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Adaptive learning, also known as adaptive teaching, is an educational method that uses computer algorithms as well as artificial intelligence to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner. In professional learning contexts, individuals may “test out” some training to ensure they engage with novel instruction. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students’ learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks, and experiences. The technology encompasses aspects derived from various fields of study including computer science, AI, psychometrics, education, psychology, and brain science.
Adaptive learning has been partially driven by a realization that tailored learning cannot be achieved on a large-scale using traditional, non-adaptive approaches. Adaptive learning systems endeavor to transform the learner from a passive receptor of information to a collaborator in the educational process. Adaptive learning systems’ primary application is in education, but another popular application is business training. They have been designed as desktop computer applications, web applications, and are now being introduced into overall curricula.