What's missing in adaptive learning technology
Why Thrivist is different
EdWeek's MarketBrief is a wealth of information and if you're reading this and aren't privy to all of the goodies over there then you owe it to yourself to check it out. (After you're finished here, of course.)
This article, about where developers swing and miss with adaptive learning tech, caught our eye for a few reasons:
- We're pioneering true adaptive learning technology for K12 schools and districts and more importantly...
- Are we missing the mark with our technology?
To take all of the suspense out of it... no we aren't missing the mark.
The article is a Q & A with Ken Koedinger, a professor of human-computer interaction at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. He has a long history of contributing research and design principals for educational software as well and our biggest takeaway from the article was this quote:
You have to get your technology producing good data. And then you've got to get your staff to understand how to turn that data into action.
He goes on to say that what can separate legitimate adaptive learning from systems that are below standard is what happens when curriculum is being planned out (i.e. the design loop).
Designing courses and curriculum based on what past learning data tells us is not something that ed-tech vendors do. Most of them rely on their own intuition which is dangerous because the needs of students and teachers and often quite different from our own expectations.
It doesn't have to be this way
That most vendors aren't taking the time to use data to help their users build their curriculum is... concerning. That's putting it mildly.
Relying on theory and intuition is not the way to adapt learning to individual student and teacher needs.
Here, we take a different approach. Our use of cutting edge technology, and learner-first focus allows our users to utilize learning data to inform their overall curriculum and then develop learning paths for each individual to best suit his or her learning preferences.
Giving school and district leaders access to learning data whenever they need it, in real time allows those learning paths to be adjusted in the moment, to ensure learners don't fall behind.
Our goal is for learners everywhere to thrive. We believe that using learning data (not intuition) to inform instruction makes that goal attainable.
If you want to learn more about us or are looking to start a conversation...