The Learning Technology Center furthers opportunities through adaptive learning

Bryce Gill, Assistant Biz & Tech Editor

There are technologies put in place to further advance the way students learn and the way teachers teach. Adaptive learning is technology that is used around the world and some of the best examples are Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) tests or video games. There are currently two pilots being tested on UW-Whitewater campus called Realizeit and Cerego.

“There’s a pilot on this campus called Cerego that is adaptive but on a smaller scale. It’s like virtual flashcards. Its adaptive in that it will select the content knowledge for your class, if it’s heavily vocabulary, it will text you to remind you, ‘you haven’t practiced lately’. It won’t let you cram. A better name for it would be adaptive practice because you practice more efficient ways to study.” said a curriculum and instruction professor, Dr. Matthew Vick.

Adaptive learning is beneficial for both professors and students in a wide variety of subjects. This technology is capable of predicting what a student already knows and what a student could use more help on. Each question will be asked based off how each prior question was answered. A student’s understanding of the class can also be determined for a professor. This can be put in place to provide extra help or so that a bigger challenge can be assigned for students who are more familiar with the course material.

“It works best in courses that have a relatively concrete skill sets and concepts to teach, like statistics, or any of the STEM fields. That clears the way for using class time more effectively. I think adaptive learning is especially well-suited to courses where students arrive with a wide range of preparation and motivation.” said Dr. Meg Waraczynski, a psychology professor at UW-W.

The workload falls on the professor of the class. Each professor that uses adaptive learning, has submitted all of the questions and alternative questions that help make this technology adaptive to what each student knows or does not know.

“A lot of it is questioned based. It tries to change as you go depending on how you answer questions or select items. But you could put more content in it like videos and attachment them to thing. For example, if a student got something wrong, it could loop you back to a video that will walk you through it.” said ICIT Learning Technology Center staff, Dr. Andrew Cole.

All staff and faculty are welcomed to the Learning Technology Center in McGraw Hall suite 120 for feedback and ideas that can further advance the learning environment for all students on the campus of UW-Whitewater. Their office hours are from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.