How to Promote Large Scale Adoption of Adaptive Courseware

Workshop Session 1

Brief Abstract

Leveraging adaptive courseware is a growing trend.  Instead of just pockets of usage, is it time to figure out how you might adopt it on a wide scale at your university? In addition to developing criteria for selection of adaptive courseware, this workshop will also show you how to plan for faculty development, build institutional awareness, and develop staff capacity to sustain innovation at scale.


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.
Cub Kahn is coordinator of the Oregon State University Hybrid Initiative in Extended Campus. He focuses on hybrid pedagogy and faculty development across the curriculum. He facilitates faculty learning communities in a hybrid format to support course redesign for blended delivery. Cub has extensive experience in curriculum development, instructional design and blended/online course development. Prior to his current position, he taught environmental sciences and geography. He holds degrees in environmental and marine sciences and an Ed.D. in technology education.
Patricia O'Sullivan is Manager of the Personalized Learning & Adaptive Teaching Opportunities (PLATO) Program at the University of Mississippi. She manages the adaptive courseware grant at UM. She assists faculty in choosing, developing, and implementing adaptive courseware in high enrollment, general education courses, and provides faculty development workshops in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning of which she is an advisory board member. Patti is also an instructor of Ethics in the School of Pharmacy at UM, and is an associate in the Division of Pharmacy Professional Development. Patti holds advanced degrees in Theology and History, holds a certificate in Instructional Design, and has published historical fiction novels about the Sephardic Jewish experience in the New World.
Megan Tesene is the Adaptive Learning Program Manager based in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Georgia State University. Her background is in sociological research, critical pedagogy, and instructional support. She has taught introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses at the University of Northern Iowa and Georgia StateUniversity, previously earning the Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching at GSU. Megan is also a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at GSU and is in the process of completing her dissertation project. In addition to sociological research, Megan has extensive experience in program evaluation, graduate instructor training, faculty support, and active learning communities.

Extended Abstract

When fully realized at a university, scaled use of adaptive courseware encompasses an institution-wide commitment to student success and degree completion, coordinated faculty development to improve instruction, adoption of high-quality content and flexible technologies that enable performance tracking, and end-user tools that support learners in guiding themselves. Eight public research universities have accelerated the adoption of adaptive courseware over three academic years and now have success stories to share.  Understanding the early successes and challenges and sharing these experiences broadly are critical to improving the way adaptive courseware is developed, promoted, selected, delivered, assessed, and enhance over time.  This workshop will show you how to apply the strategies of these institutions to personalize learning for students in ways that promote completion while containing costs. 

In essence, the shared goal in public higher education is to find ways to decrease costs while delivering high quality education to an expanded and more diverse student body, and we can only do that when we embrace new models for monitoring and improving student performance.