Adaptive Learning: The New Personality Test

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? Do you consider yourself adept at handling social situations? These are the kinds of questions we’re used to seeing on personality tests, the intentions of which are to tell someone about ourselves in the most objective way possible.

But, for most learners, personality quizzes can fall a little short. Sometimes used as metrics for past learning or a description of learning style, personality tests usually have good intentions but are ultimately skewed by the learner themselves. Most learners want to put their best foot forward, so they might offer falsely positive answers, ultimately resulting in an inaccurate learner profile going forward.

That’s why adaptive learning is so superior to other methods. By equipping your LMS with adaptive capabilities, it’s not a learner’s words that determine the training path, but his or her actions. By pairing adaptive capabilities with real-life metrics, it’s possible to create a personal learning experience for everyone.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive learning is a technology-based educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching and training devices which provide individual learning programs to learners based on data which is gathered throughout the training/learning process. Adaptive learning takes learning to the next level by providing training and content that’s optimized for each individual learner based upon their results.

Adaptive Features as Metrics

A learner might claim that he’s an expert in customer service, but until he’s demonstrated that expertise, you’ll just have to take his word for it. Adaptive learning gets you straight to the point by seeing his skills in action through course scoring and personalized learning simulations. Adaptive learning seeks out weak spots and applies extra effort on areas in which a learner might be faltering, acknowledging that each learner is an individual.

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It’s no secret that one-size-fits-all learning can cause disengagement with learners: it’s rare that all learners have the same level of knowledge and expertise. Learning that adapts to what a learner knows (and what he wants to know) keeps engagement levels high and memory neurons firing at full speed to take in what is perceived as need-to-know information. As adaptive learning measures and quantifies a learner’s knowledge base, the LMS can become a personality test completely without bias or subjectivity.

Learner Benefits

The idea that learners need to prove their mettle as part of the learning process can be met with some resistance. But when framed as a method for staying relevant in one’s field, learners may be more motivated to participate. Being told where a learner is proficient and where he is lacking isn’t a punishment: It’s a reward. Instead of paging through irrelevant material, learners are instead directed to the very areas of information where they can work to fortify places of weakness. Whether it’s a “Did You Know?” script or a refresher on past courses, adaptive learning tells learners exactly where they need work while offering kudos for proficiency.

Thanks to modern adaptive technology, learners are becoming more and more self-aware. From the type of music Pandora plays to the products being shown on Amazon’s homepage, information and media have become highly personalized. Better than any personality test, adaptive technology doesn’t just highlight what a learner already knows: it highlights what he needs to know to advance.