Using 3 Degrees Of Adaptive Learning In L&D

Using 3 Degrees Of Adaptive Learning In L&D

Adaptive learning is an amazingly useful learning approach due to a number of reasons, including its ability to reduce the time spent by learners in irrelevant training as well as its ability to help learners work on their pain points or areas of weakness by identifying knowledge gaps and addressing them with appropriate learning opportunities. But unlike corporate organizations might think, adaptive learning is not something that you just implement, but rather it has 3 degrees or levels of implementation. Each level might be appropriate or not for individual organizations, which is why each organization must understand what each degree encapsulates, and then implement one of these degrees of adaptive learning depending upon their needs as well as the resources available to them. In this article, we’ll discuss those 3 degrees of adaptive learning.

1. First Degree: Faux Adaptive Learning

This degree of adaptive learning is called so because it isn’t actually adaptive learning but rather it provides similar results. Faux adaptive learning utilizes other digital learning approaches like personalized learning and branching scenarios to provide results similar to an actual adaptive learning program. While personalized learning requires Instructional Designers to personalize content for every individual learner using learning paths based on their needs, preferences, skills and interests, branching scenarios rely on learners to make choices as they progress through the eLearning course, and either going back to the start of course after making a wrong choice (simple scenarios) or reach unique outcomes based on their choices (complex branching scenarios). Either way, scenarios provide a safe, virtual environment for learners to practice their skills. Neither of these approaches doesn’t require complex technologies or a number of resources but they do require effort and expertise from the eLearning designers.

2. Second Degree: True Adaptive Learning

True adaptive learning requires robust data analytics and a program that can read data supplied by learners. An adaptive learning program adjusts the eLearning content delivered to each learner according to their performance in the initial stages of the eLearning course as well as their self-made choice of learning objectives. It allows learners to choose their learning style as well as the order of learning new skills, and even the digital learning approach they would like to use to learn. Usually, when using a truly adaptive learning system, organizations do not implement adaptive learning to all their training modules, and only use it drive home specific, important training initiatives like product training, sales training or the introduction of a new business process. A true adaptive learning program requires the collection of a lot of data from every individual employee/learner working in the organization.

3. Third Degree: Adaptive Learning Ecosystem

This is the ultimate degree in adaptive learning. The implementation of an adaptive learning ecosystem means that each and every Learning and Development or training activity that occurs in the organization is based upon adaptive learning. An adaptive learning ecosystem is fed every bit of performance and demographic data available on every employee in the organization, and requires either expert ML developers to build it from scratch or to layer it on top of an LMS (Learning Management System) or LXP (Learning Experience Platform). The L&D team of an organization implementing an adaptive learning ecosystem needs to sift through a mountain of learning and training material to determine what would work best for which type of learner and create a multitudinous amount of learning paths to be supplied to the learners. However, with proper planning and analysis, it can be done. An adaptive learning ecosystem is only recommended for an organization that has had years of experience in running an adaptive learning program in their organization and who now wish to upgrade to the highest degree.

Adaptive learning is a peek in the future of learning. Each degree is based on how much an organization knows about adaptive learning. Those organizations which have heard about adaptive learning, and after thorough research, found it suitable for their learning needs should start with the first degree, or if they feel confident that they have the budget, expertise, and resources, start with the second degree right from the start. The third degree, as mentioned before, is supposed to be implemented only after organizations have been using either faux adaptive learning or true adaptive learning for years at a stretch.

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