Improved Student Success and Retention with Adaptive Courseware

Concurrent Session 8
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This session will allow attendees to look beyond adaptive learning as a buzzword by giving thorough insights into its definition, implementation and potential to improve classroom results.


Dale P. Johnson is the director of digital innovation for the University Design Institute at Arizona State University. He works with university leaders to develop and implement digital solutions to enable student success. Those efforts have earned him the 2016 Sally M. Johnstone Award from WCET recognizing his thought leadership, excellence in practice, and demonstrated leadership capabilities. In 2018, he was honored by the IMS Global Learning Consortium with an outstanding service award for his leadership of the adaptive courseware community of practice. Mr. Johnson has spoken on the topic of digital innovation in higher education at more than 20 conferences in the USA, Rwanda, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam, and led workshops on the subject at numerous universities. He has a bachelor of science in design degree from ASU and a master in public policy degree from Harvard University, a learning path that combined his interests in design, engineering and education policy. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and building things. He’s traveled to more than 40 countries, studied in Barcelona for a year as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar, and built his own solar home in Phoenix.
Jim Thompson is the CEO of CogBooks. He and the company are passionate about applying science-based methods to education delivery. It is believed that this scientific approach will allow educators to revolutionize the effectiveness of learning over the next decade. Jim began his career as a researcher in physics. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, and continued there as a Research Fellow. His work has been published in international scientific journals and conferences. In 1998, Jim left academia for the high-tech sector, initially working in the US and Europe for Thermo Electron’s Semiconductor Division. He then relocated to Silicon Valley to take up a role as global product manager with a leading semiconductor company. While there, he moved into a corporate-wide role, helping to develop the company’s marketing and sales organizations globally. His responsibilities covered Europe, Israel, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and the US.

Extended Abstract

By analyzing the successful Adaptive Courseware pilots at Arizona State University, this session provides attendees with unprecedented insight into the promise of adaptive learning. These pilots ran as part of the Next Generation Courseware Challenge funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and covered general education courses in Biology and US History. Not only will the attendees learn how to introduce adaptive learning technologies into their teaching but also see the strong evidence of its positive effect on the learners' experience. The Q&A at the end of the session will give attendees the opportunity to exchange opinions and experiences with thought leaders in the field.