Sunday, November 5, 2006

Adaptive Learning Systems

Part of my research interest for my Master of Science degree at Virginia Tech.

ACM SIGCSE publication.

Related Pages (PDFs)

Adaptive Educational Systems (also Adaptive Learning Systems) aim to precisely tailor
education and training to the needs of educators and learners [NIST]. Adaptive learning
has roots in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and for online education tools the steps
for adaptive learning are as follows:
Step 1: Diagnostic test for learners
Step 2: Automatic analysis of learner’s performance, identification of deficiencies
and creation of a student model
Step 3: Remedial course presented to learner based on the student model
In presenting such a customized course the goals and key features of such tools are
[Brusilovsky, Weber]:
  • Adaptive Presentation: Adapting the content based on the learner’s goals,
    knowledge, experience and other information stored in the student model
  • Curriculum Sequencing (Instructional Planning Technology): Providing an
    individualized “optimal path” thorough the learning material
  • Adaptive Navigation Support: Displaying hyperlinks adaptively to better help
  • Intelligent Analysis of student solutions: Providing comprehensive feedback
    about problems/exercises that a student has completed and updating the student
    model accordingly
  • Interactive problem solving support: Provide hints and intelligent help to students
    depending upon their performance
  • Example based problem solving: This also provides intelligent help but in the
    form of examples from previous materials/questions already covered
The advantages of using such tools are:
  • Helps pace the same course appropriately for novice and advanced students
    presenting content they would enjoy
  • Adaptive navigation helps novices find their way in hyperspace and prevents
    them from getting lost
  • Courses adapts to student’s background and knowledge enabling quicker
    completion for advanced students
  • These systems are mostly web based and have a familiar interface to internet web
    sites helping easy use by novices
The disadvantages of using such tools are:
  • The tools are complex to develop and deploy and the technology is new and
    currently under research and development
  • Course setup requires much effort and preparation by the teaching staff since
    difficulty levels of the materials and questions, course structure and content need
    to be rigorously defined
  • Adaptive Educational Systems are therefore appropriate for online courses that cater to a
    wide student population with varying levels of knowledge. This will provide a course
    suitable for all students due its adaptive nature and also justify the additional resources
    required to setup the course.
[Bloom 1956] Bloom, B. S., (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals: Handbook I
[Brusilovsky 1996] Brusilovsky, P., (1996) Methods and Techniques of Adaptive Hypermedia, User Modeling and User Adapted Interaction, 1996, v 6, n 2-3, pp 87-129 (Special issue on adaptive hypertext and hypermedia)
[Brusilovsky 2000] Brusilovsky, P., (2000) Course Sequencing for Static Courses and Applying ITS Techniques in Large-Scale Web-Based Education, in Gauthier G, Frasson C, Van Lehn K (eds.), Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, v.1839 pp. 625-634, Springer Verlag, Berlin 2000
[Chickering 1996] Chickering, A. W., Ehrmann, S. C., (1996). Implementing the seven principles: technology as lever, AAHE Bulletin,
[Conati 2001] Conati, C., VanLehn, K., (2001) Providing Adaptive Support to the Understanding of Instructional Material, IUI, Santa Fe, New Mexico 2001
[Cristea 2002] Cristea A, Aroyo L, (2002) Adaptive authoring of Adaptive Educational Hypermedia, Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-Based systems, pp. 122-132 LNCS 2347, Springer Verlag 2002
[De Bra 1998] De Bra, P. and Calvi, L., (1998) AHA! An open Adaptive Hypermedia Architecture, The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, vol. 4, pp. 115-139, Taylor Graham Publishers, 1998.
[Eklund 1998] Eklund, J., Brusilovsky, P., (1998) The Value of Adaptivity in Hypermedia Learning Environments: A Short Review of Empirical Evidence. 2nd Workshop on Adaptive Hypertext and Hypermedia Held in Conjunction with HYPERTEXT '98: The Ninth ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, June 20-24, Pittsburgh, PA
[Eklund 2000] Eklund, J., Sinclair, K., (2000) An empirical appraisal of the effectiveness of adaptive interfaces for instructional systems, Educational Technology & Society 3(4), IEEE
[IB] InterBook
[Manuel] Freire-Morán, M., Visualization of hypermedia course structures, Departamento de Ingeniería Informática - Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
[ML] MetaLinks
[Parker 2002] Parker, B., Hankins, J., (2002) AAHE's seven principles for good practice applied to an online literacy course, Middle Tennessee State University, Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges
[Penn] Writing effective questions to promote learning, Pennsylvania State University,
[Specht 1998] Specht, M., (1998) Empirical evaluation of adaptive annotation in hypermedia. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA & ED-TELECOM98, Vol. 2, Charlottesville, VA: AACE, 1327-1332
[Weber] Weber, G., Adaptive Learning Systems in the World Wide Web, Department of Psychology, University of Education Freiburg, Germany
[Weber 2001] Weber, G., Hans-Christian, K., and Weibelzahl, S., (2001) Developing Adaptive Internet Based Courses with the Authoring System NetCoach. Pedagogical University Freiburg, Germany
[Weibelzahl 2002] Weibelzahl, S., and Weber, G., (2002) Adapting to Prior Knowledge of Learners, Pedagogical University Freiburg, Germany