5 important discussions on adaptive learning

The wonders of adaptive learning is of course only half of the story. Here, we outline some of the most important discussions that we need to address when it comes to adaptive learning.



A very important issue to take into account when discussing adaptive learning is the transparency of the adaptive system.


Transparency
A very important issue to take into account when discussing adaptive learning is the transparency of the adaptive system. In order for both the training manager/teacher and learner to understand and trust the technology behind the adaptive learning solution, it is crucial that the system is transparent as to which data is collected and how this data is used and for what. What are the data points and how are they used to adapt to the individual learner’s level and preferences?


Data points
In order for the adaptive system to work effectively, it needs a large set of data. The system needs to gain access to a lot of information (or data points) about the individual learner to actually assist their learning process on a personalized level. This means that the learner may have to go through a lot of quizzes and assessments for the adaptive system to actually become smart and assist the learner with efficient learning experiences and training.


Who asks the questions?
Many adaptive systems demand a substantial amount of work from HR and/or the digital course creators. The process of formulating questions within the specific topics and on different levels of difficulty as well as connecting relevant content to each question for the user to locate further relevant information is in many adaptive learning solutions a manual and highly time-consuming task. In order for an adaptive learning system to truly become beneficial for the company, it is paramount that the entire process is automated, from asking the right questions, assessing the answers, curating the relevant content, and leading the individual way for each learner.


Knowledge vs. Competencies
As of today adaptive learning systems still entirely focus on detecting and training knowledge. Knowledge that might become obsolete or irrelevant tomorrow. Adaptive learning systems still haven’t cracked the code as how to detect, train and assess skills and competencies such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration. However, skills and transversal competencies are what most of us need to continuously develop and train in order to stay relevant which means that adaptive learning systems would also have to support this.


Adaptive learning systems still haven’t cracked the code as how to detect, train and assess skills and competencies such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.


Please disturb!
As some intelligent adaptive learning systems are capable of modifying the learner’s preferences and learning methodology, there is a risk of learners reinforcing the same way of learning and not actually being disturbed properly, as is needed when developing. It is similar to the music and series streaming services you use daily: Those clever algorithms have really managed to serve you exactly what you want (and think you need). However, both when it comes to learning styles and ways as well as music and films we need to be disturbed. We need to get out of our comfort zone and into the deep water to actually learn that our preferences and we are not limited to what we think.


As some intelligent adaptive learning systems are capable of modifying the learner’s preferences and learning methodology, there is a risk of learners reinforcing the same way of learning […]



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