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Adaptive Learning Solutions

Building robust adaptive learning engines that support personalized learning to suit different learning styles.

Key competencies

  • Knowledge Graphs
  • Adaptive Assessment module development
  • Adaptive learning dashboards for faculty
  • Adaptive learning authoring interface for the Instructional Design team

Customer Success at The largest online University in the world

In traditional classroom based learning, learning outcomes are largely dependent on faculty and the individual student. Faculty who are able to connect with each student and students who are motivated are able to have a positive impact in achieving the learning objectives of a course. Instructions are typically standardized for all students and assessments are only used for evaluating and grading their performance. This one-size-fits-all approach is inflexible and may work for regular universities. Standardized Tests like SAT, GRE etc ensure that there is not much of a variation in learning abilities and the level at which students start off. In courses where students are from diverse backgrounds, this model is not very effective. It may result in students getting disconnected early in a course and can cause drop-outs and even when they continue they may not be fully engaged resulting in poor outcomes.

What is Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices, and to orchestrate the allocation of human and mediated resources according to the unique needs of each learner. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to student’s learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks and experiences.

To achieve this, objectives of each course need to be captured precisely. For each objective, the concepts (topics) that need to be learned are identified. Concepts are represented in the form of Knowledge Graphs which capture different relationships between them. For example, concepts that need to be learned before other concepts are captured as dependant concepts and concepts that are similar or are part of the same sub­-domain are captured as related concepts. Instructional materials like sections/chapters of textbooks, audio or video lectures are also mapped to concepts. Assessment questions are also linked to concepts and are also associated with a difficulty level for each concept. With this backbone in place, a number of software tools can be built on top for students, faculty and other stakeholders which can help implement an Adaptive Learning platform ­ a system that is flexible and adapts to the skills and abilities of a student by providing regular feedback to students and faculty alike.

How do we provide adaptive learning solutions?

We have successfully developed tools called “Knowledge Checks” and “Knowledge Check Builder” for the next generation online learning platform called “New Classroom” which is based on adaptive learning for a multi­-billion dollar group and a market leader in the education industry. Knowledge checks are short assessments or quizzes to determine if students are grasping the content of the material. These assessments can be graded or non­-graded. Once a student completes a quiz, detailed feedback is provided to the students with pointers on materials that they would need to review. The results are also used to identify weak areas in the instructional methods and modify instruction to make improvements. Faculty member for the courses also have access to a dashboard to view students overall understanding of the concepts and recommend specific reading material.

The Knowledge Check Builder (KCB) is an authoring interface to develop content for Knowledge Checks. KCB assists the Instructional Design Team in developing and representing the knowledge and skills contained within a Course. For a Course, KCB provides options to create Assessments. The types of Assessments supported include two versions of Knowledge Checks ­ Lite and Full, with Quiz/Exam being the third. KCB also helps organize and establish relationships between Objectives and Concepts required for that particular objective and associated Material, such as eBook content and Quiz or Exam Questions. It also includes the ability to author quizzes and questions, including hints/correct answer feedback per question, as well as map additional materials to quizzes and questions to support remediation.

Note​: The term Assessment encompasses Knowledge Check Lite, Knowledge Check Full, and Quiz/Exam.

How is it being used? How is it helping?

Knowledge Checks are being used in providing courses by their flagship university (a pioneer in the online education space) to the students enrolled in the university. Currently there are about 70 courses which are being taught to thousands of students enrolled under these courses. Knowledge Checks have become instrumental in the way faculty can easily monitor and guide students to perform better and excel in the courses with better grades. Following are key points how Knowledge Checks are helping in imparting education:

  • As a grading tool, these checks do not need much time, providing a quick evaluation that can also be designed for students to complete as individuals, with a partner, or in a group.
  • Short checks take little time, allowing retakes which offer students the highest grade possible, with a bonus of added exposure to the material.
  • Knowledge checks can also be used to ensure all learning outcomes are being addressed. Develop the checks while designing the training, and make sure all objectives are met along the way.
  • Simple, verbal question and answer exercises in the classroom.
  • Short/extended answer or multiple choice questions.
  • Quizzes with 5–10 identification questions.

How does it work?

A Knowledge Graph or a Concept Graph is at the core of Adaptive Learning Systems. Courses, course objectives, learning content, quizzes and questions are all linked to one or more concepts in the graph. NLP techniques like Noun Phrase Analysis and Keyword/Topic identification can be used to help automate creating Knowledge Graphs from textbooks and other text resources available online. The Graph is typically stored in the form of RDF Triples. A number of Graph databases, both commercial and open source, are available that support RDF. All the relationships between concepts and content and between concepts and quiz questions are also captured in RDF. This helps in easy access and querying.
Data about usage of different tools and performance in assessments can be used to create personalized experiences for students.