Adaptive learning is a learning approach that applies a broad range of technologies and teaching and learning techniques. It involves the use of a learning platform that facilitates the tagging, organizing, and delivering of individualized learning content to the learner based on his or her unique needs and requirements.
Best practice requirements for adaptive learning
Adaptive learning is incredibly exciting, but it has some unique requirements to make it work well. They are:
Accurate definition of core competencies and standards. Functional training, by definition, enables the development of employees’ skills and knowledge so that they can successfully perform a job. Therefore, having a constructive relationship with the business process owners to define the right competencies to learn is important. Training business partners who have instructional design expertise and understand business processes and requirements can ensure employees learn the right content and measure by the right standards.
Strong training design capabilities. Having access to robust training design capabilities is an important component for success.
Robust assessments and metrics and a culture of critical thinking. Assessment and feedback loops are a critical part of adaptive learning. Becoming effective at assessing skill gaps can ensure learners don’t think they know more than they actually do.
Strong governance to support investments and commitment. In a global enterprise, managing the training function is a tricky business. Adaptive learning holds incredible potential in centralized models, in which all training-related functions and activities are managed by a centralized organization, especially when supported by a group of senior business leaders who preside over key training decisions and can support them with significant financial and technical expertise. In this type of model, it’s easier to both invest in and implement IT and systems infrastructure with senior executive support for the adaptive learning model.
Strong expertise in organizational development (OD), particularly in competencies modeling and assessments. While OD skills can be out-tasked with external vendors, having in-house capabilities retains knowledge and enables an organization to adapt to requirement changes quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
Strong partnerships with credible partners. CLOs need to do due diligence to scope out the right vendors whose products and services fit the specifications and requirements uncovered early in the process. Consultative vendors you can trust make the journey to a new learning model less perilous.
Product and services companies, especially those that have a more “centralized learning infrastructure,” are better positioned to take on the challenge of moving toward a more fully leveraged adaptive learning model.
Training for trainers is crucial to stay up to date with new methodologies, new discoveries about the way adults learn, and new expectations from trainees.