Learning gets personal: Transforming the one-size-fits-all approach to higher education
As an innovator in online learning, CTU has discovered that personalizing the learning experience can enhance student success. “Adaptive learning respects a student’s time by providing material in a way that works best for him or her, whether that’s auditory, visual or tactical,” says CTU’s Chief Academic Officer and Provost, Connie Johnson, Ed.D. Rather than overload students with preset materials developed for the masses, personalized learning enables CTU professors to see what students know and don’t know, and then optimize their learning paths to ensure successful progress through the course.
Launched in Fall 2012 courses, CTU introduced adaptive learning as part of a technology suite called Intellipath, which includes a variety of tools and applications that enhance learning. The adaptive learning part of Intellipath is offered in select classrooms and is a more effective way for students to interact with course materials and faculty. Unlike other universities that have commonly implemented adaptive learning technologies in math and science courses, CTU is pioneering the use of technology across various disciplines, including English. In time, the technology will be introduced in a variety of subjects like business and criminal justice.
Adaptive learning catapults faculty-student interaction to the next level so as to enhance the learning experience. Adaptive learning lets faculty and students receive immediate feedback about a student’s strengths and weaknesses, which opens the door for communication to bridge the learning gap.
Adaptive learning offers students many benefits, including:
- Increased control: Students can move quickly through areas of mastery to immediately address those areas where they need to improve, which helps prevent students from falling behind in the coursework.
- Higher confidence: Students report feeling a stronger sense of confidence as they proactively address learning gaps.
- Better engagement: Students say classes are “more fun” and, as a result, they engage in the learning process at a deeper level.
- Long-term learning: Students retain knowledge and skills that can be applied in practical ways both in and out of the classroom.
- Improved results: According to faculty, students perform better in class because they get extra support in the areas they find most challenging
CTU is striving to bring this kind of learning experience to every classroom as it continues to pioneer online education and push the boundaries of traditional learning models to provide students with an education that is right for them. Sophisticated learner analytics are like signs held by each student, helping faculty determine the specific skill or knowledge a student needs to master a topic, while allowing students to quickly move past areas of competency. As a result, learning is personal. More important, there is sustained learning rather than short-term memorization. This long-term knowledge retention builds a foundation for success both in the classroom and beyond it.
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