What Does the Data Tell Us? An Understanding of Student and Faculty Views on Adaptive Learning.

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Join us as we share our empirical study conducted at our institution on student, faculty, and instructional designer experiences with adaptive courses. In this session, we will discuss  the findings focusing on the requirements and rewards of adaptive courses from the user point-of-view. We will also have a Q&A session.


Andrea Leonard is an Instructional Designer for the Office of Distance Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She served as Master Instructor in the Chemistry Department at UL Lafayette for 16 years before changing careers to focus on online education. She is a ULearn certified instructor and has been a pioneering force for online course creation. Her main focus is on creating digital instructional materials for chemistry courses, exploring new technologies and educational techniques, and sharing these discoveries with colleagues.

Extended Abstract

As more students choose online learning, institutions of higher education continuously seek ways to ensure online students’ success in their academic endeavors by not just offering flexible, marketable degrees, but also by implementing feasible pedagogical approaches and tools to provide individualized learning. Given that students have different learning styles and have different prior knowledge, the paradigm of online education in higher education has shifted from passive liner learning to adaptive learning, which is powered by an explosion of robust and cost-effective adaptive technology solutions and resources. 

Adaptive technology opens up a whole new set of possibilities for transforming one-size-fits-all learning into an individualized learning experience through the use of cutting-edge artificial intelligence systems, the collection and analysis of individual learning data, and the provision of appropriate interventions. As students progress through the course, the adaptive technology automatically directs them to the most appropriate content and assessment for their current levels of understanding. As a result, students receive fundamentally different learning pathways than they would have in standard online courses. Adaptive technologies also collect and display each individual’s performance data that provides faculty powerful metrics to analyze and provide more meaningful just-in-time support to meet an individual’s needs. 

Since 2018, our institution began assisting faculty in building adaptive courses using the Realizeit adaptive platform. During 2018-2021, six adaptive courses have been developed in Realizeit and thirty-four sections were offered across five disciplines. 

The goal of this empirical study was to explore faculty and student experiences and perceptions with adaptive courses developed in Realizeit in our institution. The study used a mixed-methods approach, including faculty and student surveys, faculty interviews, and overall student performance data. Students who took an adaptive course and faculty members who designed or taught at least one adaptive course participated in this study. A total of 173 out of 1049 undergraduate students who had enrolled in an adaptive course during 2018-2021 responded to the student survey, and five out of ten faculty members who had designed or taught at least one adaptive course during the same time period have completed the faculty survey and participated in interviews.

The findings of the current study revealed several perceived positive aspects of the adaptive technology in teaching and learning, and faculty practices and experiences in designing and delivering adaptive courses are discussed. 

In our presentation, we will discuss:

  • Trends of Adaptive Learning
  • Studies on Adaptive Learning in Realizeit
  • Adaptive course structure Realizeit
  • Adaptive course development model in Realizeit
  • Student learning experiences in Realizeit
  • Faculty experiences and perspectives on designing and delivering adaptive courses

Level of Participation:

In this session, the attendees will be encouraged to participate in a discussion exchanging ideas of adopting, designing, and delivering adaptive courses in different institutions. The presenters will also hold a Q&A session at the end of the presentation to answer any questions that attendees might have. 

Session Goals:

The goal of this session is to help faculty, instructional designers, and administrators better understand the requirements and rewards of adaptive courses, faculty practices and challenges with the design and delivery of an adaptive course, as well as the crucial relationship between faculty and instructional designers in this process.