Adaptive Learning and Learning Development Platforms

The two platform types will merge and combine features

When reviewing and selecting a learning development platform, teams are experiencing a major transition in learning technology. Learning Development is no longer headed down the path of publishing normal eLearning and Mobile Learning. The most disruptive technology in recent years, Experiential Learning, vis-à-vis xAPI with Adaptive Learning, is making its mark on the industry. It is expected that Learning Development platforms will eventually program in Adaptive Learning features. However, Adaptive Learning platforms, though strong in the analytics and tailored learning, are typically lacking the advanced interactive and media features to which learners have become accustomed. Perhaps a merge of the technologies is more necessary than learning professionals realize.

So why should the platforms merge? It all has to do with learner expectations. Our learners are smart people. They’ve spent hours absorbing eLearning, virtual classrooms, Mobile learning, Webinars and physical classrooms with an educated sense of advanced graphics, engaging exercises and satisfying interactions. Here is what these learners want:

  • To receive short, automated content reminders that are relevant to them.
  • To be given a chance to review key learning objectives in line with their role at work to help them improve performance and promote long-term memory.
  • Receive short, automated content reminders that are relevant to them.
  • Given a chance to review key learning objectives in line with their role at work to help them to improve performance and to promote long-term memory.
  • Access to relevant information when and wherever they are, to address their immediate need.

To address these requirements, there needs to be a combination of Development and Adaptive Learning platform types. Ideally, the platform would be:

  • xAPI-compliant with Adaptive Learning capabilities,
  • prescriptive learning enabled, through Machine Learning,
  • delivered through a Learner-Centric user interface,
  • able to support importing, building and delivery of xAPI-compliant engaging interactions, simulations, animations in learning content
  • capable of delivering lots of “sizzle”

First:  Identify the two platforms

The general intent for the most successful Learning Development Platforms has been to create engaging, interactive, effective courses. Most of these need to be compatible with LMSs and delivered through the Web and/or mobile devices. The highest rated courses are often those with appropriate levels of engagement and interactivity, which might include well designed exercises, some form of fun game mechanics, graphics, animation and simulations. Recent eLearning content recognized as being successful are delivered in the form of micro-learning nuggets, and are part of a managed delivery system with a larger goal, curriculum or competency-driven technology.

Benefits of an Adaptive Learning Platform

Enter the Adaptive Learning Platforms. To be clear, these are amazing platforms, many of which have incredible intelligent programming, analytics, reporting and adaptive/prescriptive technology tucked under-the-hood. There are loads of terms being thrown around such as: Adaptive Learning, Predictive Learning, Prescriptive Learning, or some other form of dynamic learner-specific pathing. However, most would agree that the general intent is to adapt to the learner and tailor the content to meet their specific needs, when they need it, and in the most efficient manner possible. This includes avoiding trudging through content that the learner perceives as unnecessary. Most Adaptive Learning platforms use simple assessments to provide the data to be analyzed.

What might a merge of the platforms look like?

With a merging of Development and Adaptive Learning technology platforms, the powerful interactions, simulations, games, graphics and animations would be xAPI compliant. This means that, similar to the collection of assessment responses, interactions would be able to push even more valuable data into the Learning Record Store (LRS) for analysis by the Adaptive Learning system. The more appropriate and accurate the data in the LRS, the more accurate the analytics, and the more effectively the adaptive learning system can push relevant content.

The good news is that some of the Adaptive Learning platforms are moving in the right direction by adding some of the development features covered here. We understand that there are many details in the decision process when selecting a platform. Raytheon Professional Services can assist you in this process.

Contact us to learn more.