Adaptive learning is actually not a new concept, but it’s making headlines in the training industry as it rushes to catch up to meet modern learning needs. If you’re unsure what adaptive learning is and how it fits under the umbrella of blended learning, learn more in my colleague’s adaptive learning defined blog.
So why me, and why are we now talking about this important topic? Take into consideration that through our entire lives, our education system has centered around test-taking as a measurement of learning. Imagine a world, instead, where the interaction between the teacher and student was used for personalized coaching to specific needs, and not time spent on a general knowledge dump?
Learning Tree is embracing adaptive learning to advance learning options, and recently introduced a trial module on Microsoft Project. Like any good marketer, I decided to actually drink my own Kool-Aid and try the experience for myself. (Now you’re wondering why you should listen to a marketer, but I hope the below insights make it clear – this is the real deal in modern learning design. Not just hype! Note: this was a highly visible topic at this year’s ATD Conference too that I was lucky to experience with headliners like my favorite blogger, @Seth Godin and powerhouse, @Oprah!)
Anyway, I took the plunge and invested a Sunday afternoon in this adaptive course, and here’s what happened to me and why I am compelled to share.
Actual learning, not memorization. You log in, on your own time and right up front, they tell you this is not a test. There’s no pressure to learn as time-boxed. You can be at any level of skill. There is no ‘fail’; the entire goal is to make sure you can actually do the actions and repeat the actions, not just memorize for a test.
Incidentally, I had only the very basic understanding of MS Project prior to taking this, as it’s not a tool used in marketing generally.
In just a ½ hour (or in my case 45 minutes in between bathroom breaks and Sunday football), I learned enough to be dangerous in operating the basics of a project plan. It keeps asking you the same question in different ways, if you answer anything incorrectly after listening to each learning objective. There is audio + visual instruction to further underscore that people learn differently.
Imagine the impact if this was more than one module of microlearning, and this continued into a full learner journey for this topic! You’d have another way to really learn something, if getting to an instructor-led course is a schedule challenge.
Great Use of AI. Artificial Intelligence — a buzzword you’re probably not sure what to do with, or whether it’s good for you. In this use case, AI combined with algorithms as mentioned above kept learning about me in order to help me truly understand. What that looks like: the “instructor” (AI) taking me through the objectives served up questions in different formats (not just multiple choice) to ensure I did actually get it.
Because of the use of AI, the experience becomes unique to each user. That means your experience will be different than mine depending on your knowledge coming into the topic. It is impressive that it learns about you along the way, so it can understand your learning style and increase efficiency of helping you learn. A win-win (the learner feels good/no fear and the technology can scale the learning). #LearningInnovation
I could continue trying to describe this for you. Instead, I’d like to extend the offer to try for yourself; you’ll see how cool learning really can be and how you can, in fact, fit learning into your schedule.
If you do decide to try this, I’d love to hear about your experience – so that we continue developing adaptive learning as part of our modern learning ecosystem. Drop me a PM on LinkedIn or send your feedback directly: Tricia_Sacchetti@LearningTree.com.