How Continuous Adaptive Learning Can Solve College Readiness

Award Winner: 
2011 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Author(s): 
Jose Ferreira
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Knewton
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Studies show that 25% of high school graduates arrive at college without the core math and verbal skills they need to get through their freshman year. ASU will use Knewton's adaptive education platform to provide homework instruction that targets the unique needs of its incoming students.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

As a research university committed to access for a broad cross-section of students, Arizona State University is challenged in gateway math course completion and freshmen persistence by large numbers of students admitted and enrolled without being college-ready in mathematics, a key to university success. Knewton and ASU intend to develop and deploy a Knewton-based customized, fully-adaptable instructional platform designed to improve the university's success rate in developmental learning in math. This platform will be fully integrated with two of the largest college-level math courses taught at ASU, MAT117 (College Algebra, which enrolled 2312 students in 2010) and MAT142 (College Mathematics, with 4,535 enrolled students).

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

In 2010, ASU successfully piloted an adaptive instructional tool in five sections of College Algebra (MAT117), which enrolled approximately 200 students.  These pilot courses improved student course mastery by 10% and met half as often as regular sections.

 

This project enhances and brings to scale the use of an adaptive approach that has improved student performance on math placement tests and in experimental sections of ASU's MAT117 course. The Knewton adaptivity engine that ASU will utilize represents a significant advance. Knewton's instructional engine will provide students with the concepts needed for readiness, and a customized, individualized learning path to achieve that goal. Students retain empowerment, choice and control, but the path from their current state to readiness is clearly defined and delivered in bite-sized "quick wins." Knewton will use the current research on game dynamics and learning to provide a rich, engaging and compelling user experience. Students who are not college-ready in one or more areas will be provided appropriate content remediation that will be self-directed, self-paced, and available in fully online and blended formats utilizing Knewton's adaptive learning platform. Once students have completed the content remediation and demonstrated college-readiness in mathematics, they will move directly into MAT142 or MAT117, which will also be built using the Knewton platform to allow for self-paced adaptive learning. Virtual and on-ground tutoring and other support will be provided. In all courses, the adaptive learning platform will continually assess, remediate, then re-assesses student progress, at an atomic level, for every concept taught in the course. Students will be able to track their effort and performance continuously in the course. ASU will also track proficiency and mastery by each individual student to ensure that students learn the course material more efficiently and effectively relative to the current model.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Access - students can utilize the technology completely online, on their own time and at their own pace.

Faculty Satisfaction - Improved student course mastery, reduce in resources needed. Ability to track proficiency and mastery by each individual student to ensure that students learn the course material more efficiently and effectively relative to the current model.

Learning Effectiveness - customized, individualized learning path for each student. Use of current research on game dynamics and learning to provide a rich, engaging and compelling user experience. Students will be able to track their effort and performance continuously in the course.

Scale - online format for wider adoption. Opening up API so platform can be used by ALL (students and teachers at schools across the country and  even world).

Student Satisfaction - Students retain empowerment, choice and control. Rich, engaging and compelling user experience.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

For the end user, just access to an internet connection. For Knewton, we have used internal resources to develop and build out the platform.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

For the student, minimial cost. About $100 - less than most textbooks. For Knewton, we have invested millions of dollars over the last couple of years to develop and deploy the platform. This investment is meant to be widespread, as we open up our API for greater access to the platform for ALL.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Kristy Megna
Email this contact: 
kristy@knewton.com