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The Chronicle of Higher Ed: Adaptive Learning "Gives Students More Control"

Posted in Adaptive Learning on May 9, 2011 by

Photo © Chronicle of Higher Education

In an article released today titled “The Rise of Learning Machines,” The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles Knewton’s partnership with Arizona State University. (This fall, Knewton’s Adaptive Learning Platform™ will power ASU Online’s College Algebra and College Math courses).

The article discusses some key features of Knewton’s Adaptive Learning Platform™ (“programs like Knewton can pace an entire math course using sophisticated tracking of skill development, instant feedback, and help levels based on mastery of concepts”), and calls attention to the underlying problems we’re working hard to address.

As Josh Fischman, the article’s author, writes:

The approach [adaptive learning] is attractive because of some unattractive numbers. Just 22 percent of students in the United States complete an associate degree within three years of starting, and only 57 percent complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to the Education Department. Such statistics, along with the large numbers of students who need remedial courses and drop out, drive the appeal of software that offers individualized attention to get students through basic math and other courses that are essential to college success. “These are high-risk, low-socioeconomic-status students—exactly the kind we have to reach out to,” says Mr. Regier [dean of ASU online].

Read more about the advantages of and questions remaining about adaptive learning (along with the response of ASU students and professors to Knewton’s course interface) here, and let us know your reactions in the comments!