Adventures in Adaptive Learning - Pilot initiative for adaptive learning at Barry University
Concurrent Session 3
Barry University’s School of Professional and Career Education (PACE) was charged to design and pilot a cohort of entry-level courses utilizing adaptive learning technologies and design techniques. The presentation will illustrate the rationale used for choosing which courses were to be used in this pilot, challenges encountered, and solutions implemented.
In response to the latest U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan (NTEP), Barry University’s School of Professional and Career Education (PACE) was charged to design and pilot a cohort of entry-level courses utilizing adaptive learning technologies and design techniques. The practical rationale for this initiative may be described as follows:
1) to create a more “personalized” learning experience for the student so as to improve student learning outcomes
2) to allow for “rolling enrollment” so students who wish to begin their study between terms may be accommodated (i.e. expand immediate access)
3) to reduce the overall costs of providing entry-level courses by increasing section sizes without compromising quality
4) to develop courses that speak to Barry University’s Mission that also align with the U.S. Department of Education’s Technology Plan (NTEP).
The presentation will illustrate the rationale used for choosing which courses were to be used in this pilot, the management challenges encountered, discipline-specific design challenges that were faced, the technical challenges related to the initiative (LTI integration, etc.), faculty “buy-in” for such an initiative, and solutions that were implemented to address such difficulties. Additionally, two approaches will be examined: 1) courses piloted utilizing fully in-house resources and 2) a course pilot guided by Cogbooks. This combination allows for a true learning experience on an institutional level as the internal vs. external approaches may be compared and contrasted.
Adaptive learning is often applied to the development of math and science courses and is widely utilized for industrial/business training applications. This posed a particular challenge as Barry’s PACE has interest in including within this adaptive learning pilot course group an English writing course, a lower-level Political Science/Public Administration course (POS-303 Public Policy and Administration) and an “Adult Learner Orientation” course (ORI-202 Fundamentals of Adult Learning), along with a Statistics course (MAT-154 Introduction to Statistics). The presentation will include an exploratory analysis of courseware products found in the marketplace for adaptive learning design techniques as our in-house instructional designer compares their functionalities and notes how well they conform to our needs. Courseware analysis includes the product testing of Captivate, Camtasia, Storyline, Versal, and Smart Sparrow for course development of the pilot courses. . The selected courses are undergoing a total redesign given that assessment strategies were generally summative in nature and we move to more formative assessments that adapt to student learning behaviors. In sum, this presentation will outline challenges and solutions related to the administration/management of such a pilot project, specific instructional design challenges and solutions, and a comparison between our in-house solutions versus an external provider.