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May 29, 2020

Implement Adaptive Learning in 3 Easy Steps

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Targeted training trends such as personalization and adaptive learning were already demonstrating their value in eLearning circles before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now adaptive learning is more important than ever because it can function like a personal coach—empowering remote workers even when their managers can't be nearby.

What is adaptive learning?

Rather than deliver identical content to all learners, adaptive learning uses artificial intelligence to analyze each learner's needs and abilities to align course pathways with them in real time.

For example, you might have a series of microlearning modules in place to train your learners on key competencies. If one learner proves their mastery of core concepts early on, adaptive teaching will skip over lessons designed to build skills they already have. Learners can then engage more deeply because the content is always relevant and challenging. This can keep your learners on track and better prepare them for the rapidly changing business landscape.

Try these three easy steps to implement an adaptive learning strategy:

1. Set the stage

Personalization of learning is all about the environment. Since the workplace is different than before because of social distancing, learners need flexible options for when and where to do their training and on what device.

Mobile-friendly or mobile-first content is helpful here. By enabling learners to use smartphones and tablets to complete training on their own schedules, you allow them to learn when it will be most effective for them. This flexibility is especially important as more organizations look to incorporate remote work programs post-COVID-19.

Take advantage of learning management system (LMS) features like customizable learning paths. Though all learners at your organization might have access to the same content, they might have diverse career goals and prior knowledge and experience. Collaborate with your learners. Include personalized learning goals that address individuals' professional objectives as well as broader business objectives.

2. Gather information about each learner

Moving from personalization in the learning environment to adaptive learning means reacting to your learners' needs in real time. For example, leveraging an LMS with content search capabilities powered by machine learning can more effectively put the right information in front of your learners. As users search for terms, an algorithm learns from what they select to present better results to future users. For example, if many people search for a term and most of them click on the eighth result presented, that result will move up the results, making it easier for others to discover the content they were looking for. This data is also available in analytics reports, which can help you identify content gaps and improve search result relevancy.

You can take a deeper dive into individual needs with LMS tools such as feedback forms and learner surveys. Add in data that the LMS gathers on learner engagement and content use. Some learner engagement features, including polls, provide training admins with instant learner feedback.

Other LMS features make it easy to post external content, create billboards that attract learner attention and help learners find and use relevant content. Each successfully engaged learner provides additional data about what learners want and need.

3. Identify & eliminate knowledge gaps

Pull together all of the data you've gathered about learners as individuals and in different teams. Then, harness your LMS's reporting and analytics capabilities to slice and dice that data.

Data visualizations can clarify individual learners' strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to deliver the content they need. Deliver content that will move them toward bridging skill gaps that your data analysis reveals. You can even import data on job performance and target content focused on improving specific behaviors.

Learners' engagement patterns also come into play. An element of adaptive training is offering different formats at times that work for each learner. That circles back to offering choices—choices that are informed by analyzing the data your LMS delivered.

Adaptive learning is engaging learning

An EAB survey examined the "adult learner mindset" and identified relevance as a key priority. Adult learners "expect to be able to find relevant information and complete tasks quickly and conveniently using digital resources" when seeking and using learning resources, the study revealed.

Delivering adaptive content in multiple formats drives engagement because the training is always relevant. It treats learners as individuals and reduces the chance they will spend valuable training time covering material they already know or that won't advance their career goals.

Implement adaptive and personalized learning—and empower your learners to better adapt to change.

Build a more effective, personalized training program with Absorb LMS. Contact a representative today for a live demo.