Adaptive Learning in the Home
Introduction: In recent years the digital adaptive learning model and programs that utilize it have quietly begun to revolutionize schooling in the US. Thousands of schools across the country have incorporated some form of adaptive learning into their practices, impacting millions of students. While the use of adaptive learning programs has become widespread, many parents, students, and educators struggle to define what adaptive learning is and how it benefits learners. This blog explains digital adaptive learning, its benefits, and how Virtua School, Virtua’s digital learning platform powered by CENTURY, can bring the benefits of adaptive learning into your home.
What is adaptive learning?: Adaptive learning can be defined several ways depending on how it is deployed. According to Pearson Education, the best working definition of digital adaptive learning is, “education technologies that can respond to a student’s interactions in real-time by automatically providing the student with individual support.” In other words, a digital adaptive learning program can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a student in real time, and provide support as needed to fill in any gaps, creating a personalized learning experience for the student. These programs also generally collect data on student progress and share it with the teacher to better understand areas of strength and areas for growth. What makes digital adaptive learning revolutionary is that every student has an opportunity for a unique learning experience when using a program based on their abilities and learning preferences.
How is adaptive learning used in the classroom? Digital adaptive learning resources are deployed in classrooms in several different forms depending on access to technology, structure of curriculum, teacher comfort with the program, program type and other factors. Generally speaking, students who use digital adaptive learning have a far more curated experience then in a traditional educational framework. Adaptive learning programs change the way content is presented and the order in which information is given. Assessments are also adaptive, changing based on where a student succeeds or struggles. One positive outcome is that these programs’ student assessments exist as they should- they do not act as final arbiters of ability and intelligence, but as check-ins for student understanding that can be used to decide where future efforts should be directed. Teachers can then take this information and use it to inform classroom learning, allowing them to sort students by ability level and provide targeted instruction in concert with the program. That ensures a better use of class time and student energy. In this manner adaptive learning is most effective when used together with traditional learning methods.
How Virtua School brings adaptive learning into the home: Virtua School gives families the opportunity to bring adaptive learning for Math, Science, and Language Arts into the home. The platform has content for students in grades 1-12. Virtua School’s CENTURY system, an award-winning adaptive learning program, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of learners by having them take a quick diagnostic assessment, and places them on a customized learning pathway. The pathway includes a series of short lessons, called “nuggets,” that helps students with areas in which they need to improve. These nuggets come in the form of text, slides, graphs and videos depending on the content and student preference. This approach can be particularly useful for students who may need reading or math intervention to boost their skills. The more a student uses Virtua School, the better the program is able to create a unique learning experience. Parents can then access Virtua School’s easy-to-understand parent portal where they can track the progress of their child. Parents may also customize their child’s course load based on their age or needs, and create custom assignments, although our research indicates that the platform’s algorithms and technology almost always do a better job of determining the most effective pathway for a child’s learning than a parent or teacher. . Virtua School is an opportunity for a child to learn at home with some of the most advanced learning technology available. To learn more about Virtua School and how to bring the cutting edge of education into your home, click here.