Education experts have had to tackle many trends over the decades. With time constraints and budget controls regularly cited as areas for concern by teaching staff, administrators and institution heads, it can be difficult to embrace developments if they may become obsolete in years to come. Personalized learning and adaptive learning tools, which facilitate personalized learning, feature regularly on lists of educational fads. Educators are right to ask “will personalized and adaptive learning be around long enough to make it worth my while?”.
Celebrating a new partnership in Adaptive Learning Education Technology Who are OpenStax and CogBooks? OpenStax has been publishing free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks for introductory college courses since 2012. A non-profit organization, OpenStax’s mission is to improve student access to education and break down the most common barriers to learning, whilst empowering students and instructors. The selection of peer reviewed Open Educational Resource (OER) textbooks cover a range of subjects, including Math, Sciences and Humanities and are currently used by colleges across the United States.
One of the biggest myths in EdTech today is that its introduction eradicates all previous negative issues, bad habits, laziness and apathy – in students and in teaching staff. It’s easy to forget that technology is not the solution to success, it is part of the tool kit to drive success forward – and like all good tradesmen know, the tools are only as effective as the person using them.
Try to describe a typical student in today’s higher education institutions and you will find it is an impossible task. The student population in the modern classroom is made of individuals from a dizzying array of socio-economic backgrounds, age groups, ethnicity and religious beliefs and the diversity doesn’t stop there – especially when we think about those studying courses such as biology. Students have different learning habits, some with a stronger knowledge base than others. Each student experiences their own unique learning journey, with an infinite number of career options ahead of them. Sure, some are taking biology as part of their General Education or to complete their electives but others will move into a scientific research background, become doctors or even go on to teach in the science subjects.
Back in May, we brought some of the Higher Education leaders in the Educational Technology sector together to discuss CogBooks’ product roadmap and technology strategy. We took this opportunity to talk with three key leaders – Adrian Sannier, Arizona State University, Nick White, Capella University and Kevin Bell, Northeastern University – about their personal experiences of adaptive learning. Each of them gave us valuable insight into the challenges they have overcome and shared key themes that excite them about the future of technology in Higher Education.
Student retention and success are particular challenges in general education classes in higher education. In most universities, GenEd classes are taught in big lecture halls filled with hundreds of disinterested students coming from highly different backgrounds. It is impossible for instructors to create a unique learning experience for every student and provide them with the individual support they need. But more and more tools are being developed to help instructors personalize their teaching even to such vast numbers of students – and one of those tools is Adaptive Courseware.
CogBooks, a UK-based education technology business, has raised £1.25m from existing investors Nesta Impact Investments, DC Thomson and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. The investment will be used to accelerate expansion in the UK and US higher education markets.
We have all heard about the challenges current and future generations of students impose on Higher Education. In short – we can’t expect to satisfactory teach a 21st century classroom using 19th and 20th century methods. Advancements in technology mean that adaptive courseware can empower students and provide instructors with completely new forms of interaction with students.
Adaptive Learning has become an ubiquitous buzz word in the educational technology space over the last couple of years. And while most of you have some understanding of what it means (if not click here), only a few have actually had an opportunity to experience adaptive learning in real life. In the last year, we have been working very closely with Arizona State University to create and deliver two beautiful and successful online courses, Introduction to Biology and U.S. History.
In partnership with Arizona State University, we developed and piloted two adaptive GenEd courses in fall 2015. This Courseware Pilot is part of the Next Generation Courseware project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The content for both courses was provided by our Content & Media partner OpenStax. The introductory biology course, BIO 100, used a flipped classroom approach while U.S. History Since 1865, History 110, was entirely delivered online. In 2015, the number of enrolled students for BIO 100 and History 110 were 527 and 25 respectively.