor at Harvard University. This box-like mechanical device fed questions to students and proceeded to reward the correct answers with fresh academic material. If students answered a question incorrectly, they got a repeat of the question they missed. The student then quickly gains an understanding of what’s correct and what’s incorrect.

How will it individualize the learning experience?
Although the teacher can by no means be replaced in the classroom, adaptive learning technologies serve as a great assistant to improve students’ educational experiences. Oftentimes, the method of learning needs to be flipped around in order to see a change in results. Both students and teachers are finding that this computerized technology helps to individualize the learning process.

Students can revisit the material
Often, many students are shy when it comes to asking questions about material that has already been taught. They may be embarrassed that they didn’t understand it the first time and feel uncomfortable asking questions. However, adaptive learning’s flexible format allows students to revisit the material instead of struggling to keep up with other students.

Ability to learn at their own pace
If no two students are alike, then why should they be learning the material in the same way? With every click of the mouse, the program recognizes more than just "yes" or "no" answers. It works to evaluate students’ learning strategies and immediately adjusts the lesson to meet their personalized needs.


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