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Unlocking Potential: The Role of Adaptive Intelligence in eLearning

Young woman working on a laptop. Hands of artificial intelligence and human are touching

A Question of Perception

The digital revolution has transformed education, ushering in a new era of learning through elearning platforms. For learners, these platforms were able to make content accessible anytime, anywhere and allow learners to pace their learning according to their own schedule. elearning brought benefits for organisations too, as training costs could be reduced, large numbers of learners could be trained simultaneously, and in-built analytics, which could offer valuable insights to inform decision-making and continuous improvement.

The elearning materials, however, haven’t always been met with universal approval.  Why? Well, let me ask you a question…

What do you think of when you’re asked to take an elearning course?

Do you think of the time you’ll waste wading through exactly the same content as everyone else, regardless of your individual needs, preferences, or prior knowledge?  Do you wince at the prospect of having to follow a predetermined sequence of modules with no flexibility to explore topics based on your interests?

A woman holding her head in her hands in frustration


Do you think of a course that’s tailored just for you?  Do you look forward to a course that lets you explore content in a way that suits you - one that adapts, to take account of what you already know and presents the content you need?

This is a question I pose regularly, and in my experience, there is a significant percentage who will think of the former. So how can we change this perception?

This blog explores the significance of adaptive intelligence in elearning, its impact on learners, and its role in shaping the future of elearning.

What is Adaptive Intelligence in eLearning?

Adaptive intelligence refers to the ability of a system to continuously learn and evolve based on new data and experiences. It involves dynamically adjusting its behaviour, responses, and decision-making processes in real-time to suit changing circumstances or user needs.

In the context of elearning, adaptive intelligence can be applied to personalise learning experiences, provide tailored feedback, and adapting content delivery methods to individual learner preferences, capabilities, and progress. Adaptive intelligence in elearning, typically relies on data derived from user interactions, assessments, and feedback to continually refine and optimise the learning process.

Personalised Learning Experience

The reality is that learners are individuals, they are unique, they come from varied backgrounds, possess different skill levels, and learn in diverse ways. A personalised learning experience is essential, if we intend to cater for diverse learner profiles, abilities, and learning styles.

With elearning, trainers had a new tool in their toolbox, one which offered a viable alternative to traditional face-to-face or classroom-based training. Personalisation of learning, however, has typically been perceived as the realm of one-to-one training, where the needs of the learner can be fully accommodated, without consideration of the needs of the rest of the group.

Now, using sophisticated algorithms and data analysis, adaptive intelligence brings within our grasp, the ability to dynamically adjust learning materials, activities, and assessments in real-time, enabling a learner led personalised learning experience.

Enhanced Engagement and Motivation

By presenting content in a format that resonates with learners, adaptive intelligence fosters deeper engagement, motivation, and comprehension, ultimately enhancing learning outcomes. Additionally, the ability of adaptive intelligence to adjust content in real time, based on learners' responses further reinforces engagement by creating a responsive and personalised learning environment.

By stepping away from a regimented sequence, and giving learners control over their learning experience, learners can choose their preferred learning paths, explore topics of further interest, and reduce irrelevant content, leading to increased motivation and empowering them to take ownership of their learning journey. 

A man sitting at a computer, smiling

Supporting Change

Of course, engagement and motivation are only part of the story. eLearning is an enabler of change, and if we, as instructional designers, haven’t helped to bring about that change, then we have failed.

No matter how much information we place in front of people, change will only come about if learners are able to make use of their new knowledge and skills. However, elearning has quite rightly in some instances, come in for some criticism, in its use of ‘tests’.  These tests, or knowledge checks have sometimes been too simplistic, involving little more than simple questions which demonstrate the learners’ short-term recall. Good designers create realistic scenarios, allowing learners to apply their knowledge and skills in practical contexts, which are relevant to them.

Adaptive intelligence allows us to go one stage further, by dynamically adjusting the difficulty and content based on the learners' performance, ensuring that they are challenged at an appropriate level. This personalised approach fosters a sense of accomplishment and progress, motivating learners to continue their learning journey.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

eLearning shouldn’t simply be considered as a cost saving exercise.  The entire concept aims to reach those for who face to face training is not an option. Fostering accessibility and inclusivity is not an add-on but follows the ethos of making the learning accessible to as many people as possible. Adaptive intelligence has a role to play here to, by helping us to accommodate a wide range of learner needs, by dynamically adjusting content presentation, interaction modes, and learning pathways based on individual learner profiles and preferences. This customisation ensures that learners with diverse needs, such as visual impairments, dyslexia, or attention disorders, can engage with learning materials effectively.

By using innovative technologies, we can, like never before, break down barriers to learning, empower individuals with disabilities or unique learning requirements to engage with educational materials effectively while enriching the learning experience for all.

Shaping the Future of eLearning

The future of elearning is poised for a transformative shift with adaptive intelligence at its core. Techniques which were previously the realm of face-to-face, or even one-to-one training will become increasingly utilised in elearning, with platforms dynamically adapting content, pacing, and assessments in real-time. By harnessing the power of adaptive intelligence, elearning will become increasingly personalised, responsive, and inclusive, enabling instructional designers to tailor learning experiences to the individual needs, preferences, and abilities of each learner, fostering deeper engagement and understanding.

A woman holding a chalkboard containing the the words 'Are you ready?'

If you would like to know more about how adaptive intelligence can transform your elearning, click the button below to book a free discovery call.

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