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What is adaptive learning technology? How does it work? Why is it being used?

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- 1. Adaptive Learning Technology: What it is, how it works, and why it‟s being used Tim Hudson, PhD Senior Director of Curriculum Design DreamBox Learning @DocHudsonMath December 3, 2013
- 2. Session Overview • Share results of the first K-12 survey to focus exclusively on adaptive learning technology • Define characteristics of adaptive learning • Examine the pedagogical implications of adaptive technologies • Consider how digital experiences can empower students to think independently, receive specific feedback, and self-direct their learning.
- 3. Survey Goals • Determine how many educators are currently using programs they believe to be adaptive • Assess the general understanding and perception of adaptive learning technology by professionals considering ed-tech products • Clear up confusion about level of adaptivity in available learning programs Note: Survey conducted by Tech & Learning (www.techlearning.com) and commissioned by DreamBox Learning
- 4. Survey Definition ―Adaptive learning systems are softwarebased technologies that automatically customize curriculum to the knowledge level of the learner. The algorithms actively track and access student performance to provide feedback to the teacher and student about the student‘s progress on an ongoing basis.‖
- 5. Why Adaptive? Why Differentiated? Why Individualized? Why Personalized?
- 6. Logistical Classroom Reality March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division March 1: Long Division
- 7. If teachers could work 1-1 with ALL… Decimal Long Division Basic Multiplication Requires More: • Assessments • Time for Testing • Time for Scoring • Data • Content Knowledge • Resources Step-by-Step Scaffolding Partial Quotients Fraction Division
- 8. Differentiation Defined • Educators‘ Purpose… • All students must master important content. • Make specific and continually evolving plans to connect each learner with key content. • Expect differences in the nature of scaffolding. • Therefore we Ask… • What does this student need at this moment in order to be able to progress with this key content, and what do I need to do to make that happen?‖ Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom by C.A. Tomlinson & M.B. Imbeau, ASCD, © 2010, pp. 13-14
- 9. Survey Respondents • 3,000 educators, technology directors, administrators • 2/3 are in public school systems • 40% reported using adaptive learning software (1,200 users)
- 10. Findings cite use adaptive learning software to
- 11. Findings use it for use adaptive learning software as a use it as
- 12. Findings use adaptive use adaptive software software
- 13. Use Ranking by Grade 1. Grades 3-5 2. Grades 6-8 3. Grades K-2
- 14. Perceived ‘Features’ Rank Average 9.25 9.12 8.92 8.79 8.72 6.45 Feature Offers personalized or individualized learning Provides intervention for struggling students Improves overall student achievement Unique pacing for every student Offers enrichment for advanced students Lowers cost of instruction
- 15. Perceived ‘Bugs’ Value Too much screen time for students Doesn’t engage students Teachers have too little control Not aligned with Common Core Not rigorous enough Other Count 219 210 202 132 102 287 Percentage 26.32% 25.24% 24.28% 15.87% 12.26% 34.50%
- 16. Type of ‘Adaptivity’ Value Linear lesson sequence and assessment preand post- lesson Real-time and continuous adaptivity (instantaneously within and between lessons) Recommending lessons after direct instruction. Other Count Percentage 403 43.71% 344 37.31% 126 13.67% 49 5.31%
- 17. Most Important Aspect? Rank Average 8.94 8.04 7.89 6.65 Feature Real-time & continuous adaptivity (instantaneously within & between lessons) Recommending lessons after direct instruction Linear lesson sequence & assessment preand post-lesson Other
- 18. Obstacles or Challenges Value Lack sufficient budget Don’t have necessary tech infrastructure We’ve tried software before & it didn’t help Don’t philosophically agree with use of tech or learning software Other Count 950 Percentage 55.43% 443 25.85% 51 2.98% 39 2.28% 624 36.41%
- 19. The “Other” Challenges Value Lack of information or awareness Can’t give a reason/don’t know Not ready Don’t want Investigating it now Count 155 114 73 48 47 Percentage 25.29% 18.60% 11.91% 7.83% 7.67%
- 20. Infrastructure Barriers • Insufficient high-speed bandwidth • Hardware and technology infrastructure challenges • Lack of professional development
- 21. Confusion about „Adaptive‟ Programs have elements of adaptive learning but are not fully adaptive: • • • • Adaptive testing only Assessment only Test prep only Differentiation depends on teacher assignment of content • Pedagogical understanding
- 22. Adaptive Learning Platform or Program
- 23. Adaptive Learning Platform or Program
- 24. Learning Requires Adaptivity ―…pay close attention to the individual progress of each student and devise tasks that are appropriate…‖ ―Present students with ‗just manageable difficulties‘ – that is, challenging enough to maintain engagement, but not so difficult as to lead to discouragement.‖ p. 24 Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
- 25. Learning Requires Feedback ―…assessments should provide students with opportunities to revise and improve their thinking, help students see their own progress over [time], and help teachers identify problems that need to be remedied.‖ p. 25 Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
- 26. Learning is not Linear DreamBox Learning: Intelligent Adaptive Learning Engine © DreamBox Learning
- 27. Wiggins on “Mastery” ―Indeed, many modern software solutions now exist to help educators track endless small objectives, in the name of "mastery," "proficiency," or "competency." In some units, students cannot advance to the next level until they test out on interim assessments of such bits of knowledge.‖ ―How Good is Good Enough?‖ G. Wiggins, ASCD © 2013
- 28. Learning to Drive? Monday Tuesday Wednesday Friday Thursday
- 29. Adaptive Learning Platform or Program
- 30. Adaptivity Alone Doesn‟t Result in Learning & Understanding Math Packet 2 Math Packet 3 Math Packet 4 Math Math Packet Packet Math 1 2 Packet 3 Math Packet 3 Math Packet 8 Math Packet 7 Will County, Illinois One-Room Schoolhouse, http://polarbearstale.blogspot.com/
- 31. Wiggins on “Mastery” ―…the original sin in curriculum design: Take a complex whole, divide it into small pieces, string those together in a rigid sequence of instruction and testing, and call completion of this sequence "mastery." ―How Good is Good Enough?‖ G. Wiggins, ASCD © 2013
- 32. “Adaptivity” as “Behavior Reinforcement” • Conditioning the mind to remember information using tiny, incremental skill steps given to students in repetitive feedback loops http://teorije-ucenja.zesoi.fer.hr/doku.php?id=instructional_design:programmed_instruction
- 33. Similar Approaches • Programmed Instruction (PI) Skinner‘s ―Teaching Machines‖ • Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) • Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) • Individually Prescribed Instruction (IPI) ―Benny‘s Rules‖
- 34. Learning Design Limitation • Programmed Instruction (PI) Skinner‘s ―Teaching Machines‖ • Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) • Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) • Individually Prescribed Instruction (IPI) ―Benny‘s Rules‖
- 35. Plan Curriculum Backwards 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences and instruction Understanding by Design, Wiggins & McTighe, ©2005
- 36. Replacing textbooks?
- 37. Instructional Approach From a 5th grade teacher in NY: ―I had a lot of good people teaching me math when I was a student – earnest and funny and caring. But the math they taught me wasn‘t good math. Every class was the same for eight years: ‗Get out your homework, go over the homework, here‘s the new set of exercises, here‘s how to do them. Now get started. I‘ll be around.‘‖ p. 55, Teaching What Matters Most, Strong, Silver, & Perini, ©2001
- 38. Common Teaching Cycle Whole Class or Small Group Instruction Use Data Summatively Guided Practice Use Data Formatively to Plan Whole Class Assessment
- 39. Teaching as Content Delivery Whole Class or Small Group Instruction Use Data Summatively Guided Practice Use Data Formatively to Plan Whole Class Assessment
- 40. Instruction Let Me Show You How To Do X Now You Go Do X Maybe You Need to Be Shown X Again You Know X Can You Independently Do X?
- 41. Who is doing the thinking? Let Me Show You How To Do X Now You Go Do X Maybe You Need to Be Shown X Again You Know X Can You Independently Do X?
- 42. Learning Outcomes? ―They were so concerned with making sure we knew how to do every single procedure we never learned how to think mathematically. I did well in math but I never understood what I was doing. I remember hundreds of procedures but not one single mathematical idea.‖ p. 55, Teaching What Matters Most, Strong, Silver, & Perini, ©2001
- 43. Types of Learning Outcomes A-M-T Acquire Knowledge and Skills Information, Facts Procedures Make Meaning Concepts, Ideas Contexts, Situations Transfer Independent Use Unfamiliar Situations © Authentic Education
- 44. Fullan: Alive in the Swamp ―Technology–enabled innovations have a different problem, mainly pedagogy and outcomes. Many of the innovations, particularly those that provide online content and learning materials, use basic pedagogy – most often in the form of introducing concepts by video instruction and following up with a series of progression exercises and tests. Other digital innovations are simply tools that allow teachers to do the same age-old practices but in a digital format.‖ (p. 25) Fullan & Donnelly, Alive in the Swamp: Assessing Digital Innovations in Education, © July 2013, www.nesta.org/uk
- 45. Digital Content Delivery Explicit Input, Video Lecture, Textbook Reading, Record it in the Gradebook Dependent Practice, Ho mework, W orksheet Independent Mistakes on the Quiz or Test Practice, Quiz, Test
- 46. No Pedagogical Change Explicit Input, Video Lecture, Textbo ok Reading, Record it in the Gradebook Dependent Practice, Homework, Worksheet Independent Mistakes on the Quiz or Test Practice, Quiz, Test
- 47. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ―Each MOOC varies in content, requirements, prerequisites and length, Tarte said. Some will contain video lectures, some might have selected readings, and some courses provide quizzes periodically so students can test their understanding of the material.‖ High School to Offer College Courses Online www.emissourian.com, November 27, 2013
- 48. Curse of the Familiar ―You, hungry entrepreneur…are going to take some familiar feature of classroom experience – the textbook, the flashcard, the lecture, the worksheet, the sticker, the behavior chart – and you will digitize that feature.‖ -Justin Reich on EdWeek November 20, 2013 http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/11/edtech_start-ups_and_the_curse_of_the_familar.html
- 49. School & Home Work At School: Explicit Instruction & Problem Solving Use Data Summatively At Home: Practice Problems Maybe you need to be shown X again Whole Class Assessment
- 50. Meaningful Flip? At Home: Explicit Instructional Videos & Online Practice At School: Guided Practice & Problem Solving Maybe You Need to Watch the Video Again Use Data Summatively Whole Class Assessment
- 51. Fullan: Alive in the Swamp ―While these innovations may be an incremental improvement such that there is less cost, minor classroom efficiency and general modernisation, they do not, by themselves, change the pedagogical practice of the teachers or the schools [or learning programs and platforms].‖ (p. 25) Fullan & Donnelly, Alive in the Swamp: Assessing Digital Innovations in Education, © July 2013, www.nesta.org/uk
- 52. Common “Adaptive” Design Explicit Input, Video Lecture, Textbook Reading, Data inform the Adaptive Engine Dependent Practice, ―Workshe et‖ Problems Mistakes on the Quiz or Test Items Digitized Quiz/Test Items
- 53. Curse of the Familiar ―If our problems are mere inefficiencies – if we need students doing basically exactly what they've been doing before but faster – then the gambit of building apps that mirror typical classroom practices will work out great.‖ -Justin Reich on EdWeek November 20, 2013 http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/11/edtech_start-ups_and_the_curse_of_the_familar.html
- 54. Curse of the Familiar ―If you think that the problems in classrooms are not just about kids doing things a little faster, but doing different things than is current practice, then you need to build things that will be unfamiliar.‖ -Justin Reich on EdWeek November 20, 2013 http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/11/edtech_start-ups_and_the_curse_of_the_familar.html
- 55. SAMR Model by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, www.hippasus.com/rrweblog
- 56. Active and Passive "The old teaching method — you know, where a teacher says something and you write it down and then take a test — that's about as passive as it gets… This idea pushes kids to be more actively involved since, by and large, it's something we're both learning together. That leads to a lot of innovative teaching — and a lot of innovative learning, for that matter.‖ ―Coding in the Curriculum‖ September 2013 http://mashable.com/2013/09/22/coding-curriculum
- 57. Learning Principle “Understandings cannot be given; they have to be engineered so that learners see for themselves the power of an idea for making sense of things.” p. 113, Schooling by Design, Wiggins & McTighe, ©2007
- 58. DreamBox Approach to Adaptive Student‘s Own Ideas & Intuition Engage with & Make Sense of a Situation or Context Engine Adapts & Differentiates Student Independently Transfers ―Offline,‖ Too Specific, In stant, Cust om Feedback
- 59. Engineered for Realizations Student‘s Own Ideas & Intuition Engage with & Make Sense of a Situation or Context Engine Adapts & Differentiates Student Independently Transfers ―Offline,‖ Too Specific, Instant, Custom Feedback
- 60. Don‟t Start by Telling ―Providing students with opportunities to first grapple with specific information relevant to a topic has been shown to create a ‗time for telling‘ that enables them to learn much more from an organizing lecture.‖ How People Learn, p. 58
- 61. This student doesn‟t know anything about fractions. How should she start?
- 62. “Unfamiliar” Print Resource Contexts for Learning • Cathy Fosnot & Colleagues • ―10 day‖ Units based on 1 or 2 contexts per unit • Building a mathematical community • Young Mathematicians at Work
- 63. Classroom Learning Experience: Field Trip 4 3 8 7 5 4 5 3 Field Trips and Fund-Raisers: Introducting Fractions, C.T. Fosnot, Heinemann © 2007, used with permission
- 64. Dewey, 1916 Democracy & Education Chapter 12: Thinking in Education ―…thinking is the method of an educative experience. The essentials of method are therefore identical with the essentials of reflection.‖ Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 65. Dewey, 1916 ―First that the pupil have a genuine situation of experience—that there be a continuous activity in which he is interested for its own sake.‖ Field trip + Lunch = Interest Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 66. Dewey, 1916 ―Secondly, that a genuine problem develop within this situation as a stimulus to thought.‖ Is it fair? Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 67. Dewey, 1916 ―Third, that he possess the information and make the observations needed to deal with it.‖ Time for sense-making, modeling, manipulatives, & conversation Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 68. Dewey, 1916 ―Fourth, that suggested solutions occur to him which he shall be responsible for developing in an orderly way.‖ How do we know when something “occurs” to a student? 5th grader in intervention: “So it looks like a half of a fifth is a tenth. That‟s easy!” Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 69. Dewey, 1916 ―Fifth, that he have opportunity and occasion to test his ideas by application, to make their meaning clear and to discover for himself their validity.‖ Convince yourself through inquiry, exploration, feedback Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, J. Dewey, 1916
- 70. Learning Science is more important than Data Science
- 71. Improve Learning ―Contemporary school reform efforts… typically focus too much on various means: structures, schedules, programs, PD, curriculum, and instructional practices (like cooperative learning)‖ [or adaptive learning] [or blended learning] [or flipped classrooms] [or iPads, hardware, etc] p. 234-235, Wiggins & McTighe, © 2007
- 72. Improve Learning ―Certainly such reforms serve as the fuel for the school improvement engine, but they must not be mistaken as the destination…[which is] improved learning.‖ p. 234-235, Wiggins & McTighe, © 2007
- 73. Edtechdigest.com: “Adaptive” Learning Technologies: Pedagogy Should Drive Platform
- 74. Fully Adaptive Learning Program Characteristics • Content engages & motivates students • Continual & ongoing assessment that differentiates uniquely with varying scaffolds • Personalized learning path within and between lessons in real time • Student performance data immediately available to teachers
- 75. Truly Adaptive Learning Technology requires dynamic content be built from the ground up to invite, analyze and respond to initial conceptions.
- 76. Real-Time Formative Assessment What incorrect answers would we expect on a problem like 29 + 62? 19 Student adds all four digits 33 Student believes this is a subtraction problem 81 Student does not regroup to the tens place 92 Arithmetic error in ones place 811 Student adds each column independently 2962 Student combines digits • • • • How would you ―score‖ each error? How would you respond to each error? What lesson(s) need to come before & after? Which of these errors are ―naturally occurring?‖
- 77. This student doesn‟t know anything about angles or measuring angles. How should she start?
- 78. Plan Curriculum Backwards 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences and instruction Understanding by Design, Wiggins & McTighe, ©2005
- 79. Angle Measurement – Common Core 4.MD.6 Measure angles in whole-number degrees using a protractor. Sketch angles of specified measure. 4.MD.7 Recognize angle measure as additive. When an angle is decomposed into non-overlapping parts, the angle measure of the whole is the sum of the angle measures of the parts. Solve addition and subtraction problems to find unknown angles on a diagram in real world and mathematical problems, e.g., by using an equation with a symbol for the unknown angle measure.
- 80. Digital Substitution When an angle is decomposed into non-overlapping parts, the angle measure of the whole is the sum of the angle measures of the parts.
- 81. Angle Measurement – Common Core 4.MD.5a An angle is measured with reference to a circle with its center at the common endpoint of the rays, by considering the fraction of the circular arc between the points where the two rays intersect the circle. An angle that turns through 1/360 of a circle is called a ―onedegree angle,‖ and can be used to measure angles. 4.MD.5b An angle that turns through n one-degree angles is said to have an angle measure of n degrees.
- 82. Angle Measurement – Common Core 4.MD.5a An angle is measured with reference to a circle with its center at the common endpoint of the rays, by considering the fraction of the circular arc between the points where the two rays intersect the circle. An angle that turns through 1/360 of a circle is called a ―onedegree angle,‖ and can be used to measure angles. 4.MD.5b An angle that turns through n one-degree angles is said to have an angle measure of n degrees.
- 83. Angle Measurement in DreamBox © DreamBox Learning
- 84. What Occurs to a Student? ―The child doesn‘t have to be told by a teacher whether he‘s right or wrong. He can see for himself whether it works. That‘s what science and knowledge is about.‖ – Seymour Papert © DreamBox Learning
- 85. Open-Ended © DreamBox Learning
- 86. Angle Measurement in DreamBox © DreamBox Learning
- 87. Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice
- 88. Instruction Learning Experience ―Let me explain how a mathematician thinks.‖ ―As you independently solve this problem, you‘ll be thinking like a mathematician.‖ ―I‘ve shown you the mathematical structure. Now go use it.‖ ―On your own, you‘ll need to look for the structure. And find it. Then use it.‖
- 89. Q&A
- 90. Thank you! timh@dreambox.com @DocHudsonMath www.dreambox.com
- 91. DreamBox Combines Three Essential Elements to Accelerate Student Learning 91
- 92. DreamBox Lessons & Virtual Manipulatives Intelligently adapt & individualize to: •Students’ own intuitive strategies •Kinds of mistakes •Efficiency of strategy •Scaffolding needed •Response time
- 93. Robust Reporting
- 94. Reporting for Differentiation
- 95. DreamBox supports small group and whole class instructional resources • Interactive white-board teacher lessons www.dreambox.com/teachertools • Tutorials for virtual manipulatives • Concept video introductions
- 96. Free School-wide Trial! www.dreambox.com

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