New technologies are not only changing platforms for training, are reshaping traditional methods of instruction. Adaptive learning is an educational method that modifies the contents and teaching methods according to the user.
The main objective is that students become active participants rather than mere recipients of information. To achieve this goal, education have to collect information about training habits, strengths and weaknesses of each user, in order to develop a curriculum. Emphasis is placed on most challenging students' areas and must adapt to the shape and pace of learning of each user.
Adaptive training or intelligent tutoring is an educational process that uses computers as interactive teaching devices. Educational materials are developed for the training needs of students, using the interaction based on the answers to the questions and assignments.
Traditional teaching assumes that all students learn in the same way. In adaptive training, technologies work from the premise that there are custom forms for knowledge acquisition. In essence, education uses technology to suit the needs and students learning styles.
The premise is "adapting the learning process to the strengths and weaknesses of each student". This offers dynamic content prepared for the learner.
These training methods looks to transform the student from passive recipient of the information to a partner in the educational process. Although its main application is in the early stages of education, has also found a niche in business practice.
These systems comprise several components or modules:
- Expert Model, corresponds to the information that should be taught.
- Student model, monitoring and student feedback.
- Model of Instruction, information transmission.
- Instructional Environment, User Interface.
Expert Component registers the information or material that is being taught. Include lectures, tutorials and sophisticated techniques.
Referring to the model student, how to follow the student is known as CAT (Computer Adaptive Test). The base is the presentation of a series of questions based on the skill level of the student. As learner progress through the test, the score is set, and the selection of the questions according to the level of difficulty.
This plan provides a diagnosis of the weaknesses of students, linking ideas to questions, and defining the strengths and weaknesses in terms of ideas and experiences.
The instructional model incorporates educational tools, with the advice of a teacher expert in presentation techniques. Lessons are classified based on a set of questions.
The educational model provides the corresponding lesson. Students models require an instructional design that organizes concepts classes.
The system can develop a picture of the training capacity and determine the speed and sequence with which the message should be delivered. Training methods tracks student learning in order to develop this picture.
What should we take into account when implementing this instruction in the classroom?
The adaptive learning model is implemented in a classroom setting using information technology and is defined as an intelligent tutoring system. These systems operate on three fundamental principles:
- Systems must be able to adapt to the skills and abilities of students.
o The instruction environments use cognitive models to provide information to students. Based on students' abilities, system adapts the curriculum to the student performance.
o Having an inductive logic programming (ILP), which is a way of linking learning and logic programming learning system. Systems using ILP are able to define hypotheses from past experiences and then use this information to develop new knowledge, guiding the student for ways to correct their mistakes.
- Systems must be flexible, and facilitate the addition of new content.
o It is expensive to develop new techniques for educational institutions, so that reuse is essential.
o Cognitive models must be sufficiently broad to teach both math and science or language.
- Systems must adapt to the expertise of educators.
o Most educators are not programming experts. The systems must adapt to the experiences of educators.
What techniques are used in the adaptive learning?
Adaptive learning systems can be used on the Internet for distance learning processes and group collaboration applications.
Trends in distance education are the use of adaptive learning, in order to implement smart, dynamic behavior in the learning environment.
Today, training systems interact with students and adapt to their cognitive abilities. Evaluation process must be established based on demonstrated capabilities of students.
Collaboration tools complement the teaching function. You can add forums or instant messaging services, which promote collaboration within learning environments.
Adaptive learning uses several approaches to personalize learning. The most common method is called cognitive scaffolding, which establishes a set of building blocks from simple to complex, where the student level increases as you complete each block.
Another strategy focuses on the domain, based on the idea that any student can acquire information. These training methods reinforce the students' strengths and encourage participants to practice their weaker areas.
Some systems use a games approach, encouraging students to participate, achieve a high score and succeed.
The adaptive learning technologies can lead to better control of the students while offering the ability for educators to track students. By using computers, you can keep track of students' times and activities within each module. Educators with this information can detect problematic situations and take corrective action.
Probably the greatest achievement of the adaptive learning is its ability to drive the process of personalize teaching. When more material can be tailored to the needs of the student, you will have a greater chance of success in this area.
We all know that everyone is different and learn in different ways. The use of new technologies will bring down the perception that some people are better able to learn than others.
The best educational methodology is the one that uses procedures, forms, materials to connect with the largest number of students. The use of audiovisual and computer resources allow meet the demands and needs of students, and adapt the training rates to their individual characteristics.
Adaptive training provides an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of teaching in colleges and universities. This space is still forming, with many opportunities for growth.