Boosting eLearning with individualization
If we compare the seminars of the past with today’s eLearning, the greatest challenge remains the perceived lack of relevance to learners. Whereas seminar leaders know their participants and can respond to their individual needs, eLearning is often not aware of learners’ requirements and learning environments. The solution is individualization. As has long been known from other digital sectors, digital content can also be adapted automatically or manually to individual users on the basis of user data and behavior, thereby generating an individual learning experience. This is what is known as adaptive learning. The result is more effective learning, greater learner motivation, and thus guaranteed success!
What is adaptive learning?
The megatrend of individualization is everywhere—in entertainment, online advertising, services, and products that are tailored to our personal preferences and needs. It is also possible—and urgently necessary—to individualize digital learning. Because in addition to all the benefits that eLearning brings, the digitalization of content poses the challenge of how to give learners personalized attention. The solution is adaptive learning.
Adaptive learning means differentiated teaching, i.e., that is adjusted to the needs of individual learners. This approach has a significant impact on learners’ achievement, since ultimately each individual acquires knowledge in a different ways and at their own pace.
Individual learners taking in the knowledge they require at the right time and speed for them.
If information about learners, their learning environments, learning speeds, and learning times was previously unavailable and was not taken into account, an adaptive approach allows eLearning to be continuously adjustment to the current learning situation. This is based on user data and the behavior (keywords: learning analytics). In addition to demographic and other static data on learning environments, learners’ verbal and non-verbal feedback is also taken into account.
This includes indicators such as:
- answering questions
- digital absence (closing the device, focus)
- environment (device, location, noise, etc.)
- peers / learning groups.
These are interpreted either automatically or manually. As a result, eLearning content, methods, structures, and delivery can be tailored to the needs of each learner.
Benefits of adaptive learning
In addition to the general benefits of eLearning (learning any time and anywhere, cost savings, standardized quality, interactivity, etc.), adaptive learning also offers a large number of specific benefits:
Instead of learners accumulating stultifying knowledge that they will either never need or will only need much later, they are only given the content they really need to know. Content relates to the real life or learners’ work and is therefore motivating and engaging.
Saving time for learners
Time spent learning is precious and focuses only on tailor-made content that learners really need.
Saving time for teachers
In addition to automatic individualization of content, adaptive learning uses activities involving self-correction, such as voluntary interim tests or supplementary exercises, lightening the burden on teachers.
Adaptive learning also teaches participants to take responsibility for their learning by deciding for themselves how they want to progress through the learning process.
Methodologies and difficulty levels are geared to individuals to facilitate self-directed learning. The learning environment becomes a tailor-made experience, which motivates learners.
Continuous observation and regular feedback enable learners to self-assess and provide control over knowledge acquisition.
Adaptive learning with the Knowledgeworker Share learning management system
Knowledgeworker Share is a clearly structured learning management system that delivers the online courses you have created in the authoring tool to specific target groups. The platform also helps you take an assured and professional approach to learning management, teaching duties, and company communications.
Individual learning paths with the curriculum
In Knowledgeworker Share, you also define what are known as learning paths. These indicate the order in which courses or course sections are to be completed. They also allow you to set tests from time to time, which will allow learners to jump to a new point on the path depending on their marks. For example, if someone achieves full marks on a test, this will unlock the next course and even allow them to skip certain sections. If someone does not achieve the required result, they can repeat sections as necessary. This basic structure is clearly visualized and gives teachers and learners an overview of the upcoming learning process.
The bottom line.
Adaptive learning is a logical and rational development in the context of the individualization of digital content, and one that offsets the final downsides of eLearning compared with analog seminars. Whereas previously it was not possible to give learners personalized attention, you can now adapt content to their individual needs. Individualization is based on learner details and their organization of their own learning path. This increases learner motivation, saves valuable time and avoids boredom, which can only improve learning outcomes.
You may also be interested in the following articles
Diversity in eLearning: digital learning for everybody
Privacy in e-learning: 6 tips for GDPR-compliant digital learning
Image source: Flamingo Images/shutterstock.com