Part II: Adaptive Learning

“Intellectual curiosity is always admirable, even if you are an opsimath.”

Imagine if you had to study the entire dictionary to understand that one word. You’ll realize how smart Learners feel when your company makes them retake a whole Agile course because they want to get better at managing backlog requirements. Adaptive Learning helps avoid that.

“Adaptive learning describes a very individualistic approach to learning.”

 

OpsimathWe looked at what it means to have your organization focus on your Learners in the last article “Putting Learners First”. If you are convinced, here is a form of learning that has proved very useful in classrooms at schools and universities and is increasingly being used in corporations.

Adaptive learning describes a very individualistic approach to learning. The Learner identifies their own deficiencies, finds specific knowledge to remedy them and evaluates the success not just by the amount of retention but also the confidence in applying that learning to their work.

The key characteristics of Adaptive learning are:

  • Emulates a One-On-One personal training
  • Uses personalized learning pathways
  • Provides time efficient learning
  • Provides focused remediation

“…your employees are Learning in the Flow of Work. The knowledge required by your employees is available WHEN they need it and exactly what they need. A natural consequence is Sharing in the Flow of Work.”

Further, in the workplace Adaptive Learning ensures that your employees are Learning in the Flow of Work. The knowledge required by your employees is available WHEN they need it and exactly what they need. A natural consequence is Sharing in the Flow of Work. As these employees become experts they can create specific pieces of Learning Content that can be used down the line by those who follow.

The implementation of Adaptive Learning spans a vast gamut of potential technologies. The simplest and arguably the most effective is one-on-one coaching. A great coach can scale up and down and challenge the learner based on stimulus-response. At the other end of the spectrum, are Artificial Intelligence based systems.

It is not hard to create a blended system in-house using the major components. It essentially comprises an “Expert” the desired end point made up of several facets of that expertise. The “Learner”, this is the current state of the individual Learner mapping their aspirations. A “Tutor”. This is the intelligence that determines how knowledge is fed to the Learner including pacing and assessing the learning. Finally the “Interface” that is what the Learner interacts with to get the Learning Experience. The details of all these are well described here, “How to Build an Adaptive Learning System”.

So do we have any recommendations? Most literature till date seems to emphasize the need for Adaptive Learning Systems and how they are superior to existing strategies that Learning And Development course based systems use. Our searches showed several commercial systems do appear to incorporate various aspects but no system seems to have the whole package for an enterprise. The most comprehensive one we have seen is Knewton. It does appear to be focused on students and academia. Let us know if you use or find one!

Do write and tell us how you have chosen to implement Adaptive Learning in your organizations.

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1 Comment

    • I was doing it all along for 4 decades without knowing the term “adaptive learning”. It was so self enriching.

      Aniruddha Sarkar

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