Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning software: how effective is it, and which features are helpful?

Supporting pupils individually according to their abilities is a major challenge for teachers. Adaptive learning software can play an important role here. So how effective is it from a scientific perspective?
The meta-analysis “Automated adaptive guidance for K-12 education” (2015) by Gerard, Matuk, McElhany & Linn examines how teaching with adaptive learning software affects the learning performance of pupils and which specific features of the software contribute to higher learning achievement.

The results show a significant small overall effect in favour of adaptive learning software (g = 0.34), regardless of whether the students of the control group were taught with non-adaptive software, worksheets or other forms of instruction. The results also show that students with low or medium prior knowledge benefit more than their classmates with high prior knowledge. In addition, certain features are more effective than others: These include content-related advice from the software to promote a deeper conceptual understanding or advice on self-regulated learning.

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