Adaptive Learning To Be The Future Of Online Learning In All Forms

The adaptive approach or personalised approach is the crying need of the hour for all kind of learning/teaching.

Albert Einstein said “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” While his reference was apparently in the context of individual skillset and capabilities, it holds true even when one is in the process of learning/teaching. Each individual has his/her own pace and learning curve - some may learn fast, some may learn slow - some may respond to one method, whereas some to the other. While theoretically, it is now a matter of common knowledge and acceptance, at a larger scale (especially at institutionalised scale), very little (or perhaps nothing) has been done on this front. 

Given technology (aided with digital penetration) is fast disrupting every aspect of our life and education is no different, there wouldn’t have been more apt scenario for widespread discussion and deliberation around adaptive learning solution and how this is the future of all kind of learning/teaching.  

What is Adaptive Learning? 

According to Wikipedia, “Adaptive learning, also known as adaptive teaching, is an educational method which uses computer algorithms to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customised resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner.”  - Too taxing on grey cells? Let's elucidate with a simple example.

Do you recall tuition classes or help from individuals during academics whenever you had difficulty in understanding something in spite of enough information available with you? Or reaching out to friends and family for understanding something pertaining to subjects of general interest? You might! While this kind of reach-out occurs naturally and is a normal phenomenon, ever wondered why do we get inclined to such consultations? 

We all understand things that fall in our proximal zone of understanding. Depending on our individual pace, interest and learning curve - there are things that are above, below, or at par - with our understanding level. When we reach out to a tuition teacher or an individual whom we trust to make us understand a subject, he or she gauges our understanding level and explains us that subject in our zone of learning/understanding. Essentially, that person adapts his/her explanation to the level of our understanding. In most simple terms, this is what is called adaptive learning or teaching.

How is technology fuelling demand and adoption of Adaptive Learning 

In the digital age that we live - for students, learners and all the knowledge seeker alike, the information is not only available in abundance in all formats (text, audio and audiovisuals - in all possible languages), but tools today have made it possible to even search them in a matter of clicks or tap on a mobile screen. However, the question is, whether the information available is structured and aligned with what we need and what we can comprehend the basis of our learning objective? More often than not, the answer would be no (rather it will be even more overwhelming).  

Ever-increasing prowess of digital technology that makes it possible for us to access and search an enormous amount of information in all possible formats also provides avenues to offer it to us in an adaptive and personalised format. With ‘machine learning’ & ‘artificial intelligence’ going mainstream, creating a learning plan to suit the need of an individual is becoming a reality with increasing level of accuracy. 

To further aid the ecosystem, already exponentially increasing penetration of online education platforms has now got rocket-fuel push due to COVID 19 crisis. In turn, generating data points and instances to reach economy of scale for ‘machine learning’ to create its own intelligence and bring about a higher level of accuracy. Eventually setting the stage for adaptive learning scenario to go mainstream and be future of all kind of education - even policies, publication and print - areas so far being dominated by an outdated ecosystem.  


The adaptive approach or personalised approach is the crying need of the hour for all kind of learning/teaching. Even at the cost of sounding exaggerated, adaptive learning is going to be the main ingredient for nations to increase the efficacy of human resource in general and therefore, it will sooner or later become part of education policy planning. For now, the outlook for the industry looks stupendous, we will see more investment, more players and refined solution coming in the space - benefitting the entire eco-system, students in particular. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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online learning Adaptive Learning

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