Success and Struggle: 3-Year Experience Creating Adaptive Courses

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Brief Abstract

Join us as we share our experiences designing adaptive courses using Realizeit from the perspectives of instructional designers, instructors, and students. We will discuss the adaptive course design model that we developed, as well as challenges that arose and our innovative solutions.

Extended Abstract

With a growing awareness of the student need for individualized learning, targeted instruction and support, higher education institutions are rapidly adopting innovative educational models, especially adaptive learning solutions.  

Adaptive learning is an emerging pedagogical approach enabled by adaptive technology, which aims to create an individualized learning environment based on the unique needs of each student and provide an opportunity for greater engagement. As a result, students receive a fundamentally different learning pathway than they would have in standard online or hybrid courses. Adaptive technologies also gather individualized performance data, giving instructors comprehensive data that enables instructors to provide more meaningful support to the individual student. 

Responding to the growing demand for personalized learning, since 2018, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette began assisting instructors in building adaptive courses. The adaptive technology used is the Realizeit software application, which is a very robust learning platform that is used by several universities around the country. 

Instructional Designers at UL Lafayette worked with seven instructors from a large variety of disciplines to create ten adaptive courses in Realizeit which houses all of the learning materials, activities, and formative assessments for specific learning units. The platform is constantly collecting data about each student’s behavior and performance. This data is used in creating individual learning pathways to help them to attain the learning goals of the course.

To facilitate the implementation of an instructor’s course design into this innovative platform, instructional designers developed a course design model that consists of three phases including,

  • Phase 1: Planning
  • Phase 2: Development
  • Phase 3: Delivery 

In our presentation, we will discuss:

  • The general structure of Realizeit
  • Identifying courses that are a good fit for adaptive learning
  • The tasks included in each of the design phases
  • Challenges experienced during the course design process
  • Faculty perspectives in teaching adaptive courses
  • Student experience in adaptive courses