Establishing an Adaptive Learning Framework: Walking the Pathway to Math Success

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Establishing an Adaptive Learning Framework: Walking the pathway to math success 

An Adaptive Panel Discussion

In this highly interactive session, participants will complete a knowledge check similar to what students experience within the ALEKS system. This virtual task will inform and guide the panel discussion by identifying gaps in prior knowledge, verifying existing knowledge, and ensuring a common vocabulary.  As diverse as the learners SNHU serves, participants will identify unique needs for establishing an adaptive learning framework in their own learning environment. Join us in discussing the impetus for change, the impact to student success, shared instructional design and course development approaches. The panel will also reflect upon benefits, share key strategies and takeaways.


Skip is the Learning Resource Vendor Manager for McGraw Hill and Cengage Learning partnerships at Southern New Hampshire University. He collaborates with cross functional teams that utilize vendor courseware through leading best practice discussions on course design and vendor platforms resulting in increased student success.
Sam’s role as an ALEKS Placement Consultant is partnering with colleges and universities to ensure student success and retention with accurate math placement. He has also worked with colleges and universities presenting ALEKS to faculty and consulting with faculty on how to successfully use and implement ALEKS in their courses to improve and increase student success. Sam Hussey-ALEKS Math Placement Consultant

Extended Abstract

Establishing an Adaptive Learning Framework: Walking the Pathway to Math Success

In the current educational environment, time is of the essence. Recent trends in educational delivery are towards shortening a student’s pathway via competency credit, adaptive learning, and other new learning models. When the obstacle of time meets the challenge of developmental mathematics, that mountain can be just too high for many students. Southern New Hampshire University’s online science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students are no exception. Similar to national trends, SNHU required students to take a developmental mathematics course as a prerequisite to their program required math course. The average mathematics review sequence, prior to the major program required course, is three. Students engage in three pre-requisite mathematics courses, if they start at the very beginning of the math path.

When the student data was analyzed, it became obvious that these courses were not serving the needs of our students, rather, these remedial math courses had become the place where STEM dreams go to die. Students who were unable to complete their math requirements were leaving STEM majors in droves. Nationwide studies have shown similar results; the more semesters of remediation a student is required to take, the less likely that student is to ever complete a college-level math course. Never mind reach a longer-term goal such as earning a degree from a four-year university, like Southern New Hampshire University.

We recognize adaptive learning as the alternative that has the potential to provide some learning latitude for students who face the pressures of the contemporary world of work and family responsibility. The ability to incorporate and leverage prior mathematical knowledge to shorten the learning path is enormous for students. This coupled with the strategic use of scalable technological resources in instruction would be the solution the STEM team proposed.

In the spring of 2017, the team examined several adaptive learning platforms for course instruction that would guide students through an individualized pathway to optimize their learning and verify learner mastery. The ALEKS adaptive engine incorporates intelligent logic using Bayesian estimation, adapting and evolving as learner’s progress through the system.

ALEKS is an adaptive, artificially-intelligent learning system that provides students with an individualized learning experience tailored to their unique strengths and weaknesses. With decades of scientific research behind its creation, ALEKS strives to bring the most advanced and efficient learning system to students worldwide.  ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKS PPL), the first platform on the market to combine a placement assessment that places from Basic Math through Calculus I and provides personalized learning and remediation to help students succeed.

The SNHU ALEKS integrated solution creates an atmosphere where students can navigate the demands of their educational needs and balance their lifestyle. In our increasingly diverse society, we believe that adaptive learning opportunities increase student flexibility and opportunity for achieving college success. In this interactive panel discussion, attendees will start by taking a knowledge check to determine the groups understanding of the learning environment.  This will lead to the custom topics that will be examined in the interactive panel discussion.  Throughout the focused discussion, participants will learn how to meet their student needs in a focused adaptive learning environment ultimately leading to their Pathway to Math success.