Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices to orchestrate the allocation of human and mediated resources according to the unique needs of each learner. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students' learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks and experiences. The technology encompasses aspects derived from various fields of study including computer science, education, psychology, and brain science.
The Kirwan Center is currently working on two adaptive learning projects:
- The goal of the Adaptive Learning in Statistics (ALiS) project is to determine if a flexible learning approach, based on a set of standardized learning outcomes and built on a sophisticated adaptive learning platform, can unify content, improve learning outcomes in gateway mathematics courses without increasing costs, and facilitate the transfer of credit between institutions. Five Maryland community colleges and four USM institutions are currently participating in the pilot to compare learning outcomes for students take ALiS sections of the statistics course to students taking standard format/traditional sections of the course.
- The ALT-Placement Project is piloting the efficacy and feasibility of replacing the high-stakes mathematics placement exam process currently in use with a process that empowers students to assess and remediate their mathematics knowledge using adaptive learning tools. Seven Maryland community colleges and four USM institutions are participating in the pilot.