Two Adaptive Learning Tools: Comparing Achievement and Satisfaction

Concurrent Session 6

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Our study compares students' learning experiences with two adaptive learning courseware tools- Pearson's MyFoundationsLab and RealizeIt. We analyzed the quantity, quality and frequency of feedback students received and correlated it to students' satisfaction, achievement and persistence.


Erin contributes to strategic innovation efforts in the development and assessment of learning outcomes for over 6,000 online students annually in the College of Adult and Professional Studies. As a former middle and high school English teacher turned instructional designer, turned assessment director, her favorite topic is creating innovative curriculum to meet the needs of every learner.

Extended Abstract

Our research questions are as follows: 1) How do students experience feedback in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency of feedback received? 2) What correlations exist between a student’s feedback experience and their academic achievement, persistence, and satisfaction? 3) How do student feedback experiences vary between the adaptive learning tool and the personalized learning tool under consideration? Our population involves 80 adult, Associate's degree seeking students enrolled in their AS program's required College Algebra course. A mixed-methods approach was used. Quantitative data were collected from six sources: Online discussion forums, Homework assignments, Two exams, Final course grade, Time on task, and End-of-course surveys. Qualitative data were collected from end-of-course surveys and a reflective writing assignment as well as instructor surveys. To assess quality of feedback, each instance of feedback was scored by trained scorers using a rubric developed by the researchers. A high quality response receives 2 points and indicates both the correctness and further instruction for the student. An adequate feedback response indicates correctness only and receives 1 point. An inadequate feedback response is purely motivational and receives 0 points for quality. Using these scores along with distributed frequency data, a composite feedback experience (fx) score was calculated for each student. The hypothesis is that students who have higher feedback experience scores (greater quantity and quality of feedback distributed more evenly across the course) will also show higher achievement, persistence, and/or satisfaction. Achievement was measured using mid term and final exams that were identical across the two groups involved in the study. Persistence was measured using the number of students who continued to show involvement in the online course from one week to the next. Satisfaction was calculated using the end of course survey data and comparing it with the historical normative data for the course.