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Adaptive learning is a way to allow learners to learn in the manner most effective for their particular learning type. Every learner learns differently, making it highly improbable that any single educator will be able to address the learning needs of every learner they are educating.

Adaptive learning seeks to circumvent this problem through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

For example, most corporate training programs are designed to appeal to visual and kinesthetic learners using a written curriculum and applied practices. However, consider these things:

  • What if an auditory learner is subscribed to such a program?
  • What if a dyslexic learner is subscribed to such a program?

They will undoubtedly struggle. Imagine, however, that this corporate training program had adjustments written into it for dyslexic or auditory learners.

With adaptive learning, learners would begin their training through the use of an eLearning course and based on how they reacted to and performed on training assignments, adaptive learning AI would then give learners the visual/kinesthetic, auditory, or dyslexia-based model to learn from.

Essentially, adaptive learning allows each learner to receive an education specifically tailored to each one’s learning style and needs. Adaptive learning can also group learners with similar learning types together, allowing them to learn collaboratively.

Benefits of Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning helps in providing focused attention to an individual. Current eLearning methods do fall back when it comes to providing personalized feedback.

Adaptive learning technology uses algorithms to accustom itself to the learner needs to be based on the tasks and responses. This, in turn, emulates one-to-one instruction, which is necessary in today’s corporate world.

Adaptive learning helps learners to spend half the amount of time that they take in a standard course if they have a clear understanding of the concepts.

A “personalized approach” is what helps learners to achieve the same. The important point here is that learners need not go through the content which they are already aware of. Instead, they focus on the content that helps them become more competent. Thereby, helping the employees save humongous time off the floor just for training. Thus, adaptive learning in corporate training helps organizations build better training.

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Adaptive learning utilizes a confidence-based assessment methodology to test the current understanding of the learners. Learners are asked to answer questions on the content they claim to be confident about. This approach is very useful in knowing what the learners are consciously or unconsciously aware of, and hence is an indirect method of providing personalized feedback and learning.

The adaptive learning platform’s ability to track the performance of an employee in his or her “skill” also provides HR managers with a scale of measurement of whether the employee is ready for a promotion. Thus, adaptive learning in corporate training helps learners advance faster in achieving their goals.

Adaptive Learning in Corporate Training

One-on-one instruction is highly effective in corporate training, as the instructor can individualize material. Current e-learning tools often cannot provide this type of individualization.

Adaptive learning technology uses inference algorithms to adapt content to the learning needs of students based on their responses to tasks and questions. In this way, adaptive learning emulates one-on-one instruction.

Adaptive learning is the future of employee training. It collects data as employees progress through modules and use that data to personalize goals and training content and techniques, creating an optimal learning path for each employee. The data is then stored and used by training managers to determine the effectiveness of training and change future courses so they better meet the needs of employees.

Imagine a world where adaptive learning in corporate training enabled employees to “major” in a specific subject, come across skills they never knew they had, sharpen those skills, and use them to take on more responsibility and earn promotions. This is adaptive learning’s true value.

Here’s an example: A reporter could take a course on a specific type of investigative journalism or feature writing and then show through tailored assignments and exercises, tracked via the online learning platform, that he or she obtained at least a beginner’s knowledge in those skills and is ready for the next assignment.

The adaptive learning platform’s ability to track the performance of an employee in his or her “major” provides human resources and managers an objective measurement of whether he or she is now ready for a stretch assignment or a promotion.

Just as importantly, the capability to opt for a major develops employees who are more engaged, as they are at least partially self-directing their learning and know that they aren’t being provided a one-size-fits-all training plan.

Adaptive learning also represents a step towards employers taking more responsibility for the future of their staff. Feedback and assessment loops are a significant part of adaptive learning. Becoming efficient at evaluating skills gaps can ensure that learners do not think they know more than they actually do.

Adaptive learning can help organizations make sure they are getting their money’s worth in terms of employees’ learning, applicable skills, and essential knowledge. Jan Sramek, the CEO of Erudify, stated in an article for Corporate Compliance Insights that adaptive learning can enable learners to rapidly move through information they know already, cutting the time for training by almost 50 to 80 percent. This saves a lot of money for the organization.

In the corporate world, a subset of courses is often required to be taken repeatedly, year after year. Unfortunately, these tend to be dry and uninteresting from a content perspective. Compliance courses are perfect examples, despite them being critical to mitigating material risk to the company.

Nonetheless, when people are forced to review dry content to simply “check the box” that they completed the course, very little learning typically happens, which undermines the original purpose of mitigating risk.

“Test-out” strategies allow employees who can prove they know the material to skip the course. But tests are gross approximations of the real world. And what if someone scores say, 90 percent? Are they forced to take the training, wasting their time as they cover the material they already know – while hopefully still being engaged when they come to the material they don’t? Or is 90 percent “good enough?” How much risk is associated with the missing 10 percent?

Because adaptive learning’s question-based approach involves the learner, even dry material becomes more engaging. It also allows people who are relatively proficient, thanks to taking repeated courses multiple times, to skip over what they’ve already mastered and focused only on what they don’t know.

By combining the assessment and the learning content into the adaptive engine, duplication is avoided – while remediating unconscious incompetence and the risk associated with it.

Adaptive learning takes a question-based approach to learning, probing what the learner already knows and where they have gaps. The result is a large volume of very granular data, which makes it possible to analyze groups’ performance as a whole, in particular areas, or even on specific questions.

Adaptive learning also keeps track of what people learned, so if training needs to be updated, the course can be modified and made available to learners without worrying about the material being redundant. Equally important, using a question-based approach helps build confidence along with competence as learners gain mastery and become surer of what they know.

Interpersonal skills are every bit as important as adaptive learning in the workplace. Investing time in learning these skills will not just make you a better employee, but will also make you a more well-rounded professional. While your time is precious, it’s important that it’s spent learning the things that will help you in your career. With a little brushing up on your interpersonal skills, you may find your work very different.


Adaptive learning solves many e-learning challenges by modeling what each learner knows and continuously, dynamically adapting his or her individual learning path.

Adaptive learning has completely transformed the way organizations train their employees. Thus, the adaptive learning approach can enhance training and development programs by enabling employees to learn more, faster.

Written By
Ravindra Savaram is presently working as a Content Lead at vmonlinetraining. His previous professional experience includes Programmer Analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions.

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