More than Getting Them to Register: Building Successful Foundational Online and Blended Courses Using Adaptive Technologies

Concurrent Session 3 & 4 (combined)
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Brief Abstract

Adaptive learning technologies have the potential to transform the learning experiences of students and faculty alike. Increasing applications of these technologies by faculty and institutions of higher education have helped to grow our collective understanding of how to support transformation through effective implementation. Effective adaptive courseware implementation can have a broad footprint at an institution, touching departments like institutional strategy, finance, IT, institutional research, student support, and academic units. Implementation and its associated institutional transformations can take time—anywhere from 9 months to 3 years—when accounting for the planning, preparation, and use of adaptive courseware. Ensuring that your institution has the necessary resources allocated to support this process, and alignment on a shared goal, are key to success.


Megan Tesene, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Megan directs the Adaptive Courseware for Early Success grant for the Personalized Learning Consortium. In this role, she supports and collaborates with academic leadership from a variety of four-year universities to effectively adopt and implement adaptive learning technologies. Her work centers on enhancing pedagogy, closing achievement gaps, improving accessibility, and ensuring that students from all walks of life have the support and resources necessary to graduate. Prior to joining APLU, Megan served as the Adaptive Learning Program Manager at Georgia State University. Based in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, she managed an interdisciplinary research project leveraging adaptive learning technologies across several gateway undergraduate courses. Megan is a social scientist by training, with expertise in qualitative and mixed-method research. She has taught introductory and upper-level courses at the University of Northern Iowa and Georgia State University. In addition to project management and sociological research, she has extensive experience in program evaluation, faculty development, instructional support, and active learning communities. She has a Ph.D. from Georgia State University and a M.A. from the University of Northern Iowa.
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.
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.

Additional Authors

Submitted on behalf of presenters: Karen Vignare, Personalized Learning Consortium, Ruanda Garth-McCollough, Achieving the Dream, and Ryan Luke

Extended Abstract

Drawing from the experience of a network of institutions with expertise in implementing and supporting adaptive courseware, the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities developed a guide for educational leaders seeking to implement adaptive courseware in their programs or institutions. Joined by the experts and university partners who helped to create that guide, this interactive workshop will guide participants through the various stages of implementation, identify supporting resources and actionable next steps, and build a network of colleagues doing similar work at other institutions.