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Getting to Know Adaptive Learning

In my 2018 EdTech predictions article, I tapped personalized learning for a big year, largely because of the way that personalized learning is expected to dominate Chan Zuckerberg Ed Investments. For the uninitiated, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is the philanthropic powerhouse created by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and wields a prodigious facebook-sized largesse, so we can expect their attention to be impactful, to say the least. But what exactly do we mean by personalized learning? Simply put, personalized learning involves customizing learning content to fit a student’s individual needs. Today I’d like to dial in on a specific branch of personalized learning – that is, adaptive learning.

Adaptive learning takes personalized learning one step further, and is instantiated (at least in theory) as learning content that automatically and possibly even constantly adapts to the learner’s skill and understanding, based on their input. In a traditional curriculum product, this could look like differentiated content tracks based on built-in assessments. In a game-based learning product, this could look like more advanced gameplay mechanics that manifest when the player is moving swiftly through content and needs more of a challenge. There are tons of ways to do this, really, and I’d use up all of the internet’s ink writing them all out here.

Fortunately for me, the fine folks at the e-Literate blog have assembled a six-part video series of interviews with industry majors McGraw-Hill, unpacking their expert approach to adaptive learning. Check out that video series below, and let us know what you think!


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