Adaptive Courseware Promising Improvements in Student Outcomes

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

Since 2017, eight universities with the support of grant funding scaled the use of adaptive courseware. The grant work has yielded best practices and some interesting data that shows impact measured through effect sizes. Implementation and process matter as not all instantiations of adaptive courseware achieve the same results. 

Presenters

Dr. Karen Vignare is a strategic innovator who has been leveraging emerging technologies to improve access, success and flexibility within higher education for over 20 years. Dr. Karen Vignare currently serves as the Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The PLC’s mission is to support public universities as they rapidly infuse technology that supports improved student learning, retention and graduation. She has a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Computer Technology and Education and a M.B.A from the William Simon Business School at University of Rochester.
Premiere online scholar and James Stuckle professor, University of Illinois Southern; OLC Fellow and Outstanding Achievement Award in Online Learning; member of IACEHOF and significant role in development and dissemination of the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework. Karen Swan is the James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and a Research Associate in the Center for Online Learning, Research, & Service (COLRS) at the University of Illinois Springfield. Karen’s research has been in the general area of electronic media and learning for the 25 years since she received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. For the past 20 years, she has been teaching online, researching online learning, and writing extensively about her experiences. She received the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, National University Technology Network (NUTN) Distinguished Service Award, and the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award for her work in this area. She is also an OLC Fellow and a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. In 2010 she also was given the Distinguished Alumni award by her alma mater.
Ryan Luke is the Adaptive Learning Program Director at the University of Louisville. Prior to this role, Ryan taught college level mathematics for almost ten years. In addition to Mathematics, he holds a degree in Computer Science and began investigating digital courseware because of his interest in Mathematical Computing. His passion for teaching and love for students fueled his dedication to student growth and success initiatives. He now leads a team in the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning to aid faculty in implementing adaptive and personalized learning through digital solutions.

Extended Abstract

Since 2017, eight universities with the support of generous funding scaled the use of adaptive courseware since 2017. The grant work has yielded best practices and some interesting data that shows impact measured through effect sizes. Implementation and process matter as not all instantiations of adaptive courseware achieve the same results. The eight institutions are all large public universities serving diverse students and belong to the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities.

Starting in 2017, these universities identified courses, technology, and staff that would support improved teaching and course redesign. Faculty were partners along with program managers. Course choices were impacted by data on student success and the likelihood of using the same course model across all sections. The hypothesis was that by adding adaptive courseware, students would spend more time learning fundamental concepts before coming to class. Thus students would be better prepared. Faculty were expected to use data from courseware not just as homework, but also to inform how activities in the classroom might change once more is known about student learning.

Using the lessons learned from over 150 courses, working with more than 1000 faculty, fifteen different adaptive products, and 150,000 enrollments, both best practices and data were collected. In 2018, APLU along with Every Learner Everywhere published: A guide for implementing adaptive courseware: From planning through scaling.

Most of the institutions have collected at least two years of student outcome data. The data is mixed but promising. It shows both that result vary by institutions, discipline, and amount of iterative practice. During the panel session, the data will be shared.