Adaptive Learning the next big thing

‘Adaptive Learning…’ are you hearing it a lot?

The 21st century started with the dot-com bubble now after 20 years, organizations and people have turned the bubble into a huge success. Today world’s top 5 companies are IT giants (3 of them started early in the 21st century).

But wait, why this is important?

Adaptive Learning is not new, the concept introduced by Behaviorist, B.F. Skinner in the 1950s. Skinner constructed a teaching machine that focused on effectively teaching new concepts instead of reinforcing memorization. The machine worked by allowing the student to practice new concepts by answering questions.

Now today, these organizations have started and accepted Artificial Intelligence as a new big thing. For example, the concept of a self-driving car was seemed impossible initially but today people are using it (Thanks to Tesla Inc. and its founder/CEO Elon musk). Initially, it was commonly accepted that computers would eventually achieve the human ability of adaptivity. Hence, the Adaptive Learning got popular as technology improved.

Many people have mistaken Adaptive Learning as a new education initiative. Just to clarify, it is not only related to education but also with other functions, such as knowing the users and optimizing the content offering to them based on their preferences. In fact, there are many businesses that use Adaptive Learning to improve user experience. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Google uses adaptive learning heavily to provide a better user experience with curated content and product offerings.

adaptive learning word cloud

Adaptive Learning in Education

Adaptive Learning can change the entire education sector on how students learn. Today, growing syllabus and information have made things complex for students to learn. Increasing acceptance of online & better education is also positively attributing and enabling to do more in the Adaptive Learning segment.

There are many online education platforms, which have popped-up in the last 10 years in India and globally. But the increasing concern of parents and teachers about the effectiveness of online education is still debatable. Many parents think that technology makes students paranoid and stressed. Because sitting for long hours in the virtual world makes things harder for students. But, it’s up to the EdTech industry how they solve this problem. One of the ways in which most of the academicians and experts believe that Artificial Intelligence and Adaptive Learning have a huge role to play. If the EdTech industry can provide customized learning to each student based on their behavior and learning capacity, then it would be a BRAVO moment for most of the concerned parents/teachers.

Why Adaptive Learning (AL)?

Adaptive Learning is a two-way process unlike currently prevalent EdTech platforms when learners' just receive content and learn. In AL learner starts with exams & quizzes and based on the learners' performance, the system adapts to the learners' psychometric and learning pattern. This entire process is very much personalized, in this process different examinees face different numbers and a variety of questions to reach the precision point. This process delivers accurate scores in less time than standard fixed tests prevalent currently. This whole process reduces time complexity so that learners can focus more on in-class activities, peer learning, and interaction. Furthermore, examinees can continue practicing and get questions of varying difficulty levels every time they take the test. AL uses performance metrics and learners’ cognitive skills and capability so that system can rationalize content for the learner and suggest a better learning module to help them achieved a focused learning approach.

Few players in India have started using AL to provide a better learning experience to users. For example, Embibe is using AI and AL to provide personalized learning. Mentee education and are a few new upcoming Bangalore based start-ups who have started as Adaptive Learning Platforms. Mentee & Factr both are using different algorithms and trend models to know about users better and caters to them with a personalized learning experience.

Other players like Vedantu, Byju’s, and Next education have also started using AL. But not as a primary offering as they are more focused on the learning content segments.

Future Outlook

A lot of experts believe that the future of education is all about Adaptive Learning. Keeping the users/students experience at priority while maintaining the content quality and new pedagogical advancement. More schools and coaching institutes will eventually start using the Adaptive Learning Platform in foreseeable future. Also, teachers and parents will start demanding AL due to its added advantage ineffectiveness and efficient learning.

Just remember, the learning of a child depends on how much a teacher knows about students and how he or she can help them to improve their learning. Now, what if the EdTech industry adopts a hybrid approach where technology helps teachers to know about students and it takes a data-driven decision and guides students along with teachers' personal touch.


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