Developing an Implementation Framework for Adaptive Learning: a Case Study Approach

Mirata, Victoria and Bergamin, Per (2019) Developing an Implementation Framework for Adaptive Learning: a Case Study Approach. In: Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on e-Learning 18th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL), 7-8 November 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark. (In Press)

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Although the interest in using adaptive learning in online teaching is steadily growing, its broad implementation remains low. This is despite positive attitudes of institutional leaders towards its adoption and promising results of early studies on its empirical impact, for example, on students' learning outcomes and course dropouts. Recent studies have identified and discussed the challenges that prevent higher education institutions from using adaptive learning for their teaching purposes. However, little empirical research has been done to clarify the interdependency or interplay of these challenges. Our work aims to close this gap by identifying the relationships between the different types of challenges of adaptive learning. From this, we then develop an implementation framework of adaptive learning to propose effective implementation strategies for adaptive learning concepts in higher education. A Delphi design was used to collect the data from two universities, the North West University of South Africa (NWU) and the Swiss Distance University of Applied Sciences (FFHS), as our two case studies. For the data analysis, the Grounded Theory Coding approach was applied. The proposed framework shows the five empirically identified dimensions, such as technology, teaching & learning, organization, law & regulations, and cultural & political conditions, and lays out a basic structure for challenges, prerequisites, and facilitators enabling the implementation of adaptive learning. Our findings suggest that multiple perspectives on the challenges of adaptive learning should be considered when implementing adaptive learning concepts in a higher education setting. The findings are valuable for institutions that seek to implement or already pilot adaptive learning in blended and online teaching.

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