In the present scenario of teaching, the biggest challenge which the teachers face is that they are unable to know that to what extent they must go so that their students are benefitted the most. This situation may also arise in front of a student. Generally, a student has no idea about opting a course which may prove to be the most beneficial. These conditions are eliminated by the arrival of adaptive learning culture in the field of education.

Adaptive learning is a computer-based and/or online educational system that modifies the presentation of material in response to student performance. Best-of-breed systems capture fine-grained data and use learning analytics to enable human tailoring of responses. The associated learning management systems (LMS) provide comprehensive administration, documentation, tracking and reporting progress, and user management. It is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices, and to orchestrate the allocation of human and mediated resources according to the unique needs of each learner. Computers adapt the presentation of educational material according to students’ learning needs, as indicated by their responses to questions, tasks and experiences. The technology encompasses aspects derived from various fields of study including computer science, education, psychology, and brain science.

Adaptive learning has been partially driven by a realization that tailored learning cannot be achieved on a large-scale using traditional, non-adaptive approach. Adaptive learning systems endeavour to transform the learner from passive receptor of information to collaborator in the educational process

Divisions of Adaptive learning

The Ed-tech model of adaptive learning is not the same for each individual who uses it, but it depends on the level on which it is being used.

  • Expert modelThe model with the information which is to be taught: It can be superficially understood as the model which contains all the information of the Adaptive learning system which need not be explained to user of this level.
  • Student modelThe model which tracks and learns about the student:  This model judges the student on the basis of his response to the questions and assignments in the system. After deciding the level of the student, the system automatically adapts itself so that it is easier for the student to study. The simplest means of determining a student’s skill level is the method employed in CAT (computerized adaptive testing).
  • Instructional model – The model which actually conveys the information.
  • Instructional environment – The user interface for interacting with the system


Adaptive learning has a bright future in the educational world as it is not only a promising method for the students but also beneficial for the teachers as it lets them know about the problems faced by the students during a particular lesson.

Adaptive learning will assist higher educational institutes who are ramping up their efforts to pin-point the students who are likely to dropout, and improve graduation rates. Influencers and thought leaders are coming together with initiatives that enable the meeting of private organizations and education institutions and providers, to promote adaptive learning in the future of higher education – The Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation being one of the more notable ones.

Promise versus Reality

Adaptive tests can help teachers understand and address the varying proficiency levels in their classrooms. A teacher, for instance, may find a student who can do fifth-grade math but reads at a first-grade level.

In an ideal scenario, students will be working on assignments and activities that best address their different skill levels. Unfortunately, this potential is tempered by the reality of the current education system, in which students progress according to their age groups. This implies that the Adaptive learning method cannot be used with the current education system.

To strike a balance teachers can assign work to students based on their capabilities, but this would still not be practical as the annual exams which are same for all will pose a problem.

The implementation of Adaptive learning in the current education system seems tough and looks like it will not be of any help, but in reality one can surely say that if we find methods to add it in the current education scenario it will prove to be a revolutionary step in the education world as it helps both the instructor and the student in some or the other form. Students will be much more interested in studying when they are taught the things which they can easily understand. Overall, this method will prove to be a boon in the lives of students.