Pop quiz! You know school is back in session when…
Answer: D, All of the above.
Jokes aside, I look forward to school season every fall. It brings me back to several of my own memories: getting selected to write “words of the day” on the blackboard, mastering the multiplication flashcards and bringing home that first aced test of the year to stick on the fridge.
It’s strange to think that while current students may one day share my sentiments, their memories will differ dramatically from mine. Their “words of the day” don’t require chalk and erasers because they’re most likely written on a Smartboard. Flashcards have probably been replaced with mathematically-focused computer games. And most parents can now celebrate their child’s tests scores before ever seeing the evidence through online grade books via learning management systems. As a market research analyst, I especially appreciate one educational technology advancement in particular: Adaptive Learning Systems (ALSs).
Broadly speaking, ALSs, such as Knewton and Grockit, are tools or platforms that personalize educational content by using real-time analysis of student performance data. Many adaptive learning platforms track and gather student data and use those analytics to measure student proficiencies, student engagement and content efficacy to make custom recommendations based on students’ current needs. What’s great about some ALS systems is that they not only zero in on specific gaps in student learning but can also provide a big picture perspective (e.g., the prerequisites or basic skills that should be required before students take Class X). Designing activities to target at-risk youth, creating optimal peer groupings and allocating the appropriate amount of time for module completion are just a few of the benefits that some ALSs boast.
ALS platforms do for educational achievement what we strive to do for our clients: Enable confident decisions based on reliable data. What advancement in educational technology would get an “A” in your grade book? Where do you see room for growth? Share your thoughts with me here or send us a note.